We help answer the common question – What can I eat to lose weight?
Healthy eating is the trick to proper weight loss. Simple changes in your diet can result in more effective weight loss and increased nutrition than following a fad diet.
When you are dieting you should aim to eat foods that are closer to the type of foods you would have had access too 100 years ago. This means fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes and nuts. Lean meats and dairy will complement your new diet. Whole grains are fabulous for any diet and reducing sugar, salt and other processing helps create the perfect dieting regimen.
The following recommendations are for people aged 19-60 who are not pregnant or breastfeeding and are not following a specific diet recommended by a physician. Servings are based on nutrition and weight loss potential. Dieting does not mean you have to eat poorly; healthy eating is in fact the root of good health.
- Always eat a wide selection of foods. You do not have to stick to a bland diet when eating healthy. Fill your plates with a large variety of different colored vegetables, nuts, fruits and whole grain products.
- You should consume at minimum 5 servings of vegetables a day. This includes legumes. A serving size is equal to about a half a cup of cooked vegetables.
- Fruits should be no less than two servings a day. A fruit serving is equal to about 1 small piece or a half a cup of sliced fruit.
- Lean meats, nuts, fish and poultry should be consumed 3 or 4 times a week in small portions. The protein and the omega-3 fatty acids are crucial to proper nutrition. Vegetarian diets should include at least several beans or legumes as a way to add protein to their diet.
- Wholegrain cereals, rice and breads. Whole grain is easier for your body to process than refined grains. 4 servings a day is recommended for women and 6 for men. A serving size is about a cup of products like cereal or 2 slices of bread.
- Include dairy product or dairy alternatives and try to use the low-fat varieties. 2-3 servings a day for women and 2-4 for men. Dairy is very necessary for bone health. A serving size equals 1 cup. For dairy alternatives you can look to soy or almond milks, sardines or salmon.
- Drink lots of water. Water adds many benefits to a diet. Water will flush toxins from your system, make you feel fuller when you are eating and provide you with proper hydration. Many times being dehydrated is confused with hunger and people reach for a snack instead of a glass of water. A glass before you eat will help you feel fuller and eat less.
- Reduce sugar intake. If sugar is not converted into energy when you eat it will be stored as fat. Many processed foods contain sugar that consumers are not even aware of when they use the product. Reducing consumption of sugary foods and processed foods will be an effective way to loose weight and reduce body fat.
- Reduce salt. Salt is a necessary mineral, but too much salt can cause health problems. Processed foods are, again, a major culprit in overusing sodium. By reducing processed foods and watching what you add to your cooking you can easily reduce salt intake.
- Reduce alcohol use. While there are studies promoting a glass of wine daily, other studies show that alcohol has adverse effects. The middle ground would be to limit consumption for good health habits.