With the new year upon us, you may be considering a wide array of diets to help accomplish the healthy living resolution you will soon be setting. Although it seems like endless diet possibilities exist, most are built around similar principles. Some involve strict, automatic changes to your current way of eating while others involve a progression of stages. Although diets that work in stages might seem like a better option than a one-step plan, they too often result in only short term weight loss success.
For example, take the newly launched PINK Method. This diet is a phase diet – one that involves multiple stages of eating behavior. Those who embark on this diet will find that they must first start with the PINK Reset – a short term detox diet that is meant to jump-start your metabolism. This stage of the diet is then followed by the PINK Primary stage where participants are given a little more leniency, but still must follow a fat-fighting diet that reintroduces the body to high-energy foods. After this stage is complete, dieters will then move on to the last stage of the diet where weight management becomes key. As you can see, this progression hopefully leads to a lifetime of dietary changes after a rebooting of the system takes place.
Other diets are similar. Both the 17 Day Diet and the South Beach diet work in much the same way. Although each of these diets has the potential to result in successful weight loss, more often than not, this success is short lived because of how hard it is to move beyond the strict early phases. Failure to comply with these stages often results in feelings of discouragement, guilt, shame, and failure. Instead, individuals who attempt to utlize these types of meal plans should focus on what they can do in the early stages instead of what they can’t do. Even if an individual is unable to comply to all the rules, many of the small changes they are able to make will have positive long-lasting effects on overall health.
The Benefits of a Phase Diet
If you need to hit that diet reset button, perhaps a phase diet may help you get that fresh start you are looking for. Along with this fresh start you may also find new recipes, meal ideas, and creative eating options by embarking on a new eating plan. Some of these programs even come with online memberships that offer invaluable support from community members. Just make sure that the plan you choose is based on solid nutritional research, doesn’t have an extended strict phase period, and leads you to a maintenance plan that can be endured for a lifetime. If it fails to meet these requirements, it’s likely that the diet you are considering will not provide you with the long-term benefits you desire.
The Negatives of a Phase Diet
Those first few weeks of a phase diet can be pretty rough. Most are meant to help break your reliance on some of the less nutritious foods you might consume on a fairly regular basis; however, drastically changing the way you eat without any expert guidance can cause unhealthy food confusion later on. Depending on which meal plan you are going to follow, those that cut out various food groups completely should also be approached with caution. When you start cutting out food groups that have always been a part of your daily meal plan or have proven health benefits, you may find that it’s difficult to find new foods to take their place. This can result in nutritional deficiencies, a reduction in energy, and excessive hunger that ultimately leads to overindulging later on. Always get expert guidance when you decide to follow a strictly regimented plan, as they can help you adhere to your healthy eating goals without sacrificing your health.
The Best Decision You Can Make
Ultimately, the best diet decision you can make is up to you. Although diets typically fail to lead individuals to the results they desire, approaching them with the right attitude and choosing the one that best matches your persona can help improve its success. Phase diets provide an added benefit in that they typically only have you follow strict guidelines for a short period of time; however, most of the time these restrictive phases aren’t needed to obtain a healthy weight. In fact, even if you fail to completely stick to the rigid guidelines of the first couple diet phases, gradually improving the way you eat can pay off large in the end.
Keep your healthy eating plans simple, long-lasting, and personal. In addition, don’t be afraid to ask for help! Nutrition is not a very clear-cut field and consulting with the experts can help you stay on top of your healthy eating game, diet or not.
January 3rd, 2012