Rather than worry about following a fad diet, think about your health and change your lifestyle instead. Choose foods that are good for you and eat them in the right amounts.
The closer a food is to its natural state, the better it is for you. Fresh fruits and berries are will satisfy a craving for sweets. Whole green, orange, and yellow vegetables have lots of vitamins and minerals. Steam them, or eat them raw, to retain the nutritional value. Don't add too much gravy, cheese, or sauces that are high in calories and fats.
At least half of your pasta, cereals or baked goods should be made from whole grains. Avoid sugary snacks like cookies and pastries.
Shop for lean meats, poultry and fish. The omega-3 fatty acids in ocean fish are often missing in the diet, so serve seafood two or three times per week. If you don't eat fish or seafood, you can also get omega-3 fats from walnuts, soy and soyfoods, pumpkin seeds and flax.
Stick to water, milk and 100-percent fruit and vegetable juices as your main beverages and limit sugary soft drinks. If you get tired of plain water, add a slice of lemon or lime to add a touch of flavor, or try some fruit juice jazzed up with carbonated water.
Processed lunch meats, hot dogs, bacon, and sausages have a lot of saturated fat and extra sodium. If you love these meats, you may be able to find healthier versions at health food stores.
Additional Foods To Avoid
- Battered and deep fried foods
- Sugary sodas
- Processed lunch meats
- Greasy snack chips
- Most canned spaghetti and ravioli
- Sugary breakfast cereals
- Frozen fried chicken, fish sticks and corn dogs
- Green and brightly colored vegetables
- Dark leafy greens and lettuce
- Fresh fruits and berries
- Lean turkey and chicken
- Nuts, dried fruits and healthy snacks
- Whole grain breads and pasta
- Healthy cooking oils like canola and olive oils
- Grass fed beef and bison
- Cold water oily ocean fish
- Low fat milk or soy beverages
- Nuts, seeds, and legumes
- High-fiber breakfast cereals
Once you learn which foods are healthful, you need to look at your eating habits. If the foods you eat are not healthy, you might want to work within your habits and current lifestyle conditions, since they are usually tough to change. Consider these questions, then read on for tips to help you add more nutritious foods:
- Do you eat because you are bored, sad, or happy?
- Do you snack in front of the TV without even giving it much thought?
- Are most of your meals eaten at home or in restaurants?
- How often do you eat fast food?
- Do you like to cook?
- How often do you grocery shop?
- Do you skip breakfast or lunch, then overeat later in the day?
- How big are the portions you consume?
- Do you crave sweets?
- Are there foods you won't give up?
The same tips are helpful for those who enjoy snacking while watching television at home. If you don't want to give up nibbling while watching your shows, keep low-calorie foods close by, because it is very easy to eat too much when you are entranced by your favorite drama, football game or cooking show. Eat crisp raw vegetables with your dip instead of greasy chips.