Many a time, we jump in the diet basket without asking why, when or where. Because we think weight loss forms part of another fashion phase, we lose motivation along the way. I see dieting as something a lot more personal than this. For this specific reason we need to strategize our weight loss approach. Many times, we lose focus when dieting because we follow an unsuitable method not aligned with our circumstances, expectations, lifestyles, or personality types.
The article below aims to summarise the actions a person should take to determine which diet is best for me and not for somebody else. So, what do we need to do to reach our weight loss goals that align with our unique circumstances and lifestyles? The first action involves a study of your weight situation and a discussion with yourself as the person who aims to lose weight. It sounds crazy, but we need to investigate our own circumstances before deciding on the best diet program.
For this to happen, you need to ask some questions to determine the dynamics of your own situation. What are the questions? Let’s see what the following paragraph says.
6 questions you need to ask yourself before choosing a diet plan?
To decide on the best diet that works for you, a person needs to be honest with themselves. We need to investigate and determine the best diet that works for us. Question types vary depending on your personal requirements, your budget availability, and the time you can invest in a diet program. The following list provides some guidance regarding the questions you can ask to determine what approach aligns with your needs (1):
What reasons made you follow a weight loss program?
All of us comprise different ideas about the reasons we want to lose those extra kilos. For some of us, we want to look and feel better, others focus on more serious health concerns for example diabetes or you aim to shed weight for an upcoming occasion. Your answer should guide your diet program, the foods you attend to eat, and how quick you aim to reach your goals.
Do you worry about your weight?
If you comprise a real concern of your outlook, it can cause negative or positive effects. Some instances we worry too much and become obsessed with our diets or we take the dietary program too lightly.
Do you find it difficult to follow a structured eating plan?
Not all people consist of an organized approach to living or dieting. If you are a person who enjoys the freedom of certain lifestyles and unplanned approaches to living, you may need to follow a relaxed diet program approach.
Stress-free dieting does not mean eating what you want, but a more natural approach to maintaining health. Psychologically you convince your mind to eat healthily.
Do you experience constant weight loss challenges?
People encounter different levels of weight loss issues that vary between various ages, stages, and phases in your life. For example, we lose weight quickly during the 20 something years, while the forty-year-olds find it challenging to drop those extra kilos. Our past health experiences and historical lifestyle practices also impact the body’s ability to conform to new diet programs.
Do you comprise a family history that struggles with health challenges, for example, diabetes?
Family genes play a critical role in the success we encounter when dieting. If you originate from a family that comprises big bone structures, you most likely will struggle to look like your skinny friend. Always keep logic in mind and remember you need to stay healthy even when losing weight.
Do you enjoy exercising or taking part in diverse activities?
Burning fat and energy stay key in a diet program. You need to ask yourself if you want to participate in a more or less active lifestyle? If you decide what works for you, follow a diet program that suits your activity levels.
How do I determine the best diet for me?
After answering a few questions, one should decide on the diet that works for you. What steps should I follow to determine the best dietary program for me? It sounds easy, but we struggle because of diverse lifestyle challenges. These difficulties include our own preferences, family responsibilities, and health conditions. I can think of the following steps that typically provide a person with weight loss planning guidance:
- Determine your current weight status and the seriousness of the problem.
- If your weight challenge aligns with specific health concerns, visit your doctor and receive specialist advice.
- If you comprise a general weight problem and want to feel better about yourself, I suggest focusing on a diet that aligns with your personality type.
What personality types do we find?
People comprise different personality types, and a person needs to shape their diet plans according to their personal needs. The following personalities show diverse attributes that require different diet approaches. The personality types align with specific characteristics that require careful consideration during the set-up of a diet program (2). What characteristics do we talk about?
An individual who refuses to conform to the ordinary standards of life most likely struggles with structured dieting. If you are a person who eats a box of chocolates when told not to do so, you may need to follow a more freestyle approach. Making a small change in your diet plan can allow your mind to adapt without kicking and screaming when you need to limit your sugar levels.
You need a psychological technique that requires a bit of planning and possibly help from your health practitioner. A visit to a specialist dietician provides some additional guidance a person needs to convince themselves to abstain from uncontrolled eating. The additional support keeps you on the right track when freedom interferes with your dietary goals.
Some individuals cannot stop eating because they enjoy the pleasures of food. Similar to a person who enjoys exercising, various people love eating for fun. Here it becomes important for such an individual to throw the bad foods away and fill your cupboard or fridge with healthy snacks. Instead of chips, cookies, and chocolates, fill your storage places with fruits, vegetables, and seed snacks, for example. You can still snack without impacting your weight or becoming frustrated with not being able to eat as you used to.
Some individuals only achieve results if they can work in a team and attempt to achieve a common goal. Social people receive better results when they take part in group programs associated with social events. If you see yourself as a person who needs continuous support from a diet group or other individuals, you may need to join a social wellness program.
The second option offers an opportunity to form a diet group by inviting your friends to join your own little program. Social individuals prefer to share their goals, challenges, and needs with other people. Participation in the wellness community allows you to receive collective guidance but also work together with other individuals who may experience similar issues.
In summary, you need to understand the reason you want to lose weight, determine the seriousness of your problem, and decide what diet suits your personal needs. If you determine the best diet for you, the next step focuses on the development of a weight-loss strategy. What do I mean by strategy? If you want an in-depth explanation of how you can develop the best strategy diet that works for you, read the following chapter.
Do I need a strategy?
Dieting requires a strategy, planning, and lots of motivation if you want to reach your weight-loss goals. Strategy means you need to plan your objectives, determine the actions, and understand the challenges you may experience. Therefore, it becomes important to undertake a practical approach when you decide on the best diet that works for you (3).
Researchers explained that losing weight comes with challenges, different expectations, environments, family backgrounds, and activity levels. One cannot lose weight without thinking about the logical approach. If we aim to lose weight, it becomes essential to understand that we as humans receive energy via the food we eat and for us to keep a balanced weight, our systems need to spend it.
The energy we do not use our bodies store or change into fat. Although it sounds simple, the management of energy intake requires planning and should align with a diet that a person needs. If you are an active person, your body quickly burns the additional energy consumption. Unfortunately, our modern lifestyles require us to work in front of a computer, and we are less likely to comprise opportunities to burn additional energy levels (4).
The development of food patterns plays a key role when you strategize on a diet that works for you. Some personality types prefer small meals throughout the day and others conform to traditional set meal times during morning, afternoon and evening. It becomes important that your diet conforms with your routine patterns and the times you prefer to eat.
Again, if you are a person who disapproves of structured programs, align your diet with smaller healthier meals. People who perform well in a structured program should plan healthy meals according to a defined framework plan that provides them with guidance. It also helps to track your weight loss by either giving feedback at a wellness group session or preparing a self-report table.
Stick the table next to your fridge or scale to ensure you update your weight loss numbers regularly. Discuss the best method and frequency of weighing times with your dietician or doctor.
How many times do we visit the shop and want to cry when we see the prices in the health section?
This means we need to plan before we shop and determine a diet program that aligns with our budget availability.
Also, how many instances do we give up because we dislike the food listed on our diet program? For example, if you know that almond milk makes you feel miserable, do not follow a dietary program that includes ingredients you struggle to eat or drink.
Depending on your lifestyle, you need to follow an approach that works for you in terms of your habits. If you continuously travel and on the road, a highly self-cooked meal diet may frustrate you during the program.
Key Strategies to Follow
People who are serious about dieting, follow key strategy steps that provide the direction one needs. Some guidance tips relate to the following (5):
- Look for a flexible weight loss program aligned with your lifestyle. Discuss this option with your dietician or doctor.
- Plan your finances and determine the funding available to support the diet program you aim to follow. It prevents you from becoming depressed when purchasing the meal plan ingredients, you need to follow when dieting. Remember eating healthy does not necessarily mean expensive food.
- Undertake some research and determine which diet types may become difficult to pursue because of your personality type, family expectations or health conditions.
What diet is best for you? The best diet takes on different shapes and meanings because people’s dietary requirements differ exceptionally. To identify a diet that works for, develop an understanding of your own needs and bodily requirements. If you know and understand what your body calls for to look or feel healthier, you may reach your dietary goals a lot easier.
First ask questions about your goals, interests, and reasons a diet becomes important in your life. Second, investigate your own personal characteristics and decide on a diet program aligned with your personal preferences. If you are a working mother, a student, father or loner, your requirements vary and a person needs to align their dietary programs accordingly.
After you made the big decision and followed a diet best for you, a strategy becomes important. One can easily lose interest for different reasons, and we give up on the diet goals. Why do we stop our diet programs? Mostly because we see zero results, we dislike the food and we comprise limited time to cook or prepare meals. All these challenges prevent us from reaching our preferred diet goals and normally we eat even more than before.
So, it is critical to stay focused, even if you are not a structured type of person. Study the psychology of dieting and trick your mind to eat healthy food. Normally, when our bodies adapt to a new eating style, our systems become healthier and rebel against the consumption of bad food. Why is that? Because our bodies start to love good, healthy, and well-structured meals.
I, therefore, suggest that you need to find a diet you enjoy and like to share with your friends or family. Invest in an eating program that offers something good and exciting for you. This manner you find an eating plan that presents the best diet opportunities for the special you.
(4) Anderson G.H. et al., 2012. The Use of Low-Calorie Sweeteners by Adults: Impact on Weight Management. The Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 142 (6), 1163s – 1169s. https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.111.149617.