Here are four healthy diet facts for your balanced healthy diet:

Weight loss tips # 1. Don't focus only on calories.

Don't base your weight-loss program primarily on how many calories you consume, with the goal being the lower, the better. Studies show that you can't meet all your nutritional needs on less than 1,800 calories a day. Research also indicates that eating too few calories causes your metabolism to slow down, so you need less food to maintain your weight. The end result: You're eating less, and your love handles aren't budging.

Weight loss tips # 2. Don't fill up on nutritional zeros.

Just because it says "nonfat" or "sugar-free" doesn't mean it's good for your waistline. Popular diet foods such as rice cakes, fat-free cookies and non-caloric beverages do little to satisfy you or provide energy for your workouts. What's more, fat-free goodies are often filled with sugar, so their caloric content can be just as high, if not higher, than that of their full-fat counterparts. Example: Three traditional chocolate chip cookies have 11 grams of sugar and 140 calories, while three reduced-fat cookies contain 12 grams of sugar and 120 calories. Not much of a savings for your waistline! Worse, you may be tempted to eat more because you think that you're eating less.

Weight loss tips # 3. Don't increase fiber too quickly.

If you're anxious to lose weight but unaccustomed to eating lots of fiber-rich foods, you'll want to gradually increase your intake of fruits, veggies and whole grains. If you don't, you could suffer bloating, indigestion or even diarrhea, which can deplete your body of water and essential nutrients. Start slowly, adding a serving or two of beans, high-fiber cereal, fresh fruit and vegetables each week until you reach six to 11 servings of whole grains and eight to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

Weight loss tips # 4. Don't choose a plan you can't live with.

A balanced healthy diet is like sunscreen. You have to apply it every day if you want the benefits to continue. If a diet is drastic (only one food or cutting out entire food groups), complicated (requiring lots of tricky food combining) or doesn't have staying power (you're hungry all the time) it won't be good for you-and you won't be able to stick with it anyway.

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