If you’re interested in losing weight, the best way to do so is through a combination of adjusting your diet and incorporating a fitness routine. Here are four ways you can improve your diet and lose weight.
1. Eat Whole Foods
Weight loss foods come in all shapes and sizes, but the general rule of thumb is to eat mostly whole foods and foods with whole ingredients. Whole foods are foods that haven’t been processed or had extra ingredients such as refined sugar added. Here are a couple of examples. Choose sunflower seeds or pepitas as a snack instead of potato chips and go for whole wheat bread instead of white bread. Many whole foods tend to have more healthy compounds, like fiber and healthy fats, and fewer calories than processed foods, so you’ll feel fuller faster at the same time you’ll be consuming fewer calories.
2. Incorporate Fiber and Healthy Fats
Whole foods are rich in things like fiber, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates and lean protein. All of these compounds are things your body needs that are nutritionally lacking in processed foods. Most fruits, vegetables and legumes contain fiber and complex carbohydrates and you can find healthy fats in foods like avocados and olive oil. All of these foods are nutritionally dense, as well, so even though you’re likely to eat less when you eat fiber and healthy fats, you’ll be getting all the nutrients you need to be healthy and well-nourished.
3. Avoid Buying Unhealthy Food
A common dietary suggestion is to place all your unhealthy snacks and foods at the back of the pantry or fridge. However, this keeps the temptation in the house. If you simply don’t have much or any unhealthy food in your kitchen, the temptation is much less immediately available so you’re less likely to succumb. A simple way to achieve this is to avoid buying unhealthy foods altogether. At the grocery store, opt for more fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts, whether raw, dried or roasted. Then, when you’re home and want a snack, you’ll be more likely to grab a healthy snack than bother to drive back to the store for chips.
4. Avoid Drinking Calories
One of the easiest dietary adjustments you can make is to avoid drinking your calories. High-calorie drinks, such as milkshakes, sodas and alcoholic beverages, can cause you to consume far more calories than you meant to. Even drinks like juice and sports drinks, which tend to be advertised as healthy or performance-enhancing, can actually contain quite a lot of sugar. The best way to stay hydrated while avoiding hidden calories is to drink mainly water. Tea and coffee may also be good options, as they’re low-calorie when you drink them plain. Be careful about adding cream and sweeteners, which can greatly increase your caloric intake.
Whenever you want to lose weight, you should always talk to your doctor first to determine what a healthy weight for your body would be. If you’re not sure how to incorporate certain foods into your diet or if you’re allergic or sensitive to certain foods that are good for weight loss, you can also consult a nutritionist to design a personal weight loss diet.
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