If you want to lose weight and keep it off, this article will show you the keys to a healthy diet for weight loss.
It seems like almost everyone is struggling with weight-related issues.
It’s something that plagues us because you have to put in the effort and work to be healthy.
It’s not easy but the numerous benefits of a healthy diet cannot be underestimated considering the many diseases caused by a poor diet and excess belly fat.
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The good news is there are a few diet changes you can make today to start losing more fat.
Keys to a Healthy Diet for Weight Loss
1. Set Goals
First, decide why you want to change your diet. Maybe you want to be fitter, lower the risk of diabetes, or you simply want to look good naked.
How do you plan to achieve your goal? Will you combine a calorie deficit with strength training or diet without exercising?
Answering these questions will make it easier for you to stick to new eating habits.
2. Start Drinking Water
Water plays a vital role in running all the physiological processes in your body like breathing, blood circulation, and digestion.
In fact, increasing your water intake can help in weight loss.
A study in Annals of Family Medicine investigated the role of hydration in promoting healthy weight and found that inadequate water intake leads to increased BMI and obesity.
Those who drink more water, eat less. The idea is to have the stomach half-full before you eat so that you consume less.
Take water 30 minutes before a meal.
3. Watch your Portions
Watching your portions makes it easier to lose weight since it reduces chances of overeating.
I’m assuming that you know the number of calories you should consume in a day to lose weight. If you don’t, calculate your calories here.
Ensure all the food you eat falls below that amount.
If you have to be extra-careful while reading those labels that have serving portions, then so be it.
4. Eat Whole Foods
If you find tracking calories too hectic, get most of your calories from whole foods.
Whole foods are low in calories, which means they’ll keep you full without overeating.
Have a budget with a list of the foods you plan to buy at health food stores or farmers market.
Opt for organic if you can afford.
5. Eat Lots of Protein
Proteins are a good energy source and they are digested slower.
Protein reduces the hunger hormone and boosts the satiety hormone.
A study in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at two groups of women, one on a high-protein diet and the other on adequate protein diet over a period of 4 days, the results showed that the high-protein diet increased the satiety levels by 24 hours, while reducing the ghrelin levels.
Increased satiety means less overeating or unnecessary snacking.
6. Avoid Going on Fad Diets
I know many of us are obsessed with diets but you don’t have to be one of them.
Most diets promise rapid weight loss but they’re impossible to stick to so people end up regaining weight.
At the end of the day, using fad diets is like taking shortcuts. A better way is to take a long-term approach to weight loss.
Focus on building healthy eating habits you can stick to for a lifetime.
7. Cook at Home
The benefit of cooking your meals is that you won’t be influenced to carry take-out dinners or eating at restaurants.
You want to avoid restaurant food as much as possible since it’s high in calories.
Cooking your meals ensures you know exactly which ingredients you are using, how much oil and salt you add and ensures you stick to your weight loss goals.
If you’re not a good cook, learn how to cook healthy delicious meals today.
8. Drink Green Tea
Green tea is a beverage that can be used to enhance weight loss.
It’s loaded with caffeine and antioxidants that help break down excess fat and speed up metabolism.
Studies show that green tea may help in weight management but it may not make a difference if taken without good nutrition and exercise.
9. Keep a Food Journal
Write down what you eat in a food journal, it helps you keep track of everything.
It makes sense because, at one point, you may have to look back and see what you can change or improve on when your weight stalls.
A study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics supports that people who keep food journals have greater weight loss outcomes than those who eat out or skip meals.
10. Feed Your Gut Microbiota
The gut has good and bad bacteria called microbiota that co-exists in an environment called microbiome.
According to researchers at the Department of Microbiology at Stanford University, the microbiota release chemicals during the fermentation process that takes place in the gut. These help in performing functions like tuning our immune system, fighting off diseases, and regulating metabolism.
A poor diet, stress, or anxiety can change the composition of the gut flora that could lead to obesity.
Therefore, taking prebiotics and probiotics is a good way to ensure you stay healthy and lose weight.
Here’s the probiotic we recommend.
11. Be a Mindful-Eater
Many of us focus on the foods we eat and forget about the importance of eating mindfully.
If you want to shed some pounds, you have to be mindful when you eat.
You eat mindfully by fully focusing on what you’re eating. Don’t eat while watching TV or using the phone.
Eating mindfully helps reduce chances of overeating.
During every meal, sit at the dining table and chew your food slowly without any distractions.
12. Be Realistic
Keep in mind that weight loss is a journey. There is no way you will lose 10 or 20 pounds in a week.
Just as it took you time to pile on the weight, it takes time to lose it.
Also, our bodies are wired differently. Don’t be frustrated if you see someone else losing weight faster than you are.
Just focus on doing the right things and the weight will eventually come off.
13. Sleep is Vital for Healthy Weight Loss
Sleep deprivation has been linked to increased weight gain and high BMI.
In fact, it has been observed that people who sleep less than 7 hours a day have weight imbalances.
A meta-analysis investigating the effect of short sleep in adults and children found that there was an increased risk of obesity.
Not only does sleep affect your weight, but it also affects your memory function.
Make sure you sleep 7-8 hours a day.
14. Weigh Yourself Regularly
Weighing yourself keeps you motivated, encouraged, and committed.
Make sure you step on the scale under the same circumstances every time. For instance, every Monday morning before breakfast.
Researchers have found that people who weigh themselves record increased weight loss and are able to maintain the weight.
If you don’t have a weight scale, get one now.
15. Watch your Mood
Moods and feelings often influence our eating habits.
One way or another we are emotional eaters. What differs is what we reach out for during these times.
Avoid the habit of reaching for junk food whenever you feel distressed or anxious. Find other ways of dealing with negative emotions like meditation and walking.
As I always say, don’t apply all 15 tips at once. Pick 3 and make them stick.
You may also want to follow the VFX program. It customizes diet and exercise strategies to meet your individual measurements, food preferences, and workout schedule.
Which sustainable weight loss strategies are you applying in your diet now?