The Do’s and Don’ts of Healthy Dieting
How to maintain a healthy diet that will lead to positive results.
While many people love the warm weather and weekends at the beach that come along with summer, this season also brings with it a love/hate relationship in many people, all surrounding one particular topic―bathing suit season.
Breaking out the bikinis and swimsuits often triggers a unique response in many people, and a surge in popularity at every gym in town. There is an invasion of “quick, simple diet” articles in every magazine and everyone seems to be looking for their own fool-proof answer for looking great at the beach and losing weight fast.
However, when beginning any type of diet or weight-loss program, it is important to understand the many do’s and don’ts of proper nutrition. Here are a few tips for losing extra pounds, maintaining a healthy weight and managing a safe diet routine this summer:
1. Do Understand That Dieting is Not a “Quick-Fix.”
One of the biggest reasons that people typically fail when they begin a new diet is because they expect to see noticeable improvements in a very short amount of time. However, dieting and weight-loss is a long-term commitment, not a simple, “quick-fix” weeklong program.
When beginning any kind of new weight-loss program, it is important to set realistic short and long-term goals for yourself. Making gradual changes to your overall lifestyle typically means that you are a lot less likely to give up on your diet, compared to jumping right in to a heap of unrealistic expectations.
It is also important that you are losing weight in a healthy amount of time. You should never lose more than two pounds per week. This could mean that not only is your body losing fat, but there is a good chance that it is also losing water, electrolytes and muscle. This is a surefire way to slow down your metabolism which could set you up for yo-yo weight cycling.
2. Don’t Resort to Crash Dieting or Weight-Loss “Fads.”
Dieting results that sound too good to be true usually are. While a drastic crash diet may help you to reduce weight in the beginning, it can cause dangerous problems later down the road. It can also cause you to feel week, tired and moody.
When considering a new diet, always ask yourself these questions:
- Does the diet promise quick, easy results?
- Does the diet require little or no physical activity?
- Does the diet follow rigid menu plans and strict eating methods?
- Does the diet use terms such as “miracle diet,” “guaranteed success,” or “newly discovered” resources?
If so, there is a good chance that you are looking at a fad diet.
3. Do Listen to Your Body.
You should never force your body to do something that is not healthy for it. Therefore, eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full and never, ever starve yourself. Research has shown that while you may lose weight from not eating, this weight loss is coming from your muscle tissue, not from fat. Think of it as trying to see how far your car could make it while coasting on empty. You may be able to get to where you want, but it’s not going to be good for your car in the long run. Always be sure to give your body the daily fuel and energy that it needs.
4. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Many reasons that people decide to try quick-fix diets or extreme weight loss programs in the first place is because they are trying to look a certain way. Unfortunately, most of the time, it is a form or figure that is either unrealistic for their body, or unrealistic period. Just because clothes and bathing suits are made in a size zero doesn’t mean that you should try to fit into that size. For many people, achieving this size would lead to an unhealthy lifestyle.
Your body is your own and it works in the way that is best for it. While it may seem frustrating that some people have an easier time losing weight than others, you have to focus on what is healthy and realistic for you. However, it is important to remember that while your body may control a large fraction of your figure and size, you control a fraction as well.
If you are thinking of going on a weight-loss diet, be sure to speak with a healthcare provider for a professional perspective on which weight-loss method is best for you and your body type. No matter what size you are, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and being happy with your body will help to ensure that you look glowing and healthy this bathing suit season.