One of the most popular wellness conversations this year is related to nutrition, more specifically how to lose weight through “dieting.” This always leads to an interesting conversation, as everyone has their own opinions—some of which can be very strong. Aside from everyday conversations, it seems that around every corner is a brand new fad diet, sure to help you lose weight and keep it off.
So, here’s the real question … which diet really does work?
Well, here’s the thing, many of them do work. The problem is many “diets” require such drastic changes to our norm that eventually many of us fall out of habit and ultimately end up back where we started. What many individuals don’t realize is that what we eat on a regular basis—good or bad—is our diet. So why not make some small adjustments to your regular diet?
Here is how to start. Begin by tracking what you eat—this is before you make any changes. Track things such as calories, sodium, sugar, trans and saturated fat, etc. using a food diary or an app on your phone.
By simply tracking what we consume, we become aware of the specific changes we need to make.
It’s pretty simple from here on out. If your goal is to lose weight, reduce the number of calories you are consuming. (We have to burn more than we consume.) Is your goal to eat a healthier diet? Research the normal amounts of sodium, fats and carbohydrates to eat daily and reduce your intake to better meet those standards. For those with high blood pressure, for example, the American Heart Association recommends less than 1500 mg of sodium daily. How do you compare? On average, Americans consume around 3400 mg of sodium daily!
That being said, before cutting important nutrients out of your diet, attempt to track and make small changes to the diet you already follow—your own! Nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, fat and vitamins that we consume regularly are essential for health and thus aren’t meant to be cut out. See how small changes can make a huge impact.
Remember, it took a long time to create the lifestyle we currently follow. Weight loss or ideal diet choices will not happen overnight. Be patient and in time you will see results. And finally, before making any big changes to your diet, be sure to speak with a professional about the changes, big or small.