Diets for weight loss: Smart eating is a better recipe for your health – USA TODAY

Diets for weight loss: Smart eating is a better recipe for your health – USA TODAY

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  • If you want to lose weight and be more healthy, going on a diet may not be the best strategy.
  • Making some gradual changes in what you eat could yield better long-term results.
  • If you need structure to succeed, a dietitian or a eating program could be beneficial to get you started.

Whether you made a New Year’s resolution or not, you’ve likely thought about being healthier in 2023.

That probably means going on a diet, right? Not necessarily.

If you are looking for a temporary program to lose weight, a diet might be the answer. But many experts instead suggest an attitude adjustment when it comes to eating – because that strategy is a move that can lead to a longer healthier life.

By improving what you eat, you can lose weight and also avoid the yo-yo effect of weight loss and gain that can come with fad diets. An international study of 14 diets published in 2020 in the British medical journal BMJ found dieters had lost weight after six months, but most had regained the weight after a year.

“Unfortunately, when people reach their goal and stop the program, most regain the weight they’ve lost and then some,” said Mimi Secor, a nurse practitioner who specializes in women’s health and author of “Healthy & Fit at Any Age.”

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I want to lose weight and eat healthier. What diet should I choose?

For starters, don’t think about it as a diet. “I coach my clients to replace the word ‘diet,’ which is often viewed as a temporary solution, with the term ‘healthy eating plan’ because it is more sustainable,” said Elana Paddock, a registered dietitian nutritionist at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas.

A current popular diet is intermittent fasting, which most commonly involves eating only during 6-8 hours of the day. But a recent study in the Journal of the American Heart Association found no link between the timing of meals and weight loss over a six-year period.

However, fewer and smaller meals were associated with weight loss.

“In addition, skipping meals could lead to more hunger and cravings later, driving …….