Fad diets create confusion when it comes to weight loss. The truth is it doesn’t matter what plan you follow; if your calorie intake is less than your calorie output, you will lose weight.¬†But how long will you be able to continue cutting back on calories as a sustainable option for weight loss?
Your food choices should be nutrient-rich, well-balanced options to reduce the hunger response and allow you to feel satisfied for longer periods of time. This option is much more sustainable and should become the way you choose to eat – – not just a “diet” of which you go “on” and “off.”
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest that 35-45% percent of your calories come from carbs, 10-30% percent from protein, and 28-35% percent from fat.
TOTAL CALORIES
To lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume on a regular basis.
  • Research shows the best approach to weight loss is a combination of reduced caloric intake with an increase in physical activity.
  • For gradual (and healthy) weight loss resulting in a 1-to 2-pound loss each week, decrease high-calorie foods and drinks AND increase your physical activity.
  • Food choices should be nutrient-dense foods that provide many essential nutrients but few calories. These nutrient-dense choices actually allow you to eat more food yet still lose weight.
  • For weight loss, it’s ideal to choose foods high in whole grains and fiber. These foods are generally lower in calories, saturated fat and added sugars yet provide abundant nutrients, and may help promote satiety.
  • For weight loss and overall health, choose an eating plan with 45-65% of total daily calories from complex carbohydrates including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and brown rice.
HEALTHY FATS
  • It should be obvious that you to need to avoid overeating fatty foods. Limiting these types of fat calories in your diet can also help decrease your overall total caloric intake.
  • Fat should provide approximately 25-35% of your total daily calories and be mostly in the form of unsaturated fats from plant and fish sources.
  • Saturated and trans fats should be limited for weight loss and also for disease prevention.
  • Select healthy fat options such as salmon, tuna, olive oil, walnuts, almonds, flaxseed, and avocados.
  • Filling up on adequate complex carbohydrates and fresh fruit and vegetables while decreasing fatty and processed foods is an effective way to reduce fat consumption in your diet.
Foods to avoid include fast food, frozen packaged meals, packaged processed foods (chips, cookies, crackers), store-bought sweets, bread and muffins (just read the label on these items! They are loaded with chemicals that wreak havoc on our systems and will not aid in weight loss or maintenance.) Also, avoid sodas and other beverages high in sugar (coffee drinks that are basically desserts and alcoholic drinks).