If the pounds have been creeping up, it may be time to look for a good diet plan. A good diet produces regular, slow weight loss at a rate of 1/2 lb. to 2 lbs. a week. Fad diets that provide quick weight loss may take a toll on your health and cause you to regain the pounds lost. Choose a balanced, healthy and reduced-calorie meal plan that suits your lifestyle to get the excess weight off and keep your energy up.
Diets and diet recommendations have changed over time, as the understanding of nutrition has improved. While fad diets have come and gone, the basics of “eat less food” remain at the center of any good diet plan, both then and now. Time has shown that overly restrictive diets, those relying on medications or diet pills or any diet that seems too good to be true is not the best choice to take off those unwanted pounds.
Diet plans that work share a key characteristic. In all cases, you will consume fewer calories than you burn. A deficit of 3,500 calories will produce a 1 lb. weight loss, but you do need to maintain an adequate number of calories for your body to thrive and your metabolism to function properly. This is true whether you are eating fat, protein or carbohydrates.
While you will lose weight on a restricted-calorie diet regardless of the foods you eat, different types of diet plans may work better for your lifestyle or body. Good diet plans may rely upon freshly prepared foods, meal delivery services or prepared foods from your local grocery store. If you enjoy choosing and cooking foods or need to cook for your family, a plan that allows you to select recipes and foods within dietary guidelines may be ideal. Prepared foods may work better for a busier lifestyle.
For the healthiest diet, choose a diet plan that relies on whole grains, lean protein, low-fat or non-fat dairy products and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. While fad diets may pull weight off quickly, they will not help you learn how to eat right and maintain weight loss. A well-balanced and healthy diet with a variety of good foods will allow you to train your eye and palate to appropriate portions and healthy foods.
If low calorie is good, lower must be better, right? This is not true. Determine an appropriate daily caloric intake based on your base metabolic rate (BMR), plus your usual activity level. Avoid dropping below 1,200 calories per day to maintain your metabolism and keep losing weight.