When the New Year rolls around, many people decide that it’s time to go on a diet. They feel as though they put on too many pounds before the holidays kicked in, and all of the Christmas cookies and Hanukkah treats have just added weight. It’s the perfect time to start dieting, but what are the best foods for your body?

You need to have a conversation with your doctor. Sometimes, certain diseases or conditions require that you consume specific foods. Of course, if weight is a concern with these foods, have an open and honest conversation with your doctor. He or she can likely recommend some ways to still incorporate these necessary foods but to maintain a healthy weight while doing so.

Some individuals just cut tons of calories when they want to lose weight. Of course, eliminating some of the foods that you eat is one of the ways to shed pounds, but you do not want to cause more harm to your being. Consider your height and body mass when figuring out the total number of calories to eat per day. Additionally, you have to think about the amount of physical work and exercise you do every day. If you are a person who works out on a daily basis, you are going to need more calories to sustain yourself.

Making the decision as to what foods to eat is another part of the puzzle. Some people will choose packaged meals that are labeled as “diet” and “fat free.” When you are on certain types of diets, these are the foods you need to eat. However, you must be following all of the stipulations of the plan. Realize that if you veer away from the plan, you will probably put the pounds back on quite quickly.

These packaged foods tend to be loaded with sodium, so they aren’t the best if you want to make an overall lifestyle change. Opt for fruits, vegetables, lean meats such as chicken and fish, and whole grain pastas and breads. Stay away from desserts, heavy dairy products, and the like. One of the most important parts of dieting is to give yourself a treat once in a while. If you never have a scoop of ice cream or a cheeseburger, you’re going to wind up overindulging one day and never looking back. Once again, discuss all of these suggestions with your doctor.