Blue Water Healthy Living

I’ve Decided to Diet. Now what?

By Marcia Conard

Whether you’ve made the decision to lose weight or eat healthier, you’ve made a decision to make a lifestyle change! The number of programs or plans available can be overwhelming, so how do you get started?

We often hear about the yo-yo effect. It would make sense then to not go for the “quick fix,” but instead something that you can live with long term. What does this mean? It means you are looking for something that will promote that lifestyle change and a diet that contains guidelines that are not going to create stress and/or anxiety for you.

The number of diets out there seem to increase by the day. Some diet names you may recognize would be the Keto diet, Atkins Diet, DASH diet, MIND diet, Low- Carb Diet, Weight Watchers (WW), South Beach Diet, Vegan and Vegetarian diet, Flexitarian Diet, Mediterranean Diet, Whole 30 Diet, Mayo Clinic Diet, Apple Cider Vinegar Diet, Cabbage Soup Diet, and so on. Additionally, there are cleanses and detoxes. Where to begin?

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Do your research. There is a wealth of information out there on the internet. What is the reason for the diet? Are you trying to focus on a certain area of health? Are you trying to lose weight? Do you have health concerns such as diabetes or heart disease? It may be very important for you to discuss a change in diet with your physician or a dietitian. Why? Some diets cut out entire food groups which could cause nutrient deficiencies that may be detrimental to your overall health. Some diets may be too acidic, etc. that could have a negative interaction with a medication or supplement you take.

Other things to consider when you start to narrow down your choices would be do you want a plan where you buy all your food off the plan diet – prepared meals, snacks, and shakes – or do you want a diet plan that allows you to purchase your own groceries and prepare meals in accordance with the diet guidelines and recipes. Some of these choices are as individual as you are. Maybe you need the convenience of buying everything already prepared and pre- measured. Maybe you are feeding a family and need to find a diet solution that is healthy for the entire family and allows you to lose weight when eaten within the diet portion guidelines.

You know your own body and you need to listen to your body. You need to choose a diet that leaves you feeling satisfied at the end of a meal rather than starving, feeling deprived, and ready to binge eat that bag of potato chips! You may have tried a diet that worked for a friend or family member, however that doesn’t mean it will work the same for you. After all, their genetic makeup, health concerns, and lifestyle may be far different than yours! If after a reasonable length of time when trying a diet, you aren’t adjusting to the portion sizes, or you are feeling unpleasant side effects that aren’t getting better (i.e. headaches, stomach aches, gastrointestinal problems, etc.), then you may want to reconsider your diet choice, but don’t give up!! Again, you may want to consider discussing this with your doctor or dietitian. (If you don’t have a dietitian, check the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website to locate one in your area.)

Some studies indicate that low-carb diets assist with weight loss, maintain that weight loss, and create a higher resting metabolism. That being said, not all low- carb diets are created equal. Research! Some studies suggest certain diets such as the Mediterranean Diet may cut heart disease risk. Research! Don’t get discouraged because I assure you that once you get past all the responses you receive when you Google the word “diet,” you will find the right one for you and it probably won’t take that long. Keep in mind that there are diet choices that allow you to go to meetings and interact with coaches and co-dieters. There are diets that have apps for your cell phone to assist you in staying on track. Some even have programs that allow you to journal your diet online and interact with diet counselors online. If you don’t need any of those things to assist with your lifestyle change, I applaud you!

It’s a new year. Go for it!! Before you know it, you will be well on
your journey to a new and healthier you!! Bon Appetit!

By Marcia Conard
1/10/2019 Marcia Conard is a life-long resident of the Blue Water Area. Marcia has an Associate of Science Degree from St. Clair County Community College. Marcia was licensed by the Federal Government as a Customhouse Broker and worked in Management and as a Director for over 30 years in the Customs Brokerage business. Marcia has two grown sons also living and raising families in the Blue Water Area. Marcia joined the Grant Smith Health Insurance Agency as the operations manager in May, 2017.

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