Let's face it: dieting is hard, especially for people with busy lifestyles. Sometimes, we don't feel like going through all the trouble and would rather stick to our fast-food diets. However, when we factor in the dangers of an unhealthy diet (heart disease, obesity, diabetes, stroke, increased probability for certain cancers, asthma, osteoarthritis, etc.) and the many benefits of eating healthy (longer life, more energy, etc.) it becomes clear that the best time to start a diet plan is now.
How to sort through the seemingly endless diet plan options? Fortunately, the folks at ConsumersAdvocate recently published a review of the best diet plans, complete with tips on how to choose the best plan to fit your lifestyle.
Their main advice? The plan must be sustainable, and by this, we mean that it should be sustainable for you. Put another way: if you have to make significant changes to your lifestyle in order to include new eating habits, then chances are you're going to leave it behind after a week or so. According to the review, the main factors that should come into consideration when looking for a plan's sustainability are:
- Ease of use: The easier it is to follow a diet plan, the better. For this reason, you should be wary of plans that rely on calorie-counting, food logging, strict meal restrictions, and difficult cooking processes. Nowadays, many companies are offering dedicated apps, counseling, and customizable menus to make your dieting journey a lot easier.
- Effectiveness and Safety: Some people are willing to do anything in order to lose weight, and many diet companies take advantage of this fact. If there’s a golden rule to ALL diet plans, it’s that you should never go hungry, you should get a minimum amount of essential nutrients, and your daily calorie intake must be at least 1,200 for women and 1,500 for men. If these factors are not present, the plan may not be safe.
- Cost: As you may know, healthy foods are oftentimes more expensive than unhealthy ones. However, if you take the time to look for options –there are hundreds out there– you’ll surely find a diet plan that fits your budget. After all, for a plan to be sustainable, it must also be affordable.
- Delivery: Many diet companies are offering shipping and delivery as part of their plans, which can make it a lot easier to sustain your new eating habits over long periods of time.
- Variety: Because no one wants to eat the same thing day in and day out, make sure the diet plan you end up choosing offers a wide variety of flavors and recipes. Otherwise, you’ll surely get bored in no time.
Please keep in mind that when it comes to dieting, there are no magic solutions; as with any other important human endeavor, discipline is an integral part. We know it’s not going to be easy, but what we can guarantee is that, after following a healthy diet plan for a while, your heart will thank you and you’ll feel a lot better too!