I receive a lot of questions about how to eat a healthy diet all the time. Some of the questions seem to crop up again and again. Rather than sending the same replies out to people over and over I have collected some of my most asked questions and provided the answers right here. These will be a great resource for anyone seeking to make their diet as healthy as possible.

Question: Is it worth paying for a diet plan?

Answer: There are a lot of diet plans out there which cost money to obtain. These are either in the form of famous diets such as the Atkins Diet or they can be custom made for an individual from a dietician or fitness professional. There is no necessity to purchase either type of paid diet. Many free diet plans can be found online and people can customize their own personal diets using free information. This does not mean that there is no place at all for paid diets however. They can provide a great tried and tested option for someone who does not have the willpower or knowledge to devise their own diet plan. They are also a great option for someone who wants a diet customized by a professional to their exact set of personal circumstances and requirements.

Question: Is there a best overall diet?

Answer: Many people seek out the ‘best’ diet or the holy grail of diets which will somehow help all people in all circumstances. People seem to often believe that if they can just stumble across a perfect plan then all of their problems will be solved. Sadly, this is not the case. The truth is that many different diets work well. The key is finding a diet that supports your specific goals, such as getting slim or building muscle, and also finding a diet that you find easy enough to stick to. There is no ‘best’ diet, so instead seek out a ‘good enough’ diet that you find enjoyable and effective.

Question: Do low carb diets work?

Answer: Low carb diets work on the principle of severely restricting a person’s daily intake of carbohydrates. This results in a person getting their nutritional intake from the macronutrients fat and protein instead. When this happens a person’s body goes into a state where it is forced to burn its stored fat in order to have the energy needed to function. This can indeed by an effective way of burning body fat but it is not without consequences. Some people feel drained and tired during the early stages of this diet and experience side effects such as bad breath or constipation. It is a better approach to eat small amounts of healthy carbohydrates such as vegetables along with healthy fat and protein sources such as lean meats.

Question: Is a healthy diet automatically expensive?

Answer: Perhaps the main reason that people avoid eating healthy food is due to the perceived high cost of doing so. It is true that eating healthy can be expensive but it does not have to be. There are ways to save money while having the best diet possible. Some tips to make healthy eating affordable include buying large quantities of frozen meat and vegetables. This is cheaper than buying fresh and also ensures the maximum nutritional content. Buying seasonal foods from markets can also help to cut costs.

Question: Do I need to completely cut out bread in order to eat healthy?

Answer: Bread is one of the most frequently criticized foods amongst healthy eating advocates. Eating too much bread, particularly white bread made from refined flour, is bad for a diet. Eating small amounts of bread each day, such as wholegrain breads, can actually be beneficial to a diet. Moderation is the key.

Question: How does alcohol factor into a healthy diet?

Answer: Drinking alcohol is a problem for many healthy diets. Some people choose to cut out alcohol consumption completely when dieting. This is not a bad idea and will help. There are ways to drink healthily though. Restricting alcohol to one or two nights a week is a great start. Only having one or two drinks is also key. Avoiding sugary alcohol such as beer is important. White spirits with a diet mixer or certain red wines are the best options.

Question: Which drinks should form part of my diet?

Answer: Water is they key drink for a healthy lifestyle. Drinking around 2 litres a day is a great way to help burn fat and keep the body hydrated and functioning properly. Avoiding sugary drinks like fruit juice and soda especially is absolutely key to keeping the weight off. Any milk that is consumed should have the lowest fat content possible and healthier alternatives such as soy or almond milk should be considered. A small amount of diet soda is allowable.

Question: How can I eat out at restaurants and stay healthy?

Answer: One of the hardest aspects of a healthy way of eating is going to restaurants with friends and social gatherings where food is served. There is often a way to do this healthily however. It is a good idea to look for meat options such as chicken and make sure they are not served with a sauce that is fatty. Any potatoes should be substituted for a salad wherever possible. Desert should be avoided and drinks should be carefully monitored.

Question: What are the main mistakes to avoid when dieting?

Answer: Dieting is as much about avoiding the wrong things as it is doing the right things. One mistake is actually not eating enough. A lot of people consume far too few calories and this leads to a lack of energy and eventually the diet is broken with a binge eating session. The best way is instead to eat a good amount of healthy foods. This will help to ensure that a person feels full and content. Another mistake is to completely avoid all unhealthy foods. Totally cutting out a beloved food will make any diet difficult to stick to in the long run. A better option is to designate one day a week as a cheat day where favorite foods can be consumed in moderation.