The holiday season is such a busy time of year, as many people adorn malls shopping for gifts for others. Care and attention are needed to personalize gifts for your loved ones to ensure they receive a gift uniquely suited for them.

Have you ever considered giving yourself the gift of good health by carefully selecting the right diet plan to suit your needs? Choosing a diet plan involves contemplating your lifestyle, taste preferences, and personality before settling on a plan that fits your needs.

View this as a guide for selecting a diet plan uniquely suited for you to set yourself up for great success.

Do Your Research

A Google search of “diet plans” yields millions of results. With so many choices, you are bound to find information that is contradictory, misleading, or even unhealthy. As you search for diets, you will want to thoroughly investigate each diet, considering the following:

  • Reputability – Is the plan reputable? How many people have gone through the program? Are there testimonies for their results? Is their scientific evidence to support this plan as being healthy? Remember to look not only on the plan’s website but also seek critiques of the plan to give you a well-rounded perspective.
  • Suitability – Is this diet plan easy to implement into my current lifestyle? What changes would I have to make to fit this plan into my life? Is the plan affordable and practical for daily living? Evaluate whether or not the plan jives with your personal values and belief systems.

Know Your Body

Many diets exist because we are all different. Not one person’s body will respond to food in the same way as another’s. Furthermore, tailoring a diet plan to an individual’s food preferences can help turn the diet into a lifestyle.

Diet choices are not one-size fits all. Keep in mind how your body responds to certain foods. You may want to keep a food log to track how your body responds to foods you eat, noting if you feel bloated, lethargic, or energized before and after eating.

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Know Yourself

The better you know yourself the greater success you will have in implementing a new diet into your life. Are you a Type A personality? You may be susceptible to obsess over calories or food restrictions. You may feel compelled to adhere to all the requirements of the plan, which can severely impact your mental health. In extreme situations, obsessing overeating can lead to social isolation or eating disorders. Be gentle on yourself. Choose a diet that can serve as a lifestyle. You want to stay away from anything that is too restricting.

Are you a Type B personality? If so, you may be laid-back about dieting and lack the motivation and drive to see your goals to fruition. You could benefit from having an accountability partner. Your friend or family member can remind you to continue with your plan even when you feel like giving up. Don’t let past failures dictate your future. You can always start again.

Be Kind to Your Body

When you think of dieting, do you imagine starving yourself only to end up overeating later? Our bodies need a certain amount of calories per day to carry out important functions to keep us healthy. Depriving yourself of the nutrients you need will leave you feeling fatigued and malnourished.

What if we exchanged the word ‘diet’ for ‘lifestyle eating plan’? A diet plan should be a long-term goal, not a diet. When choosing a program, view it as a paradigm shift. If you choose a way of eating and living that is healthy, nutritious, and delicious, you are likely to stick with it in the long run.

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Involving Others

Tell others about your diet plan. Family and friends can help keep you motivated, and they may even join in the diet with you as well. Pick a diet plan that your family can follow as well for greater success.

Making meals as a family will strengthen your bonds and prevent you from needing to make special accommodations for yourself. Prior to beginning a new diet, discuss your plans with your doctor to ensure your health and safety.

Diets to Investigate: Plant-based and Unprocessed

The following diets all have one key ingredient shared: vegetables. Any diet plan should encourage the intake of a variety of fruits and vegetables for optimal health. A healthy diet will limit processed foods, relying on foods in their most natural state.

Veganism 

Vegans eat no animal products whatsoever, including honey. While vegan diets can be healthy, many junk foods such as potato chips and Oreos are vegan, yet are not healthy. Vegans can obtain an adequate amount of protein from plant sources but may need to take a vitamin B12 supplement, since vitamin B12 is only readily available from meat sources (even meat eaters are often deficient in B12 as they lack intrinsic factors to assimilate it).

Vegetarian

Similar to vegans, vegetarians do not eat animals, but they do eat dairy and eggs.

Pescatarian

Similar to vegetarian, but allows for fish.

Flexitarian

Someone who mostly follows a vegetarian diet, with the occasional meat dish. They consume meat sparingly. This is a broad category: some flexitarians use meat as a garnish, others eat it occasionally, and others may only eat meat obtained from a sustainable source.

Raw 

Vegetarians or vegans that only eat uncooked food

Mediterranean Diet 

Studies the cultures and eating habits of people in southern European countries. The foods eaten are plants, nuts, healthy fats (olive oil, fatty fish), beans, nuts, whole grains, and seeds. Fruit is used for dessert. Cheese or yogurt are the typical dairy products consumed. Moderate amounts of fish, poultry, and eggs are allowed, as well as small amounts of red meat and wine.

This diet is the most extensively studied one out there. Benefits include the consumption of healthful fats and fiber. It is also high in vitamins and minerals while being low in sugar.

Clean Eating

A clean eating diet avoids all processed foods and emphasizes the importance of eating foods made from scratch with wholesome ingredients. Most clean eating proponents only eat foods that have short and recognizable ingredient lists (or no list at all). Fruits, vegetables, meat, grains, and dairy are organic or local, if possible.

Paleo/Whole 30

Consists of what hunter-gatherers were suspected to have eaten hundreds of years ago. The diet includes meat, fish, seafood, vegetables, fruit, eggs, healthy fats and oils (olive oil, coconut oil). Grains and dairy are avoided (except eggs), as well as all processed foods. Dark chocolate and wine are allowed on occasion.

Illness-Fighting Diets

People with health conditions may follow diets to target an illness or manage a condition. For example, people with Celiac disease follow a Gluten-Free diet. Anti-inflammatory diets may combat an assortment of health conditions.

While there are a variety of diets available, only you can decide which one is right for you. Take time to invest in yourself this holiday season. Selecting a diet plan to rejuvenate your health is one of the most important gifts you will ever receive. We believe that the Hallelujah Diet, based on Genesis 1:29, is the ideal for supporting long-term health, but you need to check it out for yourself. Your body will thank you.

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