Losing weight feels great and can help prevent serious health issues like diabetes and heart disease. But with so many weight loss diets to choose from, it's hard to know which program is right for you.
To put this in perspective, let's look at just some of the different diets that are on the market today.
Low Carb: This type of diet combines high protein (and high fat) with a minimal amount of carbohydrates and is very successful, at least in the short term, for many people.
Portion Control: This diet teaches moderation in meal sizes and often focuses on adding larger portions of fruits and vegetables with moderate amounts of protein and minimal intake of starchy carbs like potatoes and white bread.
Points System: Assigning different point values to foods helps these dieters meal plan by the numbers. No food is off limits here, but a piece of full-fat cheesecake might take most of your points for the whole day!
Calorie Counting: This could be thought of the old fashioned way to lose weight. A specific daily calorie intake is set and you count the calories consumed throughout the day in order to meet, but not exceed, this number.
High Fiber: This approach to weight management focuses on eating a high fiber diet filled with whole grains, beans/legumes and fruits and vegetables. The general theory here is that, if you focus on eating high fiber foods, you will naturally eat fewer empty calories that contribute to obesity.
Exercise / Muscle Building: Using aerobic exercise and muscle building techniques is yet another approach to weight loss that involves less focus on what you eat and more on what you do with your body.
Diet Pills / Supplements: Diet pills and weight loss supplements are available in many different formulas, with or without stimulants such as caffeine, and can be used alone (with healthy eating and exercise) or in conjunction with a structured weight loss program.
The truth is, ANY diet that combines healthy eating with exercise has the potential to promote successful weight loss. Yet many dieters fail time and time again - no matter what program they choose.
The Reason Why Diets Fail
Although most diets have solid nutritional elements that result in weight reduction, they are missing the secret ingredient to permanent weight loss success: personalized SUPPORT.
The best way to understand how support can help you succeed at losing weight is to look at the reality television show, "The Biggest Loser." Why are the candidates on this show so successful at achieving life-changing weight loss? Because they aren't just put on diets and exercise programs, they also have a personal coach working with them side-by-side, day-after-day to keep them motivated and on course!
The journey to lasting weight loss is filled with pitfalls, distractions and plateaus. In fact, many people give up before ever reaching their goal weight (and gain every pound back - and more!). That's why it's so important to have someone supporting you every step of the way. Someone that will keep you on track when the going gets rough, talk you through weak moments, provide encouragement and motivation when you're ready to quit and to share your joy as you reach each milestone.
Finding the Best Support
Your best support system will be a friend, spouse, parent or other loved one who is willing to provide motivation and encouragement as you lose weight - and provide tough-love (or a kick in the butt) when needed!
However, many of us don't have someone who can offer that kind of support. The good news is that there are online resources that allow you to connect with a personal mentor that will keep you on task and make you a success at weight loss.
Any diet can help you lose weight. When choosing a program, make your choice based on the foods you enjoy and the lifestyle you lead - and make sure you add personalized support to ensure your success.