To lose weight the healthy way, throw out all the fad diets and starving yourself. These are not only unhealthy and add stress to your body and mind, they also don’t usually keep the weight from coming back. The healthy way to lose weight and keep it off is to make lifestyle changes in what you eat and how much exercise you get. Whatever you eat, you also have to have a way of burning off excess calories to avoid weight gain. According to how you eat and exercise now, making these changes may be a quick, easy fix, or could be a longer process. The important thing is to get started. If changing your eating and exercise habits seems like an overwhelming process, then just start small and pick one thing to commit to changing. When planning a weight management strategy look at your current diet and find those unhealthy foods you can cut out and replace with healthier alternatives. Then consider that certain foods can increase your metabolism to help you burn off fat and others can help you feel full without adding a lot of calories according to experts like Heather Mangieri, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. These are definitely foods you want to add into your plan to lose weight and keep it off.
Protein builds muscle which uses more energy and burns more calories than fat does. It also leaves you feeling satisfied and less likely to reach for unhealthy snacks and boosts metabolism so that you burn off more calories. Research reports that you can lose around an extra pound a week and lower cravings for unhealthy snacking by 60% just by including 30% more protein foods into your diet. Low calorie high protein foods include eggs which also give you healthy fats, lean cuts of meat, beans, legumes and dairy. Dairy also gives you calcium reported to help burn off fat and if you go for milk, goat cheese and feta you get a fatty acid that can help with burning off fat. Other good dairy to add to your weight management plan is cottage cheese which is low in calories and yogurt that has the added advantage of probiotics for digestive health. Just be sure to check your yogurt for sugar content and consider getting plain yogurt to add in your own fruit instead of high sugar yogurts with fruit added in and look for brands that say live active cultures on the label. Protein powders added to yogurt, milk, or green and fruit smoothies are another way to get extra protein without a lot of added calories. Whey protein such as in this protein powder supplement is being reported in scientific studies to be better than soy protein powders.
Fruits and Vegetables
You are more than likely aware that fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet and since they are low in calories they are a must in a healthy weight management diet. Snacking on fruits and vegetables allows you to eat more which satiates hunger and keeps you away from less healthy snacks while giving you lots of good vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They are also high water content foods to keep you hydrated as you increase your exercise. Research at the University of Tokyo found that women adding more vegetables to their diet showed a decrease in waist size and a lower body mass index. Although fruit does have natural sugars, it also has fiber mostly found in the peels, which helps the sugar enter the bloodstream more slowly instead of a rush all at once. Grapefruit is especially good to help lose weight as it is about 90% water, filling, and has been found to boost metabolism and reduce fat storage. Studies have shown that eating a half grapefruit before meals can help you lose as much as 3 pounds over a twelve week period. There are some medications that don’t allow for eating grapefruit however, so be sure you check with your healthcare provider before adding this as part of your weight loss program.
High fiber foods are another good addition to your new healthy eating plan to lose weight. They help absorb cholesterol in your intestines to keep it from getting in the bloodstream, fill you up longer since they take longer than other types of foods to digest, increase metabolism, and help the body resist absorption of fat. Foods high in fiber include beans which also give you a lean protein source and those with resistant starch help burn fat and increase metabolism. Whole grains such as oats, brown rice, quinoa, and pearled barley not only give you lots of fiber, but are low calorie and very filling. Chia seeds are another good low-cal fiber source and they give you healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
There are many types of fats that will not benefit your weight loss plan such as trans fats and too many saturated fats, but there are other types of fat the body, and especially the brain, needs to stay healthy and that have actually been found to benefit weight loss. This would include monounsaturated fats, fatty acids (particularly omega-3) and polyunsaturated fats. A 2001 study found that diets with healthy monounsaturated fats contributed to a 9 pound weight loss while participants not including these fats in their diets gained around 6 pounds. Fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and herring are especially good healthy fat foods and are high in protein and iodine that your thyroid needs for stabilizing metabolism. Other good healthy fat foods are avocados, olive oil, nuts, flaxseeds and flaxseed oil, canola oil and coconut oil. If you choose to add nuts to a meal or as a snack, just be sure to limit them as they can be high in calories.
Supplement Your Weight Loss Plan
Many of the foods we eat are deplete of enzymes through being overcooked, processed or canned as heat destroys the foods’ natural enzymes. If you have a lot of these types of foods in your diet you may see an increase in weight because they tend to stimulate the endocrine system and promote weight gain. Opt for raw foods when you can as they provide more enzymes and promote weight loss. You can also use a high quality digestive enzyme supplement to help breakdown foods you eat into a form the body can use instead of storing as fat. Probiotics such as acidophilus, bifidus or a full spectrum probiotic supplement are other good supplements to add to a healthy diet to lose weight as they help your digestive system work at its best. This type of support for the digestive system has been found to help in weight loss when taking probiotics at the beginning of the day and enzymes about 15 minutes before eating.
When your body is getting all the nutrients it needs, you find you eat less. Most of us however don’t have the optimal diet all the time and can use a little help in this area. AFA bluegreen algae to the rescue! Full of vitamins, minerals, micronutrients, amino acids, fiber, chlorophyll and all the good wholefood nutrition that feeds your body on a cellular level, makes it a perfect addition to a healthy diet. You can even get all these supplements together in convenient daily packets with two types of algae, acidophilus, bifidus and enzymes to easily take with you on travels, to work, to school or where ever you have to rush off to.
Ready now to take the first step in making the diet changes necessary to help you lose weight in a healthy way and keep it off? Making some or all of these changes to your diet and increasing the amount of exercise you get will set you on your way to maintaining a healthy weight for life. Use that as your goal and find the pace that works for you in making these lifestyle changes. Overwhelming yourself with too much at a time will just set you up for failure. Even if you just choose one unhealthy thing to stop eating and one healthy alternative to replace it with, do it. Once you get started, you can go from there and add more as you can handle it. Just make up your mind to take that first step and get started working towards a healthier you.
If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, let me know by leaving a comment below. You can also find me on Facebook where I always appreciate a LIKE. To order any of the products mentioned in this post or other products for you or your horses, please visit my online store.
Abrams, Karl J., Algae to the Rescue