Many individuals in Dallas, Houston and elsewhere in Texas most probably need to lose a few pounds. The solution for many is to go on a diet. What kind of diet they choose may be a problem.
According to a recent Consumer Report Survey, approximately 41% of American adults are trying to lose weight. These individuals are hoping to loose an average of 37 pounds. Unfortunately, many individuals are confused, or are just in denial, about how to go about losing the weight. Just take a look at these goofy fad diets:
– The Astrology Diet — based on the 12 astrological signs — where “fire” signs are directed to eat “cooling” foods, etc. There is absolutely no nutritional or scientific data to back up this diet. But, as interesting as this diet concept may be, you should really keep your astrological chart separate from your appetite.
– The Blood-Type Diet or “Eat Right for Your Type” has diet recommendations for different blood types. This diet is unscientifically based on conflicting data that could have individuals developing chronic diseases like diabetes, as well as other conditions. Eating according to your blood type is definitely not the best choice for everyone.
– Single-Food Diets. They come and go like calendar pages. Grapefruit, cabbage soup, pineapple, lemon-juice and cayenne pepper, popcorn, among dozens of others. Wacky? Yes. Dangerous? Probably. By eliminating food groups entirely, you’re setting yourself up for both nutrient deficiencies and a serious rebound, usually adding a few pounds to the weight you were when you started. And the long-term damage could be enormous. Here’s an example: eating nothing but grapefruit over a long period of time can ruin teeth. The citric acid will eat away tooth enamel. So you’ll look good, provided you just don’t smile.
– The Maple-Syrup Diet. Must have been someone from Vermont who came up with this one. The sweet maple-syrup diet can throw off the body’s balance of sodium, potassium and fluids, leading to worse problems than you had to begin with.
– Detox Diets usually include colonics (enemas), which are great for cleansing the body of toxic materials, but not for dieting purposes. Only perform detox cleansing when you are on a healthy diet and exercise program.
– The Chocolate Diet is an attractive diet because it includes just about everyone’s favorite food. Aside from chocolate, it also includes pasta and popcorn. This sounds like the tastiest diet ever. See Single Food Diets above for further advice.
If you want to lose weight, talk to your doctor or a nutritionist. He or she can help you develop a weight loss plan that is safe and effective. And for those who want to begin their metabolic change right away, here are some basic tips:
– Eat breakfast daily and don’t skip any meals.
– Eat for variety, including plenty of whole grains, vegetables and fruits, to ensure that you get all of your daily nutrients.
– Limit your daily intake of saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.
– Limit the amount of sugar you consume. High-sugar foods are often high in calories and low in nutrients.
– Limit liquid calories. Try to choose whole fruits rather than juices, and limit or avoid sugary soft drinks and alcohol.
– Eat smaller portions.
– Exercise regularly. The best kind of exercise is whatever you’ll be able to keep doing over time — so choose an activity that you enjoy. Shoot for 30 to 60 minutes, 4 to 6 times per week.
– Increase your everyday physical activity. Park farther away from the door and take the stairs when you can. Get a pedometer and work up to taking 10,000 steps per day.
It’s important to take care of yourself, but constant “dieting” is really not good for your body in the long term. And how you treat your body when you’re young will certainly affect your health when you get older. Eventually, it will also affect your wallet as well.
Pat Carpenter writes for Precedent Insurance Company. Precedent puts a new spin on health insurance. Learn more at Precedent.com