A well-known approach to dieting and losing weight is to reduce the number of calories we take in. This can be done by changing the food we eat, exercising more or a combination of both. However, a recent study has shown that how these calories are made up is also vital for weight loss and that diet quality is a key factor for long-term weight management. Given this research, what foods should we be eating to effectively manage our weight loss?
Satisfy hunger with whole foods
Whole foods are foods provided by nature which have not been processed, for example, whole grains, legumes, meat, fish, eggs, seeds, dairy, nuts, healthy oils, vegetables, and fruits. These foods are nutrient dense and rich in essential nutrients. Moreover, protein suppresses appetite and fiber slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and therefore also plays a role in controlling hunger and contributing to weight loss. Foods high in protein and fiber include grains, nuts, eggs, and vegetables.
Cut back on processed foods
Processed food is defined as having been changed in some way during preparation. The result is that processed food often contains high levels of salt, sugar, fat and artificial additives to enhance flavor or to prolong shelf life. The large amounts of salt and sugar in processed food makes it taste good but they are also highly addictive and so we eat more. High amounts of sugar is also directly linked to weight gain.
Good fats and bad fats
The publicity surrounding low-fat diets has made Americans think that fat is bad for you. In fact, our bodies need some fat order to function. But not all fats are the same. Trans fats, found in red meat, cheese, ice cream, margarine, and processed foods, raise cholesterol and lead to weight gain, heart disease, and other health problems. Good fats, for example, omega-3 and omega-6, are essential for good health and can be found in nuts, vegetables, fish, and legumes. It is also worth noting that food which has been processed to make it low in fat is also best avoided as it often contains high amounts of sugar.
Calories matter for weight loss but it is also vital to focus on nutritious food that satisfies hunger by adding more whole foods, the right kinds of fat and reducing the amount of processed food, sugar and refined grains in our diets. Follow these tips to shed the pounds in a healthy way.