News | Published August 30, 2012 | Written by Michelle Zook, MD

How to choose the best diet plan

There are so many fad diets being promoted as the best way to lose weight, and most of us are so desperate to find that "quick fix," we are willing to try almost anything. The problem with the majority of these diets is that they are a form of deprivation and limit your food choices so drastically that people often get bored eating the same thing every day. Additionally, diets that cut out entire food groups (carbohydrates, for example) are deficient in such major nutrients as dietary fiber, select vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which can lead to major health problems in the long run.

Here are some suggestions to help you shed pounds and maintain a healthy weight:

  1. Eat smaller food portions. The majority of us can afford to reduce the amount we eat without feeling hungry.
  2. Reduce your intake of foods with added sugars and those high in sodium, cholesterol, saturated and trans fats.
  3. Eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat dairy products.
  4. Increase your consumption of lean proteins by making this the largest portion of your meal and it will help you stay full longer.
  5. Drink more water, limit alcohol consumption and stay away from high-calorie sodas, juice or coffee.

And one last helpful tip: If you know you shouldn't be eating it, don't put it in your shopping cart. Keep bad food choices out of the house and decrease your chance of over-indulging.

For more information on eating healthy, visit

Originally posted in the October 2011 issue of State College Magazine.