Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Finding A Diet That Works For You

I was reading some of the diets that some of my friends are using to lose weight, and the first thing I noticed was how completely diverse all of those diets were. I have friends on the Weight Watcher's diet, the Medifast diet, the Tony Fergeson diet, the Atkin's Diet, the Zone diet, the South Beach diet, the Slimming World diet, the Raw diet, the Palio diet and so many others! I even have friends who are just counting calories and exercising.

Some of the diets sound overly restrictive to me. On the Medifast diet, you buy their food and restrict your calories to something like 1,000 a day. On the Tony Fergeson diet, you're not only restricting calories, but you're mostly sticking to the soups and shakes from the plan and multivitamins. On the Raw diet, you are only eating fruits, vegetables and nuts, all fresh produce. On the Atkin's diet, you are restricting your carbohydrates significantly. On the Palio diet, you are eating a mostly meat diet. (I am oversimplifying these diet plans here for the purpose of expediency. It would take a long time to go into detail about each one.)

Some diets, like the Zone diet, take a lot of calculating and planning. Some, like the Slimming World diet, give you a list of "free foods" which you can eat as much of as you like. Some, like the Weight Watcher's diet, give you choices between free food days and days when you have to do a bit of calculation.

Some people have health issues that have to be considered when choosing a diet plan. For example, someone who is diabetic will need a diet plan that takes into account his or her need to control sugar intake. Some one who has celiac disease will need to find a diet plan that will allow them to not include gluten in the food.

I have tried the Atkin's diet before. I lost 16 pounds in the first two weeks and nothing in the third and stopped doing the diet. I missed eating fruit and the diet was just too restrictive on carbohydrates for me. I quickly gained the weight back plus more!

I have tried the Weight Watcher's diet. I used the points plan (this was before they added the "core" plan) and lost 50 pounds in 6 months. At the same time, I was also going to the gym 5 days a week doing cardio workouts and twice a week adding in weight training. The only problem I had with the diet was that I moved to another country. Weight Watcher's was here too, but I had to get used to new foods and finding out the point values for things all over again, and I no longer had a gym to go to. I basically lost my focus. And the pounds slowly crept back up on me and then some!

The diet plan I am on now which is working for me and I find easy to follow is Slimming World. It has similarities to Weight Watcher's. There is a huge list of food that I can eat as much as I like of, such as eggs, fat-free yogurt, fresh fruit, vegetables, rice and so on. I can choose days; I can go with "green" days which consist of mostly vegetarian food including beans, legumes, pasta and rice, or I can go with "original" days where I get to include more meat into my meal planning. If I want a dessert, I have a certain amount of "syns" I can use each day towards it. I am replacing white flour with whole grains for my bread, rice and pasta.

I've added my own touch to the diet. I have a tendency to binge eat, so, although it is not part of the plan, I am keeping track of my calories throughout the day. Writing down what I am eating also has the added benefit of keeping me more on track with whether I am making healthy choices.

I am finding that this diet works for me. And the important part about it is that I like following it! I don't feel deprived, and I do feel like this is something I can continue for life. Because that is what is important about any diet you choose to follow. It has to be a lifestyle change. It has to be something you can see yourself continuing for life, because otherwise it is all too easy for the pounds to creep back up on you.

Everyone is different. What works for one person may not work for another, and what one person finds easy to follow may seem impossible for another. All of my friends have one thing in common with the choices they have made in their diets and that is that their diet is working for them.

If a diet plan you are on seems like a constant struggle (especially after you have given it a couple of weeks), maybe you need to try a different diet plan. Experiment a little until you find the one that is right for you, because when you do, you will find successful weight loss will come a lot easier.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful start to a new beginning and a new you


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