Creating A Healthy Diet Plan
When coming up with a diet plan, it is important to be practical as well as realistic. Many people, when they think of dieting, they picture a plate with a small portion of green vegetables. Though veggies are a great source of the vitamins your body needs, this image actually describes a very poor diet.
A healthy diet plan must incorporate balance as well as nutrition and taste in order to be effective. Though dieting can be tough, it is not intended to harshly separate you from the foods you love.
The first step to coming up with a diet plan is to lay out what your goals are. Are you trying to lose weight? If so, how much? If you simply want to eat healthier foods, how do you intend to measure this? It is important to ask yourself these questions to ensure your goals are specific. Though “get into shape” is a great starting point, this does not present a clear way to note your status or success in your diet.
Let’s assume that your goal is to “stop eating junk food.” Your first step should be to define what it is you eat that constitutes “junk food.” Potato chips, soda, cookies, beer? It may help to spend a few days or a week going through your normal routine and taking note of everything you eat. You can then look back on this list and point out exactly what you want to cut down on.
Once this is settled, you can start thinking about replacement. If you feel the need to eat certain things at certain times, it might not be in your best interest to simply not eat, but instead to eat something healthier instead. For example, you might say that instead of eating cookies at night when you get hungry, you may reach for a banana instead. Remember that this replacement does not have to be a fruit or vegetable, there are plenty of healthy treats and snacks you can find that will satisfy your craving, but won’t shoot your calorie intake up.
Also remember that replacement is not everything. One cookie is not going to make the difference between you succeeding or failing at your diet. You might simply say that, instead of eating 10 cookies, you can settle for 3, or 5, or 6. Whatever makes the most sense for you. You may decide to slowly reduce the amount of something you eat by eating less each day or each week. This is a very effective strategy.
Also keep in mind that it is healthy to take a break from your diet once in a while. You can allow yourself one day out of the week, for example, when you might eat a bit more than your diet allows you. Don’t feel like you must turn down every piece of cake that is offered to you; though, you must be conscious of how often you choose to take these breaks.
In short, do not feel as if you diet is intended to make your life miserable. There are plenty of ways to create a healthy diet plan that will not only allow you get into the shape you always wanted, but that will also allow you to still eat the foods you love.