How To Choose Your Ideal Diet

Woman Eating

The best diet is the one that works best with your lifestyle, your budget, your food preferences and how much effort you're willing to give.

Every person is different and has a different story, from their weight history - the most and least that they've ever weighed - to their type of work and activities and the style of cuisine that they've grown up with. Also, what motivates them to eat better and get into shape, and also what's worked for them in the past and what hasn't. All these factors, as well as others, can affect what will work best for that person.

Does one size fit all?

When it comes down to it, there's no "one size fits all" diet plan. Everyone is different. It needs to take into account not just a person's food likes and dislikes, but also what their day is like. Do they like to cook or not? Is the cost of food an issue? Do they do any exercise, and if so, how often and at what time of day? How often do they eat out and where? There are a whole host of factors that can affect the best approach for that person to achieve their body goals.

Should you take on a lot at once?

Some people prefer a fairly strict approach - often, in fact, deciding to tackle a lot at once. There are some brave souls who've decided to simultaneously attempt to lose weight, start exercising and quit smoking. It's a lot to take on, but it can work. Maybe it's the idea of wiping the slate clean and making a truly fresh start - sort of a "today is the first day of the rest of your life" attitude. Sometimes when you're working on one thing, it can reinforce the other changes you're trying to make. For example: "If I'm going to exercise, it doesn't make much sense to keep smoking."

When taking on too much doesn't work, it's usually because the process becomes overwhelming. There are just too many changes involved and too many adjustments to be made. It's then that people tend to simply give up, and nothing gets accomplished.

Are you willing to take things more slowly?

On the other hand, there are those who take a more cautious approach. They like to dip their toes into the water and see what feels right. They might make a few changes to set them on the right course, get those pretty well established into their daily life and then move on to make a few more. Slowly over time, they accumulate a pretty impressive list of diet and lifestyle changes. Since they've given themselves a chance to let them settle in, they're usually in pretty good shape to continue.

Figuring out what works for YOU will help you build a healthy diet and lifestyle plan.

The point is this: There are plenty of paths that lead to the same destination. Some are short and direct, others might meander a bit. And no single path is necessarily better than the other.

You need to think about what you realistically can do. If you hate cooking or just don't have the time, does it make sense to adopt a diet that requires you to home-cook every meal? If you can't remember the last time you ate a fruit or a vegetable, is it realistic to think that you'll suddenly start eating seven servings a day? Maybe not.

Just remember this: The way you choose to eat, the amount of activity you get, the lifestyle choices you make are yours - you own them. You also need to accept that the results you get will be a direct reflection of how much effort you put forth. The harder you work at it, the better the results. But that doesn't mean that slow and steady can't win the race. That's because the best diet isn't the one someone else tells you to follow - the best diet is the one that works for you.