A big part of leading a healthier lifestyle is making sure that the foods you put into your body on a day to day basis not only support a healthy body weight, but also support optimal health.
In todays quick-fix times, its easy to hop on the bandwagon, jumping on the first diet plan that we find that promises well shed 10 pounds in a couple weeks.
But, will these diets really pay off? That is the question. Most often the answer is a resounding no. In order to see long term weight loss success and feel your best, your diet needs to pass a few inspection points.
Putting any diet through the following questions will help you better determine whether that diets built to last.
Here is what you need to know.
Checkpoint #1: Does The Diet Provide Adequate Calories?
First, look at the calorie content. While you do need to use a lower calorie diet to see results, if the calories are too low, your metabolic rate will crash and youll lose muscle rather than fat.
As a general guideline, no diet should ever provide fewer than 10 calories per pound of body weight. So if you stand 150 pounds, this means at minimum you should be eating 1500 calories.
Most people who actively exercise will need a bit more, so consider this your bare minimum.
Checkpoint #2: Does The Diet Provide Sufficient Protein??
Next, check the protein content.? Failing to get sufficient protein is one of the biggest mistakes you could make with your diet as itll promote the loss of lean muscle mass tissue.
When on a reduced calorie diet, you should be getting at least one gram of protein per pound of body weight. The lower your calorie intake is, the more protein you need ? not the opposite as many people believe.
This protein should come from high quality sources such as chicken, fish, lean red meat, eggs, and whey protein powder.
Checkpoint #3: Does The Diet Offer Variety??
The next checkpoint to put any diet youre considering through is the variety checkpoint. Are you eating enough variety on the plan? Or does the diet require that you eat the same 10 foods or so every single day?
Most people need variety in order to stick with their program. Otherwise boredom sets in and before they know it, theyve fallen off the wagon.
Adding enough variety to your plan also ensures you take in the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals as well, which is essential for long-term health.
Checkpoint #4: Does The Diet Account for Individual Preferences??
One of the biggest determinants of whether or not a diet is successful is how well you can stick with it.? As such, you want any plan you consider to take into account your individual preferences.
- Meal timing preference
- Meal composition preferences
- Food prep preferences
Now clearly you do have to abide by a set of guidelines. Even though you may prefer to eat pizza every day for lunch, this doesnt mean your diet should allow you to. Such a diet is unlikely to be successful.
But, if you hate broccoli for instance, your diet should be flexible enough that you can eat some other green instead. Whether its kale, collard greens, or asparagus, there should be that wiggle room for you.
This will increase your overall adherence to the plan and as such, increase the long-term results that you see.
Checkpoint #5: Does The Diet Have Long Term Metabolic Maintenance In?Mind??
Finally, the last thing that youll want to take into account is whether the plan youre considering has some sort of long-term metabolic maintenance strategy in place.
You simply cannot go on a low calorie diet for months on end and not expect to experience a decline in your natural metabolic rate. This is one of the biggest reasons that people tend to plateau in their fat loss progress.
A long-term diet approach should be incorporating regular diet breaks or refeeds (periods of higher calorie eating) in order to keep your metabolic rate optimized and fat loss moving ahead full speed.
If it doesnt, chances are it wont be the most successful diet plan to be on.
So have a good look at any of the current diets youre considering. Are they abiding by these guidelines? If not, keep the search going. By starting your diet plan on a program thats laid out properly you can dramatically increase your chances of success.
Article by: Tommy Noonan is a writer for SupplementReviews.com and passionate about helping educate people that a healthy lifestyle is a change that comes from within.