It probably doesn’t surprise you that the #1 New Years Resolution year after year is “lose weight and eat healthy”. Most dieters are focused on problem areas below the neck, but they need to be reminded that what they choose to eat, has an effect on their skin, too.

Eating sensible, well-balanced meals and being mindful of portion control is the key, but sometimes a specific diet plan is a good way to break bad habits or kick-start the metabolism.

Low Fat Diets. Skin needs at least 20 grams of healthy fat a day in order to maintain moisture levels and absorb Vitamin A, E and other oil soluble nutrients from food. That’s why oil is essential to a salad. The oil helps oil-soluble nutrients from vegetables be absorbed by the intestines. A low-to-no fat diet can cause dry skin, hair loss and brittle nails. Add healthy fats with avocado, nuts, olive oil and Omega 3’s.

To carb or not to carb. Low carb/no carb diets are hugely popular for quick weight loss, but excessive protein can cause a drop in calcium levels. Loss of bone density in the face can be extremely aging. Take calcium supplements and add calcium rich fruits and vegetables like dried fruits, oranges, boiled greens and soybeans. These will also add antioxidants to the diet. On the other hand, the benefit of cutting back on white bread, pasta, and refined sugar in order to fight flab can also lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, minimizing breakouts and relaxing facial features so the skin looks more rested.

 Going meatless. Vegan diets are more prevalent than ever before. All the fruits, vegetables, whole grains, oils and legumes in a healthy, balanced vegan diet provide age-fighting antioxidants, but the lack of protein from meat and dairy products can cause skin to feel dry and look dull. Vegans need to make it a point to include protein-rich foods like tofu, peanut butter and almonds or be sure to select their food to attain a balance of protein-building amino acids in a 24-hour period.

The case for comfort food. Comfort food tends to be fried, high carb or sugary and not exactly healthy. But, indulging every once in a while may not be a bad thing. We tend to turn to comfort food when we are stressed. Stress produces cortisol and cortisol ages the skin. Comfort food can do exactly what it’s supposed to do: comfort, and perhaps that could be considered a form of stress relief, if done in moderation. The trick is to eat sugary food in combination with of after a meal rich in lean protein, complex carbs and healthy fats.

- YG Labratories