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How Long Should I Go on a Diet?

Por Eleazar Lara Pantin, MD, MSc.* -

One of the shortcomings of traditional diets is that they are hard to maintain for a long period of time. 

It is difficult for anyone to live life without indulging in their favorite foods, including some that are unhealthy. But many traditional diets require that people give up certain foods completely, which would be a challenge for anyone. Because traditional diets exclude foods, instead of teaching people about allowing all foods to be part of a balanced diet, many people deny themselves until they cannot take it anymore--and then return to their unhealthy eating habits.

Long-lasting changes

If you’re not pleased with your body, for either cosmetic or health reasons, any changes you make to improve your lifestyle need to be permanent. Losing weight rapidly by following traditional diets most often results in regaining the weight, plus more, once you return to your previous habits. Instead of making temporary changes in your eating habits, make up your mind to lose weight and enjoy the benefits for the rest of your life.

A different approach

It’s impossible to follow a diet for a long time when the "diet" has many restrictions. That is why we have adopted a different approach, based on realistic and positive strategies.

Know that not all the foods you eat and habits you practice are bad

There are good habits you have that you can and should continue doing. Others habits you may need to change or modify. For example, your diet may be too low in cereals, fruits and fiber and may contain more dairy products than is recommended, but you may be eating the right amount of meat. How can you determine which habits are good and which are bad? It's simple! Follow these steps:

  • Take a diet and fitness evaluation. Click here to obtain a FREE evaluation through MyDiet TM .  
  • Based on the feedback you receive from your evaluation results, you will be able to identify what you’re doing right so you can maintain those habits.
  • Modify what you need to change (such as adding more fruits, cereals, and fiber or eating less dairy products, as per our example). It’s better to eat your favorite food in smaller servings than to sit down at the table with negative thoughts about eating something just because it is recommended.

Overeating isn’t the only cause of weight gain

You may also have to increase your levels of physical activity in order to lose weight.

Choose an activity you love, and do it on a regular basis! In addition to enjoying the exercise, you’ll enjoy fewer restrictions in your diet. Physical activity helps you burn many of the excess calories that get stored as fat. 

The prospect of making long-term changes in your lifestyle is very feasible. The question “How long?,” as you can see, is totally irrelevant.

*Dr. Lara-Pantin, a nutrition specialist, is Vice President of Product Development for DrTango, Inc.


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