Everyone wants to be healthy, but with all of the fad diets out there, it can be tricky to tell if any diet actually works. Thanks to the internet, there are countless blogs, social media posts, and videos of people promoting even the most bizarre diets. Many people start out researching diets with good intentions, but they quickly get overwhelmed by all the contradictory information they find. It might seem impossible, but you can actually tell if a diet is going to work before you start it. Here are a few tips for making sure a diet will help you reach your goals.
Understand the Basics of Weight Loss
The main thing that you need to do when deciding whether or not a diet is the real deal is to think about whether or not it meets the basic weight loss requirements. The fundamentals of weight loss rely entirely on calories. In order to lose weight, you must eat fewer calories than you burn in a single day. Any good diet will help you to do this without feeling hungry, weak, or unsatisfied. You might not necessarily have to count calories, but an effective diet that works will guide you to eat the types of meals that work for your caloric needs. When you hear about a new diet, consider the average amount of calories the diet would have you eating in a single day. If this amount is less than the calories your body would burn, than the diet is capable of resulting in weight loss. Make sure that you combine your diet with an appropriate calorie-burning exercise, such as Tae Kwon Do, which will make falling under your maximum calorie threshold easy.
Skip Diets That Focus on a Single "Enemy"
One of the biggest problems with fad diets is that they often suggest you need to avoid some sort of item that is an "enemy." Whether it is low carb, no carb, gluten-free, sugar-free, or fat-free, diets that restrict you from only one basic food group are typically not a good option. These diets can potentially help some people lose weight, especially if the food you have to avoid is something caloric, but they are not automatically successful. The problem with these sorts of diets is that people on them often end up overeating from other food groups to compensate for the missing item. For example, low-fat products tend to contain a lot of sugar to make up for the missing flavor from fat, so they can actually be higher in calories than a normal product. The reality is that any food group can be part of a diet as long as you do not eat too much of it. Trying to cut out an entire category of foods is often ineffective because it can just make you cheat and quit your diet.
A common problem with many diets is that they do not actually decrease your calorie intake to cause weight loss. However, it is also possible for bad diets to have the opposite problem. You may occasionally come across diets or "cleanses" that suggest eating nothing but cabbage soup, apples, or other low-calorie ingredients. A diet that is abnormally low in calories will just leave you starving. Most people will end up giving up and not making any real progress because it is impossible to stick to a drastic diet. Those that do follow an overly strict diet can end up malnourished due to a lack of proper nutrients. This is especially problematic in diets for younger children since they need plenty of vitamins, minerals, protein, and other nutrients to grow. In general, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor before trying any diet or supplement because they can help you determine whether or not the diet is reasonable.
Just like most other things in life, if a diet seems too good to be true, it probably is. The types of diets that suggest you will be able to eat whatever you want and lose weight as long as you drink a special drink or take a special pill each day typically are not effective. Most of these diets revolve around the idea that you can use a special ingredient to speed up your metabolism, the rate at which your body burns calories, to lose weight. It is true that you can slightly alter the rate of your metabolism, but the reality is that even a far faster metabolism may only burn a few more extra calories each day. Most diets with a magic ingredient cannot actually boost your metabolism enough to overcome you eating too much. In order to work, a diet needs to change your eating habits, not just provide you with a supplement.
Keep in mind that every person is different. Just because a diet works great for one person does not mean it will work for you. At its most basic level, any good diet will help you to get proper nutrition while keeping your caloric intake lower than your caloric use. You have many options to choose from, so it is a good idea to find one that works for your needs. For example, if you always wake up starving in the morning, then a diet that does not have you eating a meal until noon probably is not the best option. Remember it is fine to test out a diet before committing to it fully. Try following a diet for a few days to see if it actually works with your lifestyle.
In general, a good diet will be one that helps you to reduce caloric intake while meeting your nutritional needs and being suitable for your daily life. With a little research and some common sense, it is possible to avoid all the pointless fad diets and find ones that actually work. There are plenty of great diets out there, so once you find one that works for you, you can get started on your weight loss journey.
Royal West Martial arts believes that exercise and diet are essential pillars of fitness. If you’re interested in more of our fitness content, check out some of our related articles: