Nutrition Wellness

How to Determine the Best Diet for You

June 19, 2019

How to Determine the Best Diet for You

Look at all of that delicious fuel! That’s what food is, fuel for your body. If you are trying to lose weight, choosing the best fuel can be confusing. Especially when the latest diet promises to supercharge weight loss. CHI Health is here to tell you what you should know on Diets: Uncovered.

Negative Affects of Being Overweight

Hi, I’m Ellen Thomsen, a registered dietitian at CHI Health. If weight is a struggle, you have plenty of company. Nearly 40%, or 2 of 5 American adults are obese. Doctors probably have explained the health risks such as diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, arthritis and more.

Being overweight also squeezes your wallet! The yearly medical cost for people who are obese are more than $1,400 higher. So who can blame you for going to extremes to drop some pounds?

Do Detoxes Work for Weight Loss?

Fasting and detox diets promise weight loss by drastically restricting calories. In the short-term, you lose water weight. But in the long-term, this approach actually slows your metabolism and you’ll likely regain the weight when you return to a normal diet. Don’t be fooled by those detox promises. Your body already efficiently removes toxins – that’s what your liver is for. A quality diet can support this process, no magic pills or potions necessary.

How Obsessive Diets May Backfire

Have you heard of clean eating? It doesn’t mean scrubbing your dinner! It’s all about eliminating processed foods, and instead choosing whole foods and plant-based proteins. The benefits include weight loss, improved energy, and even better dental health. It can be hard to maintain and some take it too seriously – being obsessive about clean eating even has a name: orthorexia.

Want a leg up on weight loss? There’s a reason high-protein diets have become so hot. Protein increases the production of hormones which makes you feel full and boosts the number of calories you burn. That combo together can drop pounds. On the downside, you and your body might miss carbohydrates, and if you choose red meat or high-fat dairy you’re not doing your heart any favors. Overwhelming? Yeah. The biggest challenge with having a balanced diet is staying on track.

The Top Dieting Goal is Balance

My advice is to forget those fads and fuel up with a balance of lean proteins, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables and exercise daily. If you’re struggling, see a registered dietitian for expert advice. Read more from our CHI Health nutrition bloggers as well.

8 Comments
  1. Avatar

    Sidney G Fessler

    What about high cholesterol the rest was also helpful

  2. Avatar

    Barb Krecklow

    I'm having a hard time staying on track. I do really good for about 3 months then one little taste of something sweet I go overboard for a week or 2 eating unhealthy undoing what took me so long to do. I get like 3 to 5 lbs away from my goal then I sabotage myself. Then I feel bad, beat myself up for a few weeks then start the cycle all over again. I'm my own worst enemy.

  3. Avatar

    Dorothy Smith

    So, if I go "too far" in eating clean foods, I have orthorexia? Meaning that if I don't eat at least some processed foods, there is something wrong with me? No wonder people are in the shape they are in. And what about how eating too much protein will result in excess fibrin in the walls of your blood vessels and elsewhere? Nothing about that in here. Too much protein is just as bad as too many carbs or too much dairy.

  4. Avatar

    CHI Health

    We aren't saying that all people who eat a whole foods diet have orthorexia. However, some people take things to an extreme level which can negatively impact behavioral health or turn into disordered eating. Ensuring diets they are done safely without nutrient gaps is important. The majority of eating plans place emphasis on a balanced intake of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. When considering a change in eating patterns, it is recommend to discuss with your primary care provider to ensure there are no contraindications with health conditions or medications.

  5. Avatar

    CHI Health

    You are not alone if you have a hard time staying on track. I'm a fan of all things in moderation. No matter what eating plan you are on, restricting too much usually leads to binge eating or "falling off the wagon". A few tips would be: • Find sweet treats that have more health benefits such as high percentage dark chocolate, trail mix or try fruit dipped in melted dark chocolate for dessert. • Keep trigger foods out of the house. If you have a craving for ice cream, go out, get a cone, and come home. If the carton of ice cream is at home, it is too easy to overeat. • Keep a lifestyle log. In addition to your food and exercise, try tracking mood, energy and sleep. Look for patterns and ways to overcome any barriers. • Build a support system. Reach out to those you trust and ask for help when you need it. • Instead of thinking " I can't have that" or "this has too many calories", try to focus on the benefits of food - fiber, antioxidants, energy etc.

  6. Avatar

    CHI Health

    If you are dealing with high cholesterol, here are some general heart healthy eating tips. Meeting with a dietitian can help you put a plan in place. • Eat a balanced diet with whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and lean protein sources. • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight. • Choose heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Limit saturated fats and trans fats. • Limit refined carbohydrates especially sugar, sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages. • Eat more plant-based or vegetarian meals using beans and soy foods for protein. • If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation: one serving per day (women) and two servings per day (men). One serving is equivalent to 12 ounces beer, 5 ounces wine, or 1.5 ounces distilled spirits.

  7. Avatar

    Carol Zrust

    What are your thoughts on a Keto diet

  8. Avatar

    CHI Health

    Hi Carol, See a few of our other posts on the Keto diet here:https://blogs.chihealth.com/when-diets-turn-dangerous/ https://blogs.chihealth.com/3-ways-you-might-be-derailing-your-keto-diet/ Thanks!

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