Those who are interested in losing weight successfully spend a lot of time looking at different diet plans to find the one they think will work best for them. You may relate. Maybe you’ve considered trying the Keto diet, intermittent fasting or going gluten-free.
As a weight management specialist who has spent nearly the last 4 decades helping thousands of people achieve healthier body weight and maintain it, you may be surprised to know that I don’t recommend restrictive diet plans that can help take weight off but are hard to stick to.
Here are 5 reasons why:
1 – These plans are one-size-fits-all and don’t take into account who you are, how you live your life, the kinds of foods you like, whether you eat on the run or have time to cook and how you handle eating temptations. Maybe the plan will fit your lifestyle but maybe it won’t.
2 – These food-focused plans don’t take into account other important aspects of successful weight loss such as how you move or don’t move your body, how you cope with stress and manage your mood. Through my research, I have discovered that to achieve long term success, these other lifestyle-related issues need to be addressed – in addition to what you eat.
3 – Successful weight loss is all about changing your habits – but not making radical, big changes as many restrictive diet plans have you do! Instead, what works best is to make smaller changes that are more doable for your lifestyle. Big changes are harder. Smaller changes are easier- and the good news is they do add up and can lead to sustainable changes long term.
4 –Since a diet is something you go on and off of, your dieting mindset tends to be a short term undertaking. And yet for successful weight loss, having a longer-term mindset is what works best. Mindset matters when it comes to managing your weight.
5 – Restrictive diet plans are all about restrictions. So – the Keto diet may restrict your intake of some healthy fruits you enjoy, intermittent fasting may restrict the times you can eat even if you’re hungry and gluten-free makes it harder to eat the higher fiber whole-grain foods that boost health and aid digestion. With so many rules to follow and long lists of forbidden foods, these diet plans require behaviors that are hard to sustain.
Another solution exists –a personalized, habits-based approach as featured in my new book, Six Factors to Fit: Weight Loss that Works for You!, that uses nutritional nudges and lifestyle habit tweaks to help YOU lose weight in a healthy way and without restricting foods from any one food group.
Losing weight successfully is all about YOU – your lifestyle, your habits, your mindset.
If you’re wondering how your lifestyle, habits and mindset have been impacting your weight, take 10 minutes to complete my Six Factor Quiz.
Or – if you already took the quiz, now’s the time to review your results and see if they resonate.
If so, maybe it’s time to ditch those restrictive diets which were too hard to stick with anyway.
Enjoy your health!
Robert Kushner, MD
If you’re struggling with getting started on your healthy lifestyle program, read my blog:
If you have questions about the Six Factors to Fit quiz or program, read the Six Factors to Fit FAQ here:
If you’re wondering what’s preventing you from losing weight and keeping it off, take the Six Factor Quiz here: