Dieting does not mean you starve yourself and only eat salads. Dieting means that you eat clean, balanced meals.
Clean foods are anything that comes straight out of the Earth and is not processed or packaged. This is the best general rule to stick by. If it comes from the ground, it is healthy to eat.
There is a general rule for eating balanced meals. The United States Department of Agriculture states that a balanced meal is a plate that is 50% of fruits and vegetables, 30% whole grains, and 20% protein, plus one cup of dairy.
That equals one balanced meal and you should have at least three entire balanced meals per day. If you are trying to gain weight, you would eat more than three entire meals per day.
An important rule to remember is to limit the use of salt, butter, and sugar. Using a lot salt, butter, and sugar, depletes the nutritional value of healthy foods. For example, broccoli is healthy, but if you use salt, butter, or sugar for flavor, the broccoli is no longer healthy.
This does not mean that you are stuck with eating flavorless foods. There are some condiments that you can use. You can use as much pepper and ketchup as you want, for flavoring. If you have a sweet tooth, you can use Stevia, which has zero calories and is the best healthy option for those sweet cravings.
Great sources of protein are baked or grilled chicken breasts and fish. Chicken breasts are the leanest cuts of chicken meat and fish like salmon, mahi mahi, and tuna are very healthy options. Processed red meat needs to be consumed in moderation.
A study by Harvard researchers found that there is no correlation between eating unprocessed meat consumption and heart disease, but there was a correlation between eating processed red meat and heart disease.
Processed meats are higher in fats, salts, and calories, in comparison to unprocessed meats. Examples of processed meats are sausages, hot dogs, salami, bacon, smoked and dried meat, and canned meat. The good red meats, or the unprocessed meats, include beef, pork, and lamb. So, more beef, pork, and lamb if you are considering consuming red meats.
Monitoring the foods you consume is vital. Healthiness is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. There is such a drastic differentiation for many reasons. For example, people think that since they workout, they can consume whatever foods and drinks they want.
The unhealthy foods have additives that make people addicted to eating unhealthily. This is the main reason why people struggle so much with losing weight, because no matter how much people try, these additives are like drugs.
These additives account for a significant portion of the American diet, which is why when people try to switch to a balanced, healthy diet, they cannot. The body goes through withdrawal without consuming additives and the withdrawal process is a very uncomfortable process, so the body gives in to stop the discomfort.
If you are a person that consumes a significant amount of sugar, salt, and/or butter, the best way to avoid withdrawal is to gradually cut back on sugar, salt, and butter. This is the best way of dieting and will lead to lasting weight loss.