The Ins and Outs of Healthy Eating for Weight Loss
Eating healthy is a goal many of us strive for over and over, but never seem to quite make a part of our ongoing lifestyle. We focus on healthy eating for weight loss for a certain amount of time, then we slip and slide back into old habits. Fortunately, there are simple ways to make improvements to our diet and lifestyle that are easy to maintain. Starting out small and building on things we are already doing is a great way to see real, consistent results.
Changing Your Eating Habits for Effective Weight Loss
One of the most effective ways to lose weight and keep it off is to make a consistent change to the way we eat—for example, replacing one snack every day with a vegetable or swapping your soda for water. You may not see a difference right away, but it will make a big impact over time if you stick with it.
Another practical way to change your eating habits is to simply start tracking what you eat. When you have to write it down or enter it into a weight loss app, you become accountable. Plus, you can compare what you ate on the days you lost weight with what you ate on the days you didn’t. This will help you learn what works for you.
Healthy Snack Tips & Ideas
A common myth is that “low-fat” means healthy. Unfortunately, many low-fat foods are filled with artificial ingredients that don’t do anything beneficial for your body.
Eat whole foods.
If it comes in a package, check the ingredients. Try to eat whole fruits and vegetables or items with a short list of recognizable ingredients, such as:
- Snap peas
- String cheese
Only snack if you’re hungry and don’t eat while doing something else, like watching TV.
Eat whole grains. Look for high fiber, low salt, and low sugar, including:
- Whole-grain crackers
- Low-sodium pretzels
- Tortilla chips
Use a plate or other container to measure the serving size and avoid overeating.
There are lots of ways to add flavor without adding junk. Spices and herbs are your new best friend. (Also, if using dip or dressing gets you to eat your veggies when you wouldn’t otherwise, it’s still a win. Just don’t overdo it.) Options include:
- Berries in plain Greek yogurt with a tablespoon of honey
- Apples with a little cheese or peanut butter
- Asparagus sautéed in olive oil and topped with Parmesan cheese
Types of Eating Habits
There are several popular diets that do a lot of the planning for you. Just make sure to do your own research and speak with your doctor if necessary. Another option is to simply stick to a schedule. For example, many people have found that intermittent fasting works well for them.
Intermittent fasting can be done a few different ways, such as eating only during an eight-hour window, eating normally for five days and cutting the majority of calories for two, or choosing one or two non-consecutive days during the week when you don’t eat at all. There are also health benefits associated with intermittent fasting that go beyond weight loss.
Best Fruits for Weight Loss
Some fad diets recommend cutting fruit out or limiting it to a very small amount, due to its high sugar and carb content. However, fruit is also high in fiber, helps keep you full, and provides essential vitamins that contribute to energy and overall health. Cut out processed sugar instead and only have 2-3 servings of fruit each day. Choose whole fruit and avoid dried fruit, which concentrates the sugar content into a smaller form. Some of your best options are:
Protein for Weight Loss
When it comes to healthy eating for weight loss, protein is essential. It helps build muscle, keeps you full longer, and helps you avoid overeating. Animal products like meat, fish, and eggs are well-known sources of quality protein, but don’t be afraid to branch out. Try some less common options like the ones below to add variety or go vegan.
- Black beans
- Hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds
- Cottage cheese
- Greek yogurt
- Almonds, pistachios, nut butters
- Brussels sprouts
Best Vegetables for Eating Healthy and Weight Loss
Losing weight, specifically belly fat, isn’t just about those glorious abs. Higher belly fat can mean an increased risk of health problems, like diabetes and heart disease. Adding lots of veggies to your diet reduces belly fat and gives you fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Some of the best vegetables for belly fat loss are:
- Leafy greens
- Cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower and broccoli)
- Chili peppers
Herbs & Spices for Weight Loss
How do herbs and spices play a role in weight loss? Sometimes, they simply add great flavor without the extra sodium, sugar, or preservatives. However, they can also provide other benefits when you’re focusing on healthy eating for weight loss.
- Fenugreek - Reduces hunger
- Cayenne pepper - Contains capsaicin, which boosts metabolism
- Oregano - Contains carvacrol, which targets fat synthesis
- Ginseng - Alters fat formation and delays fat absorption
- Turmeric - Contains curcumin, which blocks fat synthesis
- Black Pepper - Inhibits fat cell formation
- Cinnamon - Mimics insulin and aids in energy production
Juicing for a Healthy Lifestyle
Store-bought juices are diluted and contain high amounts of added sugars and other ingredients. However, juicing at home can be a great way to pack in lots of nutrients in a great-tasting drink. You can use a juicer, or even a blender, which will retain more of the fiber from the flesh of the fruit, although the juice will be thicker. Try some of these combos:
- Green Juice - Spinach and/or kale, celery, green apples, cucumber.
- Add lemon and ginger for flavor or extra nutrients.
- Orange Carrot Juice
- Add ginger if desired.
- Papaya Juice
- Add strawberry and mango.
- Turmeric and/or ginger.
- Pineapple, carrot, and cinnamon.
- Watermelon Juice
- Great with mint leaves.
- Beet Juice
- Green apple, ginger, cayenne, and cucumber.
- Grapefruit, orange, lemon.
- Carrot, lemon, ginger, cinnamon.
- Kale, Apple, Carrot
- Add lemon and ginger or cucumber.
Other Weight Loss Boosters
In addition to healthy eating for weight loss, you can benefit from acupuncture, CBD, and of course, exercise.
Acupuncture can reduce appetite, lower stress, and increase metabolism. It can also help to heal imbalances and malfunctions in organs such as the liver, spleen, kidneys, thyroid, and endocrine glands.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural compound that can relieve pain, improve sleep, reduce inflammation, and help with weight loss. It can reduce appetite and turn bad fat into good fat. CBD is not the same as its counterpart, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the psychoactive form.
Calculating Macros for Weight Loss
Another great way to maximize healthy eating for weight loss is to keep track of macros. Macros, or macronutrients, are protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Finding the right combination of macro amounts, along with eating real foods instead of simply eating anything that stays below the calorie goal, will help with healthy weight loss.
Vitamins and supplements can add that extra boost you need when you hit a plateau, need extra nutrients, or face a specific challenge, such as trouble sleeping. Check out Truvy’s natural health and wellness products to help reach your goals for healthy eating and weight loss.