All diet plans and weight loss programs are a combination of exercise and diet. The diets differ in the calorie requirements and kinds of foods eaten. Other weight loss programs differ in the amount of exercise required. So what is the ideal combination of exercise and diet?
The ideal weight loss program is the one that works for you. It would be nice if someone could tell you go out and buy this particular program or diet plan. But no one can do that. Each person is unique. What works for one may not work for another. So the ultimate question is how do you find what works for you. It’s not easy and it may take trial and error. Below are some suggestions to help you avoid too much trial and error.
How Many Calories
Some weight loss programs prescribe very few calories. It will be very hard to stick to a very low calorie diet for any length of time. Remember a very low calorie diet is not a healthy diet plan.
Each diet plan suggests a different number of calories. Look at the number of calories before you start. What is the minimum number of calories you are willing to eat a day? If the your plan has too few calories for you, you won’t succeed.
If you can’t reduce your caloric intake you won’t lose weight. Look into each program and find the one you are willing to stay with. Keep in mind that you can always modify the program to suit your needs. No diet program is written in stone.
What Can I Eat
What food is in the program? Some weight loss programs allow you to eat only foods from a list. This is an easy to follow plan. There is no guess work. However, it can become boring. Are you willing to buy and prepare the special foods required? Are you too busy to shop and cook special foods? Only you can answer these questions.
Check to see if the food requirements make for a healthy diet plan. Are you required to eat a certain food at every meal? Are you required to eat too much of a certain food? Are you getting the required vitamins from this diet plan? Is there enough variety in the program?
Other diet programs allow you to eat a set number of servings from certain food groups. You can exchange food of equal calories within the food group. This type of weight loss program won’t be as monotonous as some.
Portion control is another popular weight loss plan. This usually involves prepackaged meals. This method of weight loss is easy to use. Just pop the prepared food into the oven or microwave. Many of these prepackaged meals are quite tasty. This can be expensive.
How Much Exercise
Each weight loss program calls for different amount of physical activity. How much exercise will you do? Not how much do you think you will exercise but how much will you really exercise. Some programs promote more exercise than diet. Does the exercise involve aerobic activity or weight lifting? Are you willing to lift weights? It is up to you to investigate each diet plan or weight loss program. Be honest with yourself or you will be wasting your time and money.
Does this weight loss program provide support? Is the support online? Does someone call you on the phone each week to encourage you and check your progress? Is there group participation? Is it a do it yourself weight loss program? Can you do it alone or do you need some help? Is a journal required? If so, are you willing to write in a journal every day?
Is the cost of the diet plan minimal? Does the weight loss program have prepackaged meals which can be costly? Is there a monthly fee? Are expensive supplements required? Do you need to join a gym? What are your spending limits?
Sometimes you can start with one weight loss program and be successful for a certain length of time and then it becomes boring or ineffective. This is when it is time to switch to another program. Don’t hesitate to keep trying and testing until you find what will work for you. If you are motivated there is something out there that will be just right for you.