You’ve heard the hype about different diet plans and fast weight loss supplements. Some of these have exciting names … The Southbeach Diet, The Hollywood Diet. Some are rather plain … The Grapefruit Diet, The Cabbage Soup Diet. The premise behind them may be different, but they all promise you easy weight loss. Just remember that healthy weight loss is simple, but not easy.
Diet is an area where people tend to get out of whack. Fad diets that eliminate one type of nutrient (low fat/low carb) or focus exclusively on a special food (grapefruit diet) fail to take into consideration the balance of nutritional needs of your body. They may provide a short term loss, but they usually plateau well before your ultimate goal. And you will likely gain the weight back. Sometimes you’ll gain more than you lost. This puts you onto the yo-yo dieting treadmill.
And that doesn’t even take into consideration the potential damage some of these dieting techniques can wreak on your body.
Diet vs. Dieting
While following a fad diet (i.e. dieting) is not a good way to lose weight, changing our eating habits (i.e. diet) is an important part of a healthy weight loss plan. You need to change your lifestyle and that includes what, how much and when you eat and drink.
Fats and Proteins
Fat and protein still have a bad rap today. Many diets look only at the calories they provide. Both fats and proteins have more calories per gram than carbohydrates. That is an undeniable fact. But they also contain vital amino acids, proteins and other building blocks that your body cannot grow without. Your body does not break the fat and protein down for energy unless there is more building blocks than it needs. So the caloric content of fat and protein is not the most important fact to consider.
The pendulum of dieting has begun to swing back in the anti-carb direction. There is ample evidence to show that carbohydrates, while having less calories per gram, are often a major culprit in weight gain. Excessive carbohydrates will go directly to fat storage. But that doesn’t mean that it is healthy to eliminate all carbs.
You also need to learn the difference between simple and complex carbs and how they affect your body.
It’s About Balance
Often people will say “If less is good, none is better.” While this may be true for toxic waste and bowling on TV, it isn’t true for any of the food components. You also need to keep in mind that not all fats (nor all carbohydrates for that matter) are good for you. Some will affect your health negatively and are best to be avoided. Just don’t fall into the trap of eliminating all fat/protein/carbohydrate from your diet. Your body needs all of them.
So, if you want to lose weight and stay healthy, then forget about the fad dieting. Focus your energy on changing your eating habits for the better.
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Let’s cut out the fads and lose the fat!