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The Best Diets for Inactive Lifestyles

by
author image Joseph Eitel
Joseph Eitel has written for a variety of respected online publications since 2006 including the Developer Shed Network and Huddle.net. He has dedicated his life to researching and writing about diet, nutrition and exercise. Eitel's health blog, PromoteHealth.info, has become an authority in the healthy-living niche. He graduated with honors from Kellogg Community College in 2010 with an Associate of Applied Science.
The Best Diets for Inactive Lifestyles
Fruit is a nutritious part of any diet. Photo Credit Zb89V/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

Whether you live an inactive lifestyle due to a disability or you simply do not exercise as much as you should, a healthy diet can help you maintain a healthy body weight and help reduce the risk of developing any obesity-related diseases, such as heart disease or type 2 diabetes. People who live sedentary lifestyles require fewer calories than more active people, so a low-calorie approach to dieting is the best way to go in this case.

DASH Diet

The key to maintaining a healthy body weight when you live a sedentary lifestyle is to minimize the number of calories you consume, and that’s one of the key aspects of the DASH Diet. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, plan was first created to help lower the blood pressure of people with hypertension, but it has been found to be an effective weight loss tool as well. According to DashDiet.org, it’s not uncommon for people to experience 10 to 35 lbs. of weight loss within the first few months of starting this diet plan. That’s important for people with inactive lifestyles because they are able to lose weight based on diet alone.

The DASH Diet is a safe diet plan endorsed by several credible health organizations, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the American Heart Association. The DASH plan focuses on low-calorie meals filled with vitamins and nutrients. It also limits the amount of salt, sweets and unhealthy fats consumed.

Vegetarian Diet

Vegetarianism is a healthy way to live as long as it is done correctly. The world-renowned Mayo Clinic recommends that vegetarians pay special attention to the amount of calcium, iron, vitamin B-12, iodine, protein, vitamin D, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids consumed each day because these are commonly lacking in a meatless diet. As long as you eat well-balanced, nutritious meals including leafy vegetables, fortified cereals and soy products, whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruits, tofu and limited iodized salt, you should get the proper nutrition necessary to maintain good health. The advantage that vegetarianism provides is that it the meals are typically low in calories when compared to high-fat meat diets, so it’s an ideal choice for inactive lifestyles.

MyPyramid Customized Diet Plan

The USDA put together the MyPyramid Diet Plan in an effort to help people learn about healthy eating habits. People can visit MyPyramid.gov and get a free personalized diet plan based on their age, body type, gender and daily physical activity level. For people with inactive lifestyles, MyPyramid will recommend a low-calorie meal plan that will help them maintain a healthy bodyweight.

The food groups recommended by MyPyramid are based on the USDA’s comprehensive report on nutrition called the Dietary Guidelines for Americans updated every five years. This includes foods like whole grains, fruits, veggies, low-fat dairy and lean meats or protein sources.

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