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There seems to be a diet out these days to appeal to everyone trying to trim down. And, with the barrage of different diets in the media, it's hard to know which diets work and which fall short. What's important in a safe and healthy approach to weight loss? Before starting a diet be sure that your plan includes the following: It’s balanced. By excluding food groups, your body is at risk of being deprived of the nutrients it needs to function. For example, the popular Atkins Diet drastically reduces carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are a major source of energy for the cells of the body and also are a main source of your daily fiber needs. It focuses on portion control. Have you ever seen the MyPlate icon? MyPlate focuses on portion control and balanced meals by dividing a standard dinner plate into four food groups—fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein, with a side of dairy. Portion control is important to avoid overeating and can help reduce caloric intake. It teaches lifelong, healthy eating habits. Longevity is impossible with impractical fad diets like The Hollywood Cookie Diet and The Grapefruit Diet, which severely restrict calories and lack the nutrition (not to mention the variety) that your taste buds crave. By eating balanced meals and controlling portions, weight loss is achievable and can be maintained throughout your entire life without having to crash diet. For a healthy, balanced diet with controlled portions always remember to:
Which diet approaches have worked for you? This article was submitted by Lindsay Sankovsky, Dietetic Intern, and reviewed by Kimberly Hammon, MS, RD, LDN.