DASH, the South Beach Diet, Low Carb, Weight Watchers, after a while – the options all run together. That being said these plans cover vastly different needs. In the midst of marketing ploys and selling to customers though, the specifics get lost in the mix. As a result, it can be extremely difficult to pick a plan for your needs.

Define Your Motivations

I won’t surprise anyone when I say there’s a strong connotation related to dieting. Just because people take an active approach to their diet, doesn’t necessarily mean they find motivation from vain aspects. Sure, some of these methods are rooted in the desire to lose weight, but many other people emphasize their diets for other reasons – be it health, allergies and more. As a result, I think it’s important to evaluate your needs before picking a plan for you. Then you can build a nutrition plan that fits you.

As instructed by the Mayo Clinic, “There’s no single weight-loss diet that will help everyone who tries it. But if you consider your preferences, lifestyle and weight-loss goals, you should be able to find or tailor a diet to suit your individual needs.” Otherwise, you’ll find yourself worse off than you started. It’s just not feasible to assume that every eating plan accounts for each person’s unique traits.

Factor in the Food

This may seem obvious, but the food matters. If you depend on starting your day with a bagel each morning, then don’t commit to a low-carb diet. You will doom yourself from the start. Ditch the idea that diets have to be painful. The ultimate goal is to find a nutrition setup that you can maintain long-term.

Also, think about your price range and time. How much time can you actually dedicate to food prep? If you don’t plan on setting up lunches every Sunday, then don’t sign up for a plan structured around that. How much money can you actually afford to spend on prepared meals? This all weighs into finding a system that works for you.

What’s Your Routine?

If you live an active lifestyle, you can commit to a higher calorie system. You need a certain amount of nourishment to sustain activity and if you’re anything like me – fitness is a key part of your daily routine.

As explained in Men’s Journal, “The number of extra calories should depend upon your goals: The guy bulking up is obviously going to need more than that. The guy trying to lean out may not add any extra calories even if he’s working out most days of the week. Consider your goals and your training schedule.

If you find yourself still debating which plan is right for you – check out this infographic from Kaiser Permanente Total Health Radio:

MaxSwahn Diet Infographic