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How Do You Pick Diet Plans That Work For You

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Eat less and lose weight. Sounds easy enough. And there’s no better motivation than bikini season closing in. But how do you choose a diet that will get you there without feeling deprived and hating life? The June 2011 issue of ShopSmart magazine, from the publisher of Consumer Reports¸ researched seven popular diet plans to help readers pick the options that best suit their lifestyle needs.

“We wanted to show our readers that dieting can be fun and easy with a few tips and tricks,” said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. “Our research proves that no matter which route you choose for dieting success, the real key is to figure out what best fits your budget and includes the food you like and the rules you can live with.”

DIY Steps to Success

Rather than spending money on prefabbed diets and plans that may not work for your body type, ShopSmart’s experts offer a “Do It Yourself” option that may better suit your needs and lifestyle. With just a few slimming tweaks to your cooking routine, ShopSmart proves that you can still chow down on all of your favorite foods and shed pounds. Plus tips and tools that will help you lose weight and the best ingredients for filling up, not filling out. The dieting tips to success can be found below:

Shrink plates and glasses. Why it works. Use salad-sized plates and you’ll eat about 30 percent less without even trying. Plates today are way too big, which can prompt overeating. Try downsizing your glasses, cups, and even silverware.

· Pro tip. Don’t want to ditch your glasses? Try measuring what 6 ounces of juice or 5 ounces of wine looks like in them. Then you’ll know what roughly 100 calories looks like.

Contain it. Why it works. Wrapping a grilled fish or chicken filet in a tortilla with shredded lettuce or cabbage makes a neat, portion-controlled package—provided you don’t go crazy with fatty sauces and dressings. Packing lean meats and vegetables into a pita or sliced bread also keeps calories in check.

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· Pro tip. Be sure to choose the smallest bread slices and tortilla or pita—the 4- or 6-inch size, not the 10-incher. ShopSmart’s experts also suggest wrapping sandwich fillings in sturdy, low-cal lettuce leaves such as romaine.

Reinvent leftovers. Why it works. Keep it interesting or you might be tempted to grab something less healthful.

· Pro tip. Skip the same old chicken-and rice dish. Instead, stuff the delicious duo into whole-wheat tortillas, sauté them with ginger and soy, or simmer them with spinach in a soup.

Ingredients That Will Help You To Lose Weight

If you want a diet that’s manageable, budget friendly and that doesn’t skimp on taste, you’ll want to fill up with fewer calories by adding bursts of (healthy) flavor to your dishes. ShopSmart offers main-stay ingredients that can help you fill up and lose weight with ease:

Edamame beans. These legumes pack a healthful dose of protein and fiber for about 50 calories per quarter-cup. Plus the crunchy texture means you chew more slowly and allow your body extra time to feel full. Instead of croutons in a salad, add some oven roasted edamame.

Grapes. Craving a sweet? Reach for grapes and other juicy fruits. For the same 100 calories you would get in one-quarter cup of raisins, you can chow down on almost 2 cups of grapes. Dried fruit has very little water, so it isn’t very filling. Also swap grapes for raisins in a whole-grain pilaf.

Watery vegetables. Eating veggies is a no brainer, and some are loaded with filling water. Good watery choices include broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, tomatoes, and zucchini. Adding any of those to pizza, pasta, and stir-fry provides nutrients and helps you feel satisfied.

Lower-sodium broth. If you want to feel fuller faster, get in a soup habit. Broth-based soups have multiple benefits. The liquid is filling, your brain visually reads it as a larger portion (for fewer calories), and fragrant soup gives sensory pleasure. Load it up with fiber-rich veggies and whole grains for extra satiety.

By Douglas Ruchefsky
Image source: Wikipedia



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