Is the low carb trend over? Maybe, maybe not. But is it truly healthy? It depends on what extreme you take it to. The truth is your body needs carbs! Is Atkins healthy? Is the South Beach Diet healthy? The jury is still out, but let us use our common sense. If your diet is a “crash diet” or if you feel run down on your diet, it’s time for a new approach.
What constitutes a good diet? The grapefruit diet, the cabbage soup diet, phase I of Atkins or phase I of South Beach. These are all crash diets. Most people gain back the weight they lost and then some. Don’t fall into that trap yet again.
Low carb diets are not bad, but don’t get carried away. Phase II and III of South Beach are good plans as long as you’re not depriving your body. Want a better plan?
Here are some steps you can take today for a healthier you:
- Eat good carbs, banish bad carbs. Good carbs are whole grains (whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta), fruits, and veggies. Bad carbs are enriched bread and pasta, processed foods, cookies, candies, etc…
- Fit in exercise. Make a weekly plan of how you will fit in exercise. Whether it’s a trip to the gym, a walk around the block, or a Pilates DVD, go ahead and schedule your exercise at a time that you’re most likely to do it.
- Keep a food journal. Studies show that those who log their food and calories are more successful with their diets. It’s a good idea to keep a food journal just to see where and when you are taking in those extra calories.
- Know your Body Mass Index. Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is a good way to easily measure if you are overweight. For optimum health, you should fall in the normal BMI range for your height.
- Don’t restrict your calories too much. When we diet, we often want to lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time, but that won’t produce you lasting results. It is always better to lose the weight gradually, although it may wear on your patience. A realistic goal is to lose ½ pound to 1 pound per week; you can lose more rapidly if you are obese. First, find out how many calories you need to consume per day to maintain your current weight. Then cut your calories and increase your exercise to lose weight. Keep in mind that one pound equals 3,500 calories. If you can find a way to cut 3,500 calories a week by eating healthy and exercising, you will lose 1 pound per week.
- Give yourself permission to have a treat. Give yourself one day of the week to have a special treat you’ve been craving. If you don’t give into your cravings every once in a while, you will probably eventually binge.
- Forgive yourself. We all have a moment of weakness from time to time. If you find you ate a whole container of Ben & Jerry’s while you were watching television, don’t beat yourself up. Hit the gym extra hard tomorrow. That’ll get you back on track quickly.
We are all in this battle together, so don’t give up and know that you have our full support.
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