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Published on January 03, 2019
By Jean Larson, licensed and registered dietitian at Essentia Health.
Jean Larson, licensed and registered dietitian at Essentia Health
It’s that time of year when you’re looking to revamp your lifestyle, lose weight, get in shape and improve your health. But which diet do you select? How do you know which one will work for you?
Here is the shocking fact: when it comes to weight loss, it doesn’t really matter which “diet” you choose, so long as you stick to it. Yes, you still need to make intelligent food choices for overall health, like eating your fruits and vegetables. But the question of whether you should go low-fat or low-carbohydrate or try out Paleo, vegan or keto may not be as important as you think.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2014 compared multiple popular diets, including Atkins, South Beach, Zone, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers and Ornish. These diets range from low-carbohydrate to low-fat to a balanced mix of macronutrients. Over the course of 12 months, researchers found there were minimal differences in weight loss between the diets. Their conclusion: “This supports the practice of recommending any diet that a patient will adhere to in order to lose weight.” In other words, the most important factor is picking an approach that’s easiest for you to stick with. Consistency is often the missing link for people struggling to lose weight and improve their health.
Here are some tips to help you stay consistent with your nutrition:
When you get off track or things don’t go as planned, be compassionate with yourself. Roadblocks such as an illness, travel or other life commitments will always come up. You’re never going to be perfect but developing the ability to bounce back will help you remain consistent with the plan you’ve chosen. Instead of beating yourself up and allowing one poor choice to spiral into many, compassion will allow you to come back to your healthy habits quicker.