It is no secret that in order to lose weight and see long lasting results eating healthy and having a balanced diet is essential. Many people think that they know exactly what a healthy diet consists of, but the truth is, a lot of us don’t really know. When you think diet, your first thought is most likely, starving yourself and restricting yourself completely from many foods. This however can have the opposite effect. Your body constantly needs energy to function properly and when food intake is restricted the body starts to store more fat to keep more energy stored for the future. Starving yourself not only forces your body to store fat, but it can also slow down your metabolic rate even further. You also may feel constantly weak and tired. Another dangerous side effect of starving yourself is food binging, which will put you back where you were at the start.
Smaller portions more often
The real trick to loosing weight is creating a small calorie deficit in your daily diet by eating a little fewer calories than you burn throughout the day. To do this it is important that you are aware of all the basic food groups that are required in your daily diet.
A proper diet consists of the following major food groups:
These are all the essential nutrients that our body needs in order to survive and stay healthy. In terms of losing weight some people might be under the assumption that it’s all about cutting out many different type foods and eating less. However, it has been proven in many research studies conducted by health researchers that eating six small meals a day is the key to staying energized and keeping your metabolic rate steady or even increasing it. You may be wondering just how much you should be eating each time and how often. Ideally, you should be eating approximately every 3 hours without feeling that you’re starving yourself before each meal. These meals should be between 300-500 calories each, which is enough to fuel you up and to help you burn fat evenly throughout the day.
Low calorie, high fiber and protein rich foods
- Smoothies and protein shakes are a great way to replace small meals throughout the day, all you need is frozen fruits, ice, yogurt, oatmeal, milk, and may be some protein powder, which is only required if you are working out 3-4 times per week. They keep your stomach full and they are the ideal drink before or after workouts.
- Eat nuts and almonds. They contain a lot of protein and work as antioxidants in your body. Eating up to two hands full of nuts a day can benefit you; it helps to curb your appetite as well as giving you energy.
- Always eat your greens, they have a lot of vitamins and minerals and are very high in fiber. For example: broccoli, spinach, lettuce are and excellent source of greens. Your body needs a good source of fiber every day to help flush out all the toxic waste.
- Include berries in your diet. Any type of berry is great for you, their full of fiber, antioxidants, and are one of the cleanest fruits to eat. Try to choose berries before going for an apple, banana, or the lighter colored fruits. Research has proven darker fruits and vegetable have more nutrients and a higher anti-oxidant benefit.
- Start eating oatmeal for breakfast; it is the best way to fill you up in the morning to start off your day with full of energy. Not only it is filling, but oatmeal is great for your body, it helps to fight against many different types of heart disease and is a great source of: protein, vitamin E, and iron. Although the taste of plain oatmeal is a little bitter, there are ways to change that. Add berries, yogurt, and even a sprinkle of almonds to enrich the flavor.
v Eat a lot of chicken, tuna and different types of fish. They all contain a lot of protein which is the key to long lasting energy and sustainable weight loss. These foods can be eaten at any time of the day.
Choosing healthy foods vs. non-healthy foods
- Always choose whole-wheat bread or rye bread over white bread. A single slice of bleached white flour bread has almost twice the calories of whole-wheat or rye bread and only half the amount of fiber.
- When eating yogurt, make sure that you buy the low-fat and sugar-less ones. Many yogurts are creamy and filled with sugar; you’ll be saving yourself a lot of calories by choosing the right one.
- When having a chips craving, choose trail mix nuts, almonds, baked vegetable based chips, or low-fat of crackers.
- If you feel like eating tacos, go for a burrito or fajita instead. The tortillas have more fiber than taco shells. Fill up your burrito with lots of beans, lettuce, and ground beef. Try to avoid the extra sauces, sour cream or lots of cheese; most of them contain a lot of fats.
- When craving pizza, choose thin crust pizza’s or make flax seed bread pizza’s yourself, it’s a fun way to prepare food that is actually good for you.