Dieting dos and don'ts
Keeping your weight at a healthy level can help reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. If you're going on a diet, keep these dos and don'ts in mind to be sure you stay on the right track.
- Set clear and reasonable goals. These should be in the form of I'm going to try to do this in order to get that, as in I'm going to try to eat more fish and vegetables and exercise three times a week over the next two months in order to lose five pounds. With clear goals, it will be easy to see whether youre succeeding. With reasonable goals, you'll be more likely to succeed.
- Start reading labels. You might be shocked to learn how much sugar there is in foods that seem good for you. Items such as canned fruits are full of sugar, and canned meats have lots of fat. Also, pay attention to the serving size if a bag of potato chips says it has very little fat per serving, but the serving size is tiny, it could end up being much more fattening than it seems.
- Add more raw fruits and vegetables to your daily menu. Raw fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamins and fiber, and many people need more fiber in their diet. Often removed during the production of processed foods, fiber is an essential ingredient to a functioning digestive system and can help those at risk for colon cancer. Raw fruits and vegetables will also help fill you up, so you'll be less tempted to snack on unhealthy foods.
- Make a habit of eating small meals throughout the day rather than two or three big meals. When you eat little meals more often, you are complementing your metabolism.
- Use unproven diets to try to lose a lot of weight fast. Just like with any other medical issue, make sure you get your dieting information from good sources. Following the wrong diet can starve your body of nutrients and can lead to serious problems. Consult a doctor or a nutritionist to see what kind of diet is right for you.
- Eat too quickly. If you eat food slowly, you get to savor the flavors and textures without filling up fast and perhaps eating more than necessary. It can take time for you to realize that you're full, so eating slowly means you'll probably eat less. By eating healthy snacks all day, you won't feel like you need to eat a lot of food quickly at meals, even if you dont have much time to sit down.
- Add unnecessary fat and calories to your food. Things you might not think twice about, such as butter or mayonnaise, add a lot to the fat and calorie count of your meals. Remember that it's not only about the kind of food you're eating; its also about what you put on it.
- Starve yourself. Eating regularly tells your body to use the food you take in for energy. Not eating regularly slows your metabolism, so you'll have less energy and your body will try to store more of the calories you do eat rather than use them. Not eating regularly also increases the risk that you won't get the nutrients your body needs.
Dieting means changing your habits, and that can be hard, but it doesnt have to be painful. Set clear and realistic goals, and you'll be much more likely to succeed.
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