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Healthy eating and exercise for life

Learning to Live 100% Fad Free

Are you sick of cutting out entire food groups or subsisting off a “magical” weight loss potion for days at a time?  If you’re ready to finally lose the weight sensibly and for the long-term, here's good advice from the American Dietetic Association (ADA): “The most effective long-term way to achieve a healthful lifestyle is to be 100% Fad Free.”

Consumers are constantly bombarded with advertisements for products that claim to help you lose weight in a matter of days without any effort or lifestyle changes.  In reality, losing weight and improving your health cannot be achieved in a few days – it takes time and commitment. The ADA offers the following tips to help you avoid the fads and gimmicks, and get on the road to a healthier lifestyle: 

Create a lifelong health plan

 Weight loss can be achieved in the long-term as long as you recognize that it’s not going to happen overnight.  You should focus on your health rather than the scale.  It may help if you write down your short-term as well as long-term weight loss and health goals.  If you get discouraged you can look back on these goals for motivation.

Don’t cut out entire food groups

 All foods can be part of a healthful diet, as long as they are eaten in moderation.  Any plan that requires you to cut out a certain food or entire food group is not going to last in the long run.  You can incorporate foods that are high in calories as long as you don’t overindulge.  Also, try the low-calorie or low-fat versions of your favorite products in order to enjoy the same taste with fewer calories. 

Watch out for outrageous claims

 Advertisements for a supplement or product claiming to “treat,” “cure” or “prevent” a health problem are likely to be false.  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  No product can magically erase excess pounds.  Fads and gimmicks are not the solution for weight loss success.

Don’t forget about exercise

Losing weight is about balancing calories in and calories out.  In order to burn calories, try aiming for at least 30 minutes of exercise daily.  Breaking a sweat four to six times a week will not only burn calories, but will also reduce your risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer.

“You can lose weight on virtually any diet,” said registered dietitian and ADA spokesperson Roberta Andling.  “If you eat less, you will lose weight.  The question is, can you maintain a healthy lifestyle over the long-term – your life?  The real key to reaching long-term goals is to focus on your overall health.” 

Determine your true motivation for losing weight – maybe it’s for improved quality of life, to look better and/or to live longer.  Once you have defined your motivation, it becomes easier to stick to diet and exercise goals and better understand that successful weight loss (and weight maintenance) is 100% fad free.