The battle of the bulge – it’s something many of us face. But with all the trendy diets out there, it can be confusing to know what really works.
Allie Henderson, Wellness Consultant for Regence BlueCross BlueShield says we need to change our mindset when it comes to dieting. Instead of focusing on what you’re taking out, shift that focus to what you’re putting in.
“We want to think of diet as eating things that fuels and nourishes our body, that gives it energy,” says Henderson.
Henderson says to not focus on weight loss in the short-term but rather focus on long-term wellbeing and overall health.
“We know that nutrition and exercise are both important components, but did you know that nutrition is going to be your biggest asset?”
In fact, Henderson says 75 percent of the effectiveness in a weight loss program will be due to changes in your diet.
“Exercise, the other 25 percent, is really going to be seeing long-term sustainability and management when you continue your nutritional changes. So we really need both pieces.”
Henderson says to beware of fad diets and look toward more proven methods like the Mediterranean Diet.
“It’s nothing new. It just encourages you to eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish and herbs. As well as poultry, eggs and dairy in moderation and then trying to save the red meats and sweets for just special occasions.”
In addition to weight loss, with the Mediterranean Diet there’s improved brain and heart health, a reduction in risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and more.
Other tried and true diet methods include the DASH Diet (Diet Approach to Stop Hypertension) which focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.
You can also try the Flexitarian diet, which is primarily vegetarian, with fish and poultry on occasion.
“You’re probably thinking, well, those sound great, but what I really want to know about is intermittent fasting. This is one of the topmost popular diets across the world right now.”
Henderson says intermittent fasting isn’t a diet so to speak, since it’s not about what you eat, but when you eat. Typically, during intermittent fasting you only eat during an 8 hour window each day, fasting the other 16 hours.
Henderson says, “The problem with this is someone might do that, but during their eating window, they’re still going to be eating foods that are highly processed or filled with sugar or have no nutritional value.”
Henderson says to always consult your doctor, determine your goals, and when choosing the right plan for you, consider the source and look at long-term sustainability.