Ripe vegetables and herbs. Isolated on white background

Ripe vegetables and herbs. Isolated on white background

Losing weight and deciding which program is right for you can be a little tricky. Everywhere you go, you are bombarded with commercials that talk about the latest weight loss fad or dietary supplement. Not to mention the countless magazines and websites that you can gather information from. Don’t be overwhelmed! When you are considering making a lifestyle change and can’t find the perfect plan, then consider fusing together a few different ones that suit your lifestyle, personality and activity level.  

The most important step is to always involve your primary care physician in whatever plan you are trying to pursue. By letting him or her know that you are ready to commit to living a healthier lifestyle, that includes dietary changes and exercise, shows that you are taking ACTIVE steps forward. You should always feel as if you have a team on your side that wants the best for you.

In order to pick the right plan, consider your past dieting experiences. Identify what was done well and what went wrong. Knowing what you like and dislike will help make the selection process simpler.

If you are among the people that are new to dieting, ask yourself a series of questions relating to your personal preferences. Here are few of the questions you might ask. Do you like group support meetings, such as Weight Watchers? What type of budget are you willing to commit to, like buying food or supplements? Do you prefer online support? Are there any health considerations you have to be mindful of, such as diabetes, heart disease or food allergies? What about your own cultural food preferences, like eating kosher, etc? All of these factors may seem daunting, but DON’T feel impatient with the process. Remember that this process is a gradual one. A slow and steady weight loss of 0.5 to 2.0 lbs is typical for long term success.

Choosing a successful plan requires a long term commitment to making healthy changes in your eating and exercise habits.  Picking a nutritional plan that you can live with is half the battle, so choose a plan that has the following: flexibility, balance, likability and activity.

Flexibility: Flexibility is choosing a plan that doesn’t forbid food groups, but instead incorporates a variety of foods with the proper ratio of protein, fat and carbs. A diet with flexibility includes vegetables, fruit, whole grains, low fat dairy, lean proteins and an occasional indulgence.

Balance: Choosing a plan that includes the proper amounts of nutrients and calories will sustain your individual lifestyle. Diets that DO NOT eliminate entire food groups, such as carbohydrates, etc, given a balance to your dietary plan.

Likability: Choosing a plan that incorporates foods that you LIKE and would enjoy eating indefinitely is always important.

Activity: You MUST choose a plan that encourages and supports PHYSICAL ACTIVITY because the activity will boost your dieting efforts.

Ultimately, you are choosing the plan that will assist you in creating sustainable habits for the entire family for long term success. Combining a healthier diet with more activity is the best way to losing weight and KEEPING IT OFF.