Posted by Dr. Scott Wilson | 01-Jan-2022
Weight loss is a challenge. It’s even more challenging as we get older. And even when the weight is off, keeping it off is challenging. Successful weight loss takes knowledge, time and commitment. But losing weight is worth the effort because it can be an important part of staying healthy and living a long and happy life.
While conventional thinking used to be that losing weight meant doing hours of cardio and weight training exercises combined with heavily restricted diets, we now know that eating a well-balanced and nutritious diet, along being consistently active, is what really drives results.
The Connection Between Diet and Weight Loss
When it comes to weight loss, the most basic premise is: consume fewer calories than you burn. But, it’s not just about how much you eat, it’s also about what you eat and when. In terms of what you eat, it’s all about balanced meals that provide the necessary vitamins and nutrients, while avoiding refined grains and sugars, and saturated and trans fats. As for when you eat, some of us thrive on eating five or six smaller meals per day, while others remain energized after eating two larger meals. The key is to ensure that you’re not starving yourself. Based on this, here are seven things to keep in mind.
Optimizing Meals for Successful Weight Loss
- Avoid Unnecessary Sugars: A primary culprit in weight gain is the added sugars in food and drinks. Anything containing processed sugars, such as pop, candy, white bread and other baked goods offer very little nutritional value. When we overeat sugar, our bodies cannot break it down quickly enough and it becomes fat. In addition to weight gain, these sugars can also lead to health issues like diabetes and heart disease.
- Focus On the Good Fats: Not all fats are bad. Saturated and trans fats are high in calories, which leads to weight gain. They also raise your “bad” cholesterol and can lead to heart disease. However, polyunsaturated fats lead to gains in muscle mass rather than body fat and can actually help with weight loss. Foods like avocados, olive oil and nuts, which are high in healthy fats, have been shown to help keep us full longer while decreasing cravings and the overall amount of food consumed in a day. So these are good foods to include in your meals.
- Eat Lots of Fiber: Eating fiber has been shown to help with both achieving and maintaining weight loss. It can be found in many healthy foods, such as vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grains. Adding fibre to your meals can be as easy as throwing some beans into a salad or snacking on some nuts and seeds instead of chips or a chocolate bar.
- Choose Protein for Breakfast: Eating a protein-rich meal to start your day offers several benefits. Choosing scrambled eggs with some sauteed veggies instead of a bowl of cereal can give you the energy you need to get your day started. It can also keep you avoid a late morning early crash and the craving for an early snack. You should also avoid majority of breakfast bars. Most are simply chocolate bars in disguise and can lead to a late morning energy crash.
- Cook More and Eat Out Less: Ordering in is just so easy these days, but doing so makes it much harder to assess the nutritional value of what you’re eating. And, frankly, many of the foods we tend to order in aren’t the healthiest of options. The only way to really know what you’re eating is to make it yourself. You don’t need to be a gourmet chef to make delicious and healthy meals at home. There are a great many sites available with simple, easy-to-follow recipes that provide healthy and delicious meal options. Cooking also helps you connect with your food in a way that you don’t get with ordering. Plus, cooking at home can also help you save money. And who wouldn’t like that!
- Watch What You Drink: Beverages like sports drinks, coffee drinks and juices are full of added sugars. This can they leave you feeling sluggish and hungry shortly after consumption. It can also lead to weight gain, depending on how much you have. The same goes for most alcoholic beverages. This is why it’s a good idea to keep your consumption down both during and after weight loss. What most people don’t realize is that many protein shakes and smoothies can also contain high amounts unhealthy sugars. This is why it’s always good to know what you’re consuming – whether solid or liquid.
- Avoid Distractions and Focus on Eating: When we eat quickly, we tend to eat more than we need. This is because we’re not allowing our bodies time to process the food which allows us to fee full. The same thing happens when we’re distracted. Eating while watching TV or online distracts you from how your body is feeling. The best thing to do is to find the time to sit, relax and actually enjoy your meal. This will help you to have a healthier relationship with food and a greater chance of losing weight and keeping it off.
If you need help with taking a healthy approach to achieving successful weight loss, contact us today and let us show you why at Physiomed, Healthier Starts Here.