Maintaining a healthy lifestyle begins with good eating habits, but choosing the best diet to follow is more complicated than just lowering your fat intake to lose weight. A good diet plan should offer the daily nutritional levels the body needs for fuel as well as taking into account your own specific dietary needs. Most importantly, the right diet for you is one that is sustainable, meaning you can stick to it for longer than a few weeks. That means looking for a diet full of wholesome variety that will allow you more flexibility and encourage you to make healthier choices in the future.
Assess Your Current Eating Habits
Before you even start looking for a new diet plan, take a long look at the way you eat now, and consider how those eating habits are affecting your health. Try to keep track of your current food intake in a daily food journal. Write down the type of foods you eat, at what time you eat them, and how much of each you consume. Ask yourself if you’re getting enough of the basic food groups: grains, dairy, vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins.
Keep in Mind Your Own Body’s Needs
Everybody has different nutritional needs, particularly if you suffer from diabetes, celiac disease, lactose intolerance, or a whole host of other nutritionally-based conditions. Many diet plans address the specific needs of these conditions while also offering the extra added benefits of weight loss. For example, the ketogenic diet benefits show it can successfully lower blood sugar levels, making it an excellent choice for those who are borderline diabetic or have been diagnosed with Type-II diabetes.
Don’t Let Your Wallet Choose Your Diet
Making healthy dietary choices can sometimes seem cost prohibitive due to the fact that less-nutritional, packaged foods often seem cheaper and more convenient. Try to think outside of the box; whole grains bought in bulk are less expensive than pre-packaged ones and can be made in advance for easy reheating. Vegan and vegetarian diets can include frozen produce, which offers more convenience and a longer shelf-life than fresh produce, giving you the same nutrients at a fraction of the cost and effort.
Lastly, choose a diet that emphasizes variety and flavors so that you won’t get bored and abandon your plan. Many of the diets derived from geographical places, like the Mediterranean or Nordic Diet, encourage healthy eating habits while also expanding your palette to include more international fare.
Of course, any diet that encourages more balanced eating habits is sure to offer significant health benefits. Start small by eliminating one “problem” food or incorporating one new dietary element every week, and keep track of the results. If you feel bored with your new diet, try expanding your culinary horizons by substituting familiar foods with items you’ve never tried before, like exotic fruits, veggies, and spices.
Ultimately, your body will let you know which diet is working for you: are you feeling more energetic? Are you meeting your weight-loss goals, or noticing positive changes in your mental clarity? When you start fueling your body with right kinds of nutrition, and stop feeding it empty or destructive foods, you’ll notice a decrease in the symptoms of many nutritionally-based conditions, like lethargy, headaches, and low blood sugar. You’ll feel and look better, and this alone can encourage you to make more positive changes is your life, like becoming more active and getting more involved outside and in your community.
Choosing to make healthier changes to your diet is one of the most important steps you can take toward totally transforming your life. There are dozens of diet plans out there that can help get you started, making it easy to find the one that best suits your personal health needs, goals, and budget.
By Guest Author: Mia Morales is a loving wife and mother of twins from Colorado. She is a self-described “DIY addict”, and loves to decorate her house and office with her creations. As a mother, Mia is really passionate about health, nutrition, and what she puts in her body.