A Helpful Guide to Achieving a Healthy Diet
Dieting for some is a way of life. For others, it’s a solution to health-related issues. For others still, it’s a way to cut down on excess weight or to build muscle mass. Whichever reason you choose to diet, there are numerous benefits to eating right. However, to achieve them, you need to get off on the right foot with the dieting process.
Creating a diet plan on your own is possible, but the best results are attainable with the help of professional nutritionists. The UK health and nutrition sector is packed with tons of nutrition consultants and diet companies. You may want to get honest customer opinions to know what each one offers. And an online site like ReviewsBird is a great place to find such reviews of diet companies.
The Concept of a Diet
By simple definition, a diet is essentially the type and amount of food you consume. This means a diet can be good or bad. That is why you often hear the term balanced diet, which refers to the intake of food in the right proportions to provide all nutrients the body requires to function adequately.
That said, the kind of diet we’re focusing on in this article isn’t a balanced diet per se. The modern concept of a diet is the specific intake of nutrition for health or weight management purposes.
Low Calories and High Vitamins and Minerals
Practically every dieting program concentrates on reducing calories while getting all the required vitamins and minerals. Calories are energy units present in food and drinks, and they are responsible for weight gain. That is why low-calorie foods like vegetables, lean meat, and fruits are dietary staples.
Even when not on a strict diet, you should take care of the kinds of calories you consume. Not all calories are the same. While some are nutrient-rich, others are empty calories. The latter is best avoided as they are not beneficial to one's health in any way. Common empty calorie foods are:
- Chips and fries
- Canned meats
- Cookies, cakes, and doughnuts
- Beverages with added sugar
- Ice cream
Generally, processed foods are less healthy compared to homemade meals.
Types of Diet
Here are some of the best and most effective diet plans you can try:
This is mainly composed of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and healthy fats as part of daily nutrition. The Mediterranean diet also allows weekly consumption of poultry, fish, beans and eggs. Dairy and red meat can be taken in limited proportions.
It is often considered the healthiest diet on the planet because it’s not just a short term scheme for weight loss but a lifestyle eating pattern associated with disease prevention and longevity. It gets its name from the healthy eating habits of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, such as Italy, Greece and France.
This isn’t your typical kind of nutrition plan that advocates veggies, fruits, and whole grains. The carnivore diet is based on animal products. This means you can eat eggs, cheese, milk, and all kinds of meat.
A strict carnivore diet will only allow meat without eggs or dairy.
The egg diet is high in protein and low in carbs and calories. As the name suggests, your meal plans will be centred around eggs.
Multiple variations of the egg diet exist. Some require you to build at least one meal per day with eggs as the main dish while supplementing with grilled chicken, fish, and steamed veggies. Others will include an egg-only diet for all three meals. In all variations, no snacks or calorie-filled beverages are allowed.
This option is excellent for losing weight without losing muscle mass.
This is essentially a meal replacement diet that includes the intake of soups, porridges, shakes, and snack bars. The concept is to significantly reduce the number of calories while fulfilling the required nutrient intake, including vitamins and minerals.
Following this diet individually is difficult. So, it often requires the assistance of a professional diet counsellor. It is also called the 1:1 diet, a name that highlights the one-to-one relationship between the dieter and the diet counsellor.
800 calorie diet
The 800 calorie diet is a rapid weight loss plan that suggests you eat only 800 calories per day. However, it is separated into two stages. In the first stage, you’ll maintain eating 800 calories every day for at least two weeks. In the second stage, you’ll follow the 5:2 ratio, where you eat 800 calories on two days and a Mediterranean diet on the other five days. Using a Calorie checker should help you keep track of your daily calorie intake.
Otherwise known as the intermittent fasting diet, this weight loss program slashes your calorie intake twice a week. On those two days, you’ll be eating so little calories that you might as well be fasting. Ideally, women can cut down to about 500 calories, and for men, 600.
The fasting days should be spread out so that you have one or more normal eating days in between. Dieters are advised to stick to lean protein, vegetables, and fruits built into two small meals on fasting days.
Do Diets Work
Yes, diets do indeed work, and there have been many real-life cases to attest to this. However, it’s a common misconception to measure the time span for a diet to take effect in days or weeks. Although it is realistic to see the benefits quickly, the effectiveness of a diet varies from person to person.
It’s precisely for this reason that there are numerous types of diets. Different diets serve different purposes. For instance, if you’re looking to gain muscle mass, you may want to opt for a Carnivore or egg diet rather than a Cambridge or Mediterranean diet. So, you should always look for diets that work for you.
Dieting alongside Home Gym Fitness
Dieting and exercise go hand in hand. In fact, diets work better when combined with a consistent fitness plan. Whether you want to lose weight, build muscle mass, or just feel good mentally, a good exercise routine will do the trick.
The home gym is a convenient way to get in regular workout sessions when you cannot meet appointments at your neighbourhood fitness centre.
Promoting your dieting efforts with a home gym is quite easy, and you can learn more on how to set up a home gym right here.
Why Am I Not Losing Weight?
Since diets take longer to produce results in some individuals, you may find yourself asking, why am I not losing weight?
Several factors could be responsible for the apparent inefficiency of your current diet plan. You may be making the wrong diet choices, or you may be doing the wrong kinds of exercise. Sometimes, you may have simply hit your weight loss plateau. In which case, you’ll need to make extra efforts to break through it and start seeing results again.
For more detailed answers to this question, we’ve made a separate article on reasons you’re not losing weight and how to fix them.
Useful Dieting Tips
Maintaining a healthy diet is easier said than done. Cutting down on guilty pleasures is often a struggle between mind and body. In reality, many people are unable to see a diet plan through to the end and end up indulging in foods that damage the good results they’ve achieved so far. Luckily there are several tips that help you stay on track. The most important ones are:
- Drink lots of water and low-calorie beverages.
- Don’t deny yourself your favourite foods completely; eat slimmer portions instead.
- Include protein in every meal to keep feeling fuller for longer.
- Flavour up your meals with spices, so they’re more satisfying.
- Don’t skip meals. Starving yourself for quicker results could trigger adverse effects.
- Keep your pantry free of high calorie and fattening foods, so you don’t get tempted.
- Don’t do it all on your own. Get help from family, friends, or professionals.
A good diet will leave you feeling better physically and mentally. So you don’t have to opt for a plan only when you want to lose weight. Diets are very effective and contrary to popular opinion, the meals don’t always taste bad. Since there are multiple types, you can choose whichever meal plans suit your taste buds better.
Dietary Professionals are available all around the UK to provide any assistance you may need. They are especially helpful if you have an underlying health problem and require special meal plans. Diet companies also provide all-around assistance from meal schedules to supplements and exercise routines to bolster your efforts. Using reviews from real customers will help you find which companies offer the best services.