Starting a diet and managing what you eat is one of the best steps you can take towards improving your overall health. We’ve all found ourselves binging on fatty foods and processed sugar, and as tasty as it is, the negative effects happen fast. We find ourselves feeling lethargic and sickly and unhappy with ourselves. So, first thing first is choosing the right diet, well done for taking control and aspiring to live a healthier and happier lifestyle.
Choosing a diet can be stressful in itself. Firstly, it’s a commitment, and a lot of people worry about choosing and committing to the wrong one. Secondly, there are SO MANY diets to choose from. Especially in the 21st century where every brand is profiting off of their own ‘wonder diet’ that guarantees weight loss for everyone.
But choosing a diet doesn’t have to be such a frustrating task. Here are some useful tips to make choosing a diet easier, and to help you make the right choice.
If you look at all the pre-set diets, keto, vegan, paleo, and fast 800, they all have one major thing in common: they all cut out processed sugar.
Processed sugar is potentially the most detrimental substance to our health that we find ourselves consuming every day. It’s in our drinks, from full-fat cola to a single spoon in our tea. It’s in our sweets and treats, in extreme quantities. Therefore, cutting out this substance is almost always step one to living a healthier lifestyle.
The most common effects of consuming high levels of sugar include:
- Increased weight gain
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Low mood/depression
What’s more, for some of us, a fully regimented diet may not be necessary. We may have had the concept of well-balanced meals drilled into us from an early age. We’ve just found ourselves snacking on sweets and treats too much.
For those worried about committing to a structured diet, why not try this small step first: cut out the sugar? Build discipline when it comes to your diet in small stages and feel the benefits one by one. Not only will this make it easier to stick to your diet, but by implementing it in small stages it’ll also help you to understand what you’re consuming and how it affects your body.
Fits Your Needs
When it comes to diets, there is no one size that fits all.
A lot of us have tried diets in the past and hated them. Sometimes it’s the food choices, sometimes it’s the commitment, but a lot of the time we find ourselves feeling worse than we did to start with. The most likely cause of this is because your diet doesn’t fulfil the demands of your body and your lifestyle.
A diet that doesn’t make you feel good and healthy, and just leaves you tired, is pointless. It can never be a long-term commitment, which is what a good diet should be.
Firstly, speak to a nutritionist, they can run tests to help you better understand your physiology and digestive system. Everyone is different, and what is a balanced, healthy meal for one person may not be for another.
It is also very important to look at your lifestyle. Fond of running and sports? You may need higher levels of carbohydrates or healthy fats than the average person to keep you energised. Spend half your day in the gym lifting weights. You will need a greater quantity of protein than others.
Not Just A Phase, A Lifestyle
The best diets are healthy, balanced, and easy enough to be followed for life.
We’ve all known someone on a strange ‘fad diet’. The cabbage soup diet, the milk diet, the 800-calorie diet, and the raw food diet, are just a few of the hundreds of ridiculous diets that “guarantee” results.
The thing is they do work, for about a week or two. Then the lack of essential nutrients or the extreme calorie deficits take their toll, and you find yourself desperately craving a burger or doughnut with little hope for self-control.
A REAL diet is not bound by ridiculous parameters like cabbage or a minuscule amount of calories. It should involve healthy choices and well-balanced meals. This means proteins, healthy fats, the right quantity of carbs and a smattering of veg and greens.
Choosing a healthy diet is a commitment, but it shouldn’t be a scary one. If a diet looks daunting and completely unfollowable, it probably is.
Look for one that seems interesting, easy to follow, and most importantly tasty, because at the end of the day it’s a good lifestyle choice, not a punishment.
Archie Fenn is a Freelance Health & Fitness Writer from London. Training and competing in martial arts from the age of 6. Archie has been a long-time fitness fanatic, currently training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and preparing for a half-marathon. You can find out more about Archie on his website: Archiefenn.com