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Dieting: What’s Hot, What’s Not Information Overload

Posted Jan 27 2010 9:28pm
The way we diet can do wonders for our body image and health in the long run. Everybody is into dieting today one way or the other, regardless of whether they’re doing it knowingly or not. We all believe that we should eat more broccoli, green beans and a lot more fruit and raw vegetables and less fat. But are we losing weight with the dieting methods we’re using? Or is there so much dieting information out there, that we’re suffering from information overload?

Whatever the case is – for the most part of our lives we do try to stay on the right side of healthy, but it’s not always easy. Add to that the fact that there are so many conflicting stories on what’s hot and what’s not when it comes to healthy foods that you can quite easily find yourself in a dieters’ hell. Consequently many of us run around like headless chickens, trying to find out what is healthy for us and what is absolutely not.

So what can you do to be sure your diet is both helping you to lose weight and stay healthy at the same time and in the long run?

The most important thing when it comes to dieting is to use common sense. Common sense wouldn’t let you starve to death with plenty of food around you and it would most likely make you feel you’ve had too much when you give way to your eating cravings! So yes, common sense is your best partner when it comes to healthy diet choices.

The next very important thing is to understand that your body needs proteins, fats, sugars, fibres, vitamins and minerals at all meals if it is to feel satisfied with what you’ve been eating. Ideally, every time you eat, your plate should have some protein, a little fat and a little fibrous mass to ensure that you feel full and satisfied.

This takes some planning and for some of us planning can be hard because we are so much into the “mindlessly munching on pretzels” habit. You have to admit it, it’s a lot easier to reach out for a bag of whatever junk food is available than to plan a balanced meal.

It also means that if you plan to replace potato chips with a fruit snack, you’ll feel good about it and it won’t make you feel full. An apple followed by, say, some plain yoghurt, will do more to keep you filled than two apples. Have a bit of everything at every meal!

Another thing we hear all the time is that raw food is better – as in healthier – than cooked food. It follows that you have to eat as much raw food as possible. But you are not told that eggplants and beans sometimes harbour toxic compounds that can wreak havoc on your digestive tract if you eat them raw. Many starch containing plants cannot be eaten raw because our bodies do not process that particular type of starch unless transformed by high temperature processing – cooking, that is.

Other veggies, like carrots, contain fragile nutrients that can be destroyed in a frying pan. But cooked carrots still contain tons of great nutrients and vitamins. And no, there is no evidence that sushi is any better for you than grilled salmon. What to do then? Eat a mixture of raw and cooked fruits and veggies, and use common sense. If it’s normally eaten raw, go for it. If it’s usually cooked into a culinary delight, go for that and don’t eat it raw.

Dieting choices should be made according to your own body’s needs and way of life. It is really of no use to starve yourself or eat disgusting foods just because others say it’s healthy.

Make regular exercising part of your dieting routine too. Instead of taking the car – walk or take your bike for a spin. If you’re near the beach and it’s safe to swim, go for a regular dip – it’s amazing how much energy you’ll get in return from just 20 minutes of swimming. It’s a little more time consuming, but the benefits in the long run will be to your advantage. Make your diet a healthy combination.

There’s a huge amount of dieting supplements that may or may not help you in your weight loss project, it all depends on a mountain of criteria as we’re all unique – so one size doesn’t fit all. Always be sensible about what you eat – our bodies have a way of knowing and telling us what we need.

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