10 Rules for Choosing the Best Diet

I get asked very frequently, “What is the best diet?” And with good reason too. It’s very confusing for people today to know which diet is appropriate for weight loss or even their health. So many fad diets claim to work wonders for people but are seriously flawed.

I feel there are “Ten Rules” to follow which will help you find success with your dieting (the foods you will eat for weight loss, weight management, and nutritional value).

Rule #1

The best diet for you, is the one you will maintain. Nobody, including me, is going to stay on a diet they don’t enjoy. If it’s too much work, I’m probably not going to do it. If it requires too many exotic ingredients, I’m not going to take the time to find them all. If it’s not going to be tasty – count me out. I like a variety of foods and am always mixing it up.

Rule #2

Whichever diet plan you decide to follow, it must include a range of all Macronutrients – those foods which provide us with Micronutrients; vitamins, minerals, needed for the normal growth and development of our bodies. It’s not realistic to think we should get an exact amounts of carbohydrates, proteins and fats each day. It’s more realistic to think of ranges. A good plan for success is to structure meal plans around 10 to 35% proteins, 10 to 25% fats, and 45 to 65% carbohydrates. In short, avoid diets which require eating the same food such as the cabbage soup diet as well as diets which eliminate/vastly reduce one of the macronutrient groups such as low-carb or high protein diets. Adjustments will need to be made depending upon your activity level, types of activity/exercise and intensity. Work with a sports nutritionist at the point you feel you need specific performance planning.

Rule #3

Complete your plan with nutritional supplements. Nutrient depleted soil, genetically modified foods, chemical ripening of produce, skipping meals, eliminating nutrients are just a few reasons one should probably “supplement” their diet plan with nutritional supplement product. Research indicates, at the very least, a diet should be supplemented with a multi vitamin/mineral, essential fatty acids, a probiotic and vitamin D. Each individual has other specific needs which can be filled with additional product.

Rule #4

When planning your diet, be sure you are consuming the appropriate amount of calories. As you lose weight, adjust and continue to lower your calories. For weight loss, always think about being in a caloric deficit. That is to say, always consume less calories than you burn. In most weight loss cases, individuals can easily stand to lose 300 to 500 calories per day from what they consume.

Rule #5

Planning is a must! Most who succeed in their weight loss and maintenance of goal weight share the common attribute of meal planning. If you plan your meals according to your caloric and nutritional needs, you will be less likely to “just grab something” when you grow hungry. Have your three main meals ready to go and have two or three snacks or snack meals in reach as well. A prepared strategy will keep you away from junk food, vending machines and fast foods and draw you closer to your goals.

Rule #6

Choose Nutrient Dense over Energy Dense foods. Nutrient Dense refers to the nutritional value a certain food has. Energy Dense refers to the caloric value of a particular food. So basically – choose quality foods. Compare a peach to a candy bar and you are better off with the peach because it has more nutritional density than the candy bar, which is packed with calories (energy dense yes – nutritional value – NO). Note: Many nutrient dense foods are higher in fiber and lower in calories, thus allowing you to eat less and feel fuller. And BOOM goes the weight loss dynamite!

Rule #7

Choose as many Low Glycemic Indexed and Low Glycemic Load foods as you can. The lower both are, the less it affects blood sugar and insulin levels. Searching on line for these foods will help create options for you. From this direction, search for recipes in line with your liking.

Rule #8

We eat with our eyes and stomachs as well as our nose. Some of my favorites resources on line are dadamo.com, dashdiet.org, paleoplan.com, cleaneating.com. And on FaceBook you can get some great recipes from Sylvia’s Cucina, Clean Eating, Closet Cooking, and Getting Healthy and Staying Healthy. There’s a lot of them out there and I encourage you to explore. If there’s a favorite recipe you refuse to let go, try making substitutions in ingredients to
make it healthier.

Rule #9

Avoid stressing over change. Take one or two “Treat Days” during the week. This does not mean binge, it means enjoy some of what you miss. A lifestyle change can be stressful. My goal is for those looking to achieve weight loss to make the changes they need a permanent part of their lifestyle. People can have strong and emotional attachments to food. So, rather than feel you are sacrificing, perhaps you can feel just as though you are rationing those pleasures.

Rule #10

It’s about the calories, always the calories. If you consume more than you burn – you gain weight. Conversely: consume less and burn more and you lose weight. Less quantity and more quality is what I want to stress in this final point. Make your best food choices, in the amounts specific to your nutritional and physiological needs. It doesn’t have to be difficult and in truth, it can be very rewarding as well a flavorful. So ditch the “diet” and trip on down to flavor town for a lifestyle of eating healthy and trying new things! You may become pleasantly surprised. And for anyone turning their nose up right now – think of buffalo roasted cauliflower with home made blue cheese dressing. Oh man!

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