It’s not hard to find a weight loss program. There are just as many diets on the internet as there are cat videos. What is a challenge, however, is deciding which weight loss program is right for you. In order to lose weight, and maintain your weight loss, you need to find a plan that’s based in science and suits your specific goals and needs. Before you jump into the next trendy routine, consider the following questions.

Does it rely on one food group, or a variety of food groups?

The internet loves a magic diet. Cut out one thing and your whole world changes, right? Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Different foods in each food group offer different benefits, including essential vitamins and minerals your body needs. Any science-based, healthy plan will include a balance of these essential foods: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, poultry and fish, low/reduced fat dairy, and lean meat.

Variety is key. When you’re making such a dramatic lifestyle change, it can be exciting at first. However, as things develop and time goes on, you might find yourself stuck in the cycle of consuming the same exact foods every day. This makes it harder to stick to your weight loss plan because without variety and excitement in your meals, you can find yourself tempted to break your diet. Variety is the special ingredient to make it easier to stick to your diet.

How accessible are the foods in this plan?

A meal plan featuring new and exotic foods can fill you full of hope. After all, if it’s something you’ve never tried before, maybe that means it’s the thing you’ve been missing. But check your excitement, because you need to be realistic. Can you even find these new ingredients at your local grocery store? Are they within your budget? Maybe you can find a way to track them down and fit them into your budget in the short term, but ask yourself how sustainable that system is in the long run. If obtaining your food is difficult, that can contribute to you breaking your diet instead of sticking with it.

Does this plan fit within your current lifestyle and budget?

Any weight loss plan is a big lifestyle change in and of itself. So it’s important that your diet doesn’t disturb your daily life in too many other ways. If it takes time from your day that you don’t have or it adds stress to your monthly budget, it will be difficult to stick with the plan for more than a couple of months. When you look for a plan, make sure to find one that fits right into your budget and is similar enough to your current lifestyle so that making the shift won’t be too difficult or time-consuming.

How does fitness fit into the plan?

There are no shortcuts. Many plans will try to convince you that you only need to diet, or you only need to exercise. That you can lose weight and still eat what you want, or you can diet and barely workout. But that’s just not what the science says. Every weight loss program must include diet AND exercise. These two factors work hand in hand to move you toward your weight loss goals.

After you’ve asked all of these questions, ask one more: would weight loss be easier if you had some help? At Options Medical Weight Loss, we use science-based solutions to develop custom weight loss plans that fit your goals, needs, and restrictions. We understand that every person is unique, so their weight loss plans should be unique as well. If you’re ready to start your weight loss journey, schedule a consultation and we’ll get you right on track.