Avoid particularly regimented diet plans. There is no valid reason for following a diet that is so restrictive and rigid (i.e., avoiding entire food groups). The risk of malnutrition may become an issue when following diets that call for avoiding all fruits and breads. In addition, overly-restrictive diets are notoriously ineffective due to the noncompliance factor. If you can't follow a particular diet plan for more than six weeks without straying and eating cheat foods, the diet should be scrapped.
Other tips to lose bodyweight and keep it off include:
- Exercise consistently (i.e., most days of the week)
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Control portion sizes (tip: eat on smaller plates)
- Stick to your shopping list
- Read nutrition labels
- Avoid overeating on weekends
- Watch less TV
- Eat breakfast
- Keep a food diary
- Reward yourself for sticking to a diet and exercise plan
- Remind yourself why you need to lose bodyweight
BOTTOM LINE: Eat well-balanced meals containing portions from all of the food groups (i.e., dairy, meats, fruits, vegetables, breads and cereals) to ensure you get adequate vitamins and minerals as well as fiber for your body. If you keep the weight off for more than two years, chances are good that you'll keep the weight off long term. The best diet plan is the one you can stick with for the rest of your life!
Brian Danley, CFT
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."