August 27, 2013

Pick a Diet Plan and Stick With It!

a clock with hands pointing to time for change
The media quite literally, bombards us with a multitude on various diet plans, diet systems, and prepackaged diet meals. The multi-billion dollar diet industry is struggling to promote their latest "discovery" weight loss plan. Most everyone, including healthcare professionals have the diet plan they like to recommend. 

All diet plans seem to have their advantages as well as disadvantages. So, which diet plan should you choose?

According to researchers Sherry Pagoto, PhD, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, and Bradley Appelhans, PhD, of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago the debate of an ideal diet is not helpful when comes to patients losing weight. Instead, doctors should concentrate of helping people select a diet plan that works for them and most importantly, one they will stick with. If people cannot stick to a diet long-term, they will regain any weight lost and have start over. As Dr. Pagoto states when it comes to weight loss "The longer someone sticks to a diet, the more successful they will be".

What is the best plan for you?

1. Be aware of the propaganda.

To sell their products the diet industry uses propaganda lines such as celebrity endorsements, doctor "approved”, and diet of the "stars" Appeals to authority or at least perceived authority are a standard in manipulating public opinion.

How this works demonstrated by bacon. I am sure most have seen the TV commercial were the smell of bacon is so alluring that a woman uses a bacon cheeseburger to attract men in a singles bar. At one time bacon was not that popular an item until advertising man Edward Bernays stepped in. To promote bacon sales, first he surveyed physicians that recommended a hearty breakfast was necessary for health. Taking that report and adding the propaganda that "bacon and eggs" was a hearty breakfast he sent it to over 5000 physicians and magically bacon is a standard breakfast item. Do not be swayed by the appeals to "third-party" endorsements.

2. Is it within your budget?

If the diet plan requires purchasing foods or supplements that will be a strain on your finances, long-term it may not work for you.

3. Will the diet plan take too much preparation time?

If the diet plan requires a lot of shopping for items and time in preparing food consider whether your schedule will allow for it. You may start on all gung-ho, but if you feel the pressured, you may lose sight of your goal.

4. Consider the food choices.

A vegan diet a good way for some to lose weight, however if you are a dyed-in-the-wool meat-eater perhaps not a good choice. Conversely, the low carb diet which is a high fat, high protein diet also requires eating a lot of low carb vegetables such as broccoli, so if you are like George H. Bush not a long-term diet for you. Numerous diet plans have different effects on satiety and therefore dissimilar success rates. Bottom-line, if you do not like the food choices you will not stick to the diet plan, this does not mean however, the "cheesecake and ice cream diet" will work.

5. Your health issues that need consideration.

For example if you are diabetic then a high carbohydrate, low-fat diet is not for you. Contrary to popular belief, if your cholesterol is high, you should consider a low carb diet as most lower their total cholesterol; improve their HDL and lower triglycerides on a low carb plan.

6. Others in the household who are not dieting will require extra planning.

If there are, others in your life will preparing separate meals be an issue. Will the hassle cooking different menus and the frustration could cause you to abandon your diet plan.



Whichever, diet plan you chose be sure to select one that you can stick to long-term and consider the maintenance phase after you have lost the amount of weight desired. You do not want to buy more "big clothes" again.

Take care and be well.


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