Before starting a diet, there are probably a ton of things running through your mind. Will this diet make me hungry? How much weight will I lose? With all the different diets and eating plans out there, it can be hard to figure out which plan is best for you. At the end of the day, there are a bunch of diet plans out there because ultimately, some programs work better for certain people. Starting an eating plan is about listening to your body and figuring out what works for you. Before starting a diet, talk to your doctor. There are also these questions to ask yourself before starting a diet.
1. Is It Healthy?
This is by far one of the most important questions to ask yourself before starting a diet. If a diet isn’t healthy, I don’t think it’s worth following. Sure, you might lose some weight at first, but what if your diet causes irreversible physical damage once you stop? Ultimately, your goal of health should come before losing weight. If you’re only going on a crash diet to drop a few pounds, you’re only going to lose water weight, which is bound to return once you stop dieting.
2. Is It Realistic?
If you’re used to eating three square meals a day, are you ready for a juice fast? Can you give up all animal products overnight? Ideally, you want a plan you can stick to. If a diet requires you to eat a bunch of foods you wouldn’t normally eat or exercise at the crack of dawn, maybe it isn’t the best plan for you. Changing your behavior and overcoming bad eating habits is one thing. Picking a diet that you stick to long term is another. You want your new eating plan to be a lifestyle, not an unrealistic plan you can’t follow for an extended period of time.
3. Is It Expensive?
Is this new diet going to require pounds of vegetables for green juice? Or loads of meat for protein? Cost is another factor that goes into the type of diet you pick. If you’ve been eating a lot or processed foods that are notoriously cheap (but unhealthy), you might experience a strain on your wallet as you change your eating habits. If you’re strapped for cash, perhaps you’d do better on a vegetarian plan that could cost you less. You could also consider buying a lot of your items at wholesale food stores where you can buy items in bulk and save money.
4. Is It Complicated?
Does the diet only permit you to mix certain foods together? Are your forced to follow an obscure eating pattern or schedule that’s inconvenient for your lifestyle? I like to say that when it comes to dieting, the simpler, the better. That’s why I love a whole foods diet so much—it’s simply real food in its unadulterated form. If a diet is too complicated, requires too much meal prep, or includes grueling workouts that could potentially injure you, you’re probably not going to stick to it for very long.
5. Who Will Support You?
Is anyone going to follow this diet with you? Whether it’s a family member, friend, or coworker, often it helps to have someone to keep you accountable. Teaming up with someone allows you to make meals together, shop for groceries together, and motivate each other when morale is low. Even the strictest diets are made better with a buddy! If you’re considering starting a diet, it’s a great idea to embark on the journey with a trusted companion that is sure to have your back.
6. Does It Have a Fitness Component?
Usually diets are all about the food and what you’re going to eat. But does the plan have an exercise or fitness component to it? Not all diet plans do, and that’s totally okay! But sometimes it’s nice to have a diet and workout plan all together in one program. Some high protein diets might have a weight routine to follow. On the other hand, a vegan detox diet might have a few yoga routines to accompany it. Either way, this component is totally optional. However, it’s definitely an added bonus!
7. How Did I Hear about It?
How did you hear about the diet you’re considering trying? Was it through a friend who had success on it? Was it through a spam ad online? Both sources indicate ENTIRELY different things about the diet’s efficacy and how safe it is. If you’re unsure about a diet or heard about it from a questionable source, contact a health care professional before you embark on any diet or eating plan.
Starting a diet is never an easy task. Remember that it’s about what works for you! What are some of the factors you consider when picking a diet?