Fad diets are not the best way to lose weight and keep it off. The promise of quick weight loss is what draws us in. Often you are narrowly limited to a small group of foods and you have to follow the program rigidly. You may lose a few quick pounds, but staying with the program and keeping that weight off is difficult. Another problem with these types of diets is that they may cause more harm than good. Nutrients critical for a healthy body are often missing from these diets. In fact, following a diet of less than 800 calories per day for an extended period of time has been known to lead to serious heart problems.
So, what’s the answer? It’s really about healthy lifestyle habits. Healthy habits can help you to permanently lose weight. Here are three habits that will lead to a healthier, smaller you!
Make healthy food decisions. In general, your plate should be at least half full of vegetables and fruits. Including a smaller portion of a lean protein such as fish, chicken or turkey is also a good decision. Pay attention to the amount and type of carbs you are eating, favoring natural carbs rather than processed ones. (Look for a future post on healthy carbs in your diet.)
Pay attention to portions. You don’t have to starve yourself to lose weight. But you do need to make sure you don’t overeat. Limiting your portions is the first step to controlling eating habits. Some people starting diets will go so far as using a smaller plate and even using a scale to measure food portions. I don’t think you need to go to that extreme, but deciding on portions in advance is usually a good decision. Decide on your food portions and put only that much on your plate and avoid taking another helping.
Add exercise to your daily routine. Going to the gym or joining a boot camp are great. But that’s not for everyone. Studies have repeatedly shown that simple daily exercises such as walking can have a dramatic impact on both your health and weight. Thirty minutes of moderate exercise each day can produce significant health improvements. And the thirty minutes don’t even have to be all together. You can break it down into smaller intervals.
Research has shown that safe weight loss involves combining a healthy diet with appropriate physical activity. This approach is a little slower than the fad diets (about ½ to 2 pounds per week) but results in sustained weight loss.
You’re probably asking “but is there a safe diet that I can follow?” My personal answer is yes! I have known several people who have had successes with a recently popular diet that is not a fad. I have tried the diet and it does produce weight loss. It is healthy and easy to follow. But before I tell you the name of the diet I want to make sure you that you understand that I am just sharing information. I am not promoting this diet and I have no monetary interest in recommending it. I am just pointing to it as an example of a diet that is a lifestyle choice that promotes health and wellness. It was created by a medical doctor. He has written a book about it and has a bunch of people blogging about it and sharing recipes and ideas on line. His philosophy is that he wants people to be healthy and he encourages people to share the information.
The diet has a title that makes it sound like it might be a fad diet! Don’t let that fool you. It is based on the idea that until you attain your healthy goal weight, you should periodically modify your healthy food choices in order to shift your metabolism. The name of the diet is The 17 Day Diet by Dr. Mike Moreno. I am also including a link to one of the blogs that offers some free information and also some for sale. The My 17 dd blog is not associated with the author or the book but it does offer a few free things, including a free Quick Start Guide. Or just google 17 Day Diet and see what people are saying. Again, I am including this information as a starting point if you are looking for a healthy dieting option, but there are others that are also healthy and based on real nutritional science.
Check back on Monday for my next posting: Myth #2: You have to Avoid All Carbs
Don't forget to check out the October Special.
To your health!