So, you trying to lose weight? You’re probably wondering where to start.
Is it better to go on a low-calorie diet? Or should you instead focus on eliminating certain types of foods?
And how many calories to eat, what foods to cut out? Is it all about diet, or is exercising enough?
All these are valid questions, especially considering all the contradictory information you’ll find around you.
Here’s the deal. Nutrition is key when losing weight. No matter how much you work out, you cannot out-exercise a bad diet. Calories in vs. calories out are important, but it is not all there is.
In this article, I will tell you all you need to know about nutrition for weight loss so that you can create a diet that helps you see results in no time.
Nutrition for Weight Loss
How many calories to eat?
Finding the right number of calories you need to eat is crucial to any diet. But don’t make the mistake to think that the less you eat, the better.
You need to take into account your basal metabolic rate, which is the amount of energy you consume simply by existing.
There are several calculators online where you can see what your basal metabolic rate is and how much to eat to lose weight.
Be mindful not to starve yourself, as that can have a very detrimental effect on your health.
Principles of a good diet: moderation, variety, and balance
Moderation and balance need to be your focus if you want to lose weight. Usually, if someone tells us about moderation in diet, the first thing we think of is not eating too much.
But, moderation also means not eating too little. It means making sure you don’t restrict a food group to the point where you are creating deficiencies in your body.
In other words, your diet needs have plenty of variety and balance. Remember: quality should always come before quantity.
Getting 500 kcals from soda and cake will not have the same effect as 500 kcals from a balanced meal containing, for instance, chicken breast, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, and fruit.
One will spike your blood sugar levels quickly and make them drop just as fast, leaving you hungry, irritable, and more prone to overeating. The other will keep you full for a long time and help you lose weight. (3)
5 Healthy Foods To Eat for Weight Loss
There’s this trend going around that says all carbs are bad. While a low carb diet may help you lose weight faster, you should keep in mind that carbs are your brain’s fuel.
Yes, you read that right! Your brain needs carbohydrates to function correctly. They also give you lasting energy and are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
So what do you do if you want to lose weight? You chose complex carbs! Need some examples? Here they are:
- sweet potatoes,
All whole grains and beans are also complex carbs, so you have a lot to choose from. You should aim to have about 25% of your plate made up of complex carbs. (4)
Citrus fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals, but they have one more benefit: they help melt that fat away!
Also, because they are high in fiber and water, they keep you full for longer. The result? You eat fewer calories without feeling hungry!
Grapefruit, oranges, and pomelo are fruits you should include as often as you can. Try not to overdo it though. One serving a day – one fruit per day – will help you get closer to your goals.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Leafy greens should be another staple in your kitchen if you decided to lose weight. They should make up about half of your plate!
They are very low in calories but packed with vitamins and minerals. Not only that, but they have been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, mental decline, and high blood pressure. (5, 6)
- kale, high in vitamins A, C, and K, lutein, and beta-carotene
- spinach, rich in folate, vitamin K, and more
- Romaine lettuce, probably the most used type of leafy green in salads it helps reduce blood lipids, reducing the risk of heart disease.
Just like carbs, fats have been demonized for a long time. Remember that the detrimental statement “the fat you eat is the fat you wear”? If you still believe in it, let me bust that myth for you.
Consuming healthy fats can increase your metabolism, helping you burn more fat and lose weight faster. Also, unsaturated fats are beneficial for heart health. (9)
Some examples include:
- avocado – half an avocado (or an entire smaller one) in your salad or even in a smoothie will keep you full longer;
- raw nuts, such as cashews or almonds – you can have a handful as a snack to get your daily dose of healthy fats;
- olive oil – used raw, as dressing for your salads.
The final foods on our list are lean meats, such as chicken breast or turkey breast.
Beef tenderloin is also perfect for the red meat lovers, as long as you remember to eat it in moderation.
They are packed with protein which helps build lean muscles and keeps you full longer.
Lean muscles also burn more fat, especially belly fat! So make sure to have lean meats on about a quarter of your plate.
Trying to lose weight is not only about calories in, calories out. It requires moderation, variety, and balance.
And most importantly, you need to look more at the quality of foods and then at the quantity.
Complex carbohydrates, leafy greens, healthy fats shouldn’t miss from your menu, just like lean meats, and citrus fruit.
If you want to take your diet to the next level, get more nutrition tips and find the most effective training gear for your home gym, check out our website for all this, and more.