Lately I’ve received quite a few questions on some of the hottest diet trends on the market. It appears Paleo is out, Ketogenic is in. Clean eating is no longer as hot a trend and some are experimenting with Intermittent Fasting. There are so many diets out there, I can’t  keep up.

Do any of these diets work? Sure, they do. Anyone who restricts what he/she eats will lose weight. It’s not the losing weight that’ difficult. It’s the keeping it off.

  “The diet that works is one that you will stick to FOREVER!”

You see, long term weight loss has never been achieved by following a restrictive diet that bans your favorite foods. Such a diet is a temporary fix to a long term problem. Truth of the matter is the diet that works is not that complicated.  It doesn’t come in liquid or powder form and surely doesn’t force you to eliminate your favorite foods. Rather, it is a personalized way of eating and incorporates food that you enjoy. It goes beyond what you put in your body but also looks at how well you keep it through physical activity. Simply put, the diet that works is a way of life.

So how do you follow this “diet”? I’m glad you asked: it’s mighty simple:

Watch Your Portions

The more you eat, the more weight you are likely to gain.  It is important to remember that a portion is not necessarily what is put in front of you. Restaurants, family members and even individuals tend to serve up bigger portions than is actually recommended. (In case you missed it, here’s our post on how to control your portions)

Eat the foods that you like

A diet that tells you to eliminate your favorite foods sets you up for failure. What’s life without a little fufu or yassa? Instead of focusing on the foods that satisfy your personal tastes, you’re forced to eat items that you do not enjoy and before long, you get bored and revert back to poor habits. If your favorite foods are not  healthy, look for ways to make them healthy or choose to eat them in moderation. Not sure where to start? Send us your favorite recipe and we’ll give you some ideas.

Choose foods that fit in your budget and lifestyle

If you have to buy special foods and go out of your way to make a meal, chances of you sticking with that plan are extremely slim. (No pun intended.) In order for a diet to succeed it has to be easily accessible and flexible enough to allow you to adjust your preferences according to what is in your pocket as well as the location. For example, plans that tell you to have a shake instead of a meal are not sustainable as they limit your options. What happens when you can not afford to pay for the shakes or you decide to go out for lunch with your friends?

Get regular physical activity

It’s a simple math equation, calories in equal calories out. You have to balance what you eat with how much you burn. Make physical activity a part of your everyday life by doing little extra bits of activity every day. Park your car further away in the lot, take the stairs instead of the elevator, dance to your favorite song, teach your children the physical games your played as a child and go out and play with them. If it is not possible to be physically active during the day, set aside a special time in which to get some exercise in. It may be at the gym, in your living room doing an exercise video or going outdoors for the simplest and oldest form of exercise; Walking. Whatever you choose to do, get moving!

As simple as this “diet” is many people choose to abandon it searching for a “faster”, more expensive, highly publicized way to lose weight. Unfortunately, the plans that you may often choose to follow are not designed to help you lose weight forever. They are often highly restrictive, rigid and sometimes just plain unpalatable. Rather than help solve the weight problem, they perpetuate it. The diet that works is one that fits into your lifestyle and jives with your taste buds. Ditch the fancy plans for a more active lifestyle and healthier food choices. With those, you are certain to see health (and esthetic) benefits that will last a lifetime.

I am wondering what kind of diets you have been on before and how they worked for you. Send me a message to let me know.

Here’s to your health!