Good Nutrition and Fad Diets
What you eat and whether it is good for you can vary, depending upon who you listen to and sometimes, what you what to hear. There are diets that allow you to eat all the fats you want, but no carbs. There are claims you can burn belly fat by eating certain foods and avoiding others. Good nutrition and fad diets may not be the same thing, so be cautious. If you pay attention to what you eat, you may find that you don’t need to diet after all.
While there may be some temporary benefits in these fads, none of them are better than understanding that good nutrition is the key to a long, healthy life. And exercise goes hand-in-hand with nutrition. If you learn the basics for both areas, and practice them regularly, you are well ahead of the game.
Understand, then Act
I’m talking about becoming healthy by first understanding why nutrition is important to you and your life, then making small changes. If you do that, before you know it, you have changed your habits for the better. And you won’t miss those empty calories. In fact, you’ll begin to substitute foods that are better for you and taste better too, without even thinking about it.
2 Important Things to Note
Number One: There is no such thing as losing weight in only one spot of your body. It’s just not how we were made. If we could dictate where we lose weight then we would have put it on in the places we wanted it in the first place.
Now, don’t give up hope – you can tone the areas you want that have gotten flabby
because you haven’t been paying attention to them and suddenly one day you look in the mirror and you have NO idea who that is and why they look like that! Yes, life can be cruel. But nutrition is how you can make the mirror your friend. Working out alone won’t accomplish what you want, if it’s a 30% BMI, you need to watch what you eat as well.
Number Two: Sugar is not only bad for you, it is addicting. Yes, Addicting. Why do you think that if you have that piece of candy at 3pm you want it the next day ? Funny how you can almost set your clock at the time you’ll start to crave that candy. Guess what time – yup – 3pm. Dr. Mercola wrote an article on just how addicting sugar can be that you’ll want to read.
Sure, sugar tastes good and gives you energy, but what happens an hour later when you begin feeling tired and want another piece of candy. That’s a vicious cycle.
There are lots of articles on the health dangers of sugar. This is the one food you should cut down on until you quit it almost altogether. Besides, it’s in most processed foods anyway. IFL Science has a good article to read and shared a video on the subject. And learning about nutrition, and incorporating it into your diet, is how you can kick that candy addiction.
What You Need To Do
What steps do you need to take? That’s easy. Learn what’s important and what’s not. Make small changes. Be persistent. It’s Ok to have setbacks and cheat days, but stay the course. In other words, be aware of what you eat. Fruit, Grains, Vegetables, Protein, Dairy and some Oil every day.
- Focus on variety, amount, and nutrition.
- Choose foods and beverages with less saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars.
- Start with small changes to build healthier eating styles.
- Focus on making healthy food and beverage choices from all five food groups including fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy to get the nutrients you need.
- Eat the right amount of calories for you based on your age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity level.
- Building a healthier eating style can help you avoid overweight and obesity and reduce your risk of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
- Use Nutrition Facts labels and ingredient lists to find amounts of saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars in the foods and beverages you choose. This cannot be overrated – see the FDA guidelines. Check that ‘syrup’ is not one of the top ingredients in your favorite foods.
- Look for food and drink choices that are lower in saturated fat, sodium, and added sugar.
- Eating fewer calories from foods high in saturated fat and added sugars can help you manage your calories and prevent overweight and obesity.
- Eating foods with less sodium can reduce your risk of high blood pressure.
- Experiment when you cook, less sodium, sugars and fat doesn’t mean less tasty – have fun with seeing what you and your family like best.
Remember that low-fat, low-calorie, lite or low-sugar substitutions aren’t necessary healthy. Be careful of these ‘claims’ as there’s not a good substitution for the real thing – whole, fresh, natural foods. You can find a wealth of information about how these are misleading – read Time Magazine’s article on low-fat dairy products. Even foods label as ‘healthy’ can have high fructose corn syrup listed as one of the top ingredients. Manufacturers want their foods to taste good, and it may have some healthy qualities, but overall eating sugary foods it’s not really ‘healthy’.
What You Can Do Now
- Think of each change as a personal “win” on your path to living healthier. Each MyWin is a change you make to build your healthy eating style. Find little victories that fit into your lifestyle and celebrate as a MyWin!
- Start with a few of these small changes.
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
- Focus on whole fruits.
- Vary your veggies.
- Make half your grains whole grains.
- Move to low-fat and fat-free dairy.
- Vary your protein routine.
- Eat and drink the right amount for you.
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
Why You Need Good Nutrition
Health conditions are among the most motivating of all reasons to focus on nutrition. And although good nutrition is not like a fad diet where you see results quickly, good nutrition takes time and education. You need to learn what works for your age and activity level. And combining all this with exercise – well, honestly, it’s hard work and results are normally seen slowly so you must be patient. But it’s worth it!
Make a choice to start now, with your next meal.
And who knows, soon you may not need as many of those supplements we wrote about last week!
Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to visit us. We wish you the best of health!
PS. Check out our source, FDA.gov website for some great suggestions, MyWin tools and additional information.