Embarking on a new weight loss program can be both exciting and daunting at once, but no matter how much research you perform before following the latest diet or exercise trend, some notable factors may slip through the cracks.
If you’ve been thinking about starting a new diet, here are five things to consider before entering your payment information or heading to the grocery store.
1. Your Personal Health
The truth is, dieting is not always safe for everyone. Even if your overall health appears to be in good shape, there may be some underlying conditions that may be exacerbated by a significant calorie decrease, cutting out certain food groups or starting a rigorous exercise program.
Always talk to your doctor before beginning any weight loss program to ensure it’s right for you and your body. Only your GP can adequately assess your physical and mental health and make recommendations for you and your lifestyle.
There are countless anecdotes and informational pages online regarding weight loss programs, including information on supplement efficacy, lifestyle programs like Thrive side effects and personal stories about specific diets and health conditions. After identifying any potential health concerns, do your own research and look into how a diet may affect your body.
2. The Scientific Research
While some diets appear to be magic solutions for hopeful dieters, many of the impressive results you see were achieved using strict restrictions or unsustainable methods to drop the pounds. Safe and effective diets will always focus on sustainable lifestyle changes or healthful additions to your way of life.
To ensure you’re taking the right path, look for diets that have been developed by credible health and nutrition organizations. Safe diets will always be backed by reliable research or data and based in sound, measurable physiological science.
3. Results (All of Them)
When advertising a diet, marketers will choose the most impressive results in order to entice and bring in more customers, but these results do not always represent the average user. You may have to search for a while, but browsing reviews, success stories and even failure stories can provide a great deal of insight into the efficacy of any diet plan.
With any diet, there will be people who have tried and failed as well as people who have had great success, but may have supplemented with another weight loss method to achieve their impressive results.
Looking into potential outcomes can even help you to identify what works with a specific diet program and what doesn’t. If experienced dieters within a certain program stuck to the letter and saw amazing results, but then gained every pound lost afterward, it may be a sign to look for solutions elsewhere.
4. The Expectations
Sticking to any weight loss program is hard, but it is even harder when the expectations exceed your time, motivation and resources. Before committing to a diet, be certain that it’s sustainable and achievable for your and your lifestyle.
Often, a diet involves a great deal of planning and restrictions that may not be feasible for your schedule or way of life. Every diet involves some level of sacrifice, but too many changes can end up feeling like more effort than they’re worth, and can even prompt feelings of restriction that push dieters into feelings of deprivation, which can result in overindulgence or weight loss setbacks.
5. Its Safety
Some diets, especially those that promise a great deal of weight loss in a short amount of time, can actually be harmful and unhealthy. Diets that restrict certain food groups significantly have adverse effects on many people, and not just those with existing health conditions.
Unfortunately, diet programs do not all require endorsements from reputable, trustworthy health organizations. Many weight loss programs have significant implications on blood sugar levels, muscle mass retention, cholesterol and even mental health. Ask your doctor and do some of your own research into whether a diet is safe altogether.
Regardless of what diet you choose, equip yourself with as much information as possible to make an informed, educated decision before beginning any weight loss program. Only healthy, sustainable diets can help you to achieve your long term goals, ensuring you’re happy and healthy before, during and after your weight loss journey.
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