Healthy Eating Guidelines
What you eat is the most important factor in weight loss, and yet knowing what to eat is really hard. There is so much conflicting information out there, often driven by the author’s own agenda.
With so much confusion, the easiest thing to do is to do nothing. Keep doing what you’re doing and keep packing on the pounds. But I know that’s not what you want.
So here are 10 healthy eating guidelines that will help you lose weight easily and for good.
No. 1 – Portion size is key
Reducing portion sizes is the easiest and fastest route to weight loss. You don’t have to think about trying new foods or looking for new recipes, just reduce your portion sizes by 20% and you’ll lose weight. A great starting point on your trip.
No. 2 – Eat low GI foods
Low GI foods are foods with a low glycemic index, which essentially means they help keep your blood sugar levels even, stop cravings, and sustain you longer. These tend to be unrefined foods/complex carbohydrates like most fruits, vegetables, legumes, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice.
No. 3 – Snack between meals!
Eat a healthy snack like fruit, nuts, seeds, or oatmeal cookies with hummus mid-morning and mid-afternoon. This helps keep blood sugar levels even and prevents those classic energy dips where you crave something sweet and therefore gain weight.
No. 4 – Balance your plate
A well-balanced plate for weight loss would consist of 50% fruits and/or vegetables, 25% lean protein, and 25% complex carbohydrates. Divide your plate at each meal, not just dinner, and follow these healthy eating guidelines.
No. 5 – Take Protein at Every Meal
Research has shown that combining foods high in lean protein with slow-burning (complex) carbohydrates is best for burning fat.
Good sources of protein are fish, lean white meat, duck breast, beans, lentils, chickpeas, eggs, nuts, and seeds. In fact, beans and lentils stand out because they combine protein and complex carbohydrates.
No. 6 – Restrict refined carbohydrates
Refined carbohydrates like white bread, white pasta, and white rice are fast-releasing, high-GI carbohydrates. Limit these and opt for whole grain breads like rye, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice (ideally basmati). These will help keep your blood sugar levels even and will keep you going for much longer.
No. 7 – Pick and choose
When you’re about to buy a food item, be sure to compare and contrast food labels to find the healthiest option. Look specifically at kcal (calories), sugar content, and fat content, and be sure to compare similar products.
No. 8 – Beware of hidden calories
We all know that things like cakes, chips, and sodas are high in calories. But what about dressings, sodas like pumpkin, low-fat or light options (often packed with sugar), convenience foods, and alcohol? All of these need to be carefully monitored when looking to lose weight.
No. 9 – Lead a colorful life!
Combining foods with different colors will give you more nutrients, speed up your metabolism, and burn more fat. Make sure you have a rainbow of colors on your plate at every meal, and include white foods like onions, garlic, and leeks, which are also extremely good for you.
No. 10 – Drink lots of water
Yes, I know you’ve heard it before, but drinking 1.5 to 2 liters of water a day is essential for healthy weight loss. Water is essential for all bodily functions, including burning fat. Water, herbal and fruit teas/infusions are the ideal drinks to choose.
So, the top 10 healthy eating guidelines to help you lose weight easily, healthily, and for life!