Ask the Dietitian: What is the best diet program?

 Q: What is the best diet program?

A: This is an excellent question and one that I am often asked. My answer: instead of focusing on a “diet program,” concentrate on healthy lifestyle changes that contribute to healthy living. More specifically, make goals (whether they be to decrease fast-food intake, learn how to cook, etc.) that can be implemented for a lifetime. Most diet programs will result in some form of weight loss, but once a person discontinues the program, he/she will likely put the weight back on, plus some. The other downside to “diet programs” is that they are generally set up as a one-size-fits-all program.

The most important factor to take into consideration before making healthy lifestyle changes is that a person must be ready to make the changes, and the changes must be realistic. A great way to assess your readiness to change and to set realistic goals is to meet with a registered dietitian.  

Keep in mind with diet programs and diet supplements that if they look too good to be true (for example, they promise 30 pounds of weight loss in the first month), they probably are. Good ol’ healthy eating and exercise have been proven time and time again to work. And they do, when a person is ready.