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Evaluating and Choosing the Best Diet Plans

Aug 17, 2007
There are so many diet plans available today that it could make your head spin trying to figure out which are the best diet plans to follow. Diet plans that promise quick weight loss or require you to avoid certain foods should be avoided like the plague.

When evaluating and choosing the best diet plans, look for those plans that include these four elements:

1. Avoiding food cravings
2. Avoiding hunger
3. Increased activity level
4. A plan you can live with for a lifetime - not just a few weeks

Avoid Food Cravings
Any diet plan that requires you to avoid certain foods will ultimately lead to food cravings and will be unsustainable in the long run. A craving is when you desire a certain food even when you're not hungry. When you finally cave into this desire you will likely overeat, and consequently pack on more weight.

Cravings are caused by your body's needs for the six essential food ingredients: carbohydrates, fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, and water. When a diet plan requires you to strictly avoid one of these ingredients, your cravings will only increase because you're denying your body something it wants. The best diet plans will not only give you the flexibility to include all six ingredients in your diet, they'll require it.

Avoid Hunger
Hunger is different than cravings in that your body desires not just one of the six ingredients, but all of them at the same time. In other words, it just wants food - any food! If a diet plan causes you to be hungry all the time, you will inevitably overeat. To avoid this, the best diet plans will help you curb your appetite.

The best way to curb your appetite and avoid hunger is to keep your stomach full. The best diet plans will encourage you to eat 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day instead of 3 larger meals. Those meals should consist of fruits and vegetables, which have fiber, along with foods with protein and good fats. Each meal should be well-balanced and include as many of the six ingredients as possible.

Protein and fats are especially effective in suppressing appetite. The best diet plans will not require you to avoid fats. All fats are not the same. There are good and bad fats, and it's the good fats that your body needs. The good fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Keep your intake of saturated fats to a minimum.

Increase Activity Level
You need to exercise to lose weight. When you exercise, you increase your metabolic rate, which is the rate at which you burn calories. You cannot achieve long term weight loss success without exercise. Any diet plan that claims you can lose weight simply by changing your diet alone or popping a weight loss pill should be avoided at all costs. The best diet plans will stress the importance of diet AND exercise. You need them both for sustained, long term weight loss.

A Plan You Can Live With For a Lifetime
This is probably the most overlooked element by dieters as they look for the best diet plans, yet it is one of the most important elements. If you cannot live with a diet for life, you simply will not be able to keep the weight off over the long term. It's that simple. Talk to any elderly person who has managed to stay fit all their life and ask them what kind of diet they've had over their lifetime. You can bet they will not say Atkins, Negative-Calorie, or some other short-term fad diet.

The best diet plans will encourage a balanced diet that includes all the six ingredients. You've heard of the phrase, "all things in moderation," and it especially holds true when it comes to a life-long diet. Those fad diets will work in the short term, but if your goal is to keep the weight off for good, then avoid them all together.
About the Author
Looking for a diet plan you can live with for life? Check out some of the best diet plans at Travis Van Slooten's site at http://www.mens-total-fitness.com
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