How Long Should You Stay with a Diet?

Written by Catherine Rein (last updated April 22, 2009)

I tried several fad diets when I was younger and watched many of my high school and college friends struggle with their weight. Diets don't work in the long-term and if you try to cut calories or food groups for a short time, the weight will quickly reappear once you return to regular eating habits. The only way to achieve a healthy weight is to maintain a healthy diet for life.

  • Avoid Fad Diets. Diets that exclude certain food groups, like carb-free diets aren't diets you can stay on the rest of your life. You should look for diets that provide balance and flexibility and enable you to achieve long-term weight loss goals.
  • Meal Planning. The best way to stick with a healthy diet is through preparation. Plan your weekly meals, including snacks, so that the house is full of healthy meal options. You should include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat milk for snacks and meals.
  • Healthy Changes for a Lifetime. Maintaining a healthy weight will only be possible if eating healthy becomes a lifetime habit. Diets that can't be sustained, like starvation diets, or carb-free diets are recipes for failure. You should also aim for at least 30 minutes every day of brisk physical activity, including walking, riding a bike or playing with the kids. Physical activity combined with a healthy diet will result in a lifetime of health and vitality.

With the images of thin men and women popularized on media throughout U.S. culture, the stress to attain a "perfect" body can be extreme. This pressure often extends through families, who push their young people to be thin. Our cultural exposure, especially in the U.S., has increasingly been overwhelmed with food. Whether through advertisements for fast food or diet treatments, we are constantly bombarded with images of food. This unnatural obsession with food is linked with higher levels of eating disorders in our population.

You should remember that healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Building a healthy body image is about being comfortable in your own body and using your body in all the glorious ways that nature intended. By staying away from the scale and enjoying food because of its healthy taste and the way it strengthens your body you can begin to view your body in a different and healthy way.

Author Bio

Catherine Rein

MORE FROM CATHERINE

Do I Lease or Do I Buy?

Leasing an automobile or purchasing one is a decision that needs to be based on lifestyle choices. If you like to drive a ...

Discover More

Treating Sunburns

Sunburn can be serious and there is no quick remedy to undo the damage. You can reduce the worst sunburn symptoms and ...

Discover More

What is the Inheritance Tax?

The people receiving the inheritance pay an inheritance tax. Each beneficiary is responsible for paying his or her own ...

Discover More
More Health Tips

Gastric Bypass Surgery

Not sure what a gastric bypass surgery entails? This article gives you a mini-lesson on what your body will be going through.

Discover More

Preparing Yourself for Weight Loss

Weight loss is as much a mind game as a physical one. Get yourself mentally ready and you'll be thin in no time!

Discover More

Health Food Stores

Want to live healthier and have a healthier diet? Try buying your food items at a health food store. Unlike normal ...

Discover More
Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 6 + 5?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)