With all of the dieting tips out there, it’s difficult to always know how to stay on the right track. While there are definitely plenty of great tips to follow, there’s also a lot of bad advice out there. So how do you decipher the good from the bad? Here are ten tips to help you create a diet plan that will have you feeling leaner and healthier—without falling prey to bad suggestions.
Healthy Fat. This might sound like an oxymoron since we live in a culture that is afraid of fat, but there is a big difference between healthy fats and bad fats. Drizzling olive oil on grilled salmon or slicing avocado into your salad are examples of incredibly healthy fats that can actually fight weight gain. According to Tricia Psota, RD, a nutritionist based in Washington D.C., “fats in chips, cookies, and greasy foods can increase cholesterol and your risk for certain diseases. But good fats, like nuts, avocadoes and salmon, protect your heart and support your overall health.”
Snacks. You probably have heard conflicting arguments about snacks, so it’s about time that rumor was settled. It’s actually better to eat small, frequent meals in order to keep your metabolism boosted while curbing hunger. According to Mike Clancy, CDN, a personal trainer at David Barton’s Gym in New York City, “smarter snacks like nuts, fruits, and yogurt will keep your energy levels high throughout the day.”
Counting Calories. According to Clancy, calories are not all the same. “The type of calories, the timing of the calories, and the quality of the calories can significantly alter the effect of the calories on the body,” he says. “Food creates reactions within our bodies and the type of food you eat is an important component in diets.” Clancy also says that 50 calories from apples are completely different than 50 calories from cheesecake. While consuming an apple or spinach will give you nutrient dense calories, cheesecake will give you empty calories—basically no nutrients.
Carbohydrates. This battle of low-carb diets versus healthy carb diets has been going on for a while. Chrissy Carroll, MPH, RD, founder of Inspired Wellness Solutions, LLC, says, “yes, it is true that excessive intakes of refined carbohydrates, like white bread or white rice, may lead to weight gain or increased cardiovascular risk. But there is no research suggesting that healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, or legumes, can negatively impact health or weight. On the contrary, many studies suggest a diet high in these plant-based foods is associated with better overall health.” So it’s important to stick to whole grains, fruits, and vegetables as your carbohydrate sources—while avoiding refined carbohydrates and processed foods.
Protein. Yes, you need protein, but your body also requires a lot more. According to Rania Batayneh, MPH, a nutritionist and author of the forthcoming The One One One Diet, you need protein, carbohydrates, and fat. If you stick to protein as a sole source of nutrients for weight loss, “you not only deprive your body of fiber and other antioxidants found in healthy carbohydrates — whole grains, fruits, and veggies — but you also run the risk of eating too much fat in your diet which can lead to high cholesterol and triglycerides,” she says. The best thing for your overall wellness is to eat a balanced, healthy diet that includes good carbohydrates and good fats in addition to protein.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.
Image Credit: Weight Loss by reduce84098, used under a creative commons license.
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