It seems like every time you turn around there’s a new most popular diet fad, miracle fast, or slimming “secret” that’s promising weight loss and an improved figure. But if you’re eating right, exercising frequently, and doing a routine cleanse, you will keep your body fine tuned for fitness and long-term health. The most popular diets, fads and trends may come and go, but do what’s right for YOUR body and before jumping into any new program, check with a health professional to stay on track.
People often hear Paleo and equate it with “high protein”. The true Paleo way encourages protein consumption from a variety of sources like farm raised eggs, lean meats, and nuts – and in the proper portion sizes. That’s 3-4 ounces per serving for women and 5-6 ounces per serving for men, not the super size burgers and steaks that we’re used to seeing on American menus. Another pitfall of the Paleo diet is that people reject all dairy, but fail to consume the nutrients that you get from dairy, like calcium, in another form. Calcium can be found in leafy greens, olives, dates, and salmon, so add that to your plate no matter what diet you’re on!
GLUTEN FREE DIET
Of course, if you are truly allergic to gluten or have some sort of sensitivity to it, then by all means, your diet should be gluten-free to minimize negative reactions and an upset stomach. But for everyone else who jumps on the gluten-free bandwagon, it does not mean “no-carbs” and you can actually be missing out on key nutrients that you would be getting from whole grains and cereals. Two key nutrients you’ll miss out on are vitamin B and folate, which are usually in fortified grains and cereals. Folate is especially important for pregnant women who may be doubling their risk for preterm pregnancy if they’re not getting enough of this critical nutrient. If you still want to be gluten free, choose grains like buckwheat and quinoa to get those important nutrients.
One of the pitfalls of the vegetarian diet is that people tend to eat way too many carbs and not a wide range of vegetables or nutrients. Snacking on peanut butter sandwiches all day to feel full in between measly salads is not the proper way to nourish your body. Also, your body is missing the iron that you would get when eating meat so you’ll need to munch on some iron-rich plant foods like lentils, black beans, fortified pasta, tofu, and baked potatoes. For healthy snacks, eat oranges, strawberries, peppers, and tomatoes, which are loaded with vitamin C and help boost iron absorption.
Juice cleanses can be a great supplement to an already healthy diet, but people usually make a couple of mistakes when doing a juice cleanse: they do them for too long and they drink the wrong kind of juice. A juice cleanse should just be done for a few days to fine tune your body and give yourself a boost. Do not get in the habit of eating fast food loaded with bad fats and calories, just to turn around and cleanse for a week. This yo-yo cycle will do more damage than good and can have long-term negative effects on your body. Also, if you’re doing a short juice cleanse, try and make your own juice. Store bought juices are loaded with sugars and preservatives that can defeat the purpose of the cleanse. If you can’t make your own, look for fresh, natural juices from a juice bar, or ones that have the least amount of added ingredients.