5 ways to choose a diet that is right for you – Health24

Posted: March 6, 2020 at 3:44 am

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05 March 2020 5 ways to choose a diet that is right for you If you make a conscious decision to achieve a healthier weight, you will need to choose a diet that is right for you.

Someone is classified as obese when their body mass index (someone's weight-to-height ratio) is more than 30.

And while the body mass index has been criticised by medical experts in recent years as not being an accurate portrayal of someone's total health, an unhealthy weight can, however, take its toll on your health as it increases your risk for chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes type 2.

Unfortunately, losing weight isn't as easy as it sounds. We are inundated by so many fad diets and weight-loss products that it's easy to become confused. We also want to see quick results and tend to reach for anything that offers the promise of quick weight loss.

However, it's not only a healthy weight that is key to optimum health. Your lifestyle as a whole needs a complete overhaul.

Here are some pointers to help you choose the best lifestyle for you:

Unless you have chosen a diet or eating plan that you can follow indefinitely, you are likely to return to your bad old ways when you've reached your goal with the new diet. Before you know it, you will be back at your old weight.

What you really want is to start a diet that isnt really a diet at all, but rather a lifestyle change. Weight loss is very exciting and motivating, but once you get to weight maintenance, the novelty has worn off and it may become a challenge to stick to the changes you made.

Your new weight is only viewed as "permanent" once you have managed to keep it off for an entire year. The National Weight Control Registry is a long-term study which currently observes over 10 000 people who have lost a significant amount of weight and managed to keep it off. This is what they did to maintain their weight:

A "healthy diet" needs to adhere to a number of principles. The most important is that most of your food should be minimally processed (eaten as it is found in nature) and be predominantly plant based.

Here are some more practical suggestions to promote good health:

It's important to be able to maintain your diet, not only from a mental perspective, but also an economic one.

We tend to think that a healthy diet should consist of expensive superfoods. A healthy lifestyle can (and should), however, be cost-effective.

To save on your food budget, try focusing less on grass-fed, organic and "free from" foods (free from gluten/wheat/lactose etc.), and rather include minimally processed whole foods that are seasonal, that can be bought in bulk (and shared). You can also start a vegetable garden.

Small changes in your shopping list can have a significant effect on the weight of your wallet. Take for example swapping your fillet of salmon, for a few pilchards (the omega-3 content is similar). The cost per portion will drop from R40 to R3.50.

A similarly easy swap with very little impact on health outcome is swapping your olive oil (R150/L) for canola oil (R22/L).

Is your diet one that can only be followed if you dedicate all your time to preparing intricate meals? Is socialising difficult because of all your restrictions?

Although you may be able to follow a complicated and restrictive for a short period of time, eventually your need to socialise and be with others will take over and adherence to your diet will wane.

Find a way of eating that doesnt just suit you, but also your family, and allows you the flexibility to eat with others.

If the new diet you have decided to embark on has one or more of the following characteristics, you may be chasing a fad diet which is both unsafe and unsustainable:

If you need help on your journey to a healthier weight and lifestyle, our nutritional experts at Nutrition Solutions are there to help you. Ask them a question here, or visit their website.

Image credit: iStock

Jade Seeliger

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5 ways to choose a diet that is right for you - Health24

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March 6th, 2020 at 3:44 am