It seems every time you sit in front of the TV or computer, open up a magazine or talk to a friend, there is a new diet pill or fad that you just have to try. It’s no secret that our society has issues revolving around overeating and obesity, but fad diets and promising pills are not usually the answer. Often times they result in re-gained weight and have a lot of unanswered questions about the effects they have on your body.
What you need is a diet that works for specifically for you. Everyone is different, from his or her race to their gender and genes, and what works for your best friend won’t necessarily work for you. Diets don’t have to be scary – they are simply a way of living a healthy, happy life and loving your body!
Keys to a Successful Diet
Before you begin any diet, there are a couple things you need to keep in mind.
- Dieting does not equal starvation! The key is BALANCE and including foods from each food group.
- Set small goals for yourself. Don’t expect to wake up the next day and feel like a new person. It will take time for your body to adjust. So, on your calendar put weekly or bi-weekly goals so you can mark your progress.
- Portion your food. All you have to do is look at a fast food restaurant to realize that our portion sizes are way too big. Your body doesn’t actually need that much. The body is an amazing instrument that will let you know when it has sufficient energy to keep you going. By portioning food out ahead of time, you save yourself the temptation of eating more and won’t over-indulge.
- Eat smaller meals throughout the day. Like portioning, this will help you stay full throughout the day and not overeat or snack on junk food. Sliced fruit or vegetables can make a wonderfully sweet treat that will erase your cravings.
- Read labels and reduce fat intake. If you take the time to read the nutritional facts you will find out amazing things! Once you recognize which foods (generally processed) contain harmful saturated and trans-fat, you will be able to cut back and consume beneficial fatty acids (fish, nuts, olive oil, etc.) Make sure that your fat intake is not above 30% per day.
- Plan Ahead. If you wait till you are at the grocery store or restaurant to decide what you want, chances are you will give in to temptation. Make a weekly meal plan and grocery list and check out restaurant menus online to see what low-fat options they offer.
- Have fun and explore. This is your opportunity to branch out and try new things! Add color and variety to your diet through different vegetables and fruits. Berries, Butternut Squash, Mangos, whole-grain wild rice, salmon and so many more foods are just waiting to be tasted by you. And the best part? They taste delicious and will make your body feel amazing!
The key to dieting is loving yourself, your body and the new habits you’re learning! Take advantage of the opportunity to diet right and change your lifestyle once and for all.