Finding the right nutrition plan can be a hard task as the internet is littered with thousands upon thousands of diet advice, that it's hard to know where to start.
Luckily, we have five simple tips that will have you on your way to a fitter, healthier you in no time at all.
Choosing the Right Diet and Nutrition Plan
Searching for the right nutrition plan is, as we have already established, a difficult exercise. However, following these next suggestions is a sure-fire way to find the diet and nutrition plan that works for you.
1. Involve Your Doctor
Typically, this is the step that most people forget or feel embarrassed doing but do not worry, it is all part of your doctor's job!
He or she will be able to go over your medication that may inhibit your weight loss journey, as well as any other medical conditions you have that might restrict you from starting some particular diets.
It is really important to be completely honest with your doctor about what methods you have tried in the past to lose weight and any diets — regardless of what they are — that you are looking into now. Doctors are not there to judge you, they are there to help you on your journey.
Sometimes, doctors may refer you to a nutritionist or dietician. If this is the case for you, you are off to a fantastic start as they can give you professional, tailored advice that will allow you to lose weight, while ensuring you stay within healthy parameters.
2. Match Your Activity Level
A lot of diets, especially high protein nutrition plans, will include numerous days at the gym. This may sound great in theory, but if you are not a gym-goer, then this probably will only last a few weeks and so your weight loss journey will come to a very abrupt end.
However, there are plenty of simple nutrition plans out there that will work better for you if the gym or countless exercising is not your thing.
Make sure to put the effort into finding a plan that does encourage exercise — and the type of activities you enjoy doing like walking, swimming, dancing etc. This will ensure you can make the lifestyle change indefinitely, and then slowly increase your exercise level as you progress.
3. Incorporate Foods Within Your Budget and Preferences
Some plans will require you to be in the kitchen for hours, cooking unusual foods in large quantities. This is sustainable if you have a lot of time and money but if you don't, you'll need to look around for something that fits in your budget and the structure of your day.
The recipes involved within the plan should look enticing and tasty to you — if they don't, it is probably not the best idea to go with it, as you may find you become bored with the lack of your preferred flavors.
Additionally, you may have seen diets that require you to drink a lot of meal replacement or protein shakes. While this works well for people with busy schedules, it can be fairly expensive. Again, this is why you need to ensure the plan incorporates foods that you actually like and you can afford.
4. Decide Between Structure or Flexibility
Many people prefer a nutrition plan that involves specific foods that are strictly portioned as this helps them to never overeat. On the other hand, some people are more inclined to follow a flexible plan which enables them to make their own food.
It's up to you and your lifestyle to decide which you go with. However, if you do decide to embark on a more flexible plan, ensure the food suggestions incorporate healthy options so that you will reach your weight loss goal.
5. Address Your Bad Habits
You have probably heard the phrase "it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle change" and this is quite true! The most effective "diets" are the ones where you don't actually feel like you're dieting.
Find a "lifestyle change" that encourages you to pinpoint your habits which have held you back from achieving your weight loss goals in the past. This way, you will be able to address the issues slowly with the help of the plan, and gradually swap out your recipes to incorporate the healthier versions.
Remember: do not aim for perfection but instead, aim for progress.
Simple Nutrition Plans To Try
Now that you know what you need to ask yourself in order to find the perfect nutrition plan, you may be wondering what the actual examples are and where to find them. Well, you can start right here.
If you are after a very flexible approach to dieting, you should be looking at a balanced nutrition plan. Weight Watchers and the Mediterranean plan comes under this type as no foods are off-limits.
The great aspect of these plans is their focus on long-term health and fitness goals, as opposed to "quick fixes" or fad dieting. This ensures that it is sustainable for as long as you like, as it is very well nutritionally balanced.
Diets incorporating a large increase in protein intake usually require many gym days. Although the plans themselves are simple — eat lean meat and a lot of it — the exercise required in conjunction with this can be too much for some.
Moreover, nutrient deficiencies are fairly likely as the focus is on the protein and not much else.
Technically a very simple nutrition plan, but can be extremely difficult to stick to over a long period of time due to fat intake being incredibly low. However, if you feel that this is something you could indeed live with for the long-term, then as it is completely nutritionally balanced, give it a go!
The Atkins diet, which you may have heard of, sits in the low carb category. These plans restrict carbohydrate intake dramatically and boost foods with both fat and protein.
As with the low-fat options, these type of plans can be hard to keep up with. However, unlike the previous choice, these low carbohydrate diets can prove to lower your overall nutrient intake as some plans can be very restrictive.
Hopefully, now you will have all the tools you need when finding the right nutrition plan for you. Whether you want dramatic lifestyle changes or a baby step approach to weight loss, there truly is a diet out there that you can work with over a long period.