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Why boredom could be the best diet trick ever
In order to be healthy, maintain the optimal weight for your body and ward off disease you need to eat a well-rounded diet.
At least that’s what most of us have heard from everyone from the doctor to the nutritionists, to those diet experts on your favorite TV talk show.
But, is that really true? Is eating a diet with a wide range of food options the key to better health and even weight loss?
It turns out that the answer is no.
In fact, a report by the American Heart Association (AHA) says just the opposite, if you’re goal is weight loss, and here’s why…
Too many unhealthy foods sneak into the mix
The AHA came to this interesting conclusion after reviewing the results of several recent scientific studies comparing dietary diversity to overall health and weight loss results.
And, they found that the old, tried and true adage encouraging people to eat a wide variety of foods to ensure they meet all their dietary needs actually backfires.
That’s because when you eat a more diverse diet, you actually end up eating a greater variety of both healthy and unhealthy food — an eating pattern that can quickly lead to eating more and more food and the obesity that comes with it.
The reason it happens is because increasing the variety of foods that you eat also increases the time it takes you to feel full. And when your brain doesn’t give you that “stop eating signal,” you just keep going, raising the number of calories you’ve consumed… along with your weight too.
A better way
So, what’s the answer?
The researchers say that if you want to lose weight and get healthy, a better option is to choose a specific variety of foods to eat on a regular basis and stick to them. That may sound boring at first but will keep you from heading through that fast food drive-thru or reaching for a pack of cookies.
When choosing the foods to make a part of your regular life, be sure to emphasizing healthy options like:
- Whole grains
- Low-fat dairy products
- Healthy oils
- Poultry and fish
Two great guidelines for this type of eating pattern are the American Heart Association Dietary Recommendations and the DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).
Some tips they suggest include:
- Eat a plenty of fresh and frozen veggies and fruits — using them to replace higher calorie foods.
- Fiber-rich whole grains are the way to go (grains like oatmeal, brown rice, wild rice and quinoa).
- Your poultry and fish should be skinless and it’s best to prepare them with no added trans or saturated fats.
- Fish should be a major part of your diet — with a twice a week minimum.
- Limit your portion sizes.
- Reduce the amount of salt in your diet (no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day).
- Avoid partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
- Drink alcohol in moderation only (one drink per day or less for women and two or less per day for men).
The key to better health and optimal weight loss isn’t eating more types of foods. Instead, it’s eating a specific range of healthy foods day in and day out so that you avoid foods that pack on the pounds and consume less calories. Use the recommendations above to choose your best food options and stick to them to finally achieve the weight and the health you want.
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- A diverse diet may not be the healthiest one — American Heart Association
- The American Heart Association’s Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations — American Heart Association