I remember the first time I decided to start a diet, I was 16 and someone at a Model agency told me I would have looked better few pound less. How can you say something like this to a 16 year old girl? That was bad enough to make me flip out about my body image. I found a book my mom had at home: the ATKINS Diet. That has been my first diet ever. From the beginning I felt dieting as a torture. Wait, so no more bread and Nutella??? Oh Lord...
Anyway, ten years later I'm still dealing with food control but I got over the concept of "diet". The way I see it now it's either "Competition" or "Maintenance" clean eating. The main difference between the two is:
-overall calories (C is approx HALF of M)
-amount of carbs and fat (more carbs and fat in M)
- weighting food (I don't generally weight food in M, just few items)
If I want to get really shredded, from M I can gradually switch to C and get results in few weeks. The way I'm eating in M is always healthy (I never eat crap, the worst I can have is sushi or pizza, and it happens very rarely). I have more carbs as in pumpkins, brown rice, yams, rice cakes etc and fat from nut butters, pistachios, avocado. Alternating between the two plans makes me healthier, recover better, get stronger and I enjoy my life more.
So it's important you decide first what you're looking to get from a dietary regimen and how long, how strict you wanna keep it. It has to be a lifestyle, and it must fit your routine. Remember life is not black or white, go hard or go home ALL the times. Start with something reasonable, that you can follow and make adjustments on the way. Small changes are what make the difference in the end!
It's easy to read articles and magazines, print out diet plan after diet plan and sticking to none. I know many people do that... Also, do not get frustrated if someone is doing great and you're doing miserable on the same diet. Food choices are very individual.
My advice is: pick few healthy items you LIKE and make your own diet. Practice portion control on carbs and fat, be free to have as many veggies as you want and enough good lean protein. Stay away from too much fruit, processed food, saturated fat and sugars. Keep things as simple as you can while being creative in the kitchen. Do not eat out too often!