When it comes to weight loss, the facts are clear: 80% of weight loss comes down to dietary changes. The food choices you make on a daily basis create the biggest impact on your weight loss goals. Nutrition is absolutely CRITICAL to slimming down; the quality of you food you put into your system 3 to 4 times a day determines how your digestive system, metabolic system and even reproductive system function, making food an integral part of weight loss as well as overall health and wellness.
So what are these healthy, weight loss promoting foods?
•Fresh Fruit: Berries and citrus are lowest in sugar, which can be helpful for those focused on losing weight, but even high sugar fruits, such as bananas and pineapple, are an excellent source of essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. Plus, fresh fruit can be an excellent substitute for sugary saboteurs such as cakes, cookies and candy.
•Vegetables: Sneak as many greens into your daily meals as possible. Loaded with nutrients and fiber, they promote internal AND external health while keeping your energy stable and your belly satisfied. And eat a variety of vegetables to keep your taste buds engaged, your meals interesting and your fat-burning potential humming.
•Lean Protein: This can mean lean animal protein from wild caught fish, free range beef, cage free chicken and organic turkey or also lean plant protein from sources such as lentils or spirulina.
•Healthy Fat: Avocado, olive oil, coconut or seeds add flavor and satiety while encouraging the body to burn fat. A little goes a long way, so think moderation when it comes to health fats.
To get the most fat-burning, weight loss results from food changes, avoid the following:
•Processed Food: As Michael Pollan says: ‘If came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t.’ Take a peek at the ingredient list of packaged food and you’ll immediately see all the additives, sugar and chemical fillers that sabotage weight loss plus lead to serious, chronic illness and disease.
•Refined Sugar: Ah, sugar; the cause of much distress for so many. And rightfully so; refined sugar spikes blood sugar, leading to energy crashes, sugar cravings, poor metabolic function and hormonal imbalance. Satisfy your energy and ‘sweet’ cravings with fresh fruit, sweet potatoes and coconut shreds.
•Alcohol: While moderate alcohol intake can be part of a balanced life, it’s also one of the biggest hindrance to weight loss. Try reducing or substituting alcohol intake while focusing on weight loss to boost your slimmer body efforts.
In addition to weight loss benefits, you also want to think about the long term effects of your food choices when it comes to diet vs. exercise. Consider the stories you read about people who lose weight by eating McDonald’s once a day. They’ve restricted their caloric intake so much that yes, they’ve lost weight even though they’re eating Big Mac’s. However the negative health effects of such a diet reach far beyond the initial weight loss. For starters, this is not a sustainable diet. And secondly, on a diet such as this, the body is not getting adequate nutrients, vitamins and fiber, leading to malnutrition. And finally, the inflammation and internal distress caused by eating this way can and will lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure and even cancer. This is not health. The scale may temporarily report a lower number, but the damage done to the body will reduce your quality of life, prematurely age you and lead to an earlier death.
So eat clean to lose weight, energize your body and accomplish your health goals!
Guest blog post by Jodi Geigle.
Jodi Geigle is a board certified nutrition counselor and founder of Eat Clean Health, a holistic nutrition company that specializes in weight loss, digestive problems, women's health and sports nutrition. Jodi works with clients who are interested in transforming their health through clean eating. The nutrition programs offered by Jodi via Eat Clean Health encourage clients to develop a deeper understanding of food and nutrition, leading them to implement lasting changes that improve energy, digestion, balance, and overall health and wellness. For extra support and information, reach out directly and talk with Jodi about your personal health needs and concerns. eatcleanhealth.com