Spotting good and poor weight loss diets

A good diet … A poor diet …
aims for reasonable weight loss (less than 1 kg per week) promises rapid or unrealistic weight loss (more than 1 kg per week)
includes all major food groups (vegetables and fruit, grains and cereals, low- or reduced-fat dairy products, some protein foods) excludes some key food groups, such as grains and cereals or dairy products, and is at odds with current Ministry of Health healthy eating advice
is flexible and provides a realistic amount of food is rigid and doesn’t provide you with enough energy (less than 800 kcals / 3350 kjoules per day)
fits your lifestyle and is easy to follow long term doesn’t fit your lifestyle, and is hard to follow long term. Limits your opportunities to share food with friends and family
promotes the use of normal, affordable whole foods promotes the use of a specific company’s foods or supplements only (eg, shakes or bars)
helps you make small changes that are sustainable long term requires you to make major changes that are not sustainable long term
includes regular physical activity does not include physical activity. Includes a special supplement or gadget that claims to help you burn fat or lose weight
makes you feel satisfied, in control and happy makes you feel hungry, irritable, constipated or depressed
results in other benefits, such as lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, smaller waist circumference, better sleep and improved mood results in disadvantages such as increased cholesterol, poor sleep and concentration, and low moods
allows you all foods either in moderation or as a treat (eg, recommends portion control) bans certain foods


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