The holidays are here and this means that many people are enjoying tasty holiday treats like cookies, cakes and pies. However, during the winter holidays many people become less active due to the colder weather that the season brings. As a result, many people will put on some seasonal weight.
After the season has ended, many of these people will try all sorts of diets to lose weight and improve their appearance. Unfortunately, improving one’s appearance is often the primary motivating factor for weight loss — many people are less concerned about their actual health. Aiming for a healthy body weight is a reasonable goal, however many people will follow unhealthy diets such as the Atkins diet to lose their holiday weight.
The Atkins diet and other low carb diets are unhealthy because they encourage dieters to reduce their intake of carbohydrates to unhealthy levels. The Atkins diet encourages its customers to eat no more than 20 net grams of carbohydrates per day, whereas the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that 45 to 65 percent of all calories consumed should come from carbohydrates. This means that an individual on a very restrictive 1,000 calorie diet should eat no less than 112.5 grams of carbohydrates per day.
Thus, the Atkins diet encourages dieters to restrict their carbohydrate intake to levels far lower than the USDA recommendation. This diet also encourages dieters to “enjoy butter,” whereas the USDA encourages dieters to limit their intake of butter. The diet also makes it incredibly difficult for one to consume many micronutrients like Vitamin C that are found in carbohydrate rich fruits.
There are ways to loose your holiday weight without following unhealthy, carbohydrate deficient diets. Losing weight is simply a matter of expending more energy than is consumed — there are healthy ways to do this. One can replace sugary drinks with water and limit the consumption sweetened beverages, alcoholic beverages, candy, butter and other high calorie foods that are relatively deficient in micronutrients.
Likewise, many dieters often overlook the importance of expending more energy through physical activity. Exercise not only provides the benefit of weight reduction, it also reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Holiday dieters should keep in mind that improving one’s health is more important than improving one’s appearance — even though they can do both by dieting in a healthy way.