So many choices. Should I try Atkins? Sugar Busters? South Beach? Lowfat? No fat? Or, should I just say "forget it" and buy a package of Oreos? Aaauuuggghhh!
Everyone wants a simple answer. Sorry to say, there is none. As individuals, we have to make this life-changing decision on our own; it's called being accountable for your actions, and it has to fit your current lifestyle if it is going to be successful.
Let's start off by getting rid of the negative feelings the word "diet" brings to mind. According to the Random House College Dictionary, diet is described as "the usual or regular foods a person eats most frequently." This means everyone is on a diet!
Responsibility for our actions is the key to success. When we ask others to make up our minds for us, we take ourselves off the hook. Asking, "So, what should I do to lose weight?" gives another person charge over areas that we need to care for by ourselves. Do you have to go it alone? No! Not at all. The decision has to be your own. The means to achieve success should involve knowledgeable discernment, support groups, friends and family members who can provide positive input and constructive criticism without nagging or goading.
I truly believe a person has to be willing to approach the barrier that has kept them from being successful in this area of health, be it emotional, physical or spiritual. Then they need to look past the barrier, see the victory and do whatever it takes to claim it.
As found in Deuteronomy 20:4, "For the Lord your God is He that goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you." With God as our companion in any battle, how can we not be successful? This includes our battle to be in the best health possible.
Dietary Weapons of Choice
All right! Now that we know the battle is won, the next step is what we will use as our weapons of choice for the fight.
Once again, we praise an awesome God, who, in His great wisdom, has created all of us uniquely. That means what works for one person may not work for another. Trial and error is tedious work, but sometimes it is necessary in order to find the answer.
Special needs of individuals—medical condition, activity level, time allotment, desired effect or results, willingness to make a change and support of family and friends—are all factors we should consider when choosing a new diet.
Sometimes a drastic change can kick-start a metabolism into high gear. This can occur with the Atkins, South Beach and Sugar Buster diet plans. (Each plan has its own variables.) The main premise is to consume protein and fat, limiting carbohydrates and sugar (glucose). Many people have lost large amounts of weight on these plans, but it can be difficult to stick with the program for an extended period of time. Using these programs as a diet plan for the whole family would be difficult because children need carbohydrates as fast fuel. Adjustments will be necessary for eating in restaurants, but it is possible.
In the recent past, more people turned to the lowfat, no-fat plans. First note that our bodies require fat as an essential part of our digestive system. Many of the low- or non-fat items have artificial ingredients, which may or may not make a difference in your body (research is ongoing in these areas) or your taste buds. There are a variety of menu options for this type of plan.
Of course, there is the traditional pyramid plan that says if you take in X amount of dairy, X amount of protein, X amount of fruit, X amount of veggies and X amount of grain, you will be just fine.
Also Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem and many more are available in the marketplace, starting you off on their pre-packaged foods and then weaning slowly to a diet of regular food once you have grasped the concept of self-discipline and the "calories-in, calories-out" rule of weight loss.
The choice is yours. What works for one doesn't always work for another, so research your options carefully.
Here is the big question: What is your main desire for a change in your body? Is it health, looks, energy or medical challenges? Good health should be the ultimate reason. In order to be the best we can be—and we are asked to be by our Lord Jesus Christ—we must acknowledge our responsibility, look at the options and take action. If your health is not at its peak performance level, try something—anything. Just take action!
Linda Goldfarb is a certified physical fitness specialist, speaker and syndicated radio talk show host. You can download her weekly "Not Just Talkin' the Talk" radio broadcasts, a one hour variety talk show based out of San Antonio, Texas, at lindagoldfarb.com. Linda's show encourages listeners to "walk the walk" spiritually, physically, and relationally each and every day. Contact Linda to speak at your next event: [email protected].
This article originally appeared at whydiets.com.
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