With the New Year behind us, how is that new diet working for you? If it’s not something you can follow for a lifetime, chances are it won’t help you maintain your hard-earned weight loss. A successful diet plan will have certain characteristics to help users lose weight and keep it off.

There is no shortage of diets that promise instant gratification. But many diets do just the opposite: they cause more damage – physically and mentally – in the long run.

The latest and greatest diet products and plans often lack adequate education or counseling to help users maintain the results they achieve. This creates “yo-yo dieters” who keep coming back for more help when the weight comes back.

When you are looking for a diet plan, ask yourself these key questions:

Does it fit my lifestyle?

I often remind my clients that losing weight is a lifestyle, not a quick fix. What works for one person might be a poor fit for another. Consequently, I never recommend the same plan for any two of my clients.

Before you start a diet, assess its compatibility with your lifestyle. Does it require you to prepare and eat every meal at home, but you travel for work and eat out often? Do you hate the “allowed” foods? A plan that fits your lifestyle will help you develop realistic, healthful habits you can follow for a lifetime.

What behavior changes will I need to make?

At the beginning of your weight-loss journey you might be bursting at the seams with willpower. But that’s only one piece of the puzzle. You need to commit to restructure your environment and influences for sustained success. The combination of lifestyle change and behavior modification is what will keep you going when the going gets tough.

Who will support and counsel me during my weight-loss journey?

Ready to choose a plan? A registered dietitian will give you the education, resources and problem-solving skills it takes to start your journey. She will motivate you when your resolve falters and hold you accountable with regular weigh-ins and consultations.

Your New Weigh to Live, a medically managed weight-loss program offered by Memorial Health Bariatrics, provides these necessary components to prepare you for success. It is supervised by a collaborative medical team that includes a physician, a registered dietitian, a licensed counselor and a fitness expert.

The 14-week educational program includes a plan to help you change your eating habits, based on your personal metabolic and physical needs. You’ll also learn new cooking skills and how to incorporate menu planning and meal preparation into your daily routine.

To learn more about Your New Weigh to Live, call 912-350-2168 or visit bariatrics.memorialhealth.com.

Chloe Paddison is a registered dietitian with Memorial Health Bariatrics. She supervises Your New Weigh to Live, a 14-week medically managed weight-loss program.