This can be a difficult question to answer for a lot of reasons and the answer really varies based on a lot of different factors. It’s true that structured diets are great for beginner dieters, but transitioning away from them and into your own more personalized weight loss plan is a lot like learning to take stronger “baby steps” and learning to walk along on your own.
Let’s take a look at some signs that you’re starting to become ready to step away from your structured diet and towards something more personalized to your needs.
The first big sign that your structured diet isn’t work is, well, that it isn’t working anymore. A lot of structured diets (particular “fad” type diets) tend to advertise flashy early results because their methods can promise them right away. The biggest problem with these kinds of methods is that they tend to run out of steam right away. Even with structured diets that stay with you a while, the same methods will only work for so long before you hit plateaus that will be tough to break without a more personalized plan. If you notice your weight loss falling off or simply not reaching reasonable goals you set for yourself, it might be time to think about moving on.
Another sign that you should start thinking about the future of your weight loss with a more personalized plan is simply feeling bored or trapped in a routine. Weight loss is all about a journey towards becoming healthier, any time you feel trapped or frustrated (whether from lack of progress or a feeling of boredom from repetition) might be a good time to consider your options. Personalized weight loss plans are all about flexibly adapting to your situation and making changes that work the best for you. If one method isn’t feeling like it’s working or you’re not feeling comfortable with it then it’s definitely time to look at other options, which can mean you’re ready to start building your own plan.
Remember that by using a structured diet to jumpstart your weight loss, you’re making a commitment to transfer to a more personalized plan that’s meant to help you in the long-run. Go into your structured diet with the mentality that, while it will be useful to begin with, your ultimate goal is a permanent, sustainable lifestyle that promotes the healthy living that you’ve always dreamed of. Don’t get caught up with early progress and forget your final goal before you’ve really even started!