Many weight loss programs include a recommended diet to help you in losing weight successfully. While many of these can cause you to rapidly drop pounds and see results, several of them overlook the importance of good nutrition. Many programs that involve eating only certain things or have a lot of restrictions may actually be doing more harm than good if they are lacking in important vitamins or nutrients your body needs.
If you’re on a diet or are thinking about starting a popular program, here are some things to look out for to make sure that the one you are choosing is nutritionally sound:
1. Consider Calorie Intake: The most popular assumption is that in order to drop pounds you need to reduce the amount of calories you consume. However, some diets may have so few calories that your body may not be getting enough that you need. Most healthy individuals need between 1600-2000 calories each day, depending on their physical fitness levels, age, and body dimensions. If you’re more active, such as participating in rigorous exercise programs, your body will actually need MORE calories, instead of less!
2. Includes Balanced Meals: A healthy diet consists of regular balanced meals and a variety of foods. You should be eating 2-3 servings of vegetables, 2-3 servings of fruits, 2-3 servings of proteins, 2-3 servings of dairy, and 6-10 servings of grains daily in order to get all of your nutritional needs throughout the day. When you eat too much or too little of any one group, you can suffer from health problems. For example, too much protein can lead to kidney stones.
3. Is Consistent: A diet that has you starving yourself one week and then eating whatever you want the next can wreak havoc on your metabolism, which can not only make it more difficult to see the results you want, but actually cause you to gain weight over time. Eating consistently is just as important as what you eat in order to maintain good metabolic health.
Proper nutrition is essential in becoming healthier. While you may simply want to lose a few pounds or fit into a few sizes smaller, your primary goal and concern should be living a healthy lifestyle and making changes that will benefit you for a lifetime – not just a few weeks. Before starting any program or diet, be sure to speak with your doctor or a nutritionist to ensure that your plans are nutritionally sound.