The well known formula for weight loss is to burn more calories than you consume, but cutting calories in your diet and by exercising regularly. But you can’t out-exercise a bad diet.
Binge eating one day, and spending two hours at the gym to make up for it the next morning simply won’t work. Why? It takes a lot longer and is much harder to work off extra calories than it is to consume them. That means that making smart food choices and developing healthy eating habits is the first step to achieving your weight loss goals.
Are you ready to lose that extra weight? Here are weight loss tips and healthy eating habits to help you lose weight and keep it off.
Watch your portion size.
Americans are notorious for eating huge portion sizes, much larger than the recommended portions. Take time to measure your portion sizes, rather than “eyeballing” your portions. Recommended portion sizes vary based on age, so talk to your doctor or visit choosemyplate.gov to learn more about the best portion sizes for you. Using smaller plates, such as dessert plates, can be helpful in reducing overall portion size.
Eat more vegetables.
As a general rule of thumb, fill at least half of your plate at each meal with veggies. Because vegetables contain high amounts of fiber and water, you will feel more full after eating vegetables, without consuming as many calories.
Every meal and snack should include a protein source. Eating healthy proteins helps your body burn more fat and build muscle. Protein will also help fuel your body for exercise. Choose lean meats like chicken or turkey; fish; nuts and seeds to satisfy your hunger.
Drink plenty of water.
It is recommended that adults drink at least half their body weight in ounces of water each day. While it may seem overwhelming to consume so much water, it can help to have a glass of water before every meal. But please note that if you have had weight loss surgery, do not drink water within 30 minutes of eating and do not drink water with your meal. If you have not had bariatric surgery, it is recommended to drink water with your meal to help you feel full faster.
Practice mindful eating.
We are all guilting of mindless eating. Eating while we are watching TV or doing another activity can quickly lead to overeating. Even if you eat healthy portion sizes at mealtime, if you are snacking and nibbling throughout the day, or “taste testing” while cooking, you may be consuming more calories than you are aware of. Me mindful when you eat, making the conscious choice to put food in your mouth.
Keep a food journal.
Writing down every bite you eat, along with how you feel when you eat can help identify unhealthy eating habits as well as times of mindless eating. Start by journaling your food habits for one week, then go back and review your food journal, taking note of any patterns in your eating habits. What changes can you make in your eating habits?
Don’t skip meals.
While there is some evidence that intermittent fasting can be beneficial in weight loss, simply skipping meals for the sake of skipping meals won’t help you fit into your skinny jeans any sooner. If your body feels deprived due to a skipped meal, you will be more likely to binge eat later, which will only throw your diet plan off track. If you are interested in intermittent fasting, talk to your doctor to learn if it is right for you and how to get the most benefit from fasting.
Eat the right foods.
Not all calories are considered equal. The body processes different foods in different ways, so knowing the right foods to eat can help your weight loss efforts. While there are plenty of healthy foods for weight loss, here are 10 key weight-loss friendly foods to include in your diet:
- Eggs — They are packed with protein and healthy fats, including omega-3 fats to help you feel fuller with fewer calories.
- Leafy greens — Kale, spinach, Swiss chard, collards and other leafy greens are low in both carbohydrates and calories. In addition, they are high in fiber to keep you feeling full longer. They are also nutrient-dense foods packed with vitamins and minerals to benefit your body in more than just weight loss.
- Fatty fist — Think salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel and herring. These fatty fish are high in protein and omega-3s to support a healthy weight. Most seafood also contains iodine, which is essential for a healthy thyroid.
- Lean meat — Chicken, turkey and lean beef is high in protein, helping you burn more calories throughout the day while decreasing cravings.
- Avocados — Technically a fruit, avocados are low in carbohydrates, unlike most fruits. Instead, they are packed with healthy fats and other essential nutrients like fiber and potassium.
- Nuts — Don’t go crazy on nuts, as they are high in fat, but a handful of nuts makes a great choice for a healthy snack between meals.
- Grapefruit — This fruit can help reduce insulin resistance, while helping you feel more satisfied, thus allowing you to eat fewer calories.
- Yogurt — Yogurt containing probiotics improves gut function, protecting against inflammation that can lead to weight gain. Choose yogurt with live, active probiotic cultures.
- Chia seeds — Although they are higher in carbohydrates, chia seeds are packed with fiber. They also absorb high amounts of water, so they’ll expand in your stomach, helping reduce your overall appetite.
- Whole grains — Not every grain is considered healthy, but whole grains like oats, brown rice and quinoa are healthy choices that are high in fiber and also contain protein to increase satiety. Avoid refined grains and processed foods claiming to contain whole grains.
If you have struggled with your weight and diet and exercise have not helped you achieve lasting weight loss results, it may be time to speak with a weight loss doctor. The weight loss doctor can speak with you about creating healthy eating habits and possible medical interventions to help you reach a healthy weight. Contact us today to learn more.