Healthy eating is one of the most difficult behaviors to adopt as part of a healthy lifestyle. With so much focus on weight in our society, it isn’t surprising that millions of people fall prey to fad diets and bogus weight loss products. Conflicting claims, testimonials, and hype by so-called “experts” can confuse even the most informed consumers. The bottom line is simple – if a diet or product sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Take a look at some popular fad diets, and weigh the pros and cons. Then look at true weight loss principles and individual responses, learning to understand them with an activity. As yourwellness coach, I will be able to help you navigate through this process to find the right nutrition plan for you:
STICK TO THE BASICS
- Eat a variety of minimally processed foods. Include lean proteins, complex carbohydrates (whole grains, fruits, and vegetables), and “good” fats found in fish, avocados, nuts, and olive oil.
- Say no to bad fats. Minimize how much saturated fat you get, and eliminate trans fats by avoiding fried foods, processed snacks, and fast-food products you eat.
- Get five a day. Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Choose different colors of fruits and vegetables to ensure optimal nutrition.
- Fill up on the good stuff. Load up on low-calorie vegetables and lean meats like fish instead of high-fat or processed foods.
- Avoid “empty calories.” Steer clear of sugar containing sodas and fruit drinks.
FAD DIETS EXPLAINED
- PRO: Eliminates the addiction to carbohydrates by eliminating them; no counting portions; controls glucose.
- CON: Cutting out entire macro-nutrients makes it an unbalanced diet; missing calcium; can lead to dehydration.
Paleolithic Diet (Paleo):
- PRO: Includes an abundance of vitamins and minerals; simple diet; no processed foods.
- CON: Difficult to maintain; gets very expensive; may sometimes include too much protein from meat.
Raw Food Diet:
- PRO: Eliminates processed foods and concentrates on fresh produce; includes lots of fiber and antioxidants.
- CON: Nutritionally deficient without supplements; not safe for children and pregnant women due to possible digestion issues.
- PRO: Flexible to fit vacations and other circumstances; teaches portion control.
- CON: Too much flexibility and temptation to over-eat; can use up points with sugary foods as opposed to nutritious options.
Fad diets may help you lose weight quickly, but that weight is just as quick to return once you go back to your old eating habits. These diets fail to teach you good, sustainable eating habits that last a lifetime. Instead, concentrate on sustainability. This is not a “diet,” but a way of eating that includes a wide variety of nutritious options.
FOOD AND YOUR FEELINGS
One area that often gets overlooked is one’s own genetic and environmental individuality. Our ability to process and handle food
is different, and our bodies will often tell us what it ‘thinks’ about a particular meal.
Consider the following symptoms 1-3 hours after eating to help determine what foods and portions are right for you. Talk with your coach about adjusting your food or ratio of carbs to protein and fat if you experience any of the following:
- Stomach Ache
- Uncomfortable fullness
- Excessive thirst
- Mental fogginess
- Sore throat