Americans spend $40 billion dollars towards their diets annually. This is a big business and there are advertisements for diets everywhere you go.
This seems like an easy word to describe but, actually, there are a few different definitions of the word diet. Technically, you are already on a diet if you are thinking of the word in the sense that a diet is the food you consume.
For the sake of this article, a diet will be described as a change in your food consumption to restrict food intake in order to lose weight. That is what Americans typically think of when they are talking about “going on a diet.”
Too Good to Be True
When you are standing in the checkout line at the grocery store and you look over at a magazine heading that states, “How to Lose 20 Pounds Before the Holiday,” just turn around and look away! Any dieting option that shows how to lose weight quickly will most likely be an unhealthy way to achieve your goals.
Lifestyle Change, Not Diet
You are on a journey to a newer, healthier version of yourself. The changes you make are for the long term. You will be making adjustments to your food consumption and food choices, but nothing will be aimed for overnight success.
We want your success to be long term. These new food choices will be a part of your life. Habits will be changed and the way you look at food and food labels will differ too. The purpose of this change is to help your body and the long term sequelae it has on your medical history.
Did You Speak to Your Doctor?
Prior to making any adjustments to your typical daily food intake, you should speak with your doctor. If you are being monitored for your heart, diabetes, blood pressure, thyroid, and any other health conditions, your doctor will want to be aware of any new changes you are making.
Your doctor may have also given you handouts on food choices and suggestions already. If not, they may have some handouts to give you which can be specific dietary choices for your medical needs.
When you are reading an advertisement heading about quick weight loss, they are not taking into account medical health conditions. Medications are metabolized in a particular way that takes blood chemistry into account. When you make a drastic change to your diet, that could affect your blood’s chemistry.
Some of the new trending diets could alter and put your health at risk. With modifications and monitoring, there are many diets that can be beneficial after you speak with your doctor. They help determine what modifications need to be taken into consideration regarding your particular healthcare concerns.
Ideally, there are certain medication dosages that could be changed after an adaption to a healthy lifestyle is made. It is always ideal to take less medicine. Sometimes the adjustments you make to your lifestyle with exercise and food choices can help lower risks and lower medication needs.
But if you do a quick diet change, it is harder and less realistic to stay on this long term. Changes to medication are for the long term, so prior to this being done, your doctor will want to know that the changes to your diet and lifestyle are for the long term as well.
DASH: Is This a Diet?
You may have heard of the term DASH. The acronym Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension is a widely recognized healthy eating plan. Although this is technically a diet, as there is a change to daily food intake, the long term goal is to lower high blood pressure.
DASH is a food selection adjustment that many physicians find to be a great resource to help with healthy food consumption. If you feel that you would like more information and to see if DASH is right for you, speak with your doctor.
Another alternative to trending diets is trending supplements. “Add an increase of this vitamin and mineral to improve longevity,” etc… Once you have spent time reading the label, it seems like a good idea to try the supplement right? The supplement may be listed as organic, all-natural, and it may target a particular health benefit.
Often, supplements are not regulated and you may not know the adverse reactions when mixing those supplements with your daily medications. They may be fine, but again, speak with your doctor prior to adding any new supplements.
Little Successes Along the Way
We are here to help you and we want you to make these changes for the rest of your life. You should feel comfortable with your overall changes so you are more likely to stick to this healthy lifestyle journey. There will not be a quick overnight success, but there will be little successes along the way that can be noted and celebrated.