To shed pounds, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn. However, you need to pay attention to good nutrition for weight loss to be healthy. As the saying goes, “You are what you eat.” You’re not junk, so don’t eat junk. Too often people try fad diets that promise miracle weight loss. Unfortunately, the weight loss experienced is often water weight. Even worse, the weight comes right back when you go back to old eating habits. To make a difference, you need to learn how to eat healthier, exchanging one food for another and paying attention to good nutritional guidelines.
It’s hard to eat a lot of calories from fresh vegetables.
You don’t have to eat all fresh vegetables, just don’t go for ones that are stuffed with cream cheese, battered and fried—so jalapeno poppers don’t count as a vegetable. Eating veggies as close to natural as possible, with some baking, steaming or grilling allowed, is low in calories, especially for green veggies. Be careful of beans and legumes, sweet corn and potatoes. Eat them more sparingly. Beans and legumes contain high protein and are a good protein option for vegetarians, but higher in calories. Sweet corn is sweet and loved for that reason, but has a high glycemic index. Potatoes are high in starch.
Include healthy fat.
Fat and losing weight don’t seem to go together, but they really do. Not all fat is the kind you see marbled in a steak or in a deep fat fryer. Some is actually healthy for you. Healthy fats include foods like avocados, nuts and olives. They fill you up, plus still provide nutrition. Avocados, for instance contain potassium, lutein and 18 other vitamins and minerals. Not only does the fat fill you, avocados contain fiber, which also leaves you feeling full. Nuts are an exception source of protein, besides leaving you feeling full.
Watching what you drink also makes a huge difference.
While most savvy weight watchers are aware that beverages count, beginners often are in the dark that that soft drink or fruit juice makes a difference. Soft drinks can contain loads of sugar that can pack on the pounds. Don’t switch to diet drinks, they’re almost as bad. One study showed they put on visceral weight, belly fat, which is the most dangerous type of fat. Fruit juice sounds healthy, but it’s missing the fiber of whole fruit and filled with calories. Stick with water and grab an apple or orange instead.
- Cut out the booze. It’s super fattening with no nutritional value. If you’re in a social setting where you’d like an occasional drink, opt for vodka and soda, a glass of wine, champagne, extra spicy bloody Mary or scotch on the rocks.
- Go for foods closest to whole foods. The more processed a food, the more potential they have for additives and the less nutrition they contain.
- Beware of energy bars. Read the ingredients, including the calorie count. Most of the time these are glorified candy bars.
- Include lots of fiber in your diet. Fiber fills you up, plus keeps you going. It also slows the time traveling through the upper digestive tract and controls blood glucose levels.