Many of us want eat less, exercise more, and lose weight. Finally making that decision to lose weight is life-changing, but it can also be frightening and intimidating. The popular view is that it is a simple equation: eat less + exercise more = thinner body. The harsh reality is that it can be tough, and we often need help making the equation work for us. This is especially true if you’re a busy mom trying to balance your own needs with your family’s.
When you have reached the point where “it’s now or never” how do you find the help you need to reach your weight-loss goals? Many people seek the advice of friends and family. But, what works for one person may not be right for another. We believe 5 key areas are the most important to consider when choosing a diet plan. Here are our guidelines:
1. The Dieting Mindset
Are you looking for a complete lifestyle overhaul? Or are you looking for a way to incorporate weight-loss into your current lifestyle? Many people who have reached the “it’s now or never point” want to make a radical change. And that’s great; often radical change is the only thing that will get and keep our attention. You might need that change to remind you on a daily basis of what you’re trying to accomplish. However, other people want simple, small changes in their daily routine. Small changes may help someone feel as though she’s “not really dieting”, simply making a small lifestyle change. That mindset can make it easier for her to stick to her plan.
Check our reviews for how diets rate on the dieting mindset. Have others experienced a radical shift on a particular diet, or do they find that the plan fits easily into their current lifestyle?
2. The Diet’s Complexity
How easy or difficult is the diet plan to follow? Ease of using the plan is one of the primary factors cited in sticking with a weight-loss program. Ease of use for different plans varies, from a plan which will deliver all your meals to you and you don’t need to put any thought into planning or preparing food, to plans that ask you to calculate carbohydrates, proteins and fats with each item you consume. If you are just learning how to understand the relationship between the foods you eat and their effect on your body, you may prefer a plan that aids that learning process by teaching you about the components of foods. Or, you may already understand the relationship between what you eat and your body, and just want to change your eating without thinking too much about it. In this case a meal delivery or meal replacement weight loss program, one that doesn’t ask you to make decisions at every meal, might be the best for you. Meal delivery might be right if you’re a busy mom trying to get food on the table that your kids will eat but you want a diet for you.
3. Cost of the Plan
You cannot view the cost of a program by itself; you need to think about the whole plan and what it is worth to you. If you want an easy-to-follow program with limited support, you may not need to pay a high price. However, if you want a radical lifestyle change with support from counselors employed by the plan, you may pay a premium. So, don’t say no to a plan simply because of its high price; if it is the right plan for you, it is worth it. You should consider the money an investment in yourself.
4. Your Overall Health
There are many diets that are overly restrictive and/or limited in nutrients, or that make unreasonable claims about how much weight you can lose using the plan. When researching plans, you should look for a variety of foods included in the plan, whether a plan has a typical range of daily calorie intake, and whether there are any negative reactions to the foods or the plan. It is important to consider your weight loss plan as just a small part of your overall health. Sacrificing your health for weight loss is never a good idea.
5. The Diet Community
Are you more comfortable getting support from a community of dieters? Or do you prefer to keep your efforts private? Many plans have a community aspect, either a face to face group or an online community. Other plans are only available in books or through a one-on-one connection, and so the dieter is his or her own best motivator. What type of person are you? If you need a group to help keep you motivated, then look for a plan that rates highly on community. If you’d prefer not to be part of a group, you can still have access to many shared resources through our site, such as recipes and inspirational success stories.