Eight Tips For Healthy Weight Loss
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best. A healthy diet is based on two points:
- The adequate calorie intake: this means you have to eat according to your personal needs, which are based on your age, sex, weight, height, and fitness. An average for women is 2,000 calories per day and for men 2,500. To achieve this goal you should remove high- calorie foods from your diet. Most of the people consume more calories than they need; that is the main reason for their excess weight. If you eat more than you expend, you will gain weight.
- Eat foods from all groups (dairy products, eggs, meats, bread, cereals and legumes, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats) and your diet will give you all nutrients you need.
A healthy diet is based in these tips:
Base Your Meals on Starchy Foods
Starchy foods are a good source of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the primary energy source for the body. It is recommended to eat one starchy food at each meal. Starchy foods include: breads and cereals, pasta, legumes, potatoes and sweet potatoes. You should base your diet in carbohydrates of whole grain varieties because they have more fiber content and will give you more satiety.
Add to Your Diet 5 Portions of Fruits and Vegetables Everyday
This tip will help you to enhance your diet fiber content. Vegetables and fruits also have water, minerals (potassium, magnesium) and vitamins (C and beta carotene). You should add fruit to your desserts (apple pie, jelly with sliced fruit, fruit salad), breakfast (fresh fruits with whole grain cereals, fruit juices, fruit smoothies) and for a snack (fruit pieces and dried fruits). Vegetables should be included in lunch and dinner, cooked or in salads.
Increase the Fish Content of Your Diet
Most people don´t include as many fish as they should in their diet. Fish is an excellent source of complete proteins and also have minerals like iron and iodine. You should include at least 2 or 3 portions of fish per week.
You can choose oily fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids and they include: salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, fresh tuna and sardines. Omega- 3 fatty acids help to reduce total cholesterol and triglycerides levels. As a consequence, cardiovascular risk decreases. Take into account that canned and smoked fish are high in salt.
Cut Down on Saturated Fat and Sugar from Your Diet
Fat is a nutrient which is important for our body. It is necessary to build cell membranes, to produce steroid hormones and to obtain energy. Many people think that fat must to be avoided from the diet, but it is not.
There are two types of fat: unsaturated and saturated fat. Saturated fat stimulates your liver to produce more cholesterol. If the cholesterol levels are high, this fat can be deposited on the wall of the arteries, and the cardiovascular risk will be raised.
On the opposite, unsaturated fats can reduce cholesterol levels. Good sources of these fats that you can include in your diet are: oils, reduced-fat spreads, seeds and nuts. You should reduce fat and select unsaturated sources. Try to select lean cuts of meat, and to cut down any visible fat.
Many foods and drinks which are part of the typical diet have a large amount of added sugar, which can contribute to weight gain and tooth decay. Some examples are: sugary fizzy drinks, alcoholic drinks, cakes, biscuits and pastries. So you should cut down them and select foods with natural content of sugar such as fruit and milk. Food labels can help you as they show total sugar content of each food.
Reduce Salt Amounts of the Diet
Foods already contain some amounts of sodium, and we don’t need to add anymore to achieve our needs. Foods that are high in sodium are: canned foods, cold meats, hard cheeses, snacks, pickles, soups, sauces and most of the processed foods.
An excess of sodium in your diet can lead you to raise your blood pressure and contributes to develop Hypertension. Adults and children over 11 should eat no more than 6 grams per day. Younger children should have even less.
Get More Active for Healthy Weight Loss
Overweight and obesity are cardiovascular risk factors that contribute to develop heart disease and stroke. If you are obese (BMI of 30) or overweight (BMI between 25 – 29.9), you should start a weight loss program, cutting down high-calorie foods and increasing your fruit and vegetable consumption. Try to follow a healthy diet, including foods of all groups.
Furthermore, you should follow an exercise program. Obesity can lead a person to developing Diabetes, Hypertension, Metabolic Syndrome, Dyslipidemia, orthopedic problems, certain cancer, heart disease and stroke. For people who are underweight this could also be a problem. People who are underweight are more likely to suffer from infections.
For maintenance a healthy weight, it is also important to increase your level of physical activity. This doesn´t mean you have to spend a lot of hours at the gym. You can be more active adding some periods of exercises during the day.
For example, try getting off the bus one stop early on the way home from work, and walking. Getting more active help you reduce your cardiovascular risk, controlling metabolic parameters like glucose, cholesterol and triglyceride´s levels. Once you finished your weight loss process, achieving the adequate weight for you, you can continue with the exercises, and your fitness will enhance.
Add More Fluids to Your Diet
We need at least 1 – 2 litres per day of water. We obtain water from foods and from drinks. Try to increase your beverages consumption. The ideal drink is water, but you should also incorporate fruit and vegetable juices, skimmed milk, gravies and jelly, which count as a fluid. Select all drinks without added sugar and without alcohol. This tip will help you to eliminate toxins and detoxify your body.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
Many people don’t have breakfast because they don’t feel hungry, or just they think this will help them to lose weight. However, this meal is the most important because we spend about eight hours without eating.
Here are some examples for you to include as a part of your diet:
Wholemeal cereal, with fruit sliced over the top. A cup of coffee with sweetener and skimmed milk with 2 slices of whole grain bread and 4 tablespoons of low-fat cream cheese. A glass of orange juice with a sandwich made with 2 slices of whole grain bread, tomato, lettuce, a slice of cheddar cheese or ham without mayonnaise (you can add low-fat cheese).
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