Should You Try A Free Diet Plan?
One major obstacle when it comes to beginning a diet plan can be the cost. Most of the major weight loss operations are for-profit businesses and, while they will want you to succeed, they will also want to make money from you. That’s not a bad thing, it is a way of life, but for many people just the cost of the food involved with a weight loss plan can be major obstacles.
Free Diet Plan Versus Paid Diet Plan
This cost issue can lead to many dieters taking advantage of free or complimentary weight loss plans. These are easily found online and many are well designed and can be effective. Deciding if you should use one of these free plans can be a difficult decision. Most of the plans may seem like they are well thought out but you have to be a bit cynical when you look at them. Some may rely on questionable science. A good example of this would be the grapefruit diet that was a fad a few years ago. Sounded good, didn’t work and many people ended up with digestive issues.
A second red flag to watch for would be the plan’s action to address lifestyle changes, not just a few dietary changes. In other words, is that free diet plan helping you to change bad habits, improve your vitamin and nutrient intake and helping you to become more physically active. If the plan is just a collection of low calorie meals you probably won’t be happy with the end result. Yes, it was free, but are you better off at the end of the plan than you were at the beginning?
There is no reason that you can’t find and follow a solid, healthy and effective free weight loss plan. Here are a few suggestions to help you weed out the good from the not-so-good plans:
Is It A Weight Loss Strategy Or Gimmick
To be successful, your goal must be a combination of long term weight loss, improved overall health and an increased energy. All three areas are important and take different actions to achieve. A short term weight loss will make you feel good about what you have done, but you will feel awful if you gain that weight back soon after. You can dramatically improve your blood pressure, lower your cholesterol, delay or eliminate signs of diabetes and even avoid some types of cancer by improving your diet and adding exercise to your routine. If you don’t take advantage of this opportunity when you are committed to your plan you will miss out on the obvious overall health benefits that are available to you. Make sure that your free weight loss plan can help you reach these goals. Each plan should contain some variation of these rules:
- A smart and healthy diet plan will always stress reducing calories. It is simple math-you need to burn more calories than you consume. Some plans will eliminate certain kinds of calories but these can result in more short term rather than long term losses of weight.
- Every plan must include some physical activity on a regular basis. Every study done to examine weight loss has shown that your body is more efficient at losing weight and keeping it off when diet is combined with regular exercise. This does not mean you have to hit the gym 6 times a week for 2 hours at a time. It means that you need to add at least 30 minutes of cardio friendly exercise at least 4 times a week. Burning 100 additional calories per day can mean a loss of up to 2 pounds per month.
- Slow and steady must be your mantra. Healthy weight loss is going to be around 1-3 pounds per week, anything more than that can be difficult to maintain. One issue with some of the free weight plans is that they emphasis a larger weight gain in the first few weeks, mostly to keep you involved. Because you aren’t paying for all of the apps and website pages to keep you interested daily with your diet, the freebies try to get you to lose weight faster, hoping to keep you from getting bored.
- Make sure that the free plan is acknowledging the need for medical or professional advice. Every person is different and every health situation is different. Common sense should tell you to check with your doctor before making any major lifestyle plans, but this does get overlooked often with free weight loss plans.
- Is there a plan for continuing weight loss? Does the plan address issues that can arise after you have reached your weight loss goal? What does the plan suggest for an exercise routine as you get older? You are trying to achieve long term weight loss and long term better health, you need your plan to help you with these goals.
- Is it a gimmick plan? Does the free diet plan rely on pills or creams? Maybe you can get a one or 2 pound weight loss with a diet pill, but odds are the pills won’t have any effect on your weight. If the plan is an all or nothing plan you will need to research the safety of the plan. Does the plan consist of all fruits and vegetables? That type of plan can be fine but there are nutritional issues that need to be addressed. If the plan is a low carb but high fat diet you will need to make sure this is acceptable to your health situation. Do the research.
It’s Okay To Question Why The Plan Is Free
Knowing the answers to some basic questions is a good starting point if you are considering a free diet plan. Ask these questions and make sure you are comfortable with the answers.
- What exactly is included? Is the plan a set of recipes or are there meal plans? Make sure that there are explanations for each step of the plan. Don’t just accept that what is being presented is the proper course of action.
- Watch for any red flags that might indicate some risk. Check the meal plans to make sure that the nutritional value of the food is right. Does the fitness plan work for your situation? A 60 year old should not be following the same workout plan that a 30 year old is using.
- Is this plan really free? Far too often a weight loss plan that is advertised as free will end up costing the user money. The first section of the plan was free but any follow up involves a charge. Some of the free plans will offer their own meals and snacks and will push you very hard to buy their products. You are looking for a free plan that is actually free.
- Search online and find out what type of results other users have had with the program. It can be hard to slog through some review sites but many people are very willing to be honest in their reviews. The reviews that are listed on the plan’s website are carefully chosen, those may not be the best resource for you.
Are there any free weight loss plans that are healthy, safe and effective? Yes, but you will need to do your research. Cost is not the main factor in deciding if a diet plan will work, nor does paying for a plan make it more effective than a free plan. In the end the effectiveness of the plan will depend on you. If you have chosen a plan that can lead to long term weight loss and better overall health you have already reached half of your goal.