Dieting can be a very difficult process. Not only are you concerned with the number of calories that you are putting in your body, but you are still trying to get all of the important vitamins and minerals that you need to stay healthy, without causing a vitamin deficiency.
Know What to Eat
One of the first steps you must take in your quest to safely diet without causing a vitamin deficiency is to determine what foods you should be eating for good health. People often choose a diet that limits the intake of certain types of foods. While this may produce weight loss in the short run, in the long run not only will this technique result in vitamin deficiency, but it can also wreak havoc with your metabolism, and even result in a greater weight than when you started the diet. Instead of following diets that call for restricting certain foods, simply eat less of a well-balanced diet. Fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat and grains all contain vitamins and minerals that are important for good health. Elimination of one of these types of foods from your diet could result in serious vitamin deficiency.
Plan Your Meals
In order to ensure that you are getting the right amounts of foods and therefore will not be prone to the development of a vitamin deficiency, consider planning all your meals out for a week. Remember the food guide recommendations when doing this. For good health, the USDA recommends eating five to eight servings of grains per day, two to three serving of fruits, three to five servings of vegetables, two to three servings of meat and small amounts of fat. While this may seem like a lot of food, making the right choices is important to keep calories low.
Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and avoid sugary or fatty treats. Over the weekend, plan out your menu for the week. Write down on a piece of paper each day of the week, and then create a balanced diet for each meal. This is very handy when you go to the grocery store, as you will purchase only what you need for the week instead of impulse purchases. Feel free to create large batches of balanced meals, and use them over a number of days.
Get Tested for Vitamin Deficiencies
If you’re dieting and are still concerned about possible vitamin deficiencies, you may want to get tested by your doctor. There are now a variety of different tests that can determine protein, calcium and other vitamin and mineral deficiencies. If you’re following a balanced diet and are still deficient in a certain vitamin or mineral, you doctor may be able to offer advice on a supplement to help eliminate this deficiency.