If you want to choose a healthy diet plan, there are many different options available. Whether you're interested in choosing a diet for weight loss or health maintenance, it's important to consider only balanced eating plans. Fad and detox diet plans tend to be too low in calories and include only a few foods rather than a variety of healthy choices.
A balanced diet plan is considered the best for good health. The body can't produce all of the nutrients it needs for proper daily functioning, so certain proteins, vitamins, and minerals must be consumed each day. Commercial vitamin, mineral, and protein supplements are meant to supplement, or add to, a diet rather than replace food. Diets that rely heavily on tablet, liquid, or other supplements are not usually recommended.
Doctors and nutritionists can help you choose a diet plan that takes all of your specific dietary needs into consideration. For example, a woman has different nutritional needs than a man. Older people's dietary needs are different from those of young people. Athletes need more calories than people whose exercise habits are only minimal or moderate. A nursing mother may need to increase her daily calorie intake by as much as 500 calories.
A diet plan for weight loss often works best if a person cuts 500 calories from his or her current daily calorie amount. Providing that the diet is balanced and reasonably low in fat, a steady yet healthy weight loss of one or two pounds (.454 or .907 kg) per week is usually possible. Regular exercise sessions at least three times a week can help facilitate healthy weight loss.
If you're interested in diet plans for vegetarians, you should choose one that includes enough protein and iron. While plant-based sources of these essential nutrients are available, the body tends to use meat-sourced nutrients more efficiently. Mixing foods such as peanut butter and whole wheat bread create strong, or complete, protein choices, however.
Many people, especially those who eat meat, tend to overdo protein; proper portion sizes are an essential consideration when choosing a diet plan. A consultation with a nutritionist or a research session that you perform online or in a library can give you a guideline of the recommended portion sizes for your dietary needs. Your activity level must also be considered when determining your daily portions and overall calorie amount. If you take in more energy from food than you put out through exercise, you'll be likely to gain weight. If the opposite is true and you expend much more energy than you eat, you could lose too much weight.