Health

Make 2017 the Anti-Diet Year

Here's what it truly takes to lose weight

Pick one small change that is your weakness — and work on that.

Among all the advice you’ll get in this New Year, this is perhaps the most important to follow if you sincerely want to succeed, according to Courtney Ferreira, a registered dietician and nutritionist with the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.

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Eating differently than you ever done isn’t easy — change can be incredibly hard. If you’re hoping to lose weight, cut back on sugar, reduce your sodium intake, or just feel better in the New Year, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Dieting typically isn’t the answer, and limiting yourself to just one specific diet is often a recipe for failure.

Deprivation isn’t fun and far too many of us are too quick and too comfortable with falling back into our old ways.

The video above lists five diet trends to steer clear of in 2017. Here’s why: These extreme, jump-start diets that provide less than 1,200 calories and a minimally diverse diet may give people the weight loss boost they want, but it will come right back as soon as they go back to their normal eating patterns, said Ferreira.

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“Unless a food is causing you gastrointestinal distress, restriction is not the answer! It isn’t sustainable and can really take joy out of food and socializing,” Ferreira told LifeZette. “It does not serve you in the long run if it is causing you stress.”

Health, she added, is about more than what you eat — it is about mental health and happiness, too.

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“The most important thing to keep in mind is to keep diet changes small and sustainable. Focus on one small change for several weeks, then build on it, or add a new change. Doing this over time will help shift your eating pattern to a healthier one. Example: If sweets are your weakness, give yourself a goal of dessert after dinner no more than three days per week. Stick to that for three weeks,”said Ferreira. “If at the end of three weeks you find you did well, consider taking it step further — dessert no more than one day per week. You could also add a new habit — let’s say making one snack a vegetable. Continue with this new goal, that is building on your previous goal.”

Related: Put a Little Fat in Your Diet

It then moves from a diet to a lifestyle. And it’s far easier to accomplish that when your cupboards and refrigerator are stocked with healthy foods — and you eat more at home than you do out.

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