(Family Features) — Losing weight and getting into shape is a goal many Americans aspire to achieve. Choosing a weight loss plan that fits your lifestyle is a crucial first step in developing the diet that works for you.
The road to a sound weight loss plan should begin with the following steps:
Talk with your doctor
First and foremost, speak with your doctor. Your healthcare provider can help you set attainable weight loss goals as well as discuss any medical conditions you have or medications you may take that could affect your ability to modify your diet. Talking with your doctor can help you find a plan that’s tailored to your particular needs.
Choose the right plan for you
One size does not fit all when it comes to diets. In fact, several studies featured in the International Journal of Obesity Supplements (IJOS) reported that adults with greater insulin resistance are more successful with weight loss on a low-carbohydrate diet compared with a low-fat diet. In such cases, a low-carbohydrate diet such as the Atkins Diet has been proven to have positive results on insulin resistance. Dieters start with a focus on carbohydrates from vegetables and slowly add back fruit, nuts and whole grains as one’s carb balance is established and weight loss goals are met. Opt for a diet backed by science over the latest fad.
Commit to your Plan
Losing weight and keeping it off requires a long-term commitment. Once you have developed your weight loss plan it is important that you stick with it. You need to make healthy changes to both your diet and lifestyle.
Your diet should include foods you will enjoy eating for a long time, not just for a few weeks or months. Adopt a plan that gives you the ability to enjoy a variety of food options. For example, if you are a veggie lover, the Atkins Diet could be a good plan for you to follow. From day one, the low-carb diet allows you to consume more vegetables than are recommended by USDA Guidelines. In fact, you can even follow Atkins as a vegetarian or vegan. Finding a plan that works for your lifestyle and incorporates more of the foods you already love will help reinforce your new healthier eating habits.
Drink more water
The Beverage Institute reports that the average adult in the US gets a significant portion of their calories from beverages, mostly in the form of carbohydrates. Avoid drinking sugary sodas, juices and alcohol, and replace these with more water.
The first few weeks of the diet can be the most difficult. To be successful, look to family and friends who have made similar lifestyle changes for support and advice.
Doing a little homework and smart planning can help you choose a weight loss plan that will help you be successful both now and for the rest of your life. For more tips, ideas and free tools, visit www.atkins.com.