diet magazines

Have you ever opened a magazine and read a story about, say, the averse affects of a juice cleanse and the better solid food alternatives, then turned on the morning news for  a conflicting report on what foods you should be avoiding, then read a blog post about someone’s incredible weight-loss journey where they ate that food only, then got a call from a friend about said juice cleanse that really, sweartogod works? Come ON! What gives? What ACTUALLY works?? Well guess what, it’s not getting any simpler. New products and nutritionists come onto the scene every day for the sole purpose of confusing you, and everyone swears by something different. The truth is, you just have to weather the overwhelming influx of dietary darts aimed at your flabby midsection, and find what works for YOU.

So, in honor of our Fast Track To Health Giveaway with Joy Bauer, where we’ll be sending one lucky winner to get booted into shape on a 6-night fitness stay at NBC’s Biggest Loser Ranch in Malibu, we’re not making things any more straightforward. Our Monday Lose Weight By Accident column by Kavita Javeri-Patel offers up some pretty fab advice, but no matter what, there’s always a critic. So, we’ve reached out to a handful of health, fitness and wellness bloggers to see what precious tip has made their diet success tick. You’ll notice a pattern in the non-concrete advice; perhaps dieting doesn’t have to be so concrete after all? I hope you are able to get something out of these tips and find what works for YOUR body and life. First enter the giveaway, and read on!

“What’s your #1 tip for a successful diet?”

(First – mine!) Michelle Joni Lapidos, Spa Week Daily: This may sound a little crazy, but I’ve been a serial dieter since eighth grade, so I know what I’m talking about, and it probably goes against most diet rules in general. Out of everything I’ve done, here’s what recently has really worked the best: STOP THINKING SO MUCH. Order what you REALLY want. I used to get salads with light dressings, hold the cheese, for years, and where did deprivation get me? Nowhere. But now, for lunch, I’m on a (whole wheat) sandwich marathon – load on the mozzarella, slather on that house-made pesto! – and then guess what? I’m satisfied. My tummy doesn’t bargain for more, I stop eating when I’m full, and I don’t dig into the candy jar at 4pm. And 5pm. And 6pm. Also, the other part of my success equation is avoiding processed foods (as Amie Valpone reiterates below). Breakfast bars, or anything that is packaged to make you feel like you’re being healthy is probably not.

Jan B, Healthy Loser Girl: “Having lost 100+ pounds, I’ve many tips on losing weight, but the #1 tip is to BELIEVE in yourself! Believe you can accomplish any goal, work hard, and never let negativity enter your mind. Know you can lose weight (setting 5lb goals is how I did it!), say “I WILL do this!” and go for it!” More from Jan on believing in yourself.

Amie Valpone, The Healthy Apple: “My approach to ‘Clean Eating’ focuses on whole foods that are good for your body. It’s not about calories, it’s about quality. Steer clear of packaged, processed ‘diet’ foods and eat wholesome foods without ingredient lists and labels. If it’s advertised on TV, chances are it’s not good for you!”

Ava Roxanne, My Skin Concierge: “Beautiful skin comes from within (as we learned in Dr. Perricone’s very successful 3-day skincare diet), so I essentially eat my skincare too. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet gives dramatic results quickly, both in how you look and feel. Some of the items on this diet include oatmeal, salmon, turkey, olive oil, almonds and berries.  Don’t just clean your face – eat clean too and enjoy the pounds washing away as well!”

Yoli, Yoliouiya: “My number one secret for losing weight is cutting out dairy, switching to plant-based calcium sources and whole grains. I went from a size 14/16 to a size 2/4 in a matter of months. The increased fiber in my diet did wonders for achieving a flat belly. I learned from my mom that as a baby I was lactose intolerant and now I see the effects of listening to my body. Check out these ways to get your plant-based calcium fix.”

Shannon Crino Nelson, A Girl’s Gotta Spa: “Always eat 3 meals a day. Most people skip breakfast or lunch, which will either make you snack more throughout the day or eat more at the next meal to compensate. If you eat 3 meals a day, not only will you feel more even-keeled throughout the day, you’ll find that you are less “snacky” or avoid hitting that 2pm energy slump.”

Heather Cabot, Yahoo! Web Life Editor, The Well Mom – “The only thing that really works for me is recording what I eat and when. At different points in my life I’ve used Weight Watchers online, the Lose It app, LiveStrong and Calorie King. There are so many great tech tools that you can find

to help you keep track of calories in and calories out, especially if you have a smart phone. The biggest hurdle is making the time and remembering to do it. Lately, I’ve been setting alarms on my phone to remind me. I also find if I start out logging my meals, snacks and workouts early in the day, I am more apt to keep it up as the day goes on. The best part about it is when I am consistent, I find that I still eat the things I like, but I pay more attention to portion size and that helps me maintain my weight.”

Anne Dimon, Travel to Wellness: “First of all, don’t diet.  Instead, develop the practice of making healthy food choices and stress the “DOs” instead of the “DON’Ts”.   For instance:  DO start the day with a nutritious breakfast  (i.e. oatmeal or granola with fruit and yogurt).  Do increase your intake of fresh fruit and veggies and snack on these during the day.  Do choose fish over red meat.  DO eat several small meals a day instead of starving yourself – a practice that almost guarantees you will overindulge at the next meal. DO take smaller portions, eat slowly and just until you are full (walk away from the table if you have to.)  DO learn how to make nutritious meals at home instead of relying on take-out and restaurants.  And, just as important as the food you eat, DO take up a fitness activity – walking, running, cycling, hiking, weight-lifting, gardening, swimming… doesn’t really matter what it is, try them all untill you find something you love and DO it.”

What’s YOUR #1 tip for diet succes? Share below! And let the confusion reign on.

Images via Glamour’s beauty blog22daysnutrtition