Finding YOUR Healthy, NON-Diet Lifestyle

The year of 2016 is well under way, and the diet-hype surrounding New Year’s resolutions has narrowed in importance.  What makes ones’ efforts to diet go from top priority to non-existent?  The closer the experts come to finding the answer to that question, the closer we are to finding success!  If your good intentions have taken a back seat, I will discuss key points and recommendations that might be just what you need to stick to your healthy lifestyle goals.  Whether it be to lose weight, maintain a healthy weight or just to maintain good health, it all revolves around a healthy eating pattern and lifestyle that can be maintained permanently. 

If it sounds “wacky”, it probably is.  Examples would be detox diets and cleanses.  Detox diets usually require fasting and/or liquid concoctions of lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup.  Not only is this lacking any caloric value to fuel your body, it is also deficient in nutrients which can lead to major nutritional deficiencies, such as calcium and iron.  I also have to mention the juicing craze.  Juicing is fine if worked into a healthy eating plan.  However, to just juice can leave you with nutritional deficiencies and a feeling of deprivation.  It just isn’t sustainable long-term.

Avoid any meal plan that requires you to buy specific supplements.  Unfortunately, there is no magic pill that will help you achieve your goals faster.  Any diet or plan that touts results with no effort is flat-out lying.  Long-term commitment and effort is what will get you results that last.

There isn’t any “one size fits all” diet.  No two people are alike.  Each of us has multiple factors that determine the foods we eat.  The key is to look at a healthy meal plan and tailor it to fit your lifestyle and preferences.  Life happens; your meal plan must be flexible.  The meal plan has to be doable and realistic for you long-term in order for it be successful.

“Clean eating” is a trend that fits the requirements of a healthy eating plan.  This particular eating plan is healthy and realistic for long-term.  It has also been shown to get results in regard to weight loss and improved health.  The somewhat new trend of “clean eating” includes healthy foods with a focus on what you can eat instead of what you cannot eat.

What is clean eating, and why can’t it be right for you?  A clean eating lifestyle focuses on choosing the right foods in their most natural state.  It includes: whole fruits and vegetables, lean meat, fish and poultry, beans and legumes, low fat dairy products, and whole grains.  These foods are high in fiber and low in fat, calories, sugar, and sodium.  Another major component of clean eating is avoiding highly processed, refined foods.  Hard core clean eaters eliminate all prepared frozen meals, side dishes and desserts, convenience items, boxed and canned foods.  For example, brown rice, whole wheat or other whole grain flour and honey are recommended over refined white rice, white flour and white sugar.  This eating style also eliminates: refined foods that contain high fructose corn syrup, chemical preservatives such butylated hyroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT); artificial sweeteners, margarine, trans fats, artificial colors and flavors, fried foods, and food additives such as excess salt, sugar and fat.  Clean eating eliminates much of the foods that are high in calories and sodium, which in turn, promotes a healthy weight.   There are many benefits to clean eating.  The focus is on the food quality and how specific foods can benefit overall health.  It is also conducive to losing weight and maintaining that weight loss long-term.  The negative to this eating plan is that it eliminates foods that are quick and easy to prepare.  So with all of this being said, is it realistic for you?  The key here is to incorporate this way of eating most of the time.  Have a back up plan that includes: lower sodium canned and frozen vegetables, unsweetened frozen fruit, lower sodium broths for cooking and frozen prepared meals that are lower in sodium, fat and overall calories. 

The bottom line regarding a healthy eating plan is to find the balance that you are comfortable with and can adhere to.  It is a learning process, and there is no time limit.  Only stick with the foods that you like and weed out the ones you do not.  A plan is only successful if it is doable for you long-term.  Find your balance!

Diets Don't Work!

If we put as much time and energy into our long-term weight management goals as we do into “quick-fix, fad diets” we would all be successful!

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