When you are looking for a diet plan, you have to think about a number of factors. There are plenty of diet plans to choose from out there, but if you are going to be unhappy with the foods that are included in the plan or you cannot afford them or cannot find certain foods, it will not work out. The best diet plan is one that you enjoy and can stick with, that you can afford, and that includes foods that are available in your area. If you cannot find the foods that are included in the plan, you will need to find substitutes.
Other factors that make one diet plan the best includes: flexibility, real life considerations, and of course, health.
The Best Diet Plan: Enjoyable Foods
Food is meant to give us the energy to move around and to be healthy. We use the calories that we get from food to fuel every process in the body, from digestion to ovulation, to sleep regulation and more. We need to have food that helps us to convert the calories not only to energy but to the other hormones and enzymes that we need. For instance, protein is broken down to the various amino acids that create these enzymes. But food is not just a source of energy; if it was, it would not matter how any of it tastes. However, it does matter; we eat foods because we are hungry but also because they taste good and we enjoy eating them. The best diet plan should be one that takes into account all of the needs of person. Meals should have a beautiful appearance because we eat with our eyes first. Food should smell good because a good deal of our appetite is in our nose. And finally, it should taste good. We eat a variety of foods - sweet, savory, soft, and crispy. No matter what type of food we want to eat, we have to enjoy it.
Having a small amount of a food that tastes good but is not necessarily good for us may be better for us than trying to eat only healthy foods 100% of the time. In a recent study, the dieters who actually ate foods deemed "off limits" twice a week were more likely to stick to their best diet plan and were also likely to lose up to 10% more on that plan than the people who stuck to their diet all of the time. The theory is that the splurge may balance the hormones related to hunger, including the hunger hormone, ghrelin and the hormone that lets us know when we are full, leptin.
We need certain foods, even when it sounds counterproductive. We actually need healthy fats in our diet, but so many people try to eliminate all fats from their diet. They eat tons of non-fat or low fat foods, but their scale is still stuck. Full fat cheeses and other dairy foods may be better and should be included in the best diet plan. Full fat cheese is high in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which will stimulate the body to use the stored fat for energy. Experts as the National Institute of Health (NIH) suggest that women especially can lose weight twice as fast if they stick to healthier, full fat foods and avoid the poor quality forms of fat that are found in fried foods and trans fats.
The Best Diet Plan: Affordable, Available Foods
Imagine reading a diet plan that has you scurrying around town looking for the majority of its main ingredients. When you finally do find the item, you are either flabbergasted by the price or mystified how to use it. You aren't even sure how to cut or peel it and the recipes included in the plan are not a lot of help. If you had to look in more than one store or you had to go to a specialty store at all, you are not dealing with the best diet plan. If you are spending a whole week's budget on a single item, it is a bad idea. The foods that you are eating on your best diet plan should be affordable and available. You might find some of your foods are fresher at farmers' markets or roadside stands, but you should not be expected to go out of your way for the bulk of your foods.
The easier it is to find the foods that you are planning to eat on your diet plan, the more likely you are to stick with it. In addition, real foods are the best option. If you are eating mostly junk foods, you will feel that way too - "junky". Dr. Julie Holland, who advocates the cave woman approach to health, reminds us that in the days of our ancestors, foods were either grown in the dirt, raised in the water, or raised on the land. Foods were not refined, artificial, or filled with chemicals. The more real your foods are, the healthier they are.
Flexibility in the Real World
There are some diet plans that spell out exactly what you should eat and when you should eat it. But, suppose you wake up on a Monday morning and instead of wanting the steel cut oatmeal that you are supposed to have, you feel like having a veggie omelet instead. Both are perfectly healthy food choices. Both have protein (the eggs have more), are the right number of calories and would make a good breakfast for you. But, the diet plan is one of the strict ones that does not allow any kind of changes or switches. You can gag down the oats and wait until Thursday when you are "scheduled" to have the omelet but, the best diet plan is one that will allow you to switch foods when you really don't feeling like eating them, giving you more of a chance to succeed.
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