There always seems to be a new diet rolling out, so how do you decide which one to follow? Paleo, Intermittent Fasting, Weight Watchers, South Beach, Atkins, raw food, juicing… just to name a few. All of these diets have their pros and their cons, just like the mentality of dieting has it’s pros and cons.
What do I mean by the mentality of dieting? Everything associated with the word “diet” such as hunger, being deprived, exercising, lack of great tasting food and challenges. Also, the feelings it provokes by causing you to reminisce on past failures or negative appraisals ourselves.
The pro that I see in diets, and dieting, is that it is a blueprint – a plan. I am all about planning and believe it is one of the most important keys to success. Often, diet books are packed with sample menus, recipes and grocery lists which save some of the ground work right off the bat. This can be very helpful, especially when major changes are in order.
That being said, these major changes need to be realistic and applicable to your life. The blueprint needs to match up to your beliefs and lifestyle so that you are set up for success. In my experience, diets really work for people when they embody them, making the diet a way of life.
Some diets, however, can have a less than positive impact on your health. I’m talking specifically about fad diets. Depending on your past medical history, many so-called ‘fad’ diets may be harmful to your health rather than helpful. Additionally you may see that the Paleo diet may appear to be working for your neighbor, but it may not be the best fit for you if you see no harm in wheat and gluten.
What I advise, is to not get caught up in a moment. You hear a commercial, see an episode of Dr. Oz or see an advertisement online and hear promises of what a certain diet can do for you. Sometimes a given diet will live up to its claims, but don’t start a diet because you have been caught in a marketing gimmick. When you decide to begin, and have prepared yourself to make some lifestyle changes, you need to investigate the core principles of each of these diets. Evaluate if these changes would work for your lifestyle and are compatible with your goals. Review multiple diets and be open to exploring the pros and cons of each. Be aware of sales pitches that sound too good to be true, and ask a medical professional for advice if you have any questions or concerns.
Remember, a diet can be a great blueprint and tool to help you reach your goals, but ultimately it is just a tool to change your lifestyle. Be in command of your life and your diet for ultimate success.