It’s that time of the year. Spring is right around the corner and our thoughts turn to getting out of our hibernated state. It’s time to start thinking about getting our shorts and spring clothes out. Before we know it, we’ll be working on our tans and all thoughts of cold days and snow will be forgotten.
If you are like the majority of people coming off a long winter, our spring clothes may be fitting a little tighter than what they were when we packed them up last year. It’s time to shed a few pounds, and we generally are looking for a fast way to do it as opposed to lifestyle changes which are generally better, but take more time. Even with fad diets, I believe it is important to know your body and understand what works for you, and also to know there should be general rules that can aid in making healthy choices no matter what diet you might choose.
Make sure your diet includes plenty of veggies and fruits. Use fats that are plant-based oils and unsaturated fats. Cut down on the beef and eat more seafood. Choose to eat 100% whole grain foods. Give yourself a reward day or two by enjoying your favorite sweets and baked goods but do so in moderation.
If you are looking for a diet to try, let me give my recommendations done from years of research and working with clients in the fitness industry.
The Mediterranean diet has shown great success and does not require calorie counting. It falls right in line with previously mentioned recommendations for any diet. It includes filling up on veggies, fruits, 100% whole grains, choosing lean protein, and even allows for some sweets in small amounts.
The Dash diet is also on the top of my recommendations. It emphasizes produce of all types, seafood, 100% whole grains, low-fat dairy, nuts, and seeds. Protein sources are poultry, pork, and seafood, with an emphasis on omega-3 filled fatty fish like tuna and salmon.
Another popular diet, which I have serious reservations about, is the Keto diet. Eating dietary fat for a majority of your daily calories means cutting fiber-rich foods (fruits, veggies, legumes) and lean protein sources—some of the most nutrient dense choices there are. When you restrict carbs dramatically from your diet, your body draws on glycogen for energy. This can cause a drastic loss in water weight that can encourage you to stick with it. But limiting most carbs and some protein can have a serious impact over time that will surely influence everything from energy levels to hormones.
These are just a few of the thousands of diets that are available to us. Before starting these or any diets, do your research and know what’s best for you. Diets that can lead to positive lifestyle changes are always going to be the healthiest in the long run. If there is a key to me for any diet, it would always be heavy in produce. To be inclusive of produce will generally guarantee that you have the building blocks of a diet that leads to a healthier life!