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Your health is far too important to be left entirely to scientists,
doctors and other "experts". You should start taking more
responsibility for your well being now, and the diet you take is one
of the most important ways in which you can achieve this.
Balanced diets as per your individual body requirements offer
you the chance of better physical, emotional, social and spiritual
health. They increase your confidence and self esteem.
Types Of Diets
Which diets are effective and which should be avoided? Learn
your dietary options, weigh the pros and cons, and determine
which diet program is right for you.
Fixed-Menu Diet A fixed-menu diet
provides a list of all the foods you will eat. This kind of
diet can be easy to follow because the foods are selected for
you. But, you get very few different food choices which may
make the diet boring and hard to follow away from home.
In addition, fixed-menu diets do not teach the good selection
skills necessary for keeping weight off. If you start with a
fixed-menu diet, you should switch eventually to a plan that
helps you learn to make meal choices on your own, such as an
Exchange-Type Diet An
exchange-type diet is a meal plan with a set number of servings
from each of several food groups. Within each group, foods are
about equal in calories and can be interchanged as you wish/
For example, the "starch" category could:
- include one slice of bread
- 1/2 cup of oatmeal
Each of the above are equal in nutritional value and calories. If your meal plan
calls for two starch choices at breakfast, you could choose to eat two slices of
bread, or one slice of bread and 1/2 cup of oatmeal.
With the exchange-type diet plans, you have more day-to-day
variety and you can easily follow the diet away from home. The
most important advantage is that exchange-type diet plans teach
the food selection skills you need to keep your weight off.
Formula Diet Formula diets are
weight-loss plans that replace one or more meals with a liquid
formula. Most formula diets are balanced diets containing a mix
of protein, carbohydrate, and usually a small amount of fat.
Formula diets are usually sold as liquid or a powder to
be mixed with liquid. Although formula diets are easy to use and
do promote short-term weight loss, most people regain the weight
as soon as they stop using the formula.
In addition, formula diets do not teach you how to make
healthy food choices, a necessary skill for keeping your weight
Questionable Diets You
should avoid any diet that suggests you eat a certain nutrient,
food, or combination of foods to promote easy weight loss. Some
of these diets may work in the short term because they are low
However, they are often not well balanced and
may cause nutrient deficiencies. In addition, they do not teach
eating habits that are important for long-term weight management.
Flexible Diets Some programs
or books suggest monitoring fat only, calories only, or a
combination of the two, with the individual making the choice of
both the type and amount of food eaten. This flexible type of
approach works well for many people, and teaches them how to
control what they eat.
One drawback of flexible diets is that
some don't consider the total diet. For example, programs that
monitor fat only often allow people to take in unlimited amounts of
excess calories from sugars, and therefore don't lead to weight
Before you Decide It is important
to choose an eating plan that you can live with. The plan should
also teach you how to select and prepare healthy foods, as well
as how to maintain your new weight. Remember that many people
tend to regain lost weight.
Eating a healthful and nutritious diet to maintain your new
weight, combined with regular physical activity, helps to
prevent weight regain.