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The School Newspaper of Harriton High School

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Eight Steps to Build a Sustainable Diet


I have previously discussed the importance of building a sustainable diet, but I have not yet explained how to do this. Putting together a diet which one can adhere to is a challenging but rewarding undertaking. Here are eight steps to build a healthy diet.


1.Identify your fitness goals

Identifying your fitness goals is not very challenging. Nonetheless, it is the most important step to achieving your goals. A suggestion is to create three long-term goals, three checkmark goals focused on the process (for example, I want to run two miles every day), and list some practices that can make you achieve these goals.


2.Track your current diet for a few days

This step may also seem simple but it does take some discipline to do an adequate job of keeping track of your diet. The most important step is to track exactly what you are eating. Tracking calories and protein intake are important, while tracking Macros are also highly recommended to obtain an accurate depiction of your diet. This step should take about a week or more.


  1. Evaluate the Strengths and weaknesses of that diet for the goal you are trying to achieve

After noting your current food habits, evaluate your diet. What are the strengths of it, and where could you improve? Note down as many as you can. Remember to keep your goals in mind when doing this. Additionally, you may want to consult a professional nutritionist for help. 


  1. Make a new diet plan to achieve your goals

Making a new plan is probably the most complex step, as it requires taking into account many aspects. Note some foods that you must have in your diet, restrictions, obstacles and other considerations in your diet. Try to consult some sort of professional or certified nutritionist to assist you with this step. If not, make this plan carefully, and use nutrition calculators to make sure you are getting a healthy distribution of macro and micronutrients. 


  1. Track your progress

Often, people make a great diet plan, but overlook tracking their progress properly. For instance, some may make an incredibly detailed plan, but only use the scale as their only indicator of progress. Weighing yourself may be one aspect of tracking your progress, but there are many more. Tracking your mood and relationship to food, and even seeing changes in the mirror can give a greater picture of your success than a scale can. 


  1. Evaluate if the diet is effective

This is mainly a continuation of the last step, but it is good to have a dedication to reflect on your diet. Note the successes that you have had, note what could be improved. Making sure that your diet/lifestyle is sustainable can drastically improve your chance of success. 


  1. Make adjustments to the diet as needed

Making adjustments to your diet can greatly improve your long term adherence to a diet. Many times , people start out great, but as their ghrelin( hunger hormone) levels increase and their leptin(satiety hormone) levels decrease, which likely happens after a few weeks of dieting, people start to deviate from their meal plans. Some adjustments may be reducing calorie intake, changing foods eaten, and including/excluding supplements from meal plans.


  1. Think about the long run

This tip is like a bonus tip because it applies in every aspect of the diet. When forming a new plan, to decide to make adjustments it is imperative that you think about a diet as more of a long term plan. For instance, when creating a diet plan, you should decide if it will be a regimen that you can sustain for a significant amount of time. This could be 3 months, 6 months, or even longer in some cases. Additionally, while it may be frustrating for a diet to take time, if the diet is sustainable it is better to have a slow process that is effective than a fast cut that may lead to subsequent weight gain.

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