Weight loss: you might think of it as a bad word or a process that has worked for others but would never work for you. Maybe it’s something that you associate with hunger or failure – but you don’t have to. The truth is, weight loss is possible, but it takes permanent changes that continue throughout your life. If you’re tired of thinking, “I’ll start next week,” we encourage you to start today.
If you want to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way, good nutrition is vital. There are low-fat, low-calorie, filling and delicious foods you can eat to lose weight and keep the weight off over time. JRMC Dietitians have offered 11 healthy nutrition guidelines to help you accomplish your weight-loss goals.
1. Cut back on sugar and starches. These are foods that rapidly spike your blood sugar. Blood sugar spikes are not helpful in losing weight, because they lead to craving even more sugary and starchy foods, even if you’ve just eaten. Blood sugar spikes also lead to you feeling tired. Foods to avoid include: white breads, salty snacks like pretzels, packaged chips, cheese puffs, etc., instant mashed potatoes, cookies, cakes and store-bought sweets.
2. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), water helps your body regulate its temperature, lubricate and cushion joints, protect your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues and get rid of wastes. Water also keeps you from becoming dehydrated, which the CDC says can cause unclear thinking, result in mood change, cause your body to overheat and lead to constipation and kidney stones.
Choose lean meats like chicken, turkey and fish.
3. Incorporate vegetables into your diet as often as possible, especially non-starchy vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, okra, celery, dark leafy green vegetables, etc.
Avoid sugary drinks and fruit juices.
4. Eat soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is in foods such as low-sodium nuts, low-sodium beans, apples, blueberries and whole-grain oatmeal. Soluble fiber is excellent for weight loss, because it helps you feel full longer.
Steer clear of highly processed foods. To avoid highly processed foods, purchase whole grains and fresh or frozen fruits and veggies.
5. Choose proper portion sizes. Speak with your doctor about your weight-loss goals. Ask how many pounds are healthy to lose weekly, about how many calories you’re allotted each day, and which foods to choose to get the most out of your meals. This will help you stay on track and learn proper portion control.
6. Don’t eat while watching TV or doing other activities. Focus on your food while eating.
7. Eat slowly. Take time to enjoy your meal.
8. Plan your meals. Make a meal plan and follow it.
9. It is always a good time to invest in your health. Consistent small steps taken now can lead to lifestyle changes that over time can lead to big health benefits.
For more information on losing weight and developing healthy habits, click here.