Here at Mediplan Diet Services, we understand the very personal nature of a weight loss journey.

For instance, a low-carb, high-protein diet combined with a daily high-energy aerobic workout may be what I need to reach my goal in a healthy and timely manner, but perhaps cutting out red meat, adding a Mediplan multivitamin supplement, and enjoying a twice-weekly jog may be better for you.

Around here, we pride ourselves on helping you finding – and sticking to – a health and fitness plan customized for you.

That being said, there are certainly more than a few tips that transcend customization and can help everyone trying to lose weight and get healthy.

Rule #1 – Set Out Your Guidelines

If you’re following a vegetarian diet, be clear with yourself exactly what that means. Do you eat fish, for instance? How about eggs? Do you make sure the cheese you buy is vegetarian? There aren’t right or wrong answers here – and yours will probably depend on your reasons for adopting a vegetarian diet.

You can ask yourself similar questions about veganism and raw foodism – where are you drawing the lines?

For those trying to lose weight, you might want to forbid certain foods some or all of the time. For example, you might decide that you’ll only eat chocolate on weekends, or that you’ll avoid full-fat cheese altogether. (Tip: don’t try to be too restrictive – many weight-loss dieters find this is counter-productive as it can lead to binging.)

Rule #2 – Record What You Eat

If you’re struggling to stay committed to your diet, recording what you eat is a great way to keep on track. You don’t need to keep an elaborate diary or journal: in some cases, you might simply tick days on the calendar when you’ve stuck to your guidelines.

Keeping a log of your eating patterns can also help you to identify particular times or situations that tend to knock your commitment to your diet. Perhaps you always end up eating fatty, salty processed foods with a particular group of friends, or maybe you tend to succumb to candy in the afternoons.

Rule #3 – Join With Like-Minded Friends

There are thousands of groups, both physical and virtual, for all sorts of different diets. You could find a local vegetarian, vegan or raw food association, and attend meetings: if your friends and family don’t support your diet, this is a great way to surround yourself with people who do. If you can’t meet up locally, try looking for forums or email groups online.

If you’re on a weight loss journey, you might find that attending a local club helps you to stay committed – especially as most have weigh-ins! Weight Watchers is the best-known chain of clubs, but there are plenty of other options, so hunt around for something that suits you. And always remember us here at Meiplan Diet Services. We’re here to provide structure, offer motivation and accountability and keep you inspired.

Rule #4 – Make Gradual Changes

In some cases, overhauling your diet instantly isn’t going to be realistic. You can get healthier and lose weight by making incremental changes – you don’t have to be “perfect”.

And in many cases, you need to take it slowly for the sake of your health. If you want to be a raw foodist but currently eat an omnivorous, mainly cooked, diet, your body will need time to adjust gradually: don’t try to switch to 100% raw food overnight:

An abrupt change to a raw food diet can cause detoxifying symptoms such as weight loss and a lowering of blood pressure. It is best to gradually transition to a raw food diet by including more fruits and vegetables in the daily diet and gradually decreasing the amount of cooked foods.

Whatever weight loss plan you determine is right for you, execute with these tips in mind to make it as effective as possible.