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Pescetarian diet boosts health and weight loss with seafood and vegetarian foods

Boost health and weight loss by combining seafood and veggies.
Boost health and weight loss by combining seafood and veggies.
Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Do you sometimes feel as if the advice on weight loss can be summed up as the #ConfusedDiet? One day you're advised to count calories, the next day to count carbohydrates. You read that high protein diets are best in one study, then learn that they shorten your life in another. So we asked registered dietitian Janis Jilbrin, who also has a Master of Science in Nutrition, to clear up all that confusion. Janis is the author of "The Pescetarian Plan: The Vegetarian + Seafood Way to Lose Weight and Love Your Food" (click for details).

Janis says that you don't need to devote your day to memorizing calorie and carbohydrate counts. Instead, you can succeed with your weight loss goals by keeping it simple. Her tips:

  • Learn what a serving of each of the six food groups serving looks like.
  • Discover how much of each food group you can eat to lose weight (it's detailed in her book so you can customize it for your own weight loss goals).
  • Just tally up your food group totals.

And in contrast to all those diets that focus on eliminating entire food groups, Janis recommends including foods from each of the following:

  • Starches (bread, grains, cereal, potatoes, legumes)
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Dairy (milk, plain yogurt, soymilk and other non-dairy milk)
  • Fat (oil, butter, nuts, seeds, avocado, bacon, cream cheese)
  • Protein (meat, poultry, seafood, tofu, edamame, cheese)

Janis describes herself as a pescetarian, which she defines as "vegetarian who also eats seafood." She feels that you should eat unprocessed foods as much as possible, but allows room for chocolate and other occasional indulgences.

As for her take on the popular Paleo plan (which excludes grains and dairy) and the ketogenic approach (which boosts fat intake while eliminating all grains and sugars, including keeping fruit intake low), Janis says that these low carb diets work short-term but that it's difficult to keep carbohydrates so low as time goes on.

When you look at research studies comparing moderate carb to low carb, at first, the low carb group is adhering well to the carb levels. But after a few weeks, and definitely by a couple of months, carb levels start creeping up. Even if you’re a big protein fan, you start yearning for a slice of bread, some rice, etc.

In contrast, the pescatarian diet allows for all types of food while reducing your risk of conditions ranging from dementia to diabetes to heart disease and cancer.

Janis believes in customizing your diet so that it works best for you, whether it's grazing or three square meals. What really counts, as she points out in her book, is learning to control portions. She also includes recipes in her book that range from vegan to gourmet seafood. Our recommendation: This book provides you with easy-to-follow tips and recipes for enhancing your health, jazzing up your meals and winning at weight loss, making it well worth your time and money. Get "The Pescetarian Plan: The Vegetarian + Seafood Way to Lose Weight and Love Your Food" now by clicking here.

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