With hundreds of diets out there recommending everything from eating more to eating less, it's easy for dieters to get overwhelmed. But it doesn't have to be complicated.
Registered dietitian Dawn Napoli of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Orlando visited Good Day Orlando recently to recommend six keys to easing into a diet.
1. Write it down. "You need to write down what you ate today," Napoli says. Documenting your food intake helps keep you focused. You don't have to physically write it on a piece of paper -- there are smartphone apps and websites that can keep track for you. Some apps can even scan the food and calculate portion sizes for you.
2. Be a morning eater. "You want to stop your body from fasting and fuel it. Like the engine in your car, you put fuel into it. That helps you with your day," Napoli says. Eating good food early boosts your metabolism.
3. Eat a rainbow. Shop on the outskirts of the grocery store, where the "rainbow food" is located. Strive to eat a wide variety of foods. Make a smoothie with kale, spinach and berries. For lunch, try a wrap or veggie sushi. For dinner, make a pasta sauce with zucchini and squash over whole wheat pasta or spaghetti squash, which can be used like spaghetti.
4. Fill the gap. It's natural to want to snack throughout the day. Snacking is fine -- you don't want to go four or five hours without eating, which will only make your starving body want to overeat later. Try snacking on fruit, Greek yogurt or low-fat cheese, which are all portable.
5. Have a little less. Portion out your snacks so you're eating out of a small container instead of a big, bottomless bag.
6. Eat real. "Go for the real stuff to control your cravings," Napoli says. Use real salad dressings, with an olive oil base so you're not missing the taste of fat and craving more.