How to Choose a Healthy Diet
Over the years, we have reviewed some of the more popular weight loss programs available. There are good and bad things in each of them. And while the reviews might have told you more about a particular program, they don't tell you how to choose a program that will work for you.
It's especially difficult when diet books throw out wild claims with little regard for scientific scrutiny. Some of these companies will say anything to get you to hand over your money.
There is an easier way.
The American Heart Association has put together a series of guidelines that everyone should use to select a diet. I have condensed them for you here. Carefully consider each of these before settling on a diet you can live with.
- The food plan should include your current eating habits, available local dishes and personal preferences. For example, the peanut-butter diet wouldn't be a good choice for people allergic to nuts, and a vegetarian diet would probably fail if you were a meat lover.
- You should be able to set realistic goals. Weight loss of 1 or 2 pounds a week is considered reasonable and healthy. Any diet that promises "You will lose 10 pounds in 10 days" is putting your health at risk.
- Learn what foods are healthy and why. By becoming more nutritionally aware, you can make healthier choices in unfamiliar situations like when dining out or when you're traveling. This is critical for long-term weight loss.
- Exercise must be included. Walking, biking, dancing, weight training, swimming and hundreds of other activities should be encouraged. When you exercise, you burn more calories, build muscle and lose fat. The reliance on dieting alone is only half the equation.
- Any program you chose must take into account your particular health risks and requirements. A one-size-fits-all approach can be dangerous. The diet you choose should be specific to your physical requirements and limitations. This is especially important for people who have a chronic illness or are on medications.
- Decide if you can make the change alone or if you work better in a group. If you need external motivation, consider commercial programs where participants meet regularly to give advice and encouragement. If you work better one-on-one, look into the services of a dietitian and personal trainer.
- Reject any programs that offer easy access to prescription weight loss drugs or special nutritional supplements. These drugs should only be used with strict medical supervision on people that are more than 20 percent or higher over their ideal weight.
- If the program stresses pre-packaged foods, decide right away if you want to buy them for the rest of your life. Pre-packaged makes things easier, but many people put the weight back on once they stop the program.
- If you join a commercial program, make sure it can deliver on its promises. You should ask to see studies that show that the program can help people keep weight off long-term. Get written proof of the program's effectiveness, not just testimonials. You should see rigorous scientific studies, preferably more than one, done over a minimum of 5 to 10 years.
Now, if only there were someplace where all the major diets were reviewed. Oh wait! There is! Simply click on the DIET REVIEWS button on the menu or CLICK HERE. You'll see all the major diets, from Atkins to Zone, scrutinized.
My reviews are not for the faint-hearted. I tell you exactly what is good, bad and ugly about each of the programs. Many are so seriously flawed; they can actually be dangerous to your health. By learning this information upfront, you can avoid weeks (or months) of fruitless efforts at weight control.
Call for a FREE Consultation (305) 296-3434
CAUTION: Check with your doctor before
beginning any diet or exercise program.