Special for DiettoGo.com
by Adrienne Carlson
Diet... It's a word that is dreaded by most people but one that most of us adopt because we want to look our best and stay healthy.
A diet is not something that everyone is able to adhere to, and for those of us who try, it's best to know for sure what to eat and what to avoid when we're trying to lose weight and get fit.
Opinions differ and, as they say, one man's meat is another man's poison, so there are going to be varying ideas on what constitutes the best diet food and what things to eat when on a diet.
But this list reveals seven things the healthy dieter should be on the lookout for.
Yes, sugar does add on the pounds quickly, but that does not make foods that are labeled "sugar-free" good things to eat when on a diet. These items normally come with some sugar substitutes that may not cause you to put on weight but which harm your body in other ways.
When you eliminate fat completely from your diet, you lose essential nutrients. Fat is necessary in low amounts, so when you switch to fat-free foods or those that are labeled low-fat, you don't necessarily end up benefitting by much.
Besides, even though the food is low in fat, it is high in calories and if you eat more than your daily requirement, you are bound to gain weight.
The Atkins diet did gain popularity because it helped people lose weight instantly, but when your body is overloaded with proteins and deprived of carbohydrates, fats and vitamins, you begin to suffer deficiencies and your body loses nutrition.
Pills and other forms of supplements are exactly that - they are meant to augment your diet rather than replace it. So use supplements only to support your diet instead of trying to live on them.
It's true that you do lose weight rapidly when you take in liquids alone and avoid solid foods, but this kind of diet is not sustainable in the long run. A diet is only successful if it can be a way of life rather than something you adopt for a short term.
When you try to subsist on foods that are low in calories, like salads and fruits, you tend to eat more of them. Also, you may tell yourself that you are entitled to treats like dressings and cream. This increases your total calorific intake and ends up making you put on weight when you are supposed to be on a diet.
Pills and other medicines that claim to make you slim even when you don't exercise or go on a diet are the worst kind of fraud. They claim to suppress your appetite and prevent you from gaining weight in the process.
You need to remember however, that our bodies were meant to eat food in order to remain healthy, so when you starve yourself, you tend to lose essential nutrients and fall ill as a result.
Instead of resorting to diet foods, choose a healthy and balanced meal plan that is both low in calories and high in nutrition, and one you will enjoy eating every day on a long term basis.
This guest article was written by Adrienne Carlson, who regularly writes on the topic of physical therapist assistant schools. Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.