If you don’t choose the right diet program, you’ll set yourself up for failure. Dieting can be stressful and disappointing, but with the right plan, it doesn’t have to be. There are countless diet programs out there, including everything from the obvious to the obscene, but your weight loss success will depend on finding the program that’s perfect for you.

What works for one person may not work for another, so here’s what you need to consider before choosing a diet program:

Your Preferences: The structure of your diet program is as important as what you eat. Do you like working with a group, or do you do better on your own? Does having a group of people with the same goal keep you motivated, or does it make you feel uncomfortable? If you like groups, do you prefer in-person interactions or online support? Choose which kind of environment you feel most comfortable in, and you’re one step closer to success.

Your Budget: Before you get started with your diet program, you need to eliminate all possible excuses. Some diet plans require you to buy specific meals and supplements or pay dues to a weight-loss clinic. If you let it happen, not being able to afford those things halfway through will turn into an all-too-easy excuse for you to slack off. Make sure you do the math before making a financial commitment.

Your Past Experiences: If this isn’t the first diet program you’ve taken on, you already know a little about what works for you and what doesn’t. Think back on what you’ve already tried, and determine what you liked about those programs and what you didn’t. Be honest with yourself and consider how you felt, both physically and emotionally. Let your past mistakes lead to future weight loss.

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