All diet companies have an agenda—they want to sell not only their books, but also their dieting products. Most of these diets claim that theirs is the one true method for losing weight and that their diet plan can be sustained for life. I personally think that this is a hoax. I realize that there are people out there that can make certain diet plans work for life, but for the majority of people, this is not true. Perhaps I’m weaker willed than some, but after several weeks on one of these diet plans, I get really sick of it. The thought of permanently abstaining from certain foods that I’ve enjoyed all my life is a major roadblock that keeps me from wanting to adhere to any one diet long-term. Remember that most diet plans expect you to be faithful to only them, so of course they aren’t going to advocate any other diet. In fact, about every diet book I’ve read attacks every other plan out there.

No One Silver Bullet: Importance of Variety

Dieting is not like marriage in that there is no need to be faithful to one diet plan for your entire life. In fact, I argue that switching up your diet plan can be crucial not only for motivation, but also to keep your body guessing, which will help you to continue losing fat. Most people end up switching diet plans anyway, but not in time to salvage their losses, so why not adjust before backsliding?

For many people, it goes something like this. You begin a new diet plan and at first you are excited about it and motivated to give it your best shot. As you are trying to adhere strictly to your diet, you begin losing pounds, which further increases your motivation to continue on this diet—it’s working after all! But after a while you hit a bit of a slump. Perhaps you haven’t lost any weight in some time and you begin to get discouraged. You may think, “I’m missing out on all my favorite treats and still I’m not losing weight.” These types of thoughts spur you to start cheating a bit here and there, which further stagnates or even begins to reverse your progress. "Oh to heck with it," you might tell yourself as you begin to scarf down all your favorite goodies. Once you have regained all or most of what you lost, you realize, "OK, well that diet didn’t work very well for me, I guess I’d better try something different." Does this sound at all familiar? It might be time to try a different approach.

Why Switch between Diet Plans?

There are a few reasons why jumping ship is an effective strategy. In my new book, Four Truths About Weight Loss That Nobody Tells You, I discuss these reasons in detail and give suggestions on the most effective way to switch between diet plans. Click Here to get the Kindle version of my book on Amazon, or Here to order a hard copy!

About the Author

Nathaniel Lambert, Ph.D.

Nathaniel Lambert, Ph.D., is a psychology professor at the University of Utah.

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