For this guide to popular weight-loss programs, Emily Wunder, registered dietitian, and Kristin Gillespie, registered dietitian, help make sense of successful dieting and tell all about six different ways to lose weight.
What makes a diet successful?
There’s no best approach to weight loss — everyone is different and will find success with different tactics. However, Wunder and Gillespie have concluded that some generic strategies tend to work for most people.
Just because you have to eat fewer calories to lose weight doesn’t mean you have to eat fewer types of food to lose weight, Gillespie says. “Diets are often most successful when they offer a wide variety of foods and we feel less restricted,” she says. “When diets cut out or restrict entire foods or food groups, we feel like we are missing out on something (because we are).”
On the other hand, Gillespie continues, “If we are allowed to have pretty much anything but with a focus on consuming less healthy foods in moderation, we are more likely to be successful.”
Make it enjoyable
The word “diet” has such negative connotations because of the way it’s thrown around regarding weight loss. But diets don’t have to suck so bad, Wunder says. “An eating pattern should be enjoyable and interesting for someone to stick to it,” she explains. “The hope is for people to make changes in their current diet that would point them in a healthier diet direction.”
Find your motivation
Go beyond generic goals like “lose weight” and “get healthy.” Dig deeper and find out why you’re really embarking on a diet, Wunder encourages. “No matter what plan or diet you are following, unless you are motivated and really want change, it is going to be very difficult to follow,” she says.