It seems that everyone is a nutritionist nowadays. Log on to social media and my news feed is flooded with low carb recipes! But do these types of diets actually work?
Well the research shows that the best diet is one that you will actually stick with for the long term. The key to weight loss and health is changing your lifestyle for the long term and being consistent with it. So what program will work?
First, you want it to be healthy! Instead of restricting your eating, focus on eating more healthy foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. While eating less red meat and sweets.
What you choose to drink is just as important as what you eat. Sports drinks, soda, and other sweet drinks contain a lot of added sugar and calories than needed. Beverages can contribute an additional 400 calories per day with little to no nutritional value. Drink more water! Water has no calories, is easy on the budget, and helps to keep you hydrated.
Next, make gradual changes to your diet instead of making a big change all at once. Start by eating fruits and veggies with every meal or instead of snacking on chips try some nuts or seeds.
It’s also important to pay attention to your portion sizes. The larger the portion the more calories are being consumed. Use a smaller plate or bowl to help with portion control and choose more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains while cutting back on foods that are high in solid fats, added sugars, and salt.
Finally, eat foods such as red meat, processed meat, and sweets less often. Limit red meat to once a weak and choose lean cuts to reduce unhealthy fats and excess calories. Save sweets for special occasions. Have fresh fruit for dessert to satisfy your craving for candy or cake.
Regular physical activity is important too as it strengthens bones, builds muscles while reducing the risk of chronic illness. Most adults would benefit from just 20 minutes of moderate physical activity a day. If you are having difficulty finding motivation attend a class, find a walking buddy, or take a 15 minute walk during the day. If you have limited mobility do chair exercises such as leg lifts.
The key to living well is determining your balance between foods and beverages, your physical activity levels, and your energy needs.