Dieting: The Basics
November 30, 2020 in
Healthy Eating by
Rob Ziltzer MD. FACP
Every year, millions of Americans start looking for new ways to lose weight. The majority of these dieters have already tried losing weight in the past. Some are successful at first but regained weight after returning to their previous habits; others barely see the scale budge at all.
Most people who look at medical weight loss programs have had experience with what doesn’t work. They know the frustration of yo-yo dieting and the challenges of a restricted diet. There are plenty of fad diets that get a lot of popularity, but that doesn’t mean they’ll work for you.
What Is a Diet?
Your diet is the body’s primary source of nourishment. It’s what provides you with sustenance and energy to live a healthy lifestyle. When you make the decision to go on a diet for weight loss, it can’t be a temporary thing. As you embark on your weight loss journey, your diet may need a full overhaul.
Dieting has become synonymous with weight loss. To go on a diet means to stop eating certain foods for an indefinite period of time to lose weight. There are a few features many diets share. They often are low in calories, and encourage people to cut out things like fat, sugar, and carbohydrates.
There are diets that will completely restrict what you eat to just a handful of items. While they can sometimes deliver fast results, they are not healthy or practical to stay on for long. Two examples of this type of dieting are the cabbage soup or the cookie diet. These weight loss plans contribute to the well-known problem of yo-yo dieting and almost always result in weight regain.
A diet should be more than a temporary fix to help you lose weight. Instead of focusing on what you are taking out of your diet, start looking at the nutrients you can put in it.
Changing your Diet through Healthy Habits
The greatest problem with deprivation diets is that they do not set you up for long-term success. Cutting calories from your diet can help you lose weight. To maintain that weight loss you’ll need to continue making healthy food choices long after your initial diet ends. Adopting a healthy diet that results in fewer calories is a lifestyle change. Learning about nutrients and developing healthy habits can turn your short-term diet to lose weight into a long-term diet for a healthier way of life.
Healthy dietary habits include:
Eating nutrient-rich foods, especially foods that are high in protein.
Eating at regular intervals (4 or 5 times) throughout the day to avoid spikes and drops in energy levels.
Drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Avoiding foods that are high in sugar, fat, and calories. Except on special occasions or you have built them into your plan.
Mindset is Key
To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you take in. This is why low-calorie diets are recommended for weight loss. But cutting calories isn’t enough. As you make changes to your diet to lose weight, consider the ways you are benefiting from eating healthier foods. Focus on the positive aspects of dieting and less on the deprivation associated with food restrictions. It might help motivate you to keep moving forward.
Read our FREE e-book Chasing Diets and learn about the medical weight loss program that works.