Dieting: The How To and Don’t Do

Dieting has been a controversial subject for many people for years now. One of the most frequently asked questions, however, is whether or not dieting is healthy.

There is no simple answer. A diet that works well for one person may not be optimal for another. When well thought out and using healthy portions, though, dieting can be very useful. In an ideal situation, while you may think of it as “being on a diet” at first, you should eventually come to consider it more of a lifestyle choice that will keep you happy and healthy for many years to come.

Long term diets and short term diets are very different from one another. A juice cleanse, for example, is just that, a cleanse. It is a short term (very short term, or else it would quickly become unhealthy) diet that is meant to cleanse the body of toxins and other impurities. Just because a juice cleanse works great as something that will last for a few days, that does not make it a good decision to turn that diet (or rather, cleanse) into a long term thing. So, to begin, make sure to educate yourself a bit on what is a healthy long term and healthy short term diet.

When choosing a diet, begin by asking yourself these questions:
What are my dietary restrictions? For example: are you lactose intolerant, are you allergic to soy, are you vegetarian/vegan/pescetarian, etc… You don’t want to be a pescetarian who finds themselves on a diet that includes red meats, obviously, so be sure to pay very close attention to what exactly the diet you choose entails.

What are my dietary needs? If you have a serious case of obesity, morbid obesity or other serious medical issues, than it is recommended that you get advice directly from of a medically trained professional. However, for most people, a simple and easy way to gauge your dietary requirements is to read up on the recommended percent daily values in relation to your recommended daily calorie intake. These values may be found on various sites around the web, but reliable health organizations will be the best source.

A good way to begin mapping you percent daily values is to start with calorie intake. What is my current caloric intake and what should my caloric intake really be? On the labels of most food items, listed will be something along the lines of “percent daily value” or “serving size” based on a 2,000 calorie diet. This is because 2,000 calories is roughly what most humans eat (or should be eating) in a day. This number will change based upon criteria such as body mass and how active/sedentary you are in a day. For most women, this number will be between 1,600 and 2,400. For most men, this number will be between 2,200 and 2,800. Athletes typically have (and need) a higher caloric intake than the average person.

Lastly, I’ll say it again, never be afraid or ashamed to consult with a medical professional if you feel it is necessary. And above all else, do not ever choose a diet simply because it is “in vogue” or the fad of the month! First and foremost a diet should work for you!

With these base questions answered and the advice given in mind, you should be ready to begin your search for the perfect diet.

Happy dieting and happy healthy living!

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