It’s truly amazing there is anything anybody can agree on when it comes to what we eat. It seems as though we are bombarded with new scientific findings and new diet plans on a daily basis. To make matters worse, it often seems as though this information is contradictory.
What’s a person to do? Well, you can rest easy, because there are some basic principles of eating that haven’t changed, and aren’t likely to change.
Let’s start with calories. A lot of fad diets do what they can to confuse the issue. They talk of “negative calorie” foods, or how special foods can burn fat. However, it all comes down to this: calories are energy.
Therefore, if you want to lose weight, then you have to take in fewer calories than you burn.
If you want to gain weight, then you do the opposite. Also, if you restrict your caloric intake too much, your body will go into starvation mode, and will burn off calories much more slowly, making it harder to lose weight (if that’s your goal).
So, that means you shouldn’t go too low in how much you eat, but rather take a sensible approach to your diet.
The other important aspect of calories is that all of them should count. That doesn’t mean you should count your calories and become obsessed with them.
What it does mean, however, is that all of the calories you take in should have some nutritional value, or that they should count for something. That means getting rid of any empty calories.
One of the biggest culprits here are sweetened soft drinks. these often are loaded with sugar and have zero nutritional value.
Now let’s turn to the fat in our diets. It wasn’t all that long ago that food manufacturers decided to roll out low-fat versions of many different products.
This was in the hopes of capturing a share of the health-conscious market. While it is a fact that fat has 9 calories per gram (protein and carbohydrates only have 4), not all fats are the same.
For example, it is widely accepted that there is no healthy amount of trans fats; therefore you should do your best to completely eliminate them from your diet.
Saturated fats are the next worst, but you can have some in your diet without too much worry, though you should limit them. Then there are the two categories of healthy fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
You can’t necessarily eat as many of these as you want, but if you are going to be eating fats (and you should get some), then these are the better choices.
All eating really comes down to these two basic things: calories and fat. What diet plan you follow doesn’t matter as much as how you eat.
So, when choosing an eating plan, be sure to look it over and that it also takes a sensible approach. When you do this, you will not only feel better about being on a healthy plan, you will also be much more likely to stick to it.