4 Keys To A Smart Nutrition PlanD.I.E.T.
-- By Mike Kramer, Staff Writer
Think of the word "diet," and what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Visions of joyless eating, piles of pale lettuce, bored taste buds, more pale lettuce, meals that would starve a mouse, and mounds of food labeled "Off Limits" and locked away, never to be tasted again. Oh, and lettuce. In other words:
Don’tBoooring! Deprivation diets, fad diets and taboo-food diets send the wrong message. Your body is not an enemy that needs to be beaten and starved into submission. Building healthy habits can – and should – be fun! This is a positive thing you’re doing, making yourself healthy and happy at the same time.
Food was created for a reason. Each food has specific benefits and potential drawbacks. Even chocolate, in certain forms, is said to protect against high blood pressure and heart disease. On the other hand, if you eat nothing but grapefruits, you'll be loading up on certain vitamins, but missing out on a lot of other very important nutrients. The key is balance. Too much of anything can hurt. But not enough of everything can hurt even more. <pagebreak>
How far do you think your car would go on watered down gas or without any oil? About 20 miles, probably. You’re no different. Deprive your body of what it needs and it’ll break down. The secret is to be conscious of the grades of "oil" and "gas" that you use. Some are more powerful than others, and help you run longer on less fuel.
To fuel your body for optimal performance while losing weight, SparkPeople strongly suggests 4 strategies to use when starting a weight loss program:
- Control your food portions. Who really needs "Biggie" anything? Use our easy guide to portion control.
- Make smart substitutions. Why not try mustard (11 calories) instead of mayonnaise (99 calories) on that deli sandwich? Who knows, you might even like it better. Compare calories in your favorite foods using this handy chart, and learn more ways to cut calories without deprivation.
- Focus on "power foods." High protein, high fiber, healthy fats and good carbs give you the most punch for your lunch. Here are over 100 foods that fit the bill.
- Watch your eating habits. Mindless munching, emotional binging, and twice-a-day trough feedings are sneaky habits that steal momentum and leave pounds. Overcome emotional eating with our 10-step action plan.