3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Following a Diet Plan for Weight Loss

When I was in high school, my cousin was married to this beautiful Italian woman. I admired her in  many ways, including her cute figure. 

She ate well and exercised regularly.  However, at one point she had put on 10 extra lbs. She was still incredibly beautiful, but to her the extra weight had to go. She lost it by following the cabbage soup diet.

Remember that diet? You eat nothing but this cabbage soup for two weeks and you drop weight quickly. 

Well, the idea of losing 10 lbs quickly REALLY appealed to me so I ventured to try it.

My results? Crash and burn....... I didn't even last a day. By the evening of the first night on the diet I felt incredibly sick and nauseous. I remember going to eat pizza with a friend that night and feeling I had failed miserably. 

It's not uncommon that I get asked my opinion on varying diets for weight loss. As of late, the buzz I've been getting is Keto. Is it worth it? What do I think of it? Choosing to follow a diet plan for weight loss is a personal decision. Therefore, rather than address any specific diet, I'd like to share with you 3 questions to ask yourself before following a diet plan for weight loss. 

But first, keep this in mind; any drastic shift in your normal eating patterns is going to be difficult. It's one reason I believe dieting in the traditional sense fails so many people. Slow and steady usually wins the race, and in my experience this is equally true for weight loss. 

If you've followed me for awhile, then you know I am not a fan of dieting in the traditional sense. Diets are typically not sustainable, they can be difficult to implement and to make matters worse, they leave you feeling as if you've failed. When in all actuality the diet failed you. 

 In my opinion, the keto diet is no less difficult to implement than the cabbage soup diet. 

Before considering following a diet plan for weight loss keto diet  ask these 3 questions.
  1. Will you be able to stick with it long term? It's a falsehood to believe that you can follow a diet "temporarily" just to drop the weight and then you'll be able to keep the weight off. Rarely does it work out that way. If it did the diet industry wouldn't be the $78 billion industry it is today. 
  2. Does this diet plan require you to eliminate or drastically reduce a macronutrient? Macronutrients are proteins, carbohydrates and fats. In turn, does this diet require you to rely heavily on one macro? 
  3. Does this diet fit into your lifestyle or will you need to adjust your lifestyle to fit it? Consider factors such as how often you are at home to cook, do you travel a lot for work and rely heavily on restaurant food, etc. 

All of that being said, here are a few thoughts I have on keto:
  1. Any diet that requires you to extremely restrict a macronutrient, in this case carbohydrates, you should proceed with extreme caution. Women need carbohydrates, just as we need fat and protein. 
  2. The Keto diet tends to rely heavily on fatty processed meats, such as bacon, and copious amounts of dairy. Keto recipes I have seen typically include large amounts of cream cheese, sour cream, cheddar cheese.... oh and then put some bacon on it! You get my drift.  This much dairy in the body leads to excess inflammation and inflammation is the root of all disease. 
  3. Any diet that requires you to measure your vegetable in take is a no go for me. If you are told you can only eat a 1/2 cup of broccoli with dinner, run the other way. The reality is most of us do not get enough fruits and vegetables into our bodies. Another truth is it is really difficult to overconsume cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, and dark leafy greens. They take awhile to chew. This coupled with the fact that they are full of vitamins, minerals, nutrients and fiber means you will get full long before you have overconsumed. 
Do women drop weight following a keto diet? I have seen it happen. I personally know women who have done it. Again, my word of caution about dieting in the traditional sense, is NOT that you won't initially drop weight. You can and probably will. The caution is what happens when the diet is over? 

Here are 3 great questions to ask yourself before beginning any diet plan: 
  1. Is this method of eating sustainable long term?
  2. Does this method of eating require me to eliminate or drastically reduce one macronutrient or the other? Macronutrients are protein, fat and carbohydrates.
  3. What will I do when I can no longer follow this diet plan? How will I ensure that I won't simply gain the weight back that I lost?