(NewsUSA) – Every day it seems there are a host of new and outlandish methods to win the battle of the bulge. The Cabbage Soup diet, the Fat Flush diet and the Blood Type diet are some of the more unusual, yet even the most ridiculous monikers do little to preserve your overall nutrition.
The reason fad diets typically don't work, according to sports and lifestyle dietitian Molly Kimball, is that they aren't designed to succeed in the long term. "In reality, a successful diet is one that doesn't sacrifice flavor, taste or nutrition and incorporates your favorite foods every day." So scratch the word diet out of your vocabulary and follow these four tips for fresh, healthy eating:
Keep calories in check. "Even if you exercise an hour every day, there are still 23 hours where you can negate it," says Kimball. "You still have to keep an eye on what you're eating." She advises that you spend your calories on foods high in fiber, protein and healthy fat. Since the body takes longer to digest these nutrients, you'll be left feeling fuller, longer. For a snack, try a quarter cup of reduced fat cheese melted on a whole wheat tortilla. Low in calories but high in fiber and protein, this snack keeps you powering until the next meal.
Fill up on veggies. Instead of ham, turkey and roast beef thrown between two slabs of bread with cheese and extra mayo, keep the lean protein and incorporate loads of vegetables (raw, grilled or roasted) into a low-carb, high-fiber tortilla. "You'll be slashing calories but still get the satisfaction of eating a full sandwich, along with loads of fiber-rich, nutrient-dense vegetables," says Kimball.
Choose healthy fats. Olive oil and fatty fish get a lot of attention for a reason: they're both filled with healthy fats. The monounsaturated fat in oil and the omega-3's in fish not only help to keep hunger at bay, they also boost your heart health by raising HDL ("good") cholesterol.
Lighten the foods you love. The bottom line is calories, but is giving up your favorite foods worth it? Of course not. Instead of a massive burrito stuffed with cheese, refried beans and sour cream, use a whole wheat tortilla and pile on lean protein, grilled veggies and fresh salsa for an authentic Mexican meal that tastes great with a fraction of the fat and calories.