WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) — For some people, one New Year’s resolution is to eat healthier, but you might want to think twice before starting a fad diet.
Samantha Bulgrin, a Registered Dietician at Marshfield Clinic Health System, said fad diets will oftentimes produce some results in the short term, but they are hard to stick to in the long term.
Bulgrin said any diet that eliminates full food groups or is overly restrictive tends to not work in the long term.
She added that for the average person trying to shed a few pounds and just follow a healthier lifestyle, those fad diets aren’t always the best option.
There’s not a right answer in terms of the right diet since everyone is different.
Alternatively, coming up with a plan specifically for you that is doable on a long-term basis is a good idea.
“I think working in all the food groups is really important just because each food group has its own subset of nutrients that’s important for overall health,” said Bulgrin. “Starting small, you know, some people jump into things too fast, they try to do too many changes and do too much at once. So it’s really not wrong to start with a couple of small goals and make those things habits and then build upon that.”
She added that good plans overall encompass good, heart healthy eating strategies.
Bulgrin said that includes things like fruits vegetables, lean protein, higher fiber or whole grain items and light or low fat versions of dairy products generally is a pretty safe bet for most people.
If you are looking to gain weight, she said to focus on nutrient dense items first.
You can pick regular version of items instead of the light or the low-fat version.
Another option is adding in additional calories or protein without necessarily needing to increase the volume.
So, things like extra butter peanut butter or cheese can work well for people trying to gain weight.
For losing weight, keeping a food log can help you find minor places to adjust.
Also keep your body moving.
If you are trying to maintain weight, she says to maintain consistency.
“It’s easy to get off track, you know you have one bad day and that turns into two bad days and three bad days and all of the sudden everything’s gone awry,” said Bulgrin. “So, again there I think going back to using a food log even for a short period of time can really be a useful strategy to make sure you’re on track and that you’re sticking to the goals that you had set.”
She also said to think about meal pattern for weight gain or weight loss, be consistent with three meals a day.
You can also add some snacks depending on the spacing of your meals.
But she said to avoid going too long without eating anything and avoid grazing, which is where you’re eating all day.
Also try to evenly space those good healthy foods out over the course of the day.