There are three basic types of diets: low-fat, low-calorie and low-carb. Low-fat diets limit foods such as meat and dairy while emphasizing naturally-low fat fruits, vegetables and grains. Low-calorie diets focus on variety and promote foods that keep you full longer so you can eat less while keeping hunger under control. Low-carb diets recommend eating more protein and fat and fewer carbohydrates. On some, you can eat as much high-saturated fats such as cheeseburgers (minus the ban) and bacon as you want, but you can’t eat most fruits,vegetables breads and cereals. Others focus on eating healthy fats and limiting refined carbohydrates such as white bread, cakes and cookies.
No matter what diet is right for you, the primary predictor of a dieter’s success is longevity. The longer you can stay on your diet, the more weight you’ll take off and keep off. If your diet doesn’t include foods you like, you’re less likely to stick with it. Here are some tips that can help you incorporate some of your favorites into your diet without jeopardizing your weight loss efforts.
For Sweet Eaters
If you’re going to sabotage your diet, it’s probably going to be something sweet. Give them up? Never! There is a way to incorporate sweets into a weight loss plan. It can be done, but you have to plan: Here’s how:
- Clear the house of everything you don’t want to eat.
- Always have healthy, low-cal sweets on hand, such as grapes, melon or frozen fruit bars.
- Keep only a single serving of a high-calorie sweet that you might crave around the house.
- Include sweet foods in most of your meals: peanut butter on toast at breakfast, fruit at snack times and desert after lunch or dinner, to reduce cravings at other times.
- Try to get away with a much smaller serving than you’re used to.
- If you eat something you hadn’t planned to, be proactive in the face of what might feel like a failure. When you are late paying a bill, you don’t say, “ Oh, well, I’ll pay that bill next month”- same with unintended splurges. Try to get right back on track, that day, that hour, and just go from there.
If you’re counting carbs, choose strawberries, blueberries, raspberries sugarless candy or gym sugarless gelatin or a small scoop of Cool Whip or even a dab or real whipped cream to top the gelatin or fruits.
For Meat Eaters
To keep saturated fat under control, try new lower-fat gourmet meats and poultry. Grass-fed cuts of beef have less saturated fat and more omega-3 fatty acids than the corn-fed beef you usually get at the supermarket. Free-range chickens have less fat overall and less saturated fat.
If you’re counting calories, buy cuts of meat that are naturally small such as chicken or turkey cutlets, or the dainty lamb chops rather than breasts or roasts to make portion control easier.
If you’re counting fat, divide servings into even smaller portions so you can eat meat more frequently. Use recipes that incorporate meat as an ingredient in a dish rather than featuring meat as the centerpiece, and where possible, reduce the amount of meat called for in recipes by half.
For Dairy Lovers
If you’re counting fat or calories, try fat-free milk fortified with “nonfat milk solids”. It looks and tastes so creamy that you’d think it has fat in it. Buy 1% milk if you can’t bear the taste of fat-free; it has about 2 g of fat per cup and only 10 calories more than fat-free version. If you use milk in coffee, you’ll likely end up using less if you choose 1% milk instead of fat-free.
If you’re counting carbs, avoid fat-free dairy products because the fat is often replaced with carbohydrates. Instead, use lower-fat versions; they often have an acceptable amount of carbohydrate.
For Bread And Pasta Lovers
If you’re counting carbs, choose low-glycemic starches( whole grain breads, whole wheat pasta, high-fiber cereal) over those with a high-glycemic load(highly refined foods such as white bread and white pasta).They’re less likely to raise your blood sugar and make you feel hungry as other carbs do. Remember though, even “good” carbs have lots of carbohydrates in them and may blow your carb allotment for the day.
Save starches for the end of the meal, and eat protein-containing foods and vegetables first. It’s much easier not to overeat when you are already full.