You have heard of all the fad diets and quick tips this world offers.
Frankly, if it’s out there, you’ve probably already seen it and tried it.
There are so many options when it comes to weight loss, which can make it really hard to choose the right option on your own.
You have your pick of popular diets:
You name it.
You've decided to pursue better health. So what's next?
You find yourself unimpressed and unconvinced that these fad diets are the answer and nothing you have tried seems to work.
These days, an easy do-it-yourself diet is a dime a dozen, and you find yourself going through misery with few tangible results.
You may have heard of people having success with a weight loss coach, but could it be true?
Here at OnPoint, we serve clients every day just like you who are coming to us to lose weight. We have helped over 3,000 people who were frustrated by the diet culture rollercoaster and were sick of struggling to take care of themselves with the steps they need to see results in their weight and health.
By the end of this article, you will understand what a do-it-yourself diet has to offer and how it compares to the personalized attention of hiring a weight loss coach.
What is a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Diet Plan?
As the name suggests, a diet plan is a strategy you follow to manage your weight or a medical condition. Typically a diet plan will outline specific foods to eat and designate acceptable, per-meal amounts.
Diet plans are in no way a new concept. They have reappeared in culture in unique (and often absurd) forms.
You could find yourself with inconvenient and even harmful methods to dieting madness. Common dieting styles will have you eating every meal packed with just one food group and missing others, others would have you cut out a group entirely, and you may even find yourself toting a scale around everywhere you go.
These diet plans are simply not worth the long term stress on your body and your lifestyle.
Strictly Measured Meal Plans
You may find a specific diet plan that asks you to measure items you consume in plain and weighed amounts.
For instance, a daily recommended meal might consist of the following specific measurements:
- 1 cup of steamed broccoli
- 4 ounces of chicken
- ¼ cup of cooked brown rice
- ¼ cup sliced apples
- 3 oz Greek yogurt
These meal plans focus on precisely measured ingredients to a meal because of the time spent measuring and planning; these meal plans are often stressful and inconvenient.
Additionally, this leaves little room for spontaneity and doesn't account for scenarios where you are not carrying a food scale in your back pocket.
They make traveling and meal planning much more complicated and, let's face it, much more boring than it has to be.
The Restrictive Diet: Add this or Subtract That.
Speaking of boring: another form of dieting you may come across might focus on entirely adding or removing a specific food group or item.
The entire premise of these diets is that by exclusively adding a specific food to your diet or excluding food from your diet, you will reach the weight loss goals beyond your wildest dreams.
Some favorite food groups that are excluded from popular diets include:
These diets purport you will reach your goal weight by eliminating one or more food groups.
Isn't this sad? No more Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches?
Well, I, for one, will eventually cave to that goodness. And chances are, you will surrender to something too.
The problem with exclusion diets is that life happens, and depriving yourself of food groups is not only bad for you but also not sustainable long-term.
Similarly, some diets call for you to add food groups to your diet excessively or worse - have your diet consist exclusively of specific items, such as:
You will recognize many of these concepts in popular diets such as Paleo, Atkins, and Keto.
Just like depriving yourself of a food group, having too much of a particular group can also create anomalies in your health because you are not getting the balanced nutrition you need.
Some people will find short-term success in these restrictive, unbalanced paths of dieting, but it will always be short-lived and unhealthy.
The bottom line is that neither style of dieting is beneficial, productive, or sustainable; once these diets have reached the plateau and life returns to normal, the weight returns.
And sometimes, the weight even returns with a vengeance.
Finally, the famous calorie-limiting diet.
Essentially, no matter what you eat, exceeding a specified number of calories per day is taboo if you are genuinely dedicated to shedding some pounds.
As you can imagine, this removes the focus on actual nutrition.
Hitting appropriate amounts of each food group is essential to bodily functions and key processes in homeostasis.
If your diet is out of wack, chances are your entire body will be out of wack too.
You may have gotten all your calories in for the day, but often it's at the expense of meeting essential vitamin and mineral needs for healthy bodily functions.
Diet Plans Focus on Quantity over Quality
Our culture is obsessed with speed and convenience.
Naturally, diet plans follow suit. We are confronted with new fad diets that promise to help us lose 30 lbs fast. Often with little more effort than eating papayas for 30 days straight.
Limiting what you eat and when you eat is a red herring that many dieters, unfortunately, fall for and find themselves missing the mark regarding their weight loss goals.
Like the piles of papayas, most of these diets are silly, don't work, and don't last if they do.
Advantages of Diet Plans
Do-it-yourself diet plans can be more convenient than taking a leap of faith in working with a weight loss coach.
Fad diets are famous for their big promises and "super success stories." With all of this "hopium," it's understandable why so many people have turned to the do-it-yourself model.
Some advantages to doing it yourself may include the following:
- Time commitment
If your time or funds are limited, a do-it-yourself diet may be your answer.
Disadvantages of Diet Plans
While diet plans require less time and money, they are often less personalized.
A diet plan is not usually something you interact with but a strict methodology you follow.
The disadvantages of a diet plan include the following:
- Little to no personalization
- No consideration for life events
- The restrictiveness of dieting strategy
- Personal Accountability
Unlike a weight loss coach, diet plans cannot help you work through the struggles of staying on track with unexpected life events.
They will not help you through the death of a loved one or keep you motivated despite that extra large piece of cake at the birthday party.
Diet plans are just something to follow. They cannot lead you.
What is Personalized Weight Loss Coaching?
Personal weight loss coaching is when you hire a professional who has ideally been trained in the science of nutrition or dietetics to help you reach your weight loss goals.
Your weight loss coach might help you in a variety of ways, such as:
- Creating a meal plan
- Introducing you to new recipes
- Supporting your goals
- Helping you to be accountable
- Celebrating victories
Advantages of Weight Loss Coaching
One of the most significant advantages of having a personal weight loss coach is that you have prioritized attention to your weight loss goal.
Your coach knows your circumstances and challenges and may adjust their guidance to your scheduling, health, and lifestyle requirements.
Having a personal weight loss coach means you have someone as committed to seeing you reach your objectives as you are.
In addition to being personalized, you may find that having a weight loss coach improves the quality of your goals, making them easier to accomplish and driving your motivation with each victory.
If you hire a great weight loss coach, you will find that you have hired a qualified expert who knows how to teach good nutrition and improve your diet along with simply losing the weight you want.
Disadvantages of Weight Loss Coaching
There are very few drawbacks to having a weight loss coach. Overall, there is a time and financial commitment which may not be suitable for everyone.
Hiring a weight loss coach means you have to plan the time to meet with them in your schedule.
As busy professionals, we understand that sometimes, it may be hard to set aside the time for your health. But trust us, it's worth it.
Weight-loss- coach and dietitian pricing may vary from company to company, and fortunately, some major insurance plans cover part or all of the expense.
However, if you find that your program is not covered by insurance, you might have an out-of-pocket cost you are unprepared for.
Check out our OnPoint Nutrition blog, where you can read more about how much you can expect a weight loss coach like a dietitian to cost.
Is Weight Loss Coaching or a Diet Plan Best for You?
We know it may still be tempting to go the road that everyone seems to take, but we recommend you avoid the frustration of these fads.
By now, you have had a chance to digest what it might be like participating in a well-known do-it-yourself diet versus hiring a great weight loss coach.
At OnPoint Nutrition, we have helped thousands of clients like you who are frustrated with the fad diets and left disappointed after totally falling for their over-promising.
Diet plans can't do it all. Hiring a weight loss coach may be the best decision you have ever made.
If you want to learn more about how a weight loss coach can help you lose weight, check out our blog here.
We can't wait to see you reach your goals.
Abby Aikens is a Content Manager who works with OnPoint Nutrition to spread the word about better health. With an arsenal of Dietitians and Nutritionists at her finger tips, Abby aids the mission of improving access to valuable information about how nutrition can change lives. Abby knows well the power of good nutrition and believes in the mission of OnPoint to educate and bring better health to their clients.