This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT
There are plenty of diet plans if you’re looking to lose some extra weight. But how do you choose the right diet plan for weight loss?
When you start losing weight a lot of people will come to you claiming this one diet plan is magical and will help you lose every excess pound. Things can get a little confusing with all these different suggestions.
So, what are the actual important things? The things you have to pay attention to no matter what diet it is. If you know these things you will be able to filter through every diet plan you encounter and almost effortlesly choose a weight loss diet plan.
Before you choose a weight loss diet plan do this
It’s important to keep in mind that not every single diet plan is right for every single person. Some weight loss diet plans will tell you to do crazy things that can have negative health consequences.
So, before you make any drastic changes on what you eat, it can be smart to consult with your primary care provider. Even more so when you have a history of medical issues and/or you are taking medicins regularly.
On top of that your body might not deal with certain foods as well as most people. For example, peanuts are quite healthy for most people. However, for others it can be lethal to eat a single peanut.
How fast should you lose weight
Some people think the number one priority of a weight loss diet plan is to lose weight as fast as possible.
This can be the way to go if you’re a wrestler having a weigh-in in a few days but for most people it is not.
Chances, are you don’t just want to lose the weight and then regain it all back with a little bit more on top. You probably want to make a permanent change.
And you probably will lose weight in the short term. However, by doing extreme things like that you can damage your health and your metabolism. Damaging your metabolism can make it so you burn less calories each day.
Once you stop the extreme diet and go back to old habits, you will regain the weight and probably more. It’s important to lose weight at a healthy rate.
Does the diet provide essential nutrients?
Another important part of choosing your weight loss diet plan is looking at the nutrients a diet contains.
There are quite a few diet plants to tell you not to eat certain foods. Sometimes this can be a problem for your weight loss and health.
Your body absolutely needs nutrients like vitamins, minerals and protein to survive and thrive. Without them you would feel awful and in the worst case scenario die.
When you’re looking into a diet plan you need to make sure you can get enough of all the essential micronutrients, protein and energy.
At first this might sound like a lot of work but it isn’t. For example let’s say you are looking at the vegan diet. What are you not getting? Animal products.
Then you could ask “what vitamins and minerals are in animal products”. Then the next thing you do is search “vitamin x/mineral y foods”. If you can’t eat any of the foods on the list it’s time to say goodbye to that diet.
You could potentially supplement these micronutrients but supplements are not always enough. Real food is usually the best way to consume micronutrients.
Hormones on your diet plan
Different kinds of foods cause different kinds of hormone reactions. It’s important to consider this when choosing a new food plan.
The hormone reaction of let’s say 100 calories of sugar is not the same as 100 calories of broccoli. That’s one of the reasons simplifying weight loss as calories in vs calories out is plain wrong.
Processed foods are usually the kind of food that does crazy things with your hormones. Some weight loss diet plans might not specifically say this but it’s best to stick to whole foods.
You will probably still be able to lose weight even if your hormones are out of sync. However, it will be more difficult and it might have bad long-term health consequences.
What’s the right diet for you?
It’s hard to advise one single diet plan for every person on the planet. You have to consider your preferences, lifestyle and weight-loss goals before choosing a diet for weight loss. This way you can find the right eating habits for you.
Consider these things before starting a weight-loss program:
- Previous diet efforts: What did you like or dislike about them? Were you able to stick to your previous diets? How did you feel physically and emotionally on the diet?
- Your budget: some weight-loss diets include some more expensive ingredients. Most of the time you can substitute those ingredients with cheaper ones but sometimes not…
If you pay attention to the things in this article you should be able to distinguish the bad diet plans from the good ones.
The next step is to implement, analyse and modify until you reach your goals.
If you want a more in-dept review of the most popular diets check out our other articles: