Weight loss nutrition should target two aspects: help you with how to lose weight and improve your health. When you embrace a good nutrition plan, you should start seeing important changes in your body and well being. You begin to lose fat; feel better, refreshed and full of energy; and look better.
If none of these happen, it means that you are not actually eating well, though you might think you are. You diet may be poor in nutrients, may lack important vitamins or may just not be right for you. If this is the case, you’d need to make conscious changes to eat right.
Be mindful that diabetes, heart problems, and liver and kidney diseases are often associated with poor nutrition. When you lose weight naturally with a proper nutrition plan, you help to improve your health condition and protect against diseases associated with obesity or vitamin deficiencies.
Image credit: Image (above) courtesy Harvard School of Public Health.
Eating Well for A Healthy Body
In order to have a healthy body, you must include proteins, healthy carbohydrates and fats, as well as Omega-3 and 6 and vitamins in your diet. Weight loss nutrition should not deprive your body of such essential nutrients; on the contrary, it should give your body healthy sources of energy. When you eat right, you’d discover it is not difficult to shed pounds and keep weight off.
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Low fat proteins should be the most important part of your diet. You can find them in foods such as chicken, seafood, tofu, beans or soy milk. And for variety, explore making protein shakes at home to consume as an occasional light meal replacement.
Since proteins take longer to digest, they will help you feel full for a considerable period of time. This is a definite plus in preventing the emergence of food cravings.
Stay away from unhealthy proteins by avoiding bacon, cold cuts and other processed meats. Cut down on eating red meat and choose only lean cuts if you must. Though chicken is healthier, make sure you remove the skin before cooking or eating.
Refined carbohydrates are carbs that have had the fiber stripped away, so they have poor nutritional value. These carbs get digested very fast and cause elevated blood sugar levels, an unstable condition that quickly collapses — this “crash” leads to food cravings, which is a definite hindrance to weight loss.
Because refined carbs are empty calories, you don’t feel full after eating them. And they are bad for health as having more blood sugar is a precursor to diabetes. So, you should definitely remove foods such as sugar, syrup, beverages that contain sugar, canned fruits or vegetables, white flour, snacks and candy bars from your diet.
Instead, your weight loss nutrition plan should include foods such as whole wheat bread and pasta, natural maple syrup and raw fruits and vegetables. When it comes to snacking, raw fruits and veggies are best, with their high amounts of fiber that improves digestion, plus lots of vitamins, enzymes and minerals. Learn more about fruit and vegetable nutrition here.
Bad fats that should be removed from weight loss diets are saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated fats are found in whole-fat dairy products, ice cream, chicken with skin and coconut oil, while trans fats are present in cookies, doughnuts and other commercially-baked pastries, candy bars, stick margarine, fried foods and snacks.
Instead, a healthy weight loss nutrition plan should include monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Sources of healthy fats:
- Monounsaturated Fats
Sunflower oil, sesame oil, olive oil, peanut oil, olives, avocados, nuts and peanut butter.
- Polyunsaturated Fats
Corn oil, soybean oil, tofu, walnuts, soymilk, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds and fatty fish: trout, salmon and tuna.
Omega Fatty Acids
Omega essential fatty acids have numerous benefits for the body, fighting against diseases such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, digestive disorders and diabetes. Weight loss nutrition should also focus on these essential fatty acids.
Sources of Omega fatty acids:
Mustard seeds, grains, flaxseed and flaxseed oil, green leafy vegetables, pumpkin seeds and fish oil.
Grape seeds, olive oil, pistachios, sunflower oil and raw nuts and seeds. Note: consume with moderation.
Avocados, cashews, almonds, olives, olive oil and hazelnuts.
Eat Right, Lose Weight and Stay Healthy
Proper nutrition is part and parcel of weight loss that works. It is tied to cooking and eating right: your diet must include all the nutrients that the body needs and you must not skip meals. Drinking lots of water and fresh juice (home-squeezed is best) should become habitual.
Taking health supplements such as Omega-3 supplements, multi-vitamins and minerals can help in the overall nutritional strategy. However, pay close attention to so-called weight loss supplements — they might promise to help you lose weight but may not bring health benefits. A notable exception is this best weight loss spray that’s a hit with women.
The ultimate purpose of weight loss nutrition is to make you healthy, happy and looking radiant. When coupled with regular exercise, you can become fitter and slimmer as you go about your way with your weight loss program. It makes sense — and it works!