Quite simply, the basics in dieting to lose weight - and keeping the weight off - involves eating a healthy balanced diet comprised of fruit, fresh vegetables, starchy foods (whole grain), and eliminating as much sugar, and fat as possible, as well as endeavoring to become more physically active. Hold on, you are thinking, starchy foods? Aren't they fattening? Well, no actually they are not. Gram for gram, starchy foods contain less than half the calories of fat...it's the things you use during the cooking or serving of these starchy foods that needs to be watched because it's these extra 'others' that cause the trouble (like cooking with lots of butter).
For some dieting might seem like it takes super human strength of mind, but there are some foods that can help to make the journey less lonely - and that is the foods called, appropriately enough, super foods.
Super Foods List -
These foods are given super status because they are packed with more antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber than other foods.
Apples, broccoli, nuts, berries (particularly cranberries, blueberries, acai berries), oats, and most fish are seen by as experts as being super-packed with valuable nutrients, thus making them super healthy for us, and some of them certainly should be featured more highly when planning our diet.
But on the whole, everyone should be aiming to eat 5 portions of vegetables and fruit every day as part of their healthy eating way of life. These are most important of all, as all plant-based foods are naturally rich in fiber.
And why is fiber so important? Because fibrous foods take longer to digest, which means we remain fuller, which in turn helps suppress hunger.
Whichever way you look at it - dieting is all about eating less, as well as eating more healthily and exercising more regularly.
Other sources of food high in fiber will be those that are made from whole grain, so certain bread, pasta, rice, cereals, that you decide to eat should be whole grain, and not the refined 'white' variety.
As for fish, it is the 'oily' type such as mackerel, sardine, tuna, salmon, pilchards, and eel that are good for us as they have Omega 3 fatty acids. Again, these types of fish are packed with essential vitamins, minerals and protein. But if you are worried about the environmental impact of eating fish, and then ease your conscience by varying the type you eat. It might help.
Now, crunch time. What does eating healthier foods entail?
Eating less of the bad foods that have made us want to start losing weight. Weight is caused by eating foods that contain too many calories and fat. We need to cut that out. Now! And that means saying 'bye-bye' to fast food junk, pies, cakes, pastries, processed meats, and fatty meats. The best way to check how much saturated fat you might be eating is to check food labels. Most will tell you, and if you remember that high saturated fat content is anything with 5 grams of fat per 100 grams. The number 5 may not seem a significant number, but it can be highly harmful in this case. On a more general level, you can also check how much total fat you will be eating by checking food labels, and anything that has more than 20g per 100g is considered high and should be avoided. It is also important to remember that a bit of fat is okay. There are good fats, as in the fatty fish oil, so it is not wise to avoid them altogether. Your body needs them and they should make the cut on your diet food list!
Eating less salt is also a basic requirement of any diet. In fact adults should not consume more than 6g per day. Again, checking labels will help you cut down on salt, as you will be surprised how much salt you might be eating without realizing it. Anything over 1.5g is regarded as high by medical experts. A low level is put at 0.3g. It is important to cut down on salt, as it is a leading contributor to high blood pressure, which causes heart disease, and heart attacks.
Of course, dieting is not all about simply eating better. The food we eat, calories, and the amounts we eat are the crucial cornerstones to any long-term diet plan - but running gently alongside the healthy food is a healthy regime of exercise to make the most of the positive impact the new foods we are feeding our bodies is having. Regular exercise is a must because eating food alone will not get the heart pumping, and help the good blood circulate and pass on the goodness of the nutrients in the food to our vital organs. And just as important is the strengthening of muscle. Keeping muscles strong helps general body mass, which in turn helps to rid the body of unwanted fats.
The whole area of diets, health and fitness, is a complex one with many factors to take into consideration. It is so complex that if you are thinking of embarking on a new health and fitness regime, it is probably a good idea to seek advice from your doctor, or nutritional expert, or other healthcare professional.
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