A healthy diet is a balanced diet. While certain foods and nutrients have greater responsibility for gains in weight, a healthy diet does not eliminate them completely. A healthy diet encompasses eating a great variety of foods in moderation, and changes that can be sustained long term, rather than short term.
Short term diets
One major problem of many diets is that the dieter will place a time scale on the diet. This encourages them to eat lower and lower amounts of food in the desire to achieve a certain weight by a certain time. However successful they may be, they will find if they return to their old habits immediately after the diet, their weight will return to what it was previously, and they will put it on faster than they did before.
This yo-yo dieting occurs because with the body in a period of fasting, not gaining enough energy to sustain it, it will respond by storing as much fat as possible when food next becomes readily available, in fear of the prospect of another period of low food intake.
Low levels of food used to be a problem in the hunter-gatherer period of human evolution, when a man could go for days without eating due to their being no food to eat. A little stored fat would solve this problem, and humans are the same today, though the food is much more plentiful, and the levels of activity normally much less.
A little bit of tummy fat is not an unhealthy body shape. This is designed to stave off starvation should food dry up. In the event of a food shortage, a little tummy fat is ideal, you will survive longer than the models with less than 10% body fat. However as this is not likely to be an issue, the athletic figure is more desirable.
Our bodies are complex and need a large variety of nutrients that are found in many different foods. Most peoples’ problems are that they consume too many calories, too much fat, and not enough of the other essential nutrients. However to go completely the opposite way, consume the target amount of essential nutrients such as vitamins contained in fruit and vegetables, but consume little in the way of calories and negligible fat is not healthy either.
Calories keep our bodies going, give us energy. Without them, we don’t get up in the morning, and the recommended levels of 2000 calories per day for women and 2500 per day for men are the amount we should be aiming to consume. If you want to lose weight, do exercise to burn some off, rather than depriving your body.
Fats and Protein
Likewise, there are many essential fats that the body needs that help with things such as the quality of the skin. Nutrients such as protein are also often found in foods that often contain fat, and without protein, the body’s muscle and other elements will not be sustained.
A healthy diet needs to be a diet that can be sustained throughout life, not just for a few months to achieve a temporary figure on the scales and in the mirror. Don’t just focus on a few details of your nutritional intake either, make sure they are all in balance.