Selecting a plan to start eating healthier, lose weight, and burn body fat can be a daunting task. A simple search on Google on diet plans returns over 16 million results. Obviously most people never stray past the first few pages of results and end up refining their search. Many people only review 5-7 different web sites before deciding to spend money on a diet and eating plan – but what factors should you use when reviewing all of this material and selecting the “right” plan for you?
Based on my research and how I selected my diet plan, I think the following criteria are critical before making a decision that hopefully will change your life for the better:
- Has it been developed by a certified Nutritionist with formal educational training and experience?
- Has it stood the test of time, or is it a new “fad” diet without any track record?
- Does it rely on some new magic pill or herbal compound that is touted as revolutionary?
- Are there real testimonials and credible results obtained from past customers over time?
- Does it work long-term, or is it a short-term fix that will cause fat and weight to return?
- Is there a support network and ongoing resources to help you on the journey, or is it a one time shot and then you are on your own?
You need to take into account the above factors when looking at any diet plan. A good diet plan that will produce results across your health, your weight, body mass index, and fat storage should be from a certified, formally educated nutritionist – these are the experts in how your body processes food, generates energy, and understand the incredibly complex biochemical processes that take place in your body – most of which are driven by the types of food you ingest on a daily basis. Stay away from any diet not developed by credible nutritionist.
You want to avoid fad diets, including ones that rely on supposedly new discoveries about some herbal Sonus Complete supplement that magically burns body fat, or suppresses appetite, etc. Our bodies have evolved over 5+ million years, and there is a long track record of scientific research that fully understands what foods, nutrients, combination of fat, protein, minerals, vitamins, and carbohydrates it needs to function as it was designed.
Once you narrow down the choices based on the above approach [and it will happen quick believe me], then you need to evaluate which plan meets your lifestyle – this is a critical final step. For example, I did not select a plan like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. Not because these aren’t good, safe, credible plans – they just don’t fit my lifestyle. Attending meetings, adding up points, keeping food diaries, etc. just aren’t my style, and if purchased or joined these programs I’d last at most 3 months before likely falling off the wagon.
So be honest with yourself – what fits your personality? Do you need meal plans laid out every day, do you want more information about how to select foods for each meal and assemble a compliant meal yourself, do you need to be around others that are on the same journey for support – and the list goes on.
For me personally, once the above criteria were met, I chose a plan that has an online forum that I can visit and interact with at my leisure, and when I need feedback on a specific aspect or have a specific question. I also wanted my chosen plan to have periodic check-ins and new tips and recipes via email – I’m an online type of guy, and getting weekly emails with new information on my plan keeps me engaged, and makes the diet more dynamic.