How to Choose the Right Eating Plan for YOU

Firstly notice that I am using the term "Eating plan" rather than "Diet plan" because it’s important to think about healthy eating rather than only looking for a diet. (Here are 6 reasons why you don’t need to diet)

With a healthy eating plan you have a much better chance of losing weight and keeping it off rather than just getting a short term fix, gaining the weight back, and suffering from all the wasted time and frustration that goes along with it.

So here we go…

A problem a lot of people have when choosing an eating plan to help them lose weight is that they choose a plan that is difficult to fit in with their lifestyle.

So although they may lose some weight at the start, they cannot maintain the new eating plan over the long term and they quickly return to their old way of eating.

Any weight that was previously lost quickly returns and they are back where they started, looking for a new eating plan. Although now they’ve just wasted months of their life using an eating plan that didn’t get them anywhere.

That’s why it’s very important to choose an eating plan that’s easy to implement into your life and compatible with your lifestyle. One eating plan may be right for one person but unsuitable for another person.

Here are 8 things you need to consider when choosing an eating plan to see whether it’s right for YOU…

1. Will you learn anything?

The eating plan should teach you about food, nutrition, and how to eat healthily, rather than providing you with a system that you blindly follow without understanding how or why anything works.

When you learn how to eat healthily you become self-reliant and can make your own informed food choices without depending on others. You gain control of your eating plan and can alter it how you want to suit your own food tastes and preferences.

2. Types of food

A lot of people start an eating plan knowing that they’ll not really enjoy the food that much but thinking that they’ll just try and stick with it.

However, they end up losing interest in the eating plan and miss the foods that they really like. So they come off the eating plan, go back to old eating habits, and regain any weight that was lost.

So you need to consider these questions…

  • Will you enjoy the foods in the eating plan?
  • Will you be able to stick with them over the long term?

3. Time spent preparing meals

Some eating plans require you to spend more time preparing food and cooking meals. So you need to consider whether you’ll be willing to spend the extra time doing this over the long term.

If you’re struggling for time, or you think that spending extra time preparing meals will eventually become a chore, then these types of eating plans are not for you.

4. Cost of food and ingredients

Another thing to consider is the cost of all the food and ingredients. Are they a similar price to things that you already buy? Or will you need to increase your shopping budget?

If you’re going to be paying more then you need to consider these questions…

  • How much extra will you be paying per week, per month, per year?
  • Can you afford this now?
  • Are you willing to pay this over the long term?

5. Availability of food and ingredients

Some eating plans contain unusual foods and ingredients that are harder to find and a chore to keep purchasing every week or every few weeks. So consider these questions…

Can all the foods and ingredients be easily purchased from one or two places?

Or will you be spending lots of time and money travelling to lots of different places to pick up everything you need?

6. Are you reliant on certain foods?

Some eating plans are more flexible than others. The easiest ones to stick to, and the most enjoyable ones, provide you with plenty of variety and flexibility with your food choices.

That way you can tailor your eating plan to suit your individual food tastes and preferences which makes it a lot more likely that you’ll stick to it over the long term.

The eating plan should also NOT leave you reliant on things like bars, shakes, and supplements as part of your meals. You don’t need these anyway. Plus they are usually expensive and you would need to use them for the rest of your life if you wanted to keep up the eating plan.

7. Is it a low carbohydrate eating plan?

Low carbohydrate eating plans tend to result in quick weight loss over the first 1-2 weeks because they release water from your body. Although this weight loss may seem impressive, it’s only water and not fat that you’re losing.

With low carbohydrate eating plans you need to be sure that you can maintain the eating plan, otherwise the weight will quickly come back when you return to a higher carbohydrate eating plan.

Another thing to consider is whether you’ll be doing any exercise because low carbohydrate eating plans should not be used if you are. You need carbohydrates to fuel your exercise and they will help you improve quicker and perform higher quality exercise.

8. Is it a sustainable eating plan?

One of the main things you need to consider with any eating plan is whether it’s sustainable. Will you enjoy the food you consume? Can you keep it up over the long term?

You need to look at an eating plan and say to yourself…

"Could I eat this way for the rest of my life?"

If the answer is "No" then don’t use that eating plan because it will only be a short term fix. Any weight that you lose will quickly return when you stop using the eating plan and then you’ll be right back to where you were when you started.

Choose your eating plan wisely

Different eating plans suit different people based on things like the types of food they enjoy, the time available for preparing meals and shopping, and how much money they have.

There isn’t one single eating plan that’s right for everyone.

Where most people go wrong is that they dive into the wrong type of eating plan for them, or they go for the latest diet, without considering the factors that I’ve talked about here.

Therefore, they struggle to keep up the eating plan, they stop using it, and then they quickly regain any weight that was lost. They go back to where they started and keep repeating the same process, often for many years of their life.

When you consider the overall implications of an eating plan, like I’ve shown you here, you can choose the right eating plan for YOU…

Plus you avoid all the frustration, wasted time in your life, and costs, of following the wrong eating plan.


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6 Responses to How to Choose the Right Eating Plan for YOU

  1. dana says:

    Just when I thought I knew everything!
    Just to prove to myself that “I can”, I wanted to follow the very popular Dukan diet!
    My good friends, I COULD NOT COMPLETE THE FIRST DAY!!!!!!!!!!
    My advice: do not go on diets! you can’t follow then for ever..especially NOT the Dukan!!It’s way to drastic!
    Eat everything, but in smaller quantities! your stomach will follow suit, and won’t ask for more.
    Run, and enjoy yourselves!
    Thank you, James!

    • James says:

      Thank you for sharing your experiences with the diet Dana. As I mentioned in the blog post, it’s all about looking at making changes that you can keep up for the rest of your life.

  2. Nicoleta says:

    I couldn’t agree more on this subject. I have tried all the diets possible. The ones surely must be avaided are the ones you know deep down they are just plain unhealthy. You kinda get a gut feeling this is not the right thing to do to your body.

    • James says:

      That’s right Nicolata. Sometimes the emotions of hope and desperation to lose weight can overcome what you know deep down isn’t good for you. Then you end up looking back thinking “Why did I ever waste my time trying that?”

  3. Dana R says:

    So what your saying is eat. Eat smaller healthier and forget the big ta do on the diets. I have used many little tips from just about every plan/diet or weight loss thing I have seen. The result was slow but I can and have maintained the hogpog plan and lost 35lbs added running and I had to add more veggies. I don’t know if it was for energy or cause I found I really liked them. Thank you James for keeping it simple

    • James says:

      You’re welcome Dana and well done with your weight loss so far. Most people really over-complicate things with their diet and make everything a lot harder than it needs to be.

      When you eat healthily and mix in some quality running you can lose all the weight you want without having to punish yourself with a restrictive diet.