Searching for the next best diet to help get you down to your goal weight? If so, before you quickly jump into the first diet plan that comes your way, take a second and look inward and figure out what kind of dieter you are.
Unfortunately, when it comes to proper dieting, we are all like snowflakes, so what might work great for one person could end up being a train wreck for someone else. And since we aren't trying to derail our diet, you need a specific plan to fit your own individual needs and preferences to see the best results possible.
We aren't talking physiological needs and preferences here—we're referring the psychological side. If your diet is driving you absolutely batty, the hopes of you staying with that diet will be slim to none. Focusing mentally as much as physically on your diet will mean you can lose weight, but will also prevent you from jumping off a cliff or tearing out your hair before you're done with the diet. Take a look at the three main dieter types, and decide where you stand in the fat-loss spectrum.
No. 1: The All-Or-Nothing'er
This type of dieter approaches their food and nutrition with a black and white mentality: If they're on, they're on, but when they're off, they're really off. This makes the all-or-nothing'ers vulnerable to turning a diet slip-up into a binge. If you've ever succumbed to an Oreo, blinked an eye, and suddenly realized you just ate the whole sleeve, then you are this kind of dieter.
They're also prone to high levels of stress and anxiety when on a diet program, because they often hold themselves to unrealistic standards. This is bad news bears considering cortisol release is not conducive to trimming that waistline. These dieters are perfectionists, and anything less than 100 percent is not good enough—except we all know nobody's perfect.
So if this describes you, then find a diet plan that has some cheat meals built right into it, because strict diets aren't your thing. You need to a plan that has enough cheats included so you can stay True to it with a capital T, every day. Since you can't afford to go off the plan responsibly, just make those sanity food days part of the plan.
No. 2: The Flexibility Freak
If "rebel without a cause" is your diet philosophy, listen up. These dieters don't like rules, and would give anything to stick to the Diet Man if possible. They don't do well on strict plans--after all, that's torture in the diet machine, right? But what works well for them? Guidelines or compass points are the way to go.
For instance, instead of telling them to eat specific food in specific amounts, just let them know the general macronutrient breakdown to follow per meal. Let them do the rest! Allowed to pick their protein and carbs and be creative, and the flexibility freak will able to stay on track. Obviously they need to make smart and healthy food choices, but the point is giving these guys their food freedom. This way, the can do what they want, and if they cheat a little, no biggie. Flexibility freaks are great at getting off and on the diet wagon as needed, without stress.
No. 3: Captain Convenience
The third type of dieter is the convenience dieter--always on the go, no time for anything.
If not reminded, they'll forget a meal, which makes them susceptible to eating big meals late at night or grabbing unhealthy fast food. These people don't cook—not because they don't like to, but because it's impossible with their busy schedule. So what can they do? Well, there are many ways to eat healthy that require little to no prep work.
For instance, rather than opting for a chocolate bar, spoon some Greek yogurt into a bowl and top it with flaxseeds—BOOM, a healthy meal in seconds.
Or, if you need a dinner on the go, a pre-made/frozen chicken breast taken out of the freezer and placed in a whole-wheat pita with some sliced vegetables is as satiable as it is a cinch. Seek out plans that focus on healthy and convenient (yes, there are foods that fit both requirements).
It's also a good idea to stock up on healthy snacks like meal replacement shakes, protein cereals, protein bars, or other protein-rich snack options. While it's important to eat real food as much as possible, it doesn't hurt to have some healthy "snackup" when you need it, and your diet program has to be tremendously flexible to fit a busy body.
Don't Forget The Grey Area
A lot of us may fall between these types or might become one or the other depending on changing lifestyles, but knowing your limitations and habits gives you a better sense of the direction you should take with your diet. Fighting your natural tendencies will just make dieting that much harder, so avoid it at all costs. Be realistic, then move forward and achieve anything you want!