People aiming to lose weight have a shockingly large pool of diet options these days. The trouble is, a large number of those options are tantamount to mere gimmicks. It can be hard to pick out the few truly effective and healthy choices from such a large group, so methods of narrowing down your choices early are valuable.
When trying to find out what could be the most effective diet in your situation, you have to consider certain parameters and go through particular steps. Not sure where to begin? Just follow the steps we give you below.
Keep in mind that you do not have to follow the order in which we have them listed, by the way. For example, you could consult your physician as the last step, after you have already culled some diet options from the pack and are just working on choosing one.
Step 1: Talk to Your Physician
Consulting your doctor is only smart thinking if you are looking for a diet. For one thing, he can give you some suggestions off the bat. For another, he is in a far better place than you when it comes to weighing the potential risks and benefits a diet will have on your health.
Some diets are downright dangerous for certain people. Your doctor can tell you what diets to steer clear of and why. For example, if you have diabetes, it could be because the diet promotes specific deficiencies that you are already at a high risk for. What matters is that you get an idea of what to steer clear of and thus get to further narrow down your choices.
Step 2: Review Your Dieting History
If this is not your first time to go on a diet, that may actually be a good thing. You see, your dieting history gives you a lot of pointers as to what diets work best for you. Just recall your experiences with past diets and ask these questions: Which had the best results? Which were the hardest and why?
From there you can potentially build a dieting profile that will aid you in finding an effective diet to try next. It might tell you that you should aim for diets without caloric restrictions, for instance, because you are not good at counting calories.
Bear in mind that positive suggestions here can also work as objections for other things. To continue the example above, aiming for diets without caloric restrictions also tells you what to stay away from. Diets like the Mediterranean Diet, the Weight Watcher’s Diet and even more so the brutally-designed Optifast are thus ones you should not be considering.
Step 3: Consider the Target Demographic of the Diet
It is not something all that often discussed, but the truth is that all diets will always work slightly better for one type of person than another. Types, of course, can be based on a lot of things. It could be a matter of age, for example. It could even be a matter of sex — just take a look at the Man Diet, which is explicitly designed for male weightwatchers, for example.
Before you get too deep into considering a diet, always find out if it was made for a particular part of the population — that is, discover that diet’s demographic. There is little point to wasting your time and effort on a diet designed especially for women if you happen to be a man, at least unless you have no other options. But then you would not be going through this guide in the first place: the real problem is in fact that there are so many (some might even say too many) options.
Step 4: Consider the Costs and Feasibility of the Diet
It is a simple truth: some diets will cost you more than others. If you are going to try vegetarianism, for instance, but also live in a place where fresh vegetables in good variety are hard to find, you shall be shooting yourself in the foot before you even begin. The same goes if you try one of the replacement-product diets, like a Slim-Fast or Medifast diet. The mere cost of the things you should be eating could make the diet extra-hard for you to do.
If you think that nearly everything prescribed in a diet will be hard to get, steer clear. Do not make the mistake of thinking, Oh, the effort and trouble will be worth it anyway. The point is this: diets always have effort and trouble involved. That is why so many people give up dieting midway through. Why make it even harder for yourself by adding to the reasons for giving up?
Step 5: Your Schedule
It is a bit rare, but there are some diets that are schedule-dependent. It could be something like the After-6, which prohibits followers from eating once 6PM has passed. It could be something less straightforward too, though, like a diet involving heavy exercise — if you have a busy schedule, the latter would still require serious consideration to see if you can fit it into your day.
If you do not have a lot of free time, you want a diet that is flexible in its scheduling and which does not require overly long hours at the gym. What is an overly long amount of hours? Just ask yourself how much extra time each day you can spare if it will help you on the way to your ideal body. If a diet goes over that figure, look elsewhere.
Step 6: Sustainability, Risks and Results
Finally, review the results and risks associated with a particular diet you are thinking of choosing. Be sure to consider other people’s reviews of it as well as your doctor’s advice on the matter, by the way. You want a diet whose results will be sustainable without having negative impact on your health, and not all diets can give you that. If you can only get the body you want for 5 minutes, it would surely make you wonder if it is worth it — and for a diet to succeed, you have to be sure that it is worth it!