Do You Really Need A Diet?

by Helen M. Ryan
pile of books - help

How many times in the past had I bought the latest diet book? (Many.)
How many diets did I try while attempting to lose weight? (A bunch.)
How many shopping trips did I make to the store on January 1 or a Monday, loading up on all the required foods from these books? (Plenty.)
How many times did I succeed with weight loss? (Zero while on a "diet.")
This doesn't mean that diets don't work. A majority of them do. The hard thing is figuring out what works for YOU. (By the way, as of this writing there are 47,675 diet and health books on!)
Everybody is different and everyone's needs are different. Some people need structured menus and diet plans because it helps give them solid guidelines to follow, with proper nutrition. Some people need flexibility and the ability to 'change on a dime.'

Some like bland meals that take the desire to overeat away, while others need variety and spice

  • Find out what type of "eater" you are and how well you respond to structure.
  • Find a "diet" type that works for you (not a specific diet, but a "diet-type.")
  • Fill in the blanks from there.

Personally, I like only a loose structure with basic healthy vs. nonhealthy foods. I don't like journaling or logging what I eat. I need a certain amount of carbs to keep up with my activity levels (and to keep my mood in check).
However, when I start to slip up or I am feeling out of sorts physically, I sometimes use an online food tracker for a week or so to see where I am at nutrition-wise. I often discover that I am not eating enough protein, or not enough "real meals," or that my healthy snacking is adding up to non-healthy amounts.

The best way to lose weight is to try combining different programs and approaches to find what makes you feel the best, while also allowing you to lose weight. Perhaps you change your eating a bit every week or so to shake things up (a little South Beach Diet, a litte Paleo Diet, a little Weight Watchers, a little....?). There are so many options out there. Just be healthy.

Find what works for you. Treat it like a game and have fun with it. Make it your own and you will succeed.


Published January 8, 2013