Everyday thousands of people go on or off a diet. There are hundreds of these regulated courses of eating and drinking plans circulating the planet at any one time.

Atkins, Miami Beach, Raw Food (with many variations), High Carb, High Protein, Low Carb, Blood Type. Take your pick. Typically, a new variant surfaces for a time and retains the fad crown until the next great sensation hits the media.

But do they work?
Based on the increasing waistlines in the Western world, especially North America, evidently they do not.

My suggestion for success in the battle of the bulge stems from a multi-layered approach that begins with changing one’s thinking first. Let’s call the alteration of your eating and drinking patterns something other than a diet, which has a negative and short-term connotation.

I like to refer to my culinary habits as the Positive Eating Plan (PEP).

What is a Positive Eating Plan?
It is a regimen that begins in your mind and manifests in your behaviors. The key tenets are vision, ‘positivity’, and choice. Too many diets are based on restriction (negativity) and ‘have-to’s’ and should-based thinking.

I find that true change comes from within. But how does that begin?
Inspiration is a good start. And that can come from within you or from the external world.
Next, comes vision. What is the vision you have for yourself? Your life (including your weight)?

Formulate that answer and your well on your way to transformation.

The mental part begins by realizing that no one has ever accidentally eaten anything. Yup, that’s right. Awareness is essential. Every time something enters your mouth, you must be conscious. By being conscious you empower yourself to choose whether to continue to eat or not. Of course, this decision should be based on your previously established (written) vision.

Positive Eating Plans require work on your part. There is no ideal diet for everyone, though many diet promoters would like you to believe otherwise. You must find what foods lead you to the quality of life you desire and envision.

For instance, becoming a raw foodist may be right for cousin John, but not for you.

Quick fixes (aka, diets) to weight issues are usually less than satisfying, both in food selections and results. Most dieters regain the weight lost within a few months because they have not reprogrammed their thinking, thus their embedded behaviors remain in the unconscious.

Does exercise help?
Yes, but exercise alone rarely produces the loss in pounds that people desire. Nevertheless, merely walking is a great way to burn some calories, especially those fat pounds.

Personally, in this day and age, I don’t think you can walk too much (unless such action causes more serious pain). However, build up your endurance slowly. Start with 12 minutes, if you can. Then, simply add 10 percent per week.

Finding the Positive Eating Plan for you may take some investigation and definitely taking responsibility for your dietary health and well-being. There are many resources available for enhancing your nutrition IQ. For instance, Eating Right for Your Blood Type books may offer helpful information to guide you, but should not be seen as the ‘answer’.

Seeking help from a certified Nutritional Counselor is a wise decision, rather than just trying someone else’s idea or the latest celebrity diet. Choose a counselor that is not selling any particular diet or plan.

Remember: honor your uniqueness and find the foods and beverages that make up your Positive Eating Plan.

Try it! Put a little PEP in your step today.

Author's Bio: 

Geoffrey is an author of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. He writes features for print and online publications, such as Iron Horse Magazine and Law Enforcement Technology.