Ditch the Dieting; Head toward Healthy Eating. Fad diets are out of style. There are all sorts of different diets that people are willing try and it is actually quite scary. It’s frightening that so many people are misinformed and fall for the conflicting information, testimonials, and hype of what turns out to just be confusing. The reality is simple, ‘if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.’
Here are some common red flags to avoid:
- This magic pill will ensure weight loss. There is no pill out there that melts fat without requiring any effort.
- Fad diets that include rapid weight loss. Typically, these tend to be satisfactory for individuals because they see quick results but this is not sustainable. You’re more likely to regain the weight, plus some, over time.
- Rigid menus. Diets that include an unlimited amount of food are not healthy, as well as those that are restrictive. For example, restricting carbohydrates is not the best practice for long term weight loss. Don’t overcomplicate it, life is already complicated. Stick to what is realistic for long term.
- The diets that tell you there is no need to exercise. Exercise is important not only for weight loss, but it also builds muscle and is overall healthy for your mental health, in addition to your physical health.
Instead, focus on small changes that include overall healthier eating habits:
- Focus on balance – incorporate a wide variety of food into your diet. Include a moderate amount from all food groups: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, low-fat or fat-free dairy, and lean protein. Choosing foods that are nutrient rich will fuel your body properly and also reduce the risk of disease.
- Keep moderation front of mind – portion control is key. Aim to create half your plate filled with fruits and vegetables. In addition, make at least half your grains – whole grains, vary your protein sources, sticking with lean protein choices, and choosing low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
- Plan for 3-6 small meals/day – don’t eat your daily calorie consumption in one meal. Space out your meals into smaller portions more frequently throughout the day so you don’t get too hungry and overeat.
- Hydrate properly – calories from beverages can sneak up on you without even realizing it. Strive to drink half your weight in ounces of water and stay away from sugar-filled beverages. Spice up your water by infusing it with fruit for more flavor, the longer the fruit sits, the more flavor you will taste!
- Exercise – stay active for 30-60 minutes at least 5x/week. This will promote calorie burn and assist in building muscle.
If these tips are overwhelming, Bellin Health Fitness Center offers one-on-one nutrition counseling with our knowledgeable Registered Dietitian, Lee Hyrkas.
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