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Diet and Nutrition

Weighing Your Diet Options

Have you made a resolution to become healthier by losing weight in 2009? Are you going to change your lifestyle by trying to "eat less and move more"? Although most weight loss plans recommend a decrease in caloric intake and increase in calorie-burning activities, there is a lot of confusion about which plans promote both weight loss and health over the long term.

How do I know which diet plans are healthy ones?

When restricting calories, you need to include nutrient-dense foods in your diet (that is, foods with a lot of nutrients for the calories). There are no magic foods or combination of foods for weight loss. You want an eating plan that has enough flexibility and variety to avoid boredom and to promote life-long eating habits. One key to losing weight is to control portion sizes. By learning to feel satisfied with smaller amounts of food, you will be able to maintain your weight loss.

Criteria for choosing a healthy weight loss diet: If you can answer "yes" to these questions, it's likely that your diet will provide the energy and nutrients necessary for health.

Current weight loss diets in the popular press: Although there are many choices on the bookstore shelves, the following authors promote healthy, long-term eating habits.

Remember to set a reasonable weight loss goal of 1 -2 pounds per week. If you have any health problems or take medications regularly, you should discuss your plans for weight loss with your doctor before beginning a new diet or exercise program.

This article originally appeared in Nutri-bytes (February 2009), a service of the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing and was adapted for use on NetWellness with permission.

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Last Reviewed: Feb 02, 2009

Bonnie J Brehm, PhD, RD Bonnie J Brehm, PhD, RD
Professor of Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati