Losing Weight Without Fad Diets

If you’ve followed a fad diet, you have plenty of company. But have you been able to stay on these deprivation diets for a long time? And if you did lose weight, did the pounds stay off once you went back to your usual way of eating?

Fad diets don’t help you keep off the weight in the long term. So what does work? The best diet is not a diet at all, but a way of life that includes food you enjoy, exercise, and healthy habits.

Here’s some simple, straightforward advice.

Variety is Key

Just as a car needs the proper gasoline to make it run, a body needs a healthy diet to develop properly. That means the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat — as well as a host of other nutrients.

When you go on a fad diet and exclude necessary nutrients, you’re putting yourself at risk for becoming ill. Getting too little of any nutrient may not cause an immediate problem. But if it’s lacking for a long time, you may find you have health problems.

Practice Portion Control

Food servings have grown larger and larger over the years. And fast-food restaurants aren’t the only places you’ll find supersized meals. Researchers have noted that portion sizes of hamburgers, burritos, tacos, french fries, sodas, ice cream, pie, cookies, and salty snacks increased — whether the foods were eaten at home or at restaurants.

What does a healthy serving size look like?

Here are some simple tricks to scale back your portions (and calories):

Then, Follow These Simple Strategies

If you need more information on weight loss and dieting, talk to your health care provider or a registered dietitian. Ask your doctor about your “ideal” weight and the number of calories you must eat to lose pounds and maintain an ideal weight.

Also, ask friends, family, or co-workers to join you as you work to change your eating habits and pare down your weight. Sticking to a weight loss plan is much easier when you have someone to support you.

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