For many who have tried repeatedly to lose weight, the scenario is all too familiar – you eliminate “bad” foods such as fats and sweets from your diet and lose some weight initially, but more often than not, the weight comes crashing back, along with a few extra kilos to boot. The truth is that although fad diets may help with initial weight loss, most are unhealthy and just about all are unsustainable in the long term. Furthermore, many fad diets have a tendency to villainize foods, labeling them as bad and good, despite the fact that studies show that long term success results from an approach of moderation in eating--in other words, when it comes to good nutrition and weight loss, an approach that’s slow and steady wins the race.
It is true that some foods are more nutritious for you than others, however, most people would benefit from a big change in perspective when it comes to “labeling” foods in this way. Following a diet that is too strict or severe typically results in feelings of dissatisfaction and deprivation, not to mention rebound weight gain. Adopting a commonsense attitude towards eating, instead of dieting, supports a healthier foundation by including formerly forbidden foods such as sweets and fats in moderation, for a more truly balanced approach to diet.
So how does one find the proper balance? For most people, a whole foods approach is best--the focus should be on a rainbow of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, wholesome sources of protein such as fish, eggs, dairy and meats plus healthy fats such as olive oil and other plant-based oils from nuts and seeds. Be sure to drink plenty of water, still and sparkling to ensure adequate hydration, too. And remember, don’t deprive yourself– enjoying sweet treats in moderation is not only ok, it can actually be part of the balanced steps to a healthier and sustainable lifestyle, long term.