One of the most common mistakes in trying to lose weight is to go on extreme diets with dangerously low caloric content. There are several problems with this type of diet. First, it is not sustainable. It’s highly likely that, at some point, you’ll compensate for your food deprivation by binge eating.
Second, extreme diets rob your body of the vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly. This can lead to sluggishness, fatigue, irritability, and mood changes. Extreme diets can also slow down metabolism, which can stall weight loss. More serious consequences include health conditions like gallbladder diseases, dehydration, constipation, depression, and more.
Various studies have shown that the most effective and lasting way to losing weight is a holistic approach where nutrition plays an important part. You have to make sure your body is getting the nourishment it needs while watching your calorie intake and doing regular exercise.
Here are some pointers to consider:
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are packed with the nutrients our body needs, including essential vitamins and minerals, proteins, and healthy fats and carbohydrates.
Apples and bananas usually come to mind when talking about healthy fruits, but you can try other varieties to liven up your diet. Consider frozen or canned fruits, including exotic ones like mangoes or kiwis – just pick the unsweetened variety. The same goes for vegetables. Try frozen or canned products but avoid those with added salt, butter, or cream. Experiment on various ways of preparing them to make for a more appetizing meal.
- Drink coconut milk or almond milk
As you’ve often been told as a child, milk is good for you. And with plant-based milk now becoming widely available, you get excellent options on the market. Coconut milk and almond milk are two of the most recommended types of milk because of their high nutritional content and fewer calories. They’re also great choices for those who are lactose intolerant or prefer a vegan diet.
Coconut milk is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, including medium- chain saturated fatty acids that protect the body from infections and diseases. The saturated fat in coconut milk also helps the digestive organs function properly, thus enhancing metabolism.
Almond milk, particularly the unsweetened variety, has one of the lowest caloric content among all milk varieties. Just like coconut milk, it’s also full of vitamins and minerals, including calcium.
- Fats are an important part of any diet
Contrary to what many believe, fats – both saturated and unsaturated – are essential to our health. We need fat to maintain warmth, store energy, keep our skin and hair healthy, and transport nutrients to various parts of the body. Digesting fat also involves a longer process, making us feel full and satiated for a long time.
You can get fat from many sources, including meats, poultry, fish, fruits, sweets, vegetables, and whole grains. It’s important to watch the calorie and saturated fat content when choosing fatty foods. These have to be taken in moderation, based on the amount your body needs.
- Fiber is good for you
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body cannot digest on its own, so it makes us feel fuller with fewer calories. It has plenty of other benefits, too. It feeds the good bacteria in our stomach, thus promoting good health. It also keeps our blood sugar in check by slowing down the absorption of glucose in the blood. Fiber slows down digestion, which decreases our hunger pangs. Fiber-rich food includes almost all vegetables and fruits, oat bran, wheat, and whole-grain breads.
To come up with a nutrition plan unique to your needs and preferences created by one of our nutritionists, check out our Nutrition page. Or, give us a call at 617.328.6300.