A healthy diet is an integral part of any weight loss program. Generally, a balanced diet composed of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and lean meat will give an individual the necessary energy to perform the daily activities and function at their most optimum level. More than this, well-planned meals protect against diseases. It also aids in tissue and muscle repair to enable an individual to rapidly recover from illnesses. However, society has put such importance on losing weight that people desperate to see a drop on the scale will go on “crash diets”.
The best thing is to look at dieting as part of an overall fitness plan to stay healthy physically, psychologically and emotionally, and choose foods from all sources and keep them in moderate proportions because that’s what’s good for our bodies. Meals for a healthy diet will be spread out evenly throughout the day. Drinking sufficient amounts of water will keep metabolism running helping to burn fat. A healthy diet would be coupled with exercise.
A diet that is seen as a mere means to losing weight as opposed to a lifestyle change, will result in unhealthy dieting practices that will wreck havoc on the dieter’s systems. Crash diets will literally starve the body of the most basic nutrients needed to function. Unhealthy diets are usually the ones that make outrageous claims. If it is too good to be true, then it is most likely not true at all. If any diet claims it is, then be prepared to do your due diligence and thoroughly investigate what the diet involves. Do not go on a diet that suggests you eat certain foods or certain quantities of foods that would result in you being malnourished.
Some of the biggest risk factors for unhealthy dieting are high cholesterol, kidney damage, lack of important nutrients, metabolism can slow, loss of energy, anxiety, acne, headache and depression. Unhealthy dieting practices may include crash diets, fasting, the use of laxatives or pills and self induced vomiting.
Some Dieting Tips to ensure you stay on a healthy track:
- Forget strict fad diets (Atkins, Zone, South Beach, Low Fat, Low Carb, etc).
- More fruits, veggies, lean meats and fish.
- Fewer simple carbs and less grease (white-flour breads, pastas, fried foods etc).
- Exercise – move your body more.
- Change your habits, change your life – make the healthy choices your new habit.
A responsible approach to dieting would be to help dieter’s understand the risks associated with unhealthy dieting and then provide them with the proper information needed to ensure proper dieting. Important to this game plan would be eating fresh fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water each day, and enjoying a balanced meal plan consisting of 40% carbohydrates, 40% protein, and 20% healthy fats.
There is no secret to dieting and losing weight. Unhealthy dieting can be avoided. If you eat three meals a day all of which provide you with all the nutrients that you need and add some exercise to your daily routine, you can lose the weight that you need to over time. Patience and a healthy lifestyle will shed those unwanted pounds.
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