Thinking About a Diet? Focus on Healthy Eating and Maintaining a Healthy Weight

January is a popular month for dieting. Losing weight and eating better are consistently at the top of the list of popular New Year’s resolutions. One of the issues with New Year’s resolutions is that they often involve sudden, drastic lifestyle changes. It’s not easy to turn these changes into healthy behaviors and fully adopt them as a regular part of your daily routine. Be careful with fad diets. Instead, make permanent improvements that focus on healthy eating habits and maintaining a healthy weight.

Do popular diets work?

It’s not uncommon for fad diets to produce temporary results. This is one of the problems with radical changes in eating habits and fad diets. Popular diets are appealing because they seem to result in quick weight loss. These results don’t usually last, however. In fact, most people regain more than they lost when they quit their diet.

Drastic changes to your eating habits are difficult to sustain, and they are usually unsuccessful in providing lasting results. Fad diets aren’t always good for you – some can be harmful – and they rarely produce long term results. Always consult with your primary care doctor before starting a new diet, especially if it involves cutting out entire food groups.

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How to eat healthy

A healthy diet, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy. It includes lean proteins – such as poultry, fish, eggs, and nuts – and is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars.

It’s important to know how to read nutrition labels, so you know which foods are healthy and which ones aren’t. Healthy eating isn’t just about eating healthy foods, however. It’s also about establishing healthy eating habits.

Instead of making radical changes that are hard to sustain, focus on permanent improvements. The CDC has some information on improving your eating habits. They recommend identifying both your healthy and unhealthy eating habits, replacing unhealthy eating habits with healthy ones, and reinforcing your healthy new eating habits.

A healthy lifestyle isn’t one size fits all

Everyone’s health needs are different, and sometimes general recommendations won’t line up with your specific needs. Your primary care physician can help make sure that you are making the decisions that will benefit you and help you work towards wellness. MANA has some of the very best doctors in Northwest Arkansas. Schedule an appointment with a physician in the MANA network today.