You are here

5 Steps to Finding Your Best Diet Plan

July 3, 2014

Main Image

Losing weight and trying to live a healthier lifestyle can feel like an overwhelming task. There are so many books, websites, and resources claiming to be “the best” way to lose weight quickly and keep it off.  It’s even trickier when you see a friend thriving on one diet, like Paleo, when you seem to be gaining weight on the same eating plan. It can be very confusing!

So how can you figure out which of the seemingly endless diets will work best for you? Luckily, you don’t have to give all of them a try to get yourself on the right track for healthy success. Here are a few simple things you can do to find the best diet plan for the one and only you:

Understand Bio-Individuality

The first step to finding your perfect diet has nothing to do with what you are actually consuming. It involves a change of mindset. Get familiar with Bio-Individuality, a unique concept introduced by Integrative Nutrition founder Joshua Rosenthal. This essentially means that what works for one person might not work for the next. While this concept works in all aspects of life, it’s especially useful when it comes to your diet! Understanding bio-Individuality will help you recognize that it’s possible—and perfectly okay!—for your best friend to feel fabulous on the South Beach diet while you just feel hungry or tired. On the flipside, you may feel great if you cut out dairy, and your friend might miss it dearly!

Ignore the Diets, and Start Small

That first part might seem a little counter-intuitive, but to find your best diet you first need to ignore all of the other diet plans! Sticking to a restrictive diet is very hard to do. The more restrictive it is the higher your chances are of straying from the diet and binging on unhealthy foods. You also don’t know yet which diet is best for your body, so choosing one that will work for you is difficult. Instead of cutting out all gluten and then crossing your fingers that your health will improve, start by taking small steps to clean up your current diet. Load up on fresh fruit, veggies, whole grains and organic proteins, and watch as processed foods begin to naturally disappear from your diet. This is called the “crowding out” approach, in which you eat so many fresh, healthy foods there is no room for the bad stuff! Once you have a generally clean diet, you’ll be able to understand better how your body reacts to certain food groups.

Listen to your Body

After you’ve cleaned up your diet, you can really start to listen to your body. It might be very helpful to start a food journal to help you keep track of what you eat and how you feel afterward. Remember to take note of how your digestion is, how hungry you feel before and after eating, and how full you stay after a meal. If you start to recognize that one food group isn’t making you feel your best, try cutting it out completely to see if you start to feel better. This may take some time, but stick with it! I promise that once you understand exactly how different foods make you feel, it will be much easier to start losing weight!  

Create Your Own Diet

At this point, you’ve probably already started to lose weight, and you’re feeling much better! By cutting out processed foods, writing in a food journal and eliminating foods you may be sensitive to, you’ve created your own personal diet plan, without even thinking about it! Don’t let the rules and theories of other eating plans alter your new healthy habits; instead, keep paying attention to what you eat and how you feel, and watch as your own unique diet continues to evolve as it nourishes your body.

Give Yourself a Break

Now that you have an overall clean diet, it’s time to give yourself a big high-five, and remember to cut yourself a break once in a while! No one is perfect—if there even is such a thing—so if you happen to go out for pizza and beer one night with friends, don’t beat yourself up over it! Instead, follow the 90/10 rule, which says that as long as 90 percent of what you eat is healthy, then you absolutely shouldn’t feel guilty if you indulge a bit. Everything in moderation!

Have you found the right diet for you? If so, how did you get there? Share your journey with us in the comments below!

About the author

Lauren Caster is a contributing writer to Wellness Today. She resides in Portland, Oregon where she enjoys cooking for friends, doing Bikram yoga, and exploring new restaurants and food carts in town. She is one part of the blogging duo behind the blog Brooklyn-Portland, she received her diploma in Baking and Pastry Arts from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City and is a 2013 graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition