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 Diet & Nutrition

April 2012
How Flexible Is Your Diet?
Babita Hazarika
High blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases and
diabetes are not rare today. Obesity is cited as the most obvious perpetrator for these ailments. Diet and regular physical activity are absolutely essential for warding off health complexities. But diet is often misunderstood as limiting portions, which is not effective in the long-term.

It can also cause complications and deficiency of nutrients essential for the body

The Ideal Long-Term Diet Plan
A long-term diet plan should be such that it is easy to follow. It is much easier to maintain a diet if you take into account the food you like and that which you don’t. Also include combinations of foods with enough calories and nutrients for good health.

Dieting can be hard, but these tips should help you achieve your goals:
  • Your diet plan should be easy to understand and easy-tostick to.
  • It should provide flexibility.
  • It should be customized to suit your weight loss needs.

Flexibility In The Diet Plan
  • Fixed-menu diet: This provides a list of all the foods one can eat. This diet is easy to follow because the foods would be as per one’s choice.
  • Prepackaged-meal diet: Such meals help one to learn the appropriate portion size. The disadvantage is that they can be expensive.
  • Exchange-type diet: A meal plan diet with a set number of servings from each of the several food groups. For example, choosing foods equal in calories within each group such as cereals, pulses and vegetables. This diet can offer you a lot of choices too.
  • Meal replacement diet: Formula diets are weight loss How Flexible Is Your Diet? Babita Hazarika plans that replace one or more meals with a liquid formula which are usually high in fibre.
  • Fad diets: These diets are low in one or more nutrients like carbohydrates, which promotes easy short-term weight loss as they are low in calories, but may cause nutrient deficiencies.
It is important to choose an eating plan that one can live with. Proper selection and preparation of the meal is important. Many people tend to regain lost weight. A nutritious diet combined with regular physical activity helps prevent unhealthy weight regain.
Babita Hazarika is Chief Dietian Apollo Gleneagles Hospital, Kolkata

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