When it comes down to it, there’s not one special diet that will produce lasting weight loss for every person. Many different nutritional approaches can work, assuming the person can stick with it. A person should consider things like stress, cooking abilities, reasons for changing, and methods of sustaining the changes. Why have you been unsuccessful at changing in the past? Ultimately, your success will come from changing habits and that happens when you have a clear understanding of the problems, and you strive for creative solutions to those problems. Creativity is a highly under-appreciated skill when it comes to weight loss. Challenges will always be there and simple cookie-cutter approaches won’t work. You can “glean” strategies from popular diets, but you have to make it your own. Take what works and leave the rest.
Be a good scientist
When it comes to weight loss, what no one will tell you is that there’s a lot of experimentation with finding the right formula for success. We all would like to believe that A + B = C. Eat less, exercise more and you will lose weight. Well, yes. But no. Yes, you must maintain an energy deficit to lose weight, but HOW exactly you accomplish this is where the experimentation comes into play. Experiment with calories, macros, meal timing and exercise. Don’t leave out strategies for sleep and stress reduction which play a major role in weight management.
Is it worth it?
Ultimately, the effort you put into changing existing habits must be worth it, which is to say, it must be rewarding. Make sure you carefully and continuously evaluate the pros and cons of adopting the desired change. If you commit to daily exercise, for example, you must connect with the rewards in order for you to stick with it. Does this new behavior produce more energy? Better sleep? Improved mood? You may say you want to eat “right” and exercise, but the brain sees through your vain attempts. In order for the new behavior to stick, your brain must be rewarded for it. If there is a powerful reward to your new behavior, your brain will commit that to memory so you can quickly remember it for next time. The caveat: your brain loves instant gratification. Make sure your rewards are thought out.
The next time you’re tempted to try the next popular diet, ask yourself if a new diet is really what you need. More likely, you need to go deeper and recall what strategies did or did not work in the past. You don’t need another diet to follow. You need to find your own diet to follow.
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