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Healthy Weight Loss with a Balanced Diet

Updated on March 12, 2011

Even though many diet programs claim that the secret to losing weight lies with eating a particular type of food or eliminating entire categories of foods from your diet, the simple fact is that consuming a balanced diet that is low in calories is the best way to eat when you want to lose weight the healthy way.

Balanced Eating for Diet Success

If you want to lose excess weight and maintain a healthy body weight, it's important to eat a balanced diet that provides all of the nutrients necessary for the body to function. Regardless of what the latest fad diet suggests, the best diets include reasonable quantities of lean protein, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy sources of fat. Calorie and portion control, paired with a balanced diet, are the keys to healthy weight loss.

Problems with Restrictive Diets

Diet plans that are too restrictive and that do not allow dieters to eat a balanced diet are not healthy and are likely to fail in the long run. If you eliminate entire groups of healthy foods from your diet, there's a good chance that you will suffer from malnourishment no matter how many calories you are consuming. Instead of staying away from entire categories of food, it makes much more sense to eat a variety of healthy foods. This is the best way to ensure that you are getting proper nutrition.

It's important to realize that it is difficult, if not impossible, to stick with an eating plan that does not allow for sufficient variety. While it is likely that you will lose weight if you eat nothing but cabbage soup, for example, you aren't likely to stick to this type of eating plan for the long term. When you get bored with eating the same thing, you're likely to revert to the old eating habits that caused you to be overweight to begin with.

Further, the reason that you will lose weight on this type of diet has to do with the fact that there are very few calories in cabbage soup. It's the calorie restriction of the diet, not the fact that you are eating cabbage soup, that leads to weight loss with this type of program. If you were eating equivalent calories of other types of foods, the results will be the same.

Stick with Healthful Foods

The fact that it's important to eat a balanced diet when you want to lose weight does not mean that it's okay to eat just anything. Dieters who enjoy success choose healthy foods that have significant nutritional value and avoid high calorie foods that offer nothing more than empty calories.

While no food has to be completely off limits, it's advisable to avoid high calorie sugary foods as well as foods that contain trans fats or are high in saturated fats. For example, doughnuts, candy, and sugary soft drinks should largely be avoided when you want to lose weight and follow a healthy eating plan. Highly processed types of foods do not contribute to a healthy lifestyle and can sabotage your efforts to lose weight.

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