Which Diet Is Best For You

by Dr. Ahmed Zayed
Published on August 28, 2019

Every once in a while, the world embraces a new trend in dieting that promises profound results but often fails to deliver on such claims for most people who decide to give it a go. Perhaps one individual or even a group of people had success following a new diet, and suddenly it takes the world by storm. Soon after, people start complaining that they are not achieving the same results.

In a recent publication (1), it was reported that the average person would follow as many as 55 diets in their lifetime. This leads to thousands of dollars in expenses – according to the publication, the costs of following these diets may well equal a total that could have been used as a deposit for buying a house. That is quite alarming, considering less than 20% of these individuals report truly feeling better when they adopt new dieting habits.

Another publication (2) reports that about half of all women are constantly on some type of diet, with the goal of shrinking their waistline and achieving a body that would ultimately be considered more “bikini friendly.” Even though dieting is popular, a significant amount of people is unable to achieve noteworthy results. Among those who do, a lot tend to gain back their lost weight shortly after they finish with their diet program.

You Are The Reason For These Failed Attempts

One of the most important factors that people tend to miss when it comes to finding the right diet is the fact that they ask questions like “what is the best diet for weight loss,” instead of asking “which diet is best for me?”

Every person is different. This is something that we all know, yet when it comes to diets, media and authors often make people think that there is a one-size-fits-all diet out there that can help anyone, regardless of who they are, lose weight successfully.

Perhaps one of your friends were able to lose 20 pounds with a certain diet, but after trying the diet for yourself, it didn’t prove effective at all. This is where the “you” factor comes in – your body is not the same as your friend’s body; thus, the results were also not similar.

When it comes to losing weight, there is one very important rule to follow – and after you understand this rule, you need to consider a number of additional factors that will essentially be unique to you. These factors will help you determine what diet will truly be the best option for you to follow.

The Weight Loss Formula That Leads To Success

Before we take a closer look at specific factors you need to be taking into account when it comes to asking a question like “which diet is best for me,” we will first consider an important rule that you will need to follow. Call this the weight loss formula.

In order for weight loss to be possible, you need to develop a calorie deficit. This is one of the very first factors that you need to realize before you start looking at dieting tips and different meal plans that you might want to follow.

A calorie deficit essentially means that you need to have a meal plan that lets you eat fewer calories than the number of calories you will be burning on the same day. If you eat 2000 calories and you burn 2000 calories, it only makes sense that your current weight will be maintained. Eat 2000 calories, but only burn 1500 calories, and you start to gain weight. On the other hand, eat 1500 calories and burn 2000, and then you start losing weight.

Adjusting To Your Unique Needs And Profile

Now, this is where things get more complicated. Even though a calorie deficit is known to yield successful results, there are still certain factors that need to be taken into account – which may ultimately have an impact on the results you experience.

A scientific publication (3) in the International Journal of Obesity explains that while a calorie deficit is generally described as an effective weight loss protocol, it needs to be noted that people with a higher body fat percentage would need a more significant restriction in their caloric intake to achieve results.

Thus, your initial weight that you start out with is one of the very first factors that you need to take into consideration. The more you weigh, the more restrictive your diet may turn out to be at first. As you start to lose weight, you will be able to make appropriate adjustments to your diet.

In a study (4) conducted by the Institute of Public Health in Germany, scientists suggested an update to the general recommendations regarding the calorie concept for weight loss. The scientists found that there are factors that may inhibit successful results when utilizing this concept. Two particular factors noted by the researchers who compiled the report included:

  • The regulation of hormones that are involved in fat metabolism
  • Diet composition

Let’s take a few factors regarding your personal profile that you should take into account when you are looking to adopt a new diet with the goal of losing weight.

Past Experiences With Dieting

Your previous experiences with various diets should be taken into account. As we have mentioned before, people tend to try different diets throughout their lifetimes, and many of these diets end up being a complete disappointment.

Try to make a list of the following:

  • Diets that did help you lose some weight
  • Diets that made you gain more weight
  • Diets that had no effect
  • Were there any diets that had side-effects, such as caused alterations with your physical or mental well-being?
  • What did you like or dislike about the diets that you have tried in the past?
  • Were you able to completely follow through with each diet?

All of these factors will help you decide on a diet that will be more appropriate for you later on.

Take Existing Conditions Into Account

When it comes to starting with a new diet, you will be changing the foods you eat. You might also be adopting a new exercise program, and there might be a number of other changes you may need to implement into your life.

An issue that comes into mind here is interactions that some of these changes may have with medical conditions that you might have been diagnosed with. If you suffer from conditions like cardiovascular disease (5), diabetes, or any other medical condition, then it is crucial to take such issues into account.

Your diet will need to be adjusted in such a way to avoid experiencing complications with such conditions that you might have. Just as an example, some diets may allow you to eat honey freely, but if you are a diabetic, then honey can cause a spike in blood glucose levels and ultimately lead to more serious complications with the disease.

If you do have existing conditions, then checking in with your doctor might also be a good idea. This is important in cases where you experience pain or other problems as well. Your doctor will be able to run a few tests and conduct a physical examination to determine if a particular diet you are interested in would be an appropriate option for you.

Consider Your Budget

Some people do overlook the importance of this particular step. You get excited about a new diet that is trending around the world and decide to start implementing it as soon as you can. After about a week, you realize that the diet is costing you a lot of money, and you run close to your entire month’s food budget. This is quite a common problem and one reason why you might eventually decide to give up on a diet – because you are unable to afford to continue with the foods and habits that are needed.

Know how much money you can allocate to a diet (6) – and then consider each diet carefully. If you find that the foods you will need to eat on a diet are too expensive, then try to opt for a diet that will be a better fit for your particular budget.

Other Factors To Be Taken Into Account

In addition to the factors described above, there are a few other things that you will also need to be taking into consideration when you are going to be adopting a diet that will be effective for you:

  • Your current activity level will essentially help you determine how quickly you will be able to get more active. This, in turn, allows you to determine how many calories you will be able to burn on a daily basis. The more you can burn, the higher your calorie intake can be per day.
  • Your current diet and eating habits should also be taken into consideration. It may be more difficult for you to adjust to certain diets based on your current eating habits. At the same time, your preferences come into play here as well.
  • Some people may also have ethical and religious eating restrictions that will need to be considered. For example, if you are a vegan, then you will not be able to follow a diet that provides instructions to include animal-based foods in your meal plan.

What Does A Safe And Effective Weight Loss Program Look Like?

The factors that we have explained thus far will all be unique to you. In addition to considering a number of personal factors, you should also spend some time looking at the diets that are available and taking certain elements into account while you are looking at these particular options.

A diet does not only need to be effective for weight loss but also need to be safe (7). It is generally advised not to lose more than about two pounds of weight per week. During the first week or two, however, you may experience a more significant amount of weight loss. This is due to the loss of what is known as “water weight.”

If a diet promises to let you lose more than two pounds per week, then be wary. While there are certain diets that may be able to help you achieve such goals, they will usually not be safe.

A diet that combines these two factors will essentially include the following features:

  • The diet should be flexible. This is important as it would allow you to modify a meal plan to accommodate your current health status, as well as your personal preferences.
  • The diet should also be balanced – you need to obtain all of the important nutrients that your body needs in your meal plans. This would include proteins, healthy fats, and carbohydrates. Nutrients should also include all of the important vitamins and minerals that your body depends on to stay healthy (8).
  • The diet should not make you feel like you are being punished. You should be able to enjoy foods that you like (now, we are not talking about fried foods and pizza every weekend here).

Conclusion

Dieting is a popular way that people try to lose weight, but this often does not yield effective results. One particularly common reason why a diet ends up failing is that people are not considering the fact that each body is different. A diet that helps one person lose a significant amount of weight would not necessarily turn out to be effective for another one.

By taking personal factors into account, considering physical limitations, and closely examining the diets that are available, however, it is possible that you can find a program that will work effectively for you and lead to long-term weight loss.

References

(1) https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/diets/916328/weight-loss-plans-tips-average-person-follows-diets
(2) https://www.livestrong.com/article/390541-facts-statistics-about-dieting/
(3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2376744/
(4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5496172/
(5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5861161/
(6) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30851840
(7) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31019810
(8) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31088438

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