“Saying there’s one best diet for everyone is a little like saying there’s one best type of music for everyone,” Michael Dansinger, M.D., director of obesity research at the Atherosclerosis Research Laboratory at Tufts-New England Medical Center, says. People should consider a broad spectrum of options.
1) Cut The Easiest Calories First.
Eliminating the nonnutritive foods that are least important to you can have a major effect. Avoiding sugared soft drinks and juices and outsized baked goods, such as mega-bagels, alone could eliminate 500 to 1,000 calories a day from your body.
2) Choose A Safe Dietary Plan.
If you have any kind of medical condition, check with your doctor before starting a weight loss attempt, especially if you’re drawn to one of the more nutritionally extreme diets such as Atkins. Don’t strive for rapid weight loss. Losing more than 1 to 2 pounds a week can cause undesirable health effects, with the Medifast weight loss plan being the exception. Increase fiber intake gradually and drink a lot of water to avoid digestive upsets. Also, consider taking a multivitamin pill while you’re cutting the calories.
3) Consider Personal Preferences.
Someone who doesn’t like red meat will find Atkins very difficult to follow, and someone who does will probably find the vegetarian Ornish diet intolerable. Those who like variety may tire of the limited menu of a meal replacement diet.
4) Follow the Rules.
If the diet says to eat one half cup of rice, be sure to measure it in a measuring cup. If you’re supposed to eat a snack at 3 p.m. then eat it. The more faithfully people adhere to a diet, the more successful they will be.
5) Be Ready To Switch.
“You have to ‘date’ the diets and be ready to fail a few times before you find the right one that you can stick with. If after three weeks, you find a diet too difficult or unpleasant to follow or you are not losing weight then try another.
Whatever option you choose it’s very wise to seek personal support and encouragement. Surveys show that a counselor was second in effectiveness only to devising their own personal diet and exercise plan. Whether support is one-on-one or in group support behavioral support can help people lose weight. One of the largest diet studies ever conducted, involving more than 3,200 overweight people at high risk for diabetes, found that intensive counseling to support diet and exercise changes worked better than a drug to prevent diabetes and induce consistent weight loss.
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