Tips For Successful Diet Programs

There is a lot in the news about the “best” and “worst” diet plans. What is most important are the common mistakes people make when following popular diet plans. These plans are necessarily bad (or good), but the following are some of the unhealthy mistakes people make when they “go on a diet.”

1. Saving all your calories or “points” for one large evening meal.

Often people may skip breakfast and eat a really small lunch so they can have a huge dinner. This is not a good idea because skipping meals can slow down your metabolism and make weight loss more difficult. It’s also problematic because eating one large meal can spike blood sugar. It’s better to eat three similar-sized meals per day with a small snack mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

2. Eating too much fruit.

Some diet plans allow fruit as a “free” food. Fruit can’t be a free food because it contains a big dose of carbohydrates. Therefore, it is important to watch portion size and count carbs. Also, avoid dried fruit and fruit juice entirely, because they contain a large, concentrated amount of carbs in a very small portion size.

3. Not balancing diet — eating too much from one food group.

Sometimes when people start a new diet plan they think they need to be extreme. For example, they might know that protein foods are good choices, so that is all they eat for a prolonged period of time. They may have an egg for breakfast, a turkey burger without a bun for lunch, and a chicken breast with some green beans for dinner. These are not “bad” choices, but this diet is not well balanced for a long term maintenance plan and is lacking in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. You should include foods from all the other food groups too, such as fresh fruit, and healthy carbs like sweet potatoes and beans. Eating a well-balanced diet is not only healthy, but is more satisfying too.

4. Practicing good portion control with pre-packaged meals, but going back to old eating habits after it’s over.

Some diet plans provide only pre-packaged food. These foods can help people learn proper portion sizes (and can be convenient occasionally). If not properly educated and transitioned to change their lifestyle with regular grocery store foods on a maintenance program, they go back to their old eating habits and regain weight. It is a good idea to learn how to eat healthy with proper portion sizes from everyday foods that you can buy at the grocery store. Remember, healthy eating is not a diet, but a long-term lifestyle change.

Here is a great recipe to throw on the grill these last warm days. It’s also a good visual lesson in proper portion size.

Chicken Kabobs

Fresh Ground Pepper

  1. Prepare an indoor or outdoor grill.
  2. Assemble kabobs by alternating mushrooms, onions, peppers and chicken cubes on each skewer (making 8 skewers).
  3. Brush all sides of kabobs with olive oil and grind fresh pepper to taste. Grill over medium heat for 10 minutes, turning occasionally.

Serving Size: 2 skewers

Yield: 4 servings

Nutritional info (per serving): 200 calories, 3 grams total fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 68mg cholesterol, 375mg sodium, 15g total carbohydrate, 3 grams dietary fiber, 27g protein



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