Health Watch -- Your Summer Diet

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

As summer swimsuits come on the market, it's time to renew your efforts to lose weight. 

For many of us, our New Year's resolutions to eat better and lose weight have been forgotten by now, but advertisements for swimsuits and spring clothing may renew our determination. When you start looking for a way to shed those extra pounds, nutrition experts at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas say you should stay away from fad diets.

Fad diets are tempting because they take away difficult decisions and make losing weight look easy. Some recent popular diet plans include one that calls for eating cereal for two meals a day and another that relies on low-fat sandwiches. Lona Sandon, a UT Southwestern dietitian, says that while diets like these will help you lose weight initially, you're likely to become bored with eating the same thing all the time and give up quickly.

Instead of relying on fad diets, change the way you think about food. Instead of thinking in terms of good foods and bad foods, think about good eating patterns and bad eating patterns. All foods can fit into a good eating pattern, as long as they're eaten in moderation and in appropriate amounts.

To take a more positive approach to your summer swimsuit diet, try to incorporate more healthful foods into your diet instead of eliminating foods. At this time of year, fresh fruits and vegetables are more and more abundant. When you're eating a lot of foods that are good for you, you'll be less hungry for less nutritious foods and your body will be getting the nutrients it needs.