Nowadays there are so many different diets on the market! There’s a Low-Fat Diet, Low-Carb Diet, HCG diet, Apple Cider Vinegar Diet, Beverly Hills Diet, Hollywood Diet, a Cabbage Soup Diet and even a Tapeworm diet?! These are unrealistic and harmful to your health.
The main problem with most fad-diets are that they exclude one or more macronutrients. For those of who you do not know what macronutrients are, they are the categorisation of the most important food components. There are three major macronutrients that your body needs in oder to function properly and that is carbohydrates, protein and fat. One particular fad-diet that has been very popular is a low-carbohydrate diet. This is where people have drastically reduced their intake of carbohydrate containing foods such as: breads, grains, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, fruit, starchy vegetables, corn, dried beans and lentils, sugar, milk and yoghurt. However, healthy carbohydrates are extremely important for your health. The healthy kinds of carbohydrates can provide you with long lasting energy, prevent disease, improve brain function, improve your gut health and even control your weight! For your body to be working at it’s best it needs a balance of these macronutrients. Depriving yourself of one or more will place stress on your body and cause unwanted side-effects.
So why do some people actually lose weight on these fad-diets then? There is some weight-loss success at first because they are reducing their daily food intake and often avoid carbohydrates, particularly the unhealthy kind. However, these crazy diets are so restrictive that they are practically impossible to keep up for long periods of time! And what happens when you stop this diet? People usually fall back on their old unhealthy eating habits and the weight they had lost comes back to them. And so the vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting begins..
So what should you be doing instead? Focus on living a balanced, healthy and active lifestyle! I believe you should care for your body by nourishing it with real, whole foods; exercise and drink plenty of water. What are whole foods? Whole foods are unprocessed foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. They contain essential nutrients and enzymes needed for your body to perform at it’s best. They are often low in calories too, perfect for those of you wanting to lose weight.
Everyone’s body is different and therefore will have different requirements, but the following food philosophy is generally a good place to start:
- Grain (cereal) foods of the wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties
- High quality animal protein (or alternative options for Vegans/Vegetarians), beans and pulses
- Good fats
- Some dairy
- Some fruit
- Lots of veggies
- Limit intake of sugar, processed food, additives, preservative and artificial ingredients (why bombard your body with toxins and chemicals?)
However, because this is a healthy lifestyle and not a restrictive diet, do not feel guilty for indulging occasionally.. Life is meant to be lived after all! Just remember, everything in moderation!