There are certain characteristics that differentiate healthy diets and unhealthy diets. The less effective diets are the usually the ones that promise rapid weight loss and only last for a month or so. The healthier diet programs give more of a focus on losing weight over a longer period. These diet plans are tailored for the individual so are easier to stick to for a long time.
Something that is common with people looking for a weight loss solution is that they don't have the right knowledge about what healthy eating really consists of. Many people are attracted to fad diets that promise them fast results. These diets are usually temporary solutions. Many people have good success with such diets, but being as they don't know what a healthy diet really consists of, they return to their old eating patterns soon after and start piling all that weight back on.
There is nothing wrong with trying out a fad diet, and they may well work. The problem is that many people don't have a plan B for when the diet finishes. There's no real use in eating healthily for 30 days and then returning to your usual unhealthy diet.
These diets are sometimes referred to as 'yo-yo' diets. Sometimes the dieter will regain twice as much weight as they lost after returning to their old eating habits. This is because of the effects that these eating changes have on their metabolism.
Here are some of the characteristics that fad diets often possess. If you spot things like this then you know that they are most likely not a diet with sustainable long term benefits:
- They focus on just one or two nutrients
There are several dieting plans around that focus on drastically reducing carbohydrates. These once popular diets have begun fading away, which hopefully reflects the new awareness people are gaining regarding long term healthy eating practices. For long term health benefits, your body needs a good variety of nutrients, including carbohydrates and fats. Balance is the key.
- They promise fast weight loss results
While they may make you lose weight quickly, they are just temporary diets. This means that when the diet is over there's a good chance you'll pile that weight back on. You could even put on more weight than you lost.
- They focus on magic foods
A big trend with diets these days is claiming that a certain food like lemon, grapefruit, cinnamon, celery etc. will burn fat fast. While certain can foods can have a positive effect on the metabolism, they should not be considered the solution to long term weight loss.
- They come in supplement form
There's all sorts of magic diet pills and supplements doing the rounds. Remember, they are called a 'supplement' for a reason. They are intended to supplement an overall healthy eating plan. There's nothing wrong with taking supplements, but they should not be solely relied on in order to lose weight.
- There is no exercise involved
Yes some fad diets even claim that no exercise is required and that the special diet alone will make you lose weight. Exercise is a vital practice regardless of your diet. If a dieting product attempts to sell you on the fact you don't need to exercise, stay well away.
As you may have noticed after reading the above, fad diets are unbalanced and focus on miraculous and rapid changes. Truly healthy diet plans a like a reality check. The best way to be healthy and lose weight is to eat well consistently in the longer term.
There are many healthy diet programs out there that promote long term health in order to lose weight. While they don't promise success in just a few weeks, they give the groundwork for eating healthily in the long term. Stick to a sustainable plan like this and you body will naturally form its optimum weight over time.
Because a true healthy diet is stuck to for the long term, there is no danger of sudden weight gain as the diet does not end. So the way to spot a healthy diet among all the unhealthy diets out there is to focus more on long term health, rather than overnight weight loss.
In addition, a healthy diet plan focuses on proper eating practices. This includes the frequency and size of meals, which is an important factor which many dieters overlook.
Here are the common features of a healthy diet plan:
- Ensure You Consume Enough Calories
Many fad diets can contain a drastically low amount of calories. Starving your body of calories is not the best way to lose weight – you need to reduce calories gradually. A healthy plan will be tailored the your current calorie intake. Seeing a nutritionist can be helpful to calculate your average weekly calorie intake. A major decrease in your average intake will not serve you well if trying to lose weight properly.
- Allowing Snacking Between Meals
Rather than just eating your 3 main meals a day, it is better to have a slightly smaller breakfast, lunch and dinner, and then eat some small healthy snacks in between. This increases metabolism and fills your body with energy. It also settles your appetite and prevents overeating.
- Contains a Wide Selection of Foods
You shouldn't be confined to eating just one kind of food. A healthy diet plan will contain a good mixture of vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and lean meat.
- Sustainable & Flexible
A healthy diet is designed to last for a long time. This is why the best diet plans can be tailored to your own eating habits and your lifestyle. An effective eating plan will include all your favourite foods to some extent – as long as you don't overindulge. This makes the diet more effective as you will have more will-power to stick to it.
When you search for a healthy diet plan, evaluate the plans you see and try to identify the above elements. Doing this can help you separate the genuinely healthy diet plans for the fads.
Look for a sustainable diet plan that you know you will be able to stick to for a long time. Find a suitable plan and it will make achieving your health goals a lot easier. The Lunch Box Diet by Simon Lovell reached acclaim because it's one of the few diets that causes yo-yo dieting as it's more of a healthy lifestyle plan. Voted 'the best diet' by Elle Magazine they said it became 'a way of life' – very few diets offer that kind of benefit.