The word diet here refers to your normal eating patterns, not to limiting calories or food categories to lose weight. In general, we all know the best foods for us to eat but at times we tend to go overboard in our choices. It may be that we get in the habit of eating convenient, fast food for too long, or we try a fad diet and after the initial weight loss we experience, we find it difficult to maintain.

When we no longer like the appearance of our bodies and would like to lose weight (or gain weight) it’s tempting to jump on the band wagon of a popular method. However, when you have a goal for what you want to do, serious and deliberate thought needs to go into how you will attain that goal and, perhaps even more important, how you will maintain the weight once you reach your goal.

Whether losing weight, gaining weight, or maintaining weight, success will depend on how sustainable your diet is. That means you need to think long and hard before you begin one to determine if it is something you can do for the long run—possibly the rest of your life.