Lifestyle diets are designed to encourage and promote long-term weight loss.  Fad diets, such as diets that are intended for immediate and quick weight loss, are not considered to promote long-term success; in contrast, lifestyle diets are designed to be integrated into one’s daily long term habits and lifestyle.

Healthy Lifestyle Diets

Many lifestyle diets encourage portion control or calorie counting.  Both of these methods encourage dieters to increase their awareness of the amount of food being eaten, while also encouraging dieters to eat in moderation, so as to promote and control weight loss.  Also, lifestyle diets advocate for eating natural and nutrient rich foods.  Paired with this, dieters should also incorporate a daily exercise regimen to improve one’s weight loss and overall cardiovascular health.

Calorie Counting

For dieters following a calorie counting lifestyle, individuals are encouraged to keep track of the specific number of calories consumed throughout the day.  In keeping track of calories, dieters are to ensure that they are eating less calories, while simultaneously aiming to burn more calories (through exercises and activities).  If dieters follow this lifestyle, then weight can be both lost and maintained.   

What Foods Can I Eat?

Most lifestyle diets encourage that dieters eat foods from all of the basic food groups.  Paired with this, lifestyle diets often discourage the consumption of high-fat, high-sugar, and highly processed foods.  Lifestyle diets moreover encourage an intake of healthier foods, such as:

  • Lean protein, such as turkey and chicken
  • Lean fish
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Whole grains
  • Brown rice
  • High-fiber foods, such as fiber cereals
  • Low fat / fat free dairy foods, such as low fat yogurt and skim milk
  • Low sodium foods, leading to a total intake of less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day

What Foods Should I Avoid?

  • Sodas
  • Excessive alcohol
  • Fried foods
  • Fast foods
  • White bread / white starches, including white bread and pasta
  • Excessive intakes of high-sugar desserts and snacks, such as cakes, cookies, ice cream, and so forth

Lifestyle Diets and Exercise Plans

All lifestyle diets encourage an implementation of a daily exercise plans.  Exercises often include requirements such as:

  • Engaging in rigorous physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day
  • Exercising at least 6 days a week
  • Engaging in challenging weight lifting exercises
  • Cardio vascular activities, such as jogging, walking, or biking

Popular Lifestyle Diets

Many popular lifestyle diets help individuals focus on both immediate and long-term healthy choices to promote success.  Many of the most popular diets are also designed by both doctors and personal trainers, and are commonly written as books that provide individuals with information and resources, such as recipes, exercise plans, daily reflection journals, and/or notes for inspiration.

Some of the most popular lifestyle diets include plans such as:

  • The American Heart Association’s No Fad Diet
  • Bill Phillips’ Fit For Life
  • Bob Harper’s weight loss books
  • Bob Green’s Fit For Life
  • Ben Lerner’s Body by God
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