FRIDAY NOVEMBER 24, 2017
 
Blog HEALTH
3 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE STARTING A DIET
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It seems like everyone is either on a diet or considering starting a diet. You don’t have to be overweight to take the plunge. After all, all good diets should be about getting and staying healthy and not just looking good.

But diets don't work for everyone, and unfortunately that’s often blamed on laziness or ill-discipline. In reality, a weight loss meal plan is a mere part of what makes a diet succeed.

Diets can provide a great path to good health and self-esteem. However, they can also lead straight to despair and self-destruction if you ignore what’s driving you in the first place.

There are 3 crucial questions you need to ask yourself before starting a diet.

1. WHY DO YOU WANT TO DIET?

This should be the obvious starting point, but many people think it’s a question with a self-evident answer. We tend to see a diet as a “good thing”, and therefore assume that dieting is a good idea no matter the reason. However, this thinking can easily lead to harm. Firstly, the type of diet you choose is dependent on this question. If you want to get fit and build muscle, you'll need a very different diet than someone just trying to shed the pounds. But it goes deeper than that. Many people share the same answer to this question: because I’m unhappy (or even disgusted) with myself.

There's no doubt that losing weight can help a person with their self-esteem. Unfortunately, the opposite is just as likely. Some will feel an immense emptiness after they lose the weight and still cannot be happy with themselves. For others, the pressure is just too high: their happiness is dependent on their success.

Finding the underlying reason you want to diet is essential, as you'll ultimately need to confront that reason if you are to succeed in a way that is psychologically healthy.

2. WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET?

It’s a sad fact of modern life that being healthy is a privilege. People living in third world countries are often either overweight or malnourished because they eat only what they can afford. For some, there is too little. For others, what they eat is unhealthy and fattening without being nourishing. The situation is better in first world countries, but even so, certain diets are far more expensive than others.

No matter what your pay grade, there is an appropriate diet. But you need to do the research first. This may involve some trial and error, as well as finding the cheapest places to shop. You also may require re-prioritising some expenses, instead taking your nutritional needs to the top of your list.

3. HOW CAN YOU MAINTAIN YOUR LIFESTYLE?

Although you may have ambitions of overhauling your lifestyle for the sake of your nutrition and health, chances are you're taking too many steps at once. In the beginning, for a diet to work it has to be built around your lifestyle. If you enjoy partying on the weekend and getting drunk, you'll struggle with a diet that allows you very little alcohol. If you love fine dining, you need a diet that permits you to explore different types of food, even when they are sometimes not completely in line with healthy eating practices.

Unless you already have a health condition that needs urgent nutritional changes, you should not be overhauling your lifestyle. You're setting yourself up to fail. Rather, start with what you know you can sacrifice, and eventually you can decide to take the next steps.

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