Which Diet is Right for You?

Diet is just another four-letter word as far as I’m concerned. Living a healthy lifestyle is what matters. How do you find what works best for you? Speaking from experience, there is no one perfect diet for everyone. What may work for some, may not work for you and vice versa. The keys to being healthy are to eat right and move. Spend more energy burning calories and take in less. Quick fix diets may work temporarily until you stray from the plan and start-up with your old habits. In that case,  you may put on pounds faster than you took them off. That is not to say you cannot keep the weight off, but you have to adjust your lifestyle and make changes on how you approach food and fitness. According to a recent study from the New England Journal of Medicine, people who lose weight quickly do not necessarily gain the weight back and they can remain thin later on in life. Myths, Presumptions, and Facts about Obesity, co-written by 21 obesity researchers, sets the record straight about weight loss by dispelling some myths and reaffirming important truths. Aside from their study, it does depend on the person and his or her physiology, predisposition, heredity and body type. Diets like Medifast, Nutrisystem, and Weight Watchers may work for some people but sticking to those plans can be difficult. Finding the best plan to focus on what fits your needs and lifestyle is the hardest part. Making the conscious effort to make changes that will better your overall health and outlook is the first step. When it comes down to it, it is all about education, your motivation, being persistence, dedication and finding what’s right for you.

Nutrisystem has worked for a couple of friends. They are shedding pounds and have developed a steady exercise routine. These programs do help with portion control and calorie intake which is a plus, but overall I have a problem with processed meals provided by some of these diet plans. Out of all three of these programs, Weight Watchers appears to heed the best results. Their point system does work, and they promote eating what you love just smarter. You have to do the work, incorporate exercise and stick with it. I followed the liquid diet Medifast (similar to Slimfast) years ago and dropped from a size twelve to a size three in four months. I had not been a size three since my freshman year in high school and loved it. However, as soon as I stopped the diet and slowly introduced solid foods back into my regimen, I gained the weight back and more very quickly. If you want to do a diet plan like one of these, it is best to speak to a health professional and make sure you have all the facts so you can determine which is the right plan for you.

A number of people have followed the, what I call, “Cut Out the White” diet by removing white bread, pasta, white rice, sugar, and dairy from your diet. For me, that is no way to live. I’m Italian, and I crave my pasta from time to time. I cannot live without cream in my coffee, but I did manage to wean myself off of putting sugar in it years ago. However, for some this diet has worked wonders. My sister has dropped fifteen pounds by following this eating plan. Apparently, she does not like pasta as much as me. All kidding aside, she switched out all the white wheat products for multigrain products, cut out sugar and all dairy products. She feels good and looks fantastic. If you can do that, all power to you. Again, you have to be diligent.

Aside from people who suffer from Celiac disease, Gluten Free living, trendy or not, is not going away anytime soon. I’ve seen the benefits of gluten-free do wonders for my friends and my friends’ children. Friends have lost weight, feel better,  look better, and they have less digestive problems. They say their kids feel better, are better focused, and they do see improvements in their behavior overall, especially in Autistic children. Although the effects are positive, researchers say more studies need to be done. I’ve tried a number of gluten-free products myself and have found that some of the Gluten free cereals, crackers, cookies, and pasta are decent. Dare I say tasty? Gluten free products continue to taste better and better than when they were first introduced into the marketplace. There does not seem to be any potential risks of cutting gluten out of your diet. For more information about Celiac disease, consult with a physician or read more here.

I find counting calories and exercising regularly what works best for me. I have a trusty app I use called Lose It. I programmed in my basic information and how much weight I would like to lose. It sets my daily calorie intake for me. It also has a vast menu of foods and exercises already programmed in the app. You have the option to scan a food barcode directly into the application or add your own foods and exercises if you cannot locate them in their library. You can also add your favorite recipes. Not only can you track your own progress you can motivate others and track their progress.  I’ve found this is the only thing that keeps me on track. However you have to be diligent, make sure you import your daily information and watch your calorie intake. There are numerous tools out there that do this, but this one works best for me and it is convenient to track in my Smartphone. The trick, to all these plans, is to stick with it and make it part of your daily routine.

Although it is tough for some of us to find the best means to stay fit, it is essential to find what best works best for you. Eating right and being active are the keys. You have to make the effort. It will not just fall into your lap.


By: Gina Cafasso | Contributing Writer

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