Instead of focusing only on diet or exercise, aim to improve your total lifestyle. Fitness professional Jeri Lynn Sunok, owner of Orange County's Fitness Intuitive and author of Fitness Intuitive, Opening Your Mind and Body to Lifelong Fitness, recommends a whole-fitness philosophy, a philosophy that incorporates a total body and mind approach to becoming fit. Eat right, follow a workout plan that incorporates variety, and practice a mind-body modality such as meditation or yoga. Develop a life-long comprehensive health and fitness plan.
Though fad-diets don't work for the long-haul and most diets deter you from certain foods, Jenny Schwartz, registered dietician and personal trainer for Midtown Tennis Club in Chicago, recommends The Super Foods Rx Diet. She explains, "The reason this diet is good is it tells you what foods you can eat and focuses on fruits and vegetables. It gives you grocery shopping suggestions and recipes to help you reach your goal. It is also written by dietitians who are experts in the field." (Get a jumpstart with these 10 everyday superfoods.)
Sarah Lurie, fitness professional, kettlebell expert and founder of the kettlebell strengthening and conditioning center Iron Core in San Diego, CA, suggests gaining a better understanding of your body for long-term diet success. "In order to achieve your ideal body, you have to first understand how your body works and processes foods as well as gain insight into why you eat what you do and how much you really need to eat to function at an optimal level. Understanding what you need, how much you need and how your body responds to certain foods is a key ingredient in losing extra pounds for good," she advises. She recommends "eating for life" plans such as You on a Diet, The Anti-Estrogenic Diet, and Jay Robb Fat Burning Diet.
Registered dietician Shwartz says, "Diets can be dangerous and a very short-term solution to weight loss. Some diet plans are healthy and can be effective if followed correctly. The effectiveness of a diet plan depends on what [you were] eating before [you] started the diet. If [you were] eating poorly to begin with, most diets will work but longevity is the key. Everyone's nutritional needs and goals are different, so you may want to see a registered dietitian if you want a diet plan tailored to you."
The low-carb craze spread rampant waves of carbohydrate fear through the masses, resulting in all carbs getting a bad rap. Truth is, complex carbohydrates – found in fruits, veggies and whole grains – are healthy and should be a cornerstone of your diet along with lean proteins and healthy fats. In my article Celebrity workout tips, celebrity health expert Jackie Keller, author of Body After Baby and directing founder of NutriFit, a Los Angeles based nutrition company, says "Our star clients follow a balanced diet along the line of our general NutriFit recommendation of 60 percent favorable carbs (fruits, vegetables and whole grains), 20 percent lean protein and 20 percent healthy fats."
Eating out is no longer the once a month special occasion. According to the National Restaurant Association, people today eat out an average of six times per week – hardly a frequency considered special or on occasion. In the article Diet-conscious strategies, Hope Warshaw, MMSc, RD, CDE, lead nutritionist at Novo Nordisk Presents: Divabetic - Makeover Your Diabetes and author of Eat Out, Eat Right not only advises eating at home more often, she also recommends enjoying the relaxing qualities of eating out without using it as an excuse to overeat.
In my article 7 Diet tips for women to eat healthier at home, nutritionist Warshaw says "Breakfast is the meal skipped most often and, yet, research on successful weight loss shows eating breakfast is a key to successful weight control." Prioritize your morning meal and you'll be prioritizing healthy eating as well as improving your chances of reaching your goal weight. Additionally, eat regular meals throughout the day, fueling your body every three to four hours to keep your blood sugar on an even keel, prevent hunger-induced bingeing, and keep your energy up.
Christine Cristiano, author of Small steps to a healthy lifestyle, advises that you don't try to do too much at once. In the article, Kelly James-Enger, motivational speaker and co-author of Small Changes, Big Results: A 12-Week Action Plan to a Better Life, says "Most people try to overhaul their entire lives all at once, which is nearly impossible to stick with for any length of time." Instead, opt for simple changes like including one more piece of fruit in your day or replacing white bread with whole grain. Do smaller more manageable changes and you'll find them much easier to live with.
Celebrity fitness guru and trainer for Novo Nordisk Presents: Divabetic - Makeover Your Diabetes High Voltage advises, "Stay away from foods that rob you of energy. Focus on unprocessed foods that are full of life because they will, in turn, give you life." Eliminate processed foods and fast food, replacing them with wholesome options like fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, probiotic-rich dairy, and healthy fats – not only will you decrease the chemicals in your diet, you'll also be increasing your consumption of essential nutrients for your health.
In his article Top 10 diet mistakes that prevent women from losing weight, professional women's fitness coach and the author of Slim Girl Secrets - A Woman's Guide To Getting A Shapely Sexy Body Geo Grigoryan says focusing on the scale is not a true representation of how you look. He adds that if you are working out – building muscle and burning fat – "how you look and feel has little to do with how much you actually weigh." Stop obsessing with the scale and take a good look at yourself instead.
According to Sylvie Beljanski, an expert on environmental health effects and founder of Manhattan's Beljanski Wellness Center, detox programs can help aid long-term health, energy and weight loss because they help the body get rid of toxins that compromise the immune system and cause other mental and physical maladies. She recommends seeing a professional to determine if a short- or long-term detox plan is right for you. Beljanski adds, "The advantages include: the immune system is stimulated, the hormonal system is enhanced, dependency on substances such as sugar, caffeine, nicotine or alcohol can be reduced." Plus, you'll feel and look better.
Dr Michael Finkelstein board-certified internist and certified holistic physician and founder of the healthy living concept Skillful Living says, "It is important not to allow ourselves to become romanticized by the fantasies that one, two or a combination of 10 supplements will resolve our underlying issues. The 'dependence' on supplements, instead of an approach that is more holistic leads people down a path of greater reliance on outside forces to keep their life in balance. People lose touch with more reliable ways of caring for themselves and often get stuck." That means eating a healthy well-balanced diet that provides the nutrients you need and only then take a multi if you think your diet is falling short.
"Join a website program that helps you to track calories. Accountability is a huge help," says Amy Hendel R-PA, a family nutritionist and the author of Fat Families, Thin Families. Having the support of a positive online group can keep you motivated to stick to your good diet intentions as well as provide tips to help you overcome diet obstacles. If available, consider joining a diet group that meets face to face in your community – being around supportive, like-minded people is one of the best ways to keep you enthused about eating better.
This is a simple yet so often overlooked trick to prevent snacking after meals. Once you are finished eating – any meal – excuse yourself and go brush your teeth. Having a fresh clean feel in your mouth will deter you from eating anymore. To boot, you'll be taking care of your chompers, reducing your risk of dental caries and gum disease.
In the article The single best way to lose weight, experts suggest that, to help break bad habits, you record not only what you eat, but the circumstances that prompt you to eat. When you begin to notice unhealthy patterns, you can figure out ways to change them. Best yet, you'll see results quickly – even after a couple of weeks, you can compare today to Day 1 and see how you've already improved.
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