With all the fad diets out there these days, it’s tricky for men and women to decipher what their bodies really do and don’t need. 

The problem is, is that many of these diets are based off a set of health demands that only work for a portion of individuals who are using them. A diet’s success largely depends on a person’s specific body type and genetic makeup. In fact, it is almost impossible to find a universal diet that is effective, healthy and sustainable to all.

While there is a growing interest in the integrative health and organic food market, it is important to keep in mind that many of these publicized diets are not researched or backed by doctors and scientists. Nutritional guidelines may vary from program to program, but most diets should at least adhere to the general guide of suggestions that would come from a doctor.

  1. We’ve all heard it more than once: Starving yourself is NOT the answer. Your metabolism slows down and it is harder for you to break down the foods you do eat.
  2. Having variety of foods from the main food groups is essential – your daily diet should be well balanced and include starch – potato’s, rice, and other natural grains are best, protein, fruits and vegetables. In some cases a dairy or dairy substitute is beneficial as well.
  3. Processed sugars and saturated fats are the worst thing for you and it can be found in just about everything. Read your labels!
  4. Whole foods’, I.E. organic, raw and unrefined foods that are in their most natural state are key
  5. Five portions of fruits and veggies will not only help your metabolism function well but it will also help your body fight off various diseases while providing you with fundamental vitamins and minerals
  6. PROBIOTICS! These are a natural medicine. Sauerkraut, yogurt and kombucha are amongst some of the many sources that offer these beneficial supplements, crucial to the body’s gut.
  7. Protein – your body needs this. You cannot eliminate protein from your diet and expect to feel good. Meats, fish beans, eggs, nuts, etc.
  8. Healthy fats like organic olive oil, raw almonds and nuts, or avocados are great to have in reasonable quantities. These fats fill you up and are beneficial to your health. Not only are they great for dieting purposes, but they help combat heart attacks and strokes. They also contribute to lower cholesterol.
  9. Portion control: Regardless of how healthy you may think you’re being, it’s all about the amount of your intake. Downsizing your portions can be the biggest gateway to successfully losing those pounds.
  10. Exercise – duh. We all need it. Whether it’s just walking a mile a day or going to the gym for 30 minutes several times a week, you will feel better and your body will ultimately process your foods more efficiently.

Regardless of wanting to lose weight or not, starving yourself is never the answer. A nutritious-filled, well balanced diet is what will grant you the greatest lasting results. There are many different approaches – whether it be from a more traditional view of medicine or from a holistic format – but either way, it is important to speak to your doctor and consult a medical specialist when beginning a new diet. What we take into our bodies is extremely crucial to our overall health.

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The Balanced Woman offers an array of counseling related to integrative dieting, nutrition, and healthy weight loss plans. Many times, difficulty with weight loss can be in result of a much bigger and more complex issue within the body – such as a hormone imbalance, vitamin deficiencies, high levels of stress, or lack of exercise.

In order to feel your best, you must take the appropriate strides to live your best. Dr. Marialisa Lambert, a board-certified GYN doctor, and her team of integrative and holistic medical specialists are readily available to speak with you on finding the solutions to your needs.

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