Diets are a complicated concept, and trendy weight-loss plans always make headlines in health magazines, but don’t deliver lasting results.

Losing weight is a common goal for almost everyone, but it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. In fact, a study on weight management shows that 45 million Americans start a diet each year with the hope of improving their overall health. Since diets can influence every aspect of our lives, it’s important to understand what works best for each individual.

At Novara, we believe in the power of listening as a way to pinpoint your unique challenges and understand your history with diet and exercise.

This process starts by asking questions to uncover your current and past habits. Each person is different, and we navigate the intricacies of diets alongside you. We encourage our clients to develop an exercise plan that incorporates at least 150 minutes of cardiovascular activity into their weekly schedule. This exercise plan can take a variety of forms. Some of our healthiest patients are walkers, and we also work with patients who enjoy yoga, golf, or swimming as part of their weekly exercise regimen. We believe there’s no single, one-size-fits-all approach to exercise. Why not create a workout plan that will not only get you to exercise, but will also bring you joy in the process?

Overall, as we listen, we’re always looking for ways to guide you in your journey. Part of this guidance includes helping you evaluate your current dietary habits. How big are your portion sizes at each meal? Do you tend to snack on sweets throughout the day? These choices can all add up and may mean you’re eating more calories than you should. As simple as it sounds, one of the best ways to lose weight is to count calories. We recommend using an app like MyFitnessPal, which allows you to track and monitor your daily caloric intake.

Beyond calorie counting, the healthiest cardiovascular diet we’ve found is a whole plant-based diet. The whole plant-based diet consists of eating vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts, and avoiding animal products along with processed and artificial foods – especially those with added fats and sugars. Other diets that are successful for a wide range of individuals include the Mediterranean and Paleo diets, which introduce other types of foods into your daily meal plan. As you find the diet or lifestyle that’s right for you, we keep a close eye on your blood pressure and cholesterol to monitor how the new diet is affecting your overall health.

Ultimately, we believe that regardless of which diet or exercise plan you choose, you should also be able to enjoy life and all the beauty it brings. Changing your diet isn’t about restricting everything and robbing yourself of the simplest joys in life; for us, it’s about empowering you to consciously make changes to reach your highest level of wellness. One of the biggest reasons why diets fail is because there’s no accountability or support. Maintaining a healthy weight is tied to a lifestyle of eating well, exercising, and following a sustainable plan. With our concierge medicine approach, we have time to help you navigate your weight loss journey, providing the best opportunity for long-term success.