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Follow a Healthy Diet Plan

Aug 17, 2007
If you're like most dieters, you want to lose weight quickly and keep it off. There are a lot of tempting and sensational sounding fad diets out there, but the best approach is to follow a sensible healthy diet plan.

Although you may be tempted to start a fad diet (or crash diet as they are also known) that promises to help you lose amazing amounts of weight in a few days, you need to think carefully before you make your decision. The fact is that many of these diets fail to produce lasting results.

These diets usually fall into one of two categories: the reduced calorie or restricted food diets (where you must avoid certain foods and only eat from a very restricted group of allowed foods), or the diets that require you to use special supplements, such as diet pills, bars or drinks.

While it's true that you will lose a few pounds quickly on these fad diets, what you may not know is that is only a temporary result. You are actually losing pounds of water, not fat, which is your body's reaction to starvation. As soon as you stop the diet, your body will soak these water-pounds up again like a sponge.

Most people who start these crash diets quit after a short while, such as a few weeks, as their body is suffering all the way. They just can't stand it anymore. Other people with more will power will keep going for months, but they may experience harmful side effects.

Many of these crash diets can cause long term damage, particularly to the heart or kidneys. Also, as these diets don't properly balance the nutrients you need on a daily basis, you can deplete your body's supply of vitamins and minerals. This can cause weakness to your bones, and even cause anemia (especially in teenage girls). Also, a lack of proper dietary fibre can cause problems, as dietary fibre helps to prevent disease.

When you are on a diet, it is important that you don't ignore healthy eating. A diet plan that neglects foods that are good for you in favor of fast weight loss is potentially dangerous. Your body needs a steady supply of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber to ensure it remains healthy.

Over time, your metabolism will suffer and slow down as you lose muscle mass. This makes it even harder for your body to burn calories, making it harder to lose weight as time goes by.

A healthy weight loss diet plan avoids these short sighted crash-diet mistakes and instead focuses on a routine that you can maintain and follow even after you have gained your ideal weight. This means that you will be able to continue a healthy lifestyle after the weigh loss diet is over.

Following a healthy daily diet plan allows you to get your body used to a routine it will be able to follow and this means that you will be able to keep the calories off after you have lost the weight.

A healthy diet plan can help you to reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure by eliminating the foods that put you at risk, such as high salt content foods and cholesterol. You will also be eating foods that improve your health, such as fresh fruit and vegetables and low fat dairy foods.

One of the main benefits of following a sensible plan is that you will be looking after your heart. A healthy diet plan eliminates many of the factors which can cause heart disease. So you will be reducing the risk of suffering heart disease while also improving your general health.

Reducing your fat and salt intakes and avoiding additives and stimulants in your food and drink is important. Caffeine (as found in coffee, tea and flavored sodas) puts strain on the heart and can make it beat too fast.

Speak to your dietitian or doctor when you are planning a diet. A healthy meal plan can be worked out which will take your normal routines and lifestyle into consideration. You will feel a lot happier about your diet if it allows you to keep your same lifestyle and eat some of the foods you love!

When you speak to your dietitian, he will be able to help you work out a tailor made plan based on your reasons for losing weight. Also it will help you to work out what your ideal weight is, based on your height and some other factors. Your healthy diet meal plan will give you the best of both worlds - you will get to enjoy your favorite foods while you improve your health and lose weight at the same time!

Also, it's important for you to stay active while you are dieting, as it will keep your metabolism high and help you burn the calories.

If you look on the Internet, you will be able to find many resources (such as government or educational web sites) that offer a free healthy diet plan. These resources are guaranteed to be hype free and are usually based on good common sense.
About the Author
Malcolm Blake writes articles about health and fitness for the Wellness InfoWeb web site. Read his Diet Information article and Nutrition Information article at http://www.wellnessinfoweb.com/.
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