It comes as no surprise that there are many of us out there who sometimes feel that they want to become healthier. Unfortunately, for most, becoming healthier is linked to losing weight and losing it fast. Many people are looking for an easy quick fix to lose weight and in turn making them think that they are becoming healthier. So the online searches begin for quick and simple ways to lose weight and products to “lose up to 10 pounds in one week” start being purchased. In reality, you filling your body with these “cleanse” products and using certain diets results in you becoming LESS healthy. I cannot speak for every single fad diet and dieting product out there but most of the time if you try to stop the diet or product, you gain the weight all over again and usually 9 times out of 10, you end up heavier than when you started.
Have you always thought that taking a daily multivitamin was benefiting your health and preventing illnesses? If so, do not worry, so many people think that they are a holy grail including myself before I started studying nutrition. 44% of men and 53% of women reported that they take a daily multivitamin, however the only groups of people who need to be worried about taking a multivitamin or supplement in general are pregnant women, people with certain illnesses, or people who need to be on a very low calorie/ nutrient restricted diets. Other than that studies show that multivitamins do not make a significant difference in the present or future health of someone who is healthy and can eat normally. All the vitamins and minerals that you get from a multivitamin can be easily consumed with a balanced diet.
Vitamin D supplements however, are safe to use especially if you live somewhere where there are drastic seasons (like Connecticut) and have the winter where not many people stay outside for long periods of time. Then I would suggest taking a Vitamin D supplement during the winter months. It is also good to take a Vitamin D supplement if you are a person who tends to stay away from the sun. Yes the sun’s UV rays can cause damage to our skin if we over do it and do not take precautions such as sun screen but a small amount daily is so beneficial for your Vitamin D levels. Some younger adults reading this may not be worried yet about illnesses such as osteoporosis, where the bones in the body become extremely weak and brittle, but you should. Calcium stores stop at age 30, so if you are reading this and thinking “I am not really sure if I have enough calcium in my diet” you probably do not and should start taking precautions. Vitamin D helps absorb calcium in the body and phosphorus levels in the blood which are both vital roles for bone health.
SUPPLEMENTS TO STAY AWAY FROM:
Stay away from supplements that have claims that sound too good to be true. “Fast and easy weight loss”, any claims to cure an illness or symptom (mood disorders, depressed moods). There is no magic product that will melt fat away while you are watching TV or sleeping. And I hate to be the bearer of bad news but any ad that claims you can lose weight without adding in any exercise is a lie.
**DISCLAIMER, I am speaking about people who are relatively healthy with no chronic diseases/illnesses. If your doctor has prescribed you to take a certain supplement, listen to your doctor or have a conversation with your doctor about alternative options. **
We will start off by saying that when it comes to the actual holidays themselves (Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day) you eat whatever the HELL you want. Unless you are on a special diet by a doctor of course. If you are just trying to eat healthy to lose weight or become a healthier version of you, however, eat whatever your favorite foods are on those days. Its the day after those holidays and the weeks after that matter. Many of us end up with loads of leftovers, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but when you are trying to stay on track leftovers are the devil.
Thinking about starting to be on a low carb diet can be challenging for many of us. Whether it is to lose weight, or another health issue that you doctor suggested you should try to lessen carbs in your diet, the more you know the better. If you feel like you know what you should eat and should not eat, it tends to be less of a challenge. So below I categorized which foods you can have a surplus of, which you should have only in moderation and which you should avoid all together. Remember, you should never cut a group of foods out of your diet entirely, so unless given orders by a physician to do so, it is okay to have a few carbs (20-30g) per day.