Shopping for a Diet?

Diets are everywhere. Open a magazine or turn on the television and BAM! there's a new diet receiving rave reviews. When will they run out of pictures of skinny people that used to be larger (and very pale, it seems)? Choosing a diet that can work for you is a challenging and confusing task. Here are some things to consider.

First, any significant change to your eating and activity levels should be discussed with your doctor. You may discover that some facet of your intended diet will interfere with your medications, or that your prosthetic knee joint will not tolerate monthly 5K runs. A quick visit with the doctor now can head off a much more prolonged interaction with the doctor later! Better safe than sorry.

When you’re sure that your body can withstand the new lifestyle, it is time to select the perfect diet. Now the fun (?) begins. Setting aside some of the more outlandish choices (who can really expect to live on nothing but broccoli, anyway?) there are a lot of choices remaining.

Consider how your diet will integrate with your lifestyle. If you are preparing meals for a spouse and a gaggle of kids, choosing a diet based on mail order prepared foods may not work for you. If you live alone, that may be a perfect solution. Choosing an all tuna diet with a spouse allergic to seafood could be a deal breaker, but a low carb diet could fit well with your spouse’s Iron Man Marathon aspirations.

Also think about the impact on your schedule. Does the diet suggest 6-8 small meals throughout the day? That’s difficult in many office settings but pretty much ideal for a stay at home parent (the kids each constantly anyway). If the diet requires drinking 18 glasses of water a day, do you have ready access to the restroom throughout your work day? Not a great plan for an over the road trucker, for example. How does the intended diet adjust for weekends and parties? Do you have enough flexibility to go out with friends or skip a meal to power through the end of a project? Your life will change with the diet, but it’s important to understand the impacts in advance.

Don’t overlook that actual cost of the diet. If you are considering a diet that requires specific prepackaged meals or exotic pills or supplements, the cost of these goodies can really add up. Even buying lean meat and non-fat dairy costs more than your typical hamburger and cottage cheese. Your improved health will save you money over the long term, but the short term budget crunch of a specialty diet should be minimized.

Bear in mind that everyone has certain foods that are vital to life. For my, no diet that prohibits chocolate can be considered! Be honest with yourself and visualize your future meals and what you will be giving up. Can you see a life without your precious snack or beverage? Maybe you should look for another diet!

What kind of ongoing maintenance will this diet require? Are you signing up for a lifetime of buying your food by mail? Could you deplete the world’s stockpile of cabbage? Most diets have an expectation of maintenance once you’ve reached your goal weight. Otherwise you will be back, choosing a new diet, before you know it. Be sure that you can see yourself living your life with this new menu plan.

Going on a diet is quite a commitment, and one that should not be taken lightly. With the right choices, good support from your family and friends, plus lots of will power, a new and healthier you is waiting just around the corner. Good luck!

Diets are hard enough. You should not try it alone. Find a friend to buddy with you in this journey. Don’t have a diet buddy? Check out and find a local diet buddy. Together you can do it!

No comments:

Post a Comment