No matter where you are in the world, food will always be a necessity. And even if cooking styles, ingredients, or flavors vary immensely, each one has a primary purpose – to provide the body with sustenance. Although advancements have made processes and food preparation easier and a bit more streamlined they did not ensure that people were getting the right types of food into their bodies. If anything, these improvements introduced us to not-so-healthy options.
While mankind benefited from innovations that made everyday living much more efficient, it did have an effect on how many individuals put little value in the food they put into their bodies. Chips, cookies, candy, sodas and other types of junk food satisfied cravings yet provide zero nutrients. Fast food, on the other hand, puts meals on tables in the cheapest and quickest possible way, albeit in an unhealthy way. That said, it comes as no surprise how many individuals encounter various health concerns including weight gain.
But not all foods are created equally, so don’t be put off eating altogether. There are healthy food items that you can eat to get the right vitamins and nutrients. In fact, there are even certain kinds of food that you can eat that are great for helping you lose some weight.
What to eat to help you with your weight loss goals
The truth is, there is no solitary food item that can shrink your waist or melt off the pounds. Especially not one that will show immediate effects after consumption. The same can be said about weight-loss diets, there is no single plan that is a size fits all solution.
Nevertheless, planning out the best nutritional intake can help balance out your fitness approach. Making the overall process a tad easier to accomplish, at the same time improving your health long term. In general, the best types of food to go with any weight loss practice should be low in calories but high in nutrition.
Carbs are often the first to go when a person is trying to get fit. This however does not mean you have to say goodbye to pasta, rice, or bread. You can still have all those as long as you turn to whole-grain alternatives. Many groceries now stock up on whole-grain bread, cereals, and pasta. For those who absolutely love rice, you can swap your usual Jasmine for some quinoa. Trust us, it tastes just as great! What’s great about it? It won’t sabotage any progress you have made.
One would be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t have peanut butter in their home. Not counting those with nut allergies of course. In any case, peanut butter is a staple in many cupboards worldwide. This unassuming peanut spread is loaded with nutrients.
A serving of peanut butter has protein and fiber as vital components to help keep your belly stuffed for a while. Don’t just grab any bottle of peanut butter from the grocery shelves though. Make it a habit to read the label. Go for one that preferably contains only peanuts and salt. A little bit of oil is okay but any sugar additive should have you reaching for a different brand.
Even those questionable supplements and easy weight-trimming pills all rely on fiber to get things going. This is because fiber is king when it comes to losing weight. Consuming fiber-rich foods keeps you feeling full longer than other foods. This is particularly vital to keep in mind, especially when you’re keeping tabs on calorie intake or when following a calorie-deficit diet.
Chia seeds offer lots of fiber, with as little as 2 tablespoons you are already incorporating 40% of your daily fiber requirement. The best part? Chia seeds are easy to add to any existing diet. They don’t really have a specific taste so, it’s easy to add them to your water, protein shake, yogurt, etc.
You can still have your cake and eat it too! Okay so maybe it’s best to lay off the cake even if it’s a dark chocolate one. Instead, reach for some dark chocolate truffles. They say that the best weight loss programs are the ones that are sustainable. Therefore, if you want to stay on track, you shouldn’t restrict yourself to certain foods that are likely to leave you with cravings.
One ounce of 70% dark chocolate is a good treat to have on those occasions you are wanting to satiate your sweet tooth. Besides its mood-boosting benefits, dark chocolate is also good for the heart.
Sardines, salmon, and tuna are perfect examples of this type of food. Dietitians recommend at least 2 servings weekly. The essential fatty acids in this food can help lower your body fat and at the same time support brain health. As much as possible, opt for the fresh catch, though the occasional frozen selection isn’t so bad either.
Nuts are a great snack for weight watchers. They offer the body protein, healthy fat, and fiber. Stick with a 1/4 cup serving size to get no more than 200 calories. Of all the nuts, pistachios rank lowest on the calorie count with only 160 calories per serving. As an added bonus, pistachios provide you with protection against type 2 diabetes, it manages your cholesterol levels, and promotes a healthy gut.
If you’ve started your weight loss plan with a personal trainer, doctor, or dietician, you probably already know how vegetables are your friends. Particularly cruciferous ones like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. Dark leafy greens like arugula, spinach, and kale are also very much welcome to the party. The aforementioned list of vegetables all help reduce any inflammation (including bloating), and decrease the chances of cancer while giving you all the nutrition you need without carbs or high calories. Use them in soups, and salads, as part of your meal prep, or just add them to your morning smoothie.
A healthy gut is something most people often overlook. Fermented food brings a host of good bacteria into our system, ensuring that the intestinal tract is able to maintain a healthy balance. Furthermore, probiotics in yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, and tempeh provide fuel and promote fat-burning qualities in the gut.
Importance of a healthy diet
Numerous people associate “eating healthy” with going vegan. Don’t get us wrong, there are definitely many benefits to going green and if this is a lifestyle choice you actively want to make, then go ahead and do just that. However, we aren’t here to tell you to switch to a veggie diet completely. Rather, the goal is to help you understand that you can still eat well and achieve your desired fitness goals. More importantly, it also pays to have a clear comprehension of why a good diet is good for you. Check out these benefits we’ve gathered
#1 It’s good for the heart
Yeah, this sounds like such a cliche. Nonetheless, there is no denying that foregoing greasy foods in favor of better fat alternatives can do so much for your cardiovascular system. Data gathered by the CDC shows that heart disease is the number 1 cause of death in the United States alone. While the information collected by the World Health Organization states that nearly 18 million people worldwide under the age of 70 die from a heart attack, stroke, and other heart diseases. And knowing how to choose the right foods keeps you in good shape internally and externally.
#2 Lower the risk of the big C
By eating too much fast food you run the risk of getting sick or contracting deadly diseases like cancer. Save for the empty calories you stand to ingest from eating takeaway, you are also limiting the amount of antioxidant-rich foods you could be consuming instead.
#3 Better memory
A study conducted back in 2015 states how cognitive decline (Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other brain functions) occur due to the lack of vitamins C, D, and E. If you know your food pyramid and have been regularly adding these food groups to your meals then you know you’re getting all the vitamins you need as well as the essential omega-3 fatty acids, flavonoids, and polyphenols.
#4 Improved mood
A diet containing too many refined carbs has a high glycemic load. Foods that often fall under this category are sodas, white bread, cakes, and biscuits. These types of foods have been known to trigger depression and fatigue in some. Know which items to add to your shopping list that lowers glycemic levels to avoid mood swings.
#5 More energy
Did you know that there are fruits and veg that can give you a natural energy boost? That’s right! No need to reach for a sugar-infused store-bought energy drink if you prepare and eat food that perks you up with no added harmful chemicals to them. Bananas are high in potassium, oranges give you a boost of vit C. Similarly, you can enjoy a cuppa Joe sans the sweetness to give you a nice jumpstart.
#6 Weight loss
As previously mentioned, there are certain foods out there that are great for helping you maintain your weight. There are also food items that have been recognized as great accompaniments to your regular workout routine. Move your weight loss journey along with the aid of healthy food.
Similar to finding a workout regimen that fits your needs, selecting the right foods can greatly impact any of your weight loss goals. But how do you know which food items contribute to the added pounds and which ones can help make your fitness dreams come true?
Healthy eating can still include your favorite foods. The key is to educate yourself on the best foods for weight loss, and then sustain a good balance of diet and exercise.