Let’s see, we have low-fat, low-carb, high-protein, Mediterranean, Atkins, and you-fill-in-the-blank diets. But we still have an obesity epidemic on our hands! Something’s not adding up. Actually, something is adding up—the calories.
The chief culprit in the obesity epidemic is a caloric imbalance. That is, if you continually eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight and fat. This fact trumps the diet you are currently trying.
First, we all know that what we eat matters. Nutritious foods are critical to a healthy diet. And, a foundational diet includes the macronutrients (fats, proteins, carbohydrates).
Unless there are medical reasons or short-term fat loss goals at stake, you should eat a foundational diet. Your body needs the macronutrients. As far as fats are concerned, eat mainly heart-healthy fats (at least 10 percent of your total daily caloric intake with 15-20 percent being better).
Focus your fat loss and weight loss target on the amount of calories you eat each day. Portion control will help you stay with your meal plan and control your calories during the day. The same solution works for fat loss and weight loss: regular exercise, an active lifestyle and a nutritious, balanced meal plan.
One more thing on low-fat foods: low-fat doesn't necessarily mean low-calorie. Sometimes these products contain other ingredients such as sugars and carbohydrates to make them taste better. Carefully check the "Nutrition Facts" label to determine the total calories in the food product.
So, here are three tips to help you eat better in the New Year:
1. Get a nutritious, foundational meal plan that you can follow. There are plenty of nutritious foods that you enjoy. Put those foods in your meal plan. You are likely to comply with anything that you enjoy. Too much deprivation can lead to binge eating.
2. Find out how many calories you need each day based on your goals. If your goal is fat loss and weight loss, you need to maintain a daily caloric deficit. Don't cut too many calories from your diet.