It seems like everyone is looking for the best diet. How can you choose the right one?
A diet — or better yet, a plan to eat better, should be a way to learn skills to feed yourself well for the rest of your life.When determining whether a diet is a good choice for you, ask these questions:
- Is this a plan to change your eating habits for a lifetime or a “quick fix” to lose pounds and then go back to “eating normally?” Permanent weight loss and good health are both based on a well balanced diet. Using tricks to drop pounds and then expecting them to stay away when you resume your regular (and most likely less than healthy) eating pattern is unreasonable and will set you up for disappointment and dangerous yo-yoing of your weight. Choose a diet plan which trains you to eat healthfully for life.
- Does it revolve around a “miracle” food or supplement? There are no magic potions, pills, or foods to maintaining a healthy weight? Good health comes from eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and low fat protein.
- Is the plan filled with “nevers”? You can never have carbs, sweets, bread, cheese, etc. Deprivation will make you less likely to stick to the plan. Choose a plan that allows you to deal with the occasional treat, slice of pizza, or whatever you fancy. Unless you have a food allergy, avoiding whole categories of foods is not productive.
- Does it mention the word “starvation”? A healthy eating plan allows you to eat lots of food – good food with lots of fiber which forces your body to work to digest it. Getting your metabolism fired up to burn calories and fat is the key. Starving your body will cause your metabolism to slow down, setting you up for failure when you resume eating normally.
- Does it promise weight loss without exercise? Again, getting your metabolism fired up is they key – so if you aren’t moving your body it isn’t going to work long-term.
- Does it rely on pre-packaged processed foods? Unless you plan to eat these meals for the rest of your life, you aren’t learning how to feed yourself well. In addition, packaged foods contain chemicals and additives your body doesn’t need and can’t use. The best foods to eat are fresh. Choose a plan which emphasizes fresh meals and limits added salt, sugar, preservatives and chemicals.
- Is the plan complicated? Is the plan which requires complicated calorie counting going to fit into your busy day? Find a plan that works simply and fits into your lifestyle. Healthy eating isn’t complicated. The trick is to move around each day and develop good habits and strategies for choosing what you put in your mouth.
Find an eating plan that works for you, and remember:
Life is not about perfection. It’s about moving in the right direction.
Start moving in the direction of a more healthy you by choosing the right diet!
Eliz Greene works busy people to improve heart health, so they can work well, feel better, and stress less.
She is a heart attack survivor and the author of the Busy Woman’s Guide to a Healthy Heart as well as 3 other books on wellness. She writes one of the top 50 health and wellness blogs and is a sought-after heart health, stress management, & wellness speaker.
If you are planning a women’s wellness program, workplace wellness program or programs for healthcare professionals check out EmbraceYourHeart.com to see if Eliz would be a good fit with your organization.