Changing Your Diet To Live Well


As we start 2015, one of the more popular resolutions Americans make is to start a new diet. Many people every year try to diet. People have different motivations for why they try to diet. Some are trying to lose weight while others are trying to live healthier lives. When it comes to dieting, we should strive to improve our overall health by having better eating habits and complement it with a regular exercise program. Obviously, this is easy to say but hard to execute. Before committing to a new diet program, the individual needs to understand that the diet is really a lifestyle change. It is meant to be a lifelong commitment and not a temporary plan. Most commit to diets short term and this is one of the many reasons for high rate of failure. When starting a diet, one should choose a diet based on a few factors. Choose a diet that fits your specific needs, fits your personality, and can be realistically incorporated into your life. Diets are started to lose weight, control chronic disease and/or achieve a healthier lifestyle for individuals. U.S. News and World Report annually reviews the top diets. These are based on various criteria and then put into different categories. Best overall diets were the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes), Mayo Clinic, Mediterranean Diet, and Weight Watchers. They further categorize diets into best diet for weight loss, best for diabetes mellitus, best for heart health and best for healthy eating. This is helpful but also confusing. Remember: there is no one diet perfect for every person. Each diet has pros and cons. Choosing a diet that you think will work for you, help you achieve your personal goals and be safely implemented are essential for any person dieting. It is recommended that you seek help from your physician and a dietitian or nutritionist to choose the right diet and help guide you to success. Remember: a diet should be perceived as an eating lifestyle not a temporary fix or short term plan. The Top 5 diets (as per U.S. News and World Report) are listed below.

  1. DASH diet
    • Developed to fight blood pressure.
    • Complete nutritionally (contains produce, grains, low proteins, and low fat dairy)
    • Control or prevent diabetes
    • Support heart health
    • Eat foods with potassium, calcium, protein, fiber to prevent hypertension

  2. TLC diet
    • Created by NIH (National Institutes of Health)
    • Promotes cardiovascular health
    • Well balanced
    • Requires a lot of “do it yourself”
    • Cuts fat drastically

  3. Mayo Clinic diet
    • Healthy eating (safely) lifelong
    • Works against Diabetes
    • Weight loss
    • Breaks bad habits and replaces them with good ones

  4. Mediterranean diet
    • Emphasizes fruits and vegetables, olive oil, and fish
    • Promotes weight loss, heart and brain health
    • Diabetes treatment and prevention
    • Cancer prevention
    • Low red meat, low sugar, low saturated fat, increased produce, and nuts

  5. Weight Watchers
    • Commercial diet (works on food based point system) For example, foods that fill you up the longest cost the least in points.
    • Easy to follow
    • Support groups available
    • Stresses fruits/vegetables

    Marc S. Fisk, DO is a Barnabas Health Medical Group physician affiliated with Clara Maass Medical Center. Dr. Fisk earned his medical degree from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his Residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Dr. Fisk went on to complete his Fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease at the Lahey Clinic. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease and Nuclear Cardiology. Dr. Fisk practices with New Jersey Cardiology Associates. For more information or to contact his office please call 973-429-8333.

Categories: Healthy Living Blog