January is a month when most of us turn our thoughts to losing the holiday pounds and getting fit and healthy. Probably for this reason, January is also a great month to score big savings on diet foods, weight-loss aids, vitamins and supplements, and whole diet programs. But for me at least, I know that no matter how much I save on the plan, if I'm hungry all the time, I hate the food, or the plan takes a big bite out of my budget, I'm probably not going to stick with it.
If your New Year’s resolutions include getting healthy and losing weight, read on to learn how to pick the best diet plan for you!
Find your weight-loss personality
Just as each of us has different learning styles (visual, auditory, etc.), so too do we each have a dieting personality. Knowing your diet personality helps you pick the perfect diet plan for you.
- Social: You’re motivated by accountability and companionship as you lose weight. Isolation is your biggest weight-loss enemy.
- Rewards: You’re motivated by what you get—and it better not just be lost pounds. Free gifts, financial rewards, recognition—these can get the pounds off for you.
- Foodie: You don't just eat because of stress or to find comfort—you love food, period! If you’re going to lose weight and keep it off, the diet foods better taste good.
- Saver: One of your biggest incentives is saving—money, time, etc.—if you can save as you do it, you’re much more likely to lose.
- Number Cruncher: You love the numbers—especially watching them decrease. You like to keep tabs on calories burned, pounds lost, days of dieting success—if you can track it, you can lose it.
Diets for Socials
1. Spark People
Spark People is a social-based community where you track your progress on weight loss and fitness with the accountability of the group. You can also access the community resources for recipes.
- Program Cost: FREE
- Get a FREE personalized weight-loss plan: SIGN UP
- Get the FREE app: http://www.sparkpeople.com/mobile-apps.asp
- Website: http://sparkpeople.com
2. Weight Watchers
This diet allows you to eat whatever you want, within a structured point system. You can get extra support at meetings online or in person for a nominal fee.
- Program Cost: Varies by service and zip code (starts around $18/month).
- Tools: App, 24/7 e-coaching, in-person and online meetings, points and activities tracking, recipes, video series.
- Website: https://welcome.weightwatchers.com
3. Pact & Every Move (part of My Fitness Pal – see "Number Crunchers" below for details).
These two apps are part of the My Fitness Pal system, but come with the accountability and cheering section of a whole dieting community.
- Pact: Make a Pact within the app community and receive the support of the group whether you make your goal or not (you will get another chance next week!).
- Every Move: The entire Every Move community stands behind you as you pick the reward you want and work towards it.
Diets for Rewards
1. Pact & Every Move (part of My Fitness Pal – see "Number Crunchers" below for details).
These two apps are part of the My Fitness Pal system but are particularly designed to appeal to you if you’re a Rewards-based dieter.
- Pact: Make a Pact within the app community, and put money on it. If you live up to what you say you do, you get a reward (paid by members who don't).
- Every Move: Every Move tracks every move you make—literally—and rewards you with points you can redeem for gift cards and merchandise.
Diets for Foodies
1. Paleo Diet
If you love meat and veggies but aren't big on sweets, this is your go-to diet. "Paleo" is short for "paleolithic," a period in history before processed foods were even a gleam in modern culture's eye. Foodies who also have food allergies may especially enjoy this diet. You can definitely buy the books and sign up, but there are enough free resources on the website to make this a DIY-er.
- Get the FREE "3 Steps to Paleo" white paper when you join the email list: SIGN UP (Scroll down the page along the left column for the email box.)
- Get a FREE autographed book when you join as an athlete: JOIN HERE
- Website: http://thepaleodiet.com
2. Atkins Diet
Meat and fat (cheese, mayo, etc.) are allowed on this diet—carbs, not so much. This diet can easily be a DIY plan with all the free tools the website has to offer!
- Get a BOGO Coupon & $3 voucher: CLICK HERE
- FREE tools (app, online community, recipes, trackers, counters, calculator, planners): http://www.atkins.com/Free-Tools.aspx
- Website: http://www.atkins.com
3. Weight Watchers Diet (See "Socials" above for details)
Weight Watchers lets you eat what you want, within the structure of a point system. So there are no off-limits foods—important for foodies such as yourself!
Diets for Savers
1. Slimfast Diet
Slimfast is a diet that is all about saving time and calories. With shakes and bars replacing two meals per day (and plenty of savings on both during January!), you can save the time you used to use for cooking to work out, sleep, or do something else. There are plans you can purchase, but this is a diet plan you can easily do on your own just by accessing the free helps on the Slimfast website.
Diets for Number Crunchers
1. Weight Watchers (See "Socials" above for details)
As a number cruncher, you will love calculating the points this diet is based on!
2. My Fitness Pal
This app-based system is all about number crunching. In a nutshell, the app and website sync to give you running totals of your progress. Your job is to input what you eat and how much you exercise, and then the app delivers a progress report.
- Program Cost: FREE (SIGN UP HERE)
- Get the app: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/apps
- Website: http://www.myfitnesspal.com
3. Slimfast (see "Savers" above for details).
As a Number Cruncher, you will really enjoy the helpful calculators that can keep you on track for your weight loss and fitness goals. The mobile app also offers you a daily diary where you can input and analyze data to your heart's content.
Weight calculators: http://www.slimfast.com/3-2-1plan/weight-calculators/