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Diets: Stay Away from Fads…Time-Tested Ways to Maintain a Healthy Figure

Diets: Stay Away from Fads…Time-Tested Ways to Maintain a Healthy Figure

We have all heard the latest and greatest fads in the world of dieting. Everything from low-carb diets to juice cleanses have all been the current celebrity-endorsed diet fad of the time. The question that begs to be asked is do these diet fads work? It would be nice if this were a simple yes or no answer, but as with every quick fix the answer is maybe. Many of these diet fads work for the short-term, but over the long haul they either fizzle or lead to actual weight gain. We here at HPFY can point to some time-tested methods that can help you achieve and maintain a healthy figure.

Diets: Stay Away from Fads…Time-Tested Ways to Maintain a Healthy Figure

The Fads We Know

Anyone who has discussed diets with friends, families, or coworkers has no doubt heard all of the main fads that everyone swears by. Oh, you have to do this or you have to do that and everyone promises that their diet fad is the greatest. Some you may have heard of include:

  • South Beach Diet: Around since the early 2000’s, this fad diet categorizes carbs and fats into “good” or “bad” types and emphasizes food that have a low glycemic index. The promised benefits, unfortunately, aren’t backed by science or supporting evidence.
  • Atkins: This diet eliminates or minimizes carbohydrates altogether. It focuses on high fat, protein rich foods while keeping carbohydrate intake under 20 g per day. The hard part about this diet is finding variety and “carb free” snacking.
  • Mediterranean Diet: Modeled after diets in countries in the Mediterranean, this fad diet emphasizes high consumption of vegetables and olive oil while moderating your intake of protein. Researchers believed that people living in countries like Greece or Italy were healthier than Americans, therefore we should eat what they eat.
  • Grapefruit Diet: The premise behind this diet fad is that eating half a grapefruit just before or with a meal can help spur the fat burning process. While it may make you feel fuller there is no scientific proof that grapefruits impart this benefit upon us.
  • Gluten-Free Diet: Recently, this fad diet seems to be gaining popularity, but should be reserved only for those who suffer from celiac disease or have a wheat sensitivity. Often these gluten-free foods have the gluten protein removed and unfortunately replaced with processed sugar in order to enhance flavor.

You can throw in some of the mass marketed diet plan such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, or even diet programs like Slim Fast and Nutrisystem that tell you their plans are simple and easy (some are even expensive). With so much to decipher, how do you know which is right for you and will lead to your ultimate goal of maintaining a healthy figure?

Stay Tried and True

While diet plans promise quick and easy weight loss, there are time-tested ways to maintain a healthy figure and reduce weight. It is probably easier said than done to approach weight loss and a healthy figure by saying “eat less, move more.” This may seem like a pipe dream, but there are some traditional, time-tested ways to achieve this goal and they can include:

  • Drink H2O: By drinking water throughout the day, your digestive system works more efficiently, but some research has indicated that drinking two glasses of water before your meal can make you feel fuller and therefore eat less.
  • Breakfast of Champions: Yes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day!! By skipping breakfast your body thinks that it is starving and slows down your metabolism. This can even increase your insulin response which can spike your blood sugar the next time you eat and make you feel hungrier.
  • Large Meals Earlier: When we eat dinner as our largest meal of the day, this can have a negative effect on weight gain since our digestion is slower later in the day. Research has shown that those who eat a larger meal earlier in the day can lose more weight than those who eat a larger meal later in the day.
  • Eat Wiser: This one is pretty much common sense. By eating more fruits and vegetables (don’t forget the berries) you can fill yourself up with healthier nutrients and fiber instead of carbohydrates and foods high in fat. One great option is your local farmers market. These are all natural and promote healthy eating due to the fact that everything sold as farm to table (and delicious!!). No processed food here!! Also, substituting olive oil for other cooking oils can be a healthier option.
  • No Soda: Getting rid of sugar that we drink in our diet is an easy way to eliminate those empty calories. Water, unsweetened tea, and even seltzer water with fresh fruit are far better options than your favorite cola or some crappacino from the local coffee shop.
  • You Can Have Dessert: If you are planning on dessert, try to steer clear of that slice of cheesecake and substitute fruits to satisfy your sweet tooth. This can fill you faster and supply you with healthy fiber your body needs.
  • Yes, Exercise: You didn’t think you would get away without hearing about exercise, did you? The rule of thumb is to burn off more calories than you take in for weight loss. You can do this by intensifying any exercise program you currently enjoy. For instance, instead of walking you should try running instead or high-intensity interval training incorporating burpees or sprints.
  • Increase Weight: No, this does not mean gaining weight. You can lose weight by utilizing your body weight alone but increasing resistance or weight in your workout can increase lean muscle mass which burns more calories leading to greater weight loss. You can try resistance bands or dumbbells to achieve this.
  • Dedication: Unfortunately, the greatest of intentions isn’t enough to produce weight loss and maintain your healthy figure. You must plan your course and stick to it diligently in order to reap the benefits of your game plan. Any real change relies on your compliance and understanding that weight loss is not an overnight miracle, but that it takes time and dedication to fulfill. Also, exercise can actually reduce hunger so you don’t need to eat as much.
  • A Good Night’s Sleep: Believe it or not, your body needs proper sleep in order to perform properly. The hormones that can regulate hunger can get all goofed up if we don’t get enough sleep. This can vary from person to person but ensuring that you sleep well is crucial in building and maintaining your healthy figure.

As with many things in life, there truly are no magic methods for sustainable weight loss and maintaining a healthy figure. It really is a lifestyle change. Before beginning any diet or exercise program, you should consult your physician in order to be sure anything you are about to undertake is safe and healthy for you. Work toward your goal but don’t look at it as one giant step. Start off slow with small, achievable goals that will motivate you to comply with your plans. With each small success, you will be more motivated to achieve your goal. Exercise and eat smarter to feel better!!

 

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