HEALTHY HUSKY Dieting basics 101
Published: Friday, September 13, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 13, 2013 00:09
The word diet is perhaps one of the most stigmatized words in the realm of health and fitness. The fact that such a generic term (literally meaning the types of food a person habitually eats) can have such a negative connotation underscores the difficulty that comes with healthy eating.
Unfortunately, I cannot tell you which diet is correct. Such a broad sweeping statement would be blasphemous. That is not to say there is no hope though. Healthy eating can be achieved in a variety of situations and on a range of budgets.
The largest factor to consider when you are considering changing your diet (or deciding to eat healthy if you still think diet is a four letter word) is what will happen after you have attained your goals.
While certain plans can be great for helping you achieve your goal weight, they may not be sustainable if you ever hope to eat like a normal human being. A prime example of this is the “Cookie Diet.” For those of you unfamiliar with plans like this it requires you to limit yourself to specific foods, but not limit the amount of these foods.
The success of these diets depend on you growing tired of the items on your short list so much so that you eat less overall. However, once (if) you achieved your goals, the weight is often quickly added back on since you will revert to your old eating habits.
The diet changes you choose to undertake should focus on you specific goals. If you want to lose the last 10 pounds, your eating habits should be different if you want to add 10 pounds of muscle. The basic principles of calories in and calories out still apply as an overarching concept.
3,500 calories consumed over your needs will add a pound of fat and 3,500 calories burned will result in a pound of fat lost. Similarly, when used with proper training 2,500 calories will result in a pound of muscle gained. The way these numbers are achieved varies between diet plans and can be manipulated to make your lifestyle changes more comfortable and less drastic.
The popular diet plans that can be found today range from eating like a caveman with paleo diets to the high-tech science behind some the quickly advancing low-carbohydrate diets. There are individuals who have found success with nearly every diet under the rainbow.
However, what will work for you depends on your food preferences just as much as your goals. Before undertaking any sort of regimented plan it is recommended that you research the permissible foods and meal plans. If you dislike a certain food you are much less likely to eat it and if that food is a staple of your chosen plan you may have doomed yourself from the start.
This article can be considered a primer for upcoming articles that will focus on the intricacies of eating healthy in a wide variety of situations.
The advice given can be considered a great starting point but if you really want to undertake drastic changes consult your doctor or more specifically a nutritionist. Student Health Services offers nutritional counseling that is a great resource for anyone looking to establish healthier eating habits.