Top 25 Rules of Dieting

By admin
17 May 2013

Are you a diet virgin or have you tried them all? Whether you’re a beginner or an old hand, try our top 25 rules of dieting

Losing weight and staying healthy need not be complicated. implement these top tips to help you make better food choices and soon you’ll be able to lose weight and maintain the loss without feeling as if you’re constantly denying yourself.

1 VARIETY IS KEY

Enjoy a variety of foods and eat from every food group to maintain a healthy and widely nutritious eating profile. This will also help prevent the feeling you’re now “on a diet”.

2 KEEP MOVING

Be as physically active as possible. Whether you join the gym or take the dog for a daily walk, find an activity you enjoy that provides exercise and motivates you to do more.

3 EAT STARCH

Completely removing starches or carbohydrates from your diet is not a good idea. These foods are our “immediate” energy sources and are necessary to keep your metabolism working at its best.

4 FILL UP ON FRUIT AND VEGETABLES

Experts recommend everyone should eat a minimum of five servings of fruit and vegetables every day. This will help keep you feeling satisfied while providing the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to function at its full potential each day.

5 EAT YOUR BEANS

Beans, peas, lentils and soya should be eaten regularly. These foods are excellent sources of carbohydrates, fibre and protein.

6 EAT YOUR PROTEIN DAILY

Eat small amounts of chicken, fish, meat, milk and eggs every day. And pay attention to portion size; each serving should be no bigger than the palm of your hand.

7 CONSUME FATS SPARINGLY

A healthy diet should include some fats, as long as they are “healthy” fats such as avocado and olive oils which are low in saturated fat and trans fat.

8 BEWARE OF HIDDEN SUGARS

Read labels on food and drinks to check the sugar content. Hidden sugar easily derails a healthy eating plan. For example, there are hidden sugars in “healthy” products such as flavoured mineral waters.

9 MONITOR SALT INTAKE

Many processed foods and drinks contain much larger amounts of salt than you realise. The dangers of consuming too much salt include high blood pressure, which is a major health threat.

10 DRINK LOTS OF CLEAN, SAFE WATER

Proper hydration has an effect on appetite and helps reduce fat deposits. You should aim to drink about 1½ to 2 litres of water per day. Flavoured waters, tea and coffee do not count because they contain kilojoules.

11 DRINK ALCOHOL IN MODERATION

Alcohol contains empty kilojoules, so women should drink only one to two glasses per day whereas men should limit consumption to two to three glasses per day.

12 EAT BREAKFAST EVERY DAY

Research shows that people who regularly eat a healthy meal for breakfast are the ones who lose the most weight and manage to keep the weight off. A wholesome breakfast within an hour of waking also kick-starts your metabolism for the day ahead.

13 WATCH PORTION SIZES

Keep your portion sizes small and eat at three- to four-hour intervals to provide your body with regular energy and keep your metabolism working at its very best.

14 DONT EAT TOO CLOSE TO BEDTIME

Eat your last meal of the day at least two to three hours before going to bed. Eating earlier rather than later allows digestion to take place before you go to sleep. Your body can therefore concentrate on rejuvenation rather than digesting food while you sleep.

15 EAT LOWGI CARBOHYDRATES

Eating high-fibre carbohydrates with a low-glycaemic index (GI) will ensure you will feel satisfied for three to four hours before you start feeling hungry again.

16 CONSUME DAIRY

Many studies have shown that lowfat dairy products have a beneficial effect on weight loss. Consume a minimum of three portions of low-fat milk products each day.

17 EAT AND DRINK LOWFAT OR FATFREE

Low-fat and fat-free foods are a healthy part of a weight-loss plan because foods high in fat are often also high in sugar and kilojoules. High-fat foods are also usually high in saturated and trans fats (also known as the “bad” fats) which could not only lead to weight gain but could raise your cholesterol level and increase your risk of heart disease.

18 EAT HEALTHY SNACKS

It’s inevitable that at some point in the day you will have an attack of the munchies. Keep healthy snacks on hand, such as fruit, low-fat yoghurt, popcorn and raw veggies.

19 GO GREEN ONE DAY A WEEK

By making at least one day a week a vegetarian day, not only will you ensure you eat the recommended five daily fruit and veggies but you can be creative with legumes and vegetables and fish.

20 RESTOCK YOUR FRIDGE

Sticking to a healthy eating plan is hard enough without temptation lurking in the fridge. Before you start a diet, stock the fridge with healthy foods such as lowfat yoghurts, fresh fruit and a variety of vegetables.

21 GET ENOUGH SLEEP

Research has shown that people who have an average seven to eight hours sleep a night are more successful at losing weight and keeping it off than those who sleep less. So get to bed early and ensure

22 ORDER STARTERS FOR MAINS

Eating out can be a minefield for people on a diet because restaurant portions are often much bigger than you would serve at home. Eat half your main meal and take the rest home or order two starters rather than one main course.

23 KEEP A FOOD JOURNAL

Keeping track of what you eat every day has been shown to be an effective weight-loss strategy. A food diary will help you think twice before you eat something and you will also quickly see where extra kilojoules come from.

24 STOP WHEN YOU’RE FULL

Be mindful of how much you’re eating and be aware of your body when it tells you its full. The key is to stop eating before you feel full or bloated.

25 PLAN YOUR MEALS

One of the best ways to eat healthily is to prepare your own food and to plan adequately. Plan four meals a week and eat leftovers on the other nights.

DIET MISTAKES:

There are five common diet traps you should avoid at all costs. Here’s what Cape Town dietician Dianne Ivison teaches her clients

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. “There is no quick fix to a long-term problem. Make small, sustainable changes to your eating habits.”

  • One size does not fit all. “Don’t be influenced by other people, and always check with your doctor or a dietician before embarking on a trendy new diet.”

  • Weight-loss injections, shakes and pills cannot work without a healthy eating and exercise plan.

  • Weighing yourself every day is not helpful. “At first your weight-loss might seem quick but this is due to a loss of water and some fat.” The body’s water content fluctuates every day, which will affect your weight and can be disheartening.

  • Following a strict diet based on denial of certain foods does not work. “This is the biggest mistake people make. Diets don’t work, lifestyle changes do.”

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