If you’ve struggled with weight loss before, then you know that in order to lose weight you not only need to watch what you eat, but also how you eat and why you eat. Many diet programs on the market today are designed to help take thinking out of the equation by offering comprehensive meal plans. But with so many diet programs available, how do you decide on the best one for you? Here’s a checklist for choosing the right weight loss plan.
- Does the diet program help you cut calories? Choose a diet plan that will help you reduce 500-750 calories daily by removing high-carbohydrate and sugar-rich foods from your diet. This reduction in calories will generally result in a healthy weight loss of one to two pounds each week.
- Does the diet program help meet your protein needs? Not only is it important for a diet program to help you reduce calories, but also help you meet your protein needs. Consuming 0.8 g of protein per 2.2 lbs of bodyweight per day will support muscle maintenance and the metabolism while in a reduced-calorie state. For most individuals protein intake ranges from 46-56 g of protein per day. Also, protein has a higher satiety factor, which will help you stay full longer. The fewer hunger pangs that occur, the easier it will be for you to stick to a diet. Remember, consistency is the key to weight loss success.
- Does the diet program offer a meal replacement option? If you feel overwhelmed selecting your own meals or have trouble with portion control, then meal replacements are an excellent option. Replacing one or two meals daily with meal replacements while following a comprehensive weight management program, where you can receive guidance from a nutritionist or health coach, can help you achieve your weight loss goal successfully.
- Does the diet program help you limit your sodium intake to 2,300 mg daily? The average American consumes an excess amount of sodium daily, at roughly 3,400 mg per day. A high sodium diet can contribute to increased water retention and lead to health risks, such as high blood pressure. When choosing a diet program, make sure the amount of sodium you will consume each day is 2,300 mg per day or below. By cutting down your sodium intake, you will be reducing water weight as well.
- Does the diet program recommend exercise? Physical activity has been shown to contribute to weight loss and decrease belly fat. A good diet plan would include all of above criteria as well as recommend physical activity for at least 30 minutes or more on most, and preferably all days of the week at a moderate- to high-intensity level.
- Does the diet program have a health care practitioner available to contact? At the start of your diet program as well as during, you may need a diet assessment or have questions about your progress. Having the accessibility to speak or collaborate with a nutritionist or health coach may lead to a more successful weight loss journey.
A diet program that meets the criteria on this checklist will help set you up for success. Then all you will need to do to carry out your diet program successfully is to set specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely goals that will help you stay motivated and disciplined on the diet.
I hope this post helps you in finding the right diet that works for you. If you have any questions about your current diet or a diet you might be interested in, feel free to contact me by leaving your question(s) in the comment section.