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Do You Want to Officially Diet or Get Healthy?

Do You Want to Officially Diet or Get Healthy?

Your first instinct is to jump on a diet plan that will crank up your metabolism and help you burn more calories than you take in so that the weight falls off. But you want the all over body and mind health benefits.


Choosing a Diet Plan That Works for You


Consider your health issues first. If you have high blood pressure and your doctor is telling you that he or she is concerned, then maybe a Weight Watcher's diet where you can eat anything as long as you control a certain number of points isn't right for you.


You need to be realistic with your health because it doesn't matter how skinny you get if you end up hospitalized due to side health factors you chose to ignore in the name of fitting into a smaller size.


Look at what's required of your schedule. If you are a completely busy person, then it might be wise for you to choose a diet that might include foods that are either pre-packaged or easy to prepare ahead of time.


If your schedule is packed, it might not be feasible for you to sit there constantly measuring and analyzing each bite you put in your mouth. On the other hand, if you work from home and have a little more time to utilize, then you might want to choose a meal plan where you can take advantage of those perks by preparing fresh foods for all of your daily meals.            


Pick a diet that allows your favorite foods. If you're lucky enough to not be suffering from any additional health issues, then you might want to choose a diet that lets you consume some of your favorite foods.


For example, if you're a big meat eater, it would be cruel of you to restrict your entire diet to a vegan or vegetarian diet seven days a week. Going meatless a few times makes sense for future health reasons, but there's no reason to jump to extremes that will only make you miserable.


If budget is a concern, look for a diet that suits yours. You might really love the idea of Jenny Craig's diet plan, but finding out that the weekly meals cost as much as they do could shoot a hole in those plans.


Don't let it become an excuse for you to eat unhealthily, though. Some people complain that fruits and vegetables are too costly, but there are plenty of options that are affordable.


You can cut down on costs by not buying organic produce, by buying whole pieces instead of those that are prepackaged and already cut up and pre-washed for you, and by shopping for items that are in season.


Make Small Changes That Improve Health


Use special nutrition-friendly plates. You can buy smaller plates - and even plates that have the right portion control on them, like a space for fruits, a space for grains, a space for vegetables, and a space for protein.


Resist the urge to add salt and sugar. Your foods are already packed with plenty of salt and sugar, yet we tend to add much more because our taste buds have grown used to it.


You have to wean yourself off of extra salt and sugar. As you go through withdrawals and allow your taste buds to get back to a normal state, you'll realize that you need less and less sugar and salt - and you can taste them naturally in the foods that you buy.


Learn how to pair carbs and proteins. Carbs are good - they give you energy that you need to refuel and keep going throughout the day. But eaten by themselves, and your energy spikes and then crashes.


Instead, you should learn how to pair a carb with a filling protein that keeps you feeling satisfied for a longer period of time. For example, let's say you want some sort of bread breakfast like toast.


That's okay - but eat it with a piece of string cheese or some yogurt so that the protein works to stabilize your blood sugar and keep you from feeling hungry faster.


Don't skip meals - or should you? For a long time, the advice was that you never skip a meal - especially breakfast. It was touted as a way to rev up your metabolism and help you lose weight.


But now experts disagree. Some say that if you're not hungry - don't eat! You have to make this decision yourself based on your habits. Do you tend to skip a meal and then binge when you finally do sit down to eat? If so, then it might be a good idea to stick to traditional thinking.


Focus on what you can add to your diet, not what you have to lose. For example, try to get a rainbow of fruits and vegetables into your diet each day. Think of how you can work it into your meal plan, like this:


  • Breakfast: Orange cantaloupe

  • Mid-Morning Snack: Handful of blueberries

  • Lunch: Raw or steamed broccoli

  • Afternoon Snack: Red strawberries

  • Dinner: Yellow squash


If you can work in more, do it! Try to make a list of a variety of colorful foods that you like in both the fruits and vegetable categories. Test things you haven't even tried yet, too.


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