Diet vs. Lifestyle Change

We are bombarded daily with the next best diet or fat flush. Diets and weight loss programs are wonderful, but they are a short term solution. Getting the initial weight off is usually easy with any diet change. Most of the “fad” diets I have been seeing require the person cut out  food groups like carbohydrates, sugar, meat or dairy. Weight loss is inevitable when we cut out anything we are eating in excess. To maintain a healthy weight, diet and exercise is key! That does not mean cutting out every “bad” or “unhealthy” food from our diets forever. Let’s face it, sometimes we want french fries or ice cream. However, it does mean cutting those foods out from our regular diet.

ABC’s of Eating for Health*

Adequacy – to provide enough of the essential nutrients, fiber and energy in the form of calories.
Balance – to avoid overemphasis on any food type or nutrient at the expense of another
Calorie control – to supply the amount of energy you need to maintain a healthy weight – not more, not less
Moderation – to avoid excess amounts of unwanted constituents, such as solid fats and added sugars
Variety – to consume different foods rather than eating the same meals day after day

These guidelines are a great base to get your started on the road to a healthy eating lifestyle.

A food journal will also help you keep track of what and how much you are eating. There are several apps for your smartphone as well as web-based programs available. I use MyFitnessPal.

Incorporating at least 30 minutes of exercise 3-5 times per week will help you get a jump start on your healthy lifestyle. This does not have to be done in a gym; go for a walk or a bike ride. Bring a friend or family member along for company. It is much easier incorporating a lifestyle change with a partner!

Anyone can diet for a period of time, but it takes commitment to live a healthy life! Make that commitment to yourself and you will not be disappointed!

*Source: “Personal Nutrition”, Marie A Boyle & Sarah Long

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