Diet options run the gamut from simple to complex, small tweaks to wholesale change, inexpensive to “does my insurance cover this?”, and easy to incorporate into your lifestyle to “I could never live like this.” All we really want to know is: Will it work for me?
Honestly, the answer to that is less about the weight loss phase, although that’s an essential element. All diets work on the concept of caloric restriction, although it’s not as simplistic as “calories in-calories out.” The variable is in how we tolerate restriction. The number one reason people abandon a goal is because they get too hungry. If their motivation, their “why”, is strong enough or they are driven by a goal, they might be able to tough it out until they reach the goal. As with all my previous attempts, I gritted my teeth and reached my goal in 2012 after 40 years on a diet. The better option is to find a combination that keeps us truly satisfied, which makes it easier to stick to the plan.
The answer to whether or not it will work for you long-term is more about maintenance. Diets only work while you follow them. A food plan will help you reach your goal, but if you return to the way you ate before, your body will produce the same results. It’s amazing how the weight returns so much faster than it went, isn’t it?
For long-term success, it’s essential to find what works for your body. A metabolic test or doing an elimination diet will give you clues. Or, we can learn from our previous nutrition plan experiences.
Remember the lady whose video went viral after she used Gorilla Glue in her hair? It took a plastic surgeon four hours to remove it. She had quite a painful lesson in what NOT to do. Have you had some lessons like that? I know I have.
Questions for Learning From Experience
Like many of you, I’ve tried MANY nutrition plans. Think back to the one that gave you the most success.
- What was that plan?
- What did you learn?
- What foods keep you satisfied the longest?
- Are there foods that kick up your cravings and hunger?
- What do you eat for lunch on days when you have that mid-afternoon slump or get the munchies before 2:00?
- What are you doing when you go for long periods of time without thinking of food?
- What activities divert your attention from food? It may help to make time in each week for those kinds of activities.
- What happens right before you go to food for comfort or stress relief?
- What could you do instead?
Be curious about what foods affect you differently, and you will be able to find the plan that works for you.
What’s the right food plan for you? The one you will stick to and incorporate into your lifestyle for maintaining your goal.