Eating Healthy to Lose Weight

Lose weight naturally by establishing good eating habits and incorporating more nutritious foods into your diet.

Eating Healthy to Lose Weight
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Overview
We are consistently bombarded with messages that tell us that being thin will make us happier. Sure, we'll be able to slip on our jeans easier, but will crash diets and uneven eating schedules put us in a stable frame of mind? The goal of eating healthy is to feel better. When our bodies feel good and we are free from physical problems, losing weight will be much less stressful. Through proper meal planning, exercise, and stress relieving activities, you will be better able to keep the weight off.
Meal Planning
Sometimes scheduling your meals for the entire week is unrealistic for those who lead hectic lives. Events, business meetings, parties, and dates pop up unexpectedly and it's better to be flexible when scheduling meals. Write down a list of meals that you enjoy. Shopping twice a week for ingredients will give you a chance to modify your selections. If Mexican is on the menu and you're in the mood for Thai, then you can change certain ingredients around. Purchase a wide variety of spices and healthy condiments. A few simple changes like adding coconut milk and curry instead of salsa can alleviate your cravings.
Breakfast
The old chestnut about breakfast being the most of important meal of the day is true. By skipping breakfast, you delay your metabolism until lunch. Incorporating healthy proteins, fruits, and vegetables will give you the fuel your body needs. An omelet with egg whites and vegetables makes for a delightful meal. Adding spices or feta cheese will liven this dish up. Create a fruit parfait with sliced fruit and low-fat yogurt. Yogurt contains acidophiles, which aid in digestion. Even vegans can enjoy a well-rounded breakfast. Cook tofu scramble by using vegetables and firm tofu. Be sure to take your daily allotment of vitamins, because it's easy not to get enough calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D from your diet.
Snacks
Without snacks we are more likely to binge at meals. Small meals throughout the day will also keep our metabolism, stabilize blood sugar levels, and help prevent food cravings. Nuts are often touted as great snacks, but oftentimes people overeat them and gain weight. In addition, salted nuts cause bloating and the extra sodium has other negative health effects. Great snack foods include grapes, carrot sticks, broccoli and dip, yogurt, and soup. Any hot liquid or spicy food will get you full faster. Miso soup is extremely easy to make. Found in the Asian food aisle at your grocery store, it comes in a broth that only requires hot water. If you buy the kind with seaweed, you get a great source of thyroid supporting iodine.
Lunch
Lunch foods usually have the least healthy of options. Deli meats are processed and full of sodium, salads have fatty dressings, and sandwiches are lathered in mayonnaise. A good rule of thumb is to stick with meals that have the fewest ingredients. Salads are great when they're full of vegetables, a lean protein, and a simple dressing of oil and vinegar. Sandwiches are fine with whole wheat bread, vegetables, lean unprocessed meat, and a low-fat condiment. Hot sauce, mustard, and low-fat dressing are perfect additions. Forget the cookie at the end. Even though its tempting to have one treat, it will cause sleepiness, mind fogginess, and promote more food cravings.
Shopping
Dinner time can be tricky if you don't have all of the food you need and decide to go shopping at the last minute when you're hungry. It is better to have an idea of what you want the night before and pick it up then. Grocery stores are notorious places for people to completely jump off their diet wagon. If you must run in to grab a couple of things, stick to the outer perimeters of the store. The inside aisles carry the most processed foods and snacks. Run in with a list. Mindless shopping leads to mindless eating later.
Dinner
Wonderful and filling meal ideas for dinner include baked fish, boiled shrimp, skinless chicken, legumes and tofu. When you have your dinner staples like proteins, vegetables, whole grain items, and low-fat cheese, you can make a variety of meals. Be sure to eat more vegetables than protein. In fact, eating your vegetables first will cut down on carbohydrate and protein consumption. Do not eat while distracted. By eating in front of the television or while reading a book, your mind cannot concentrate on sending you signals that your body is full. Portion your meals out. If you load up your plate, you are more likely to eat everything.
Social Occasions
Drinking will not only leave you open to binging, but alcohol is full of calories. It can be hard when going out for after-work cocktails with friends to not delve into the appetizers. Grab a snack before you go and drink seltzer water in between drinks. Stick to wine or low calorie beer. Mixed drinks are famous for having up to 400 calories in each drink. When going out to dinner, ask the waiter to add sauces on the side, bake certain items instead of frying them, and replace carbohydrates with a vegetable. You can save many calories with a few modifications. Although there are countless weight loss strategies, the real reason people lose weight is by eating fewer calories. Make a food journal and include everything you eat and how many calories you consumed. This will give you a chance to reward yourself. One day you might have cut some calories out of a meal and the next you can add a food with higher calories. Losing weight is important, but feeling physically healthy and happy with yourself is essential.
Resources
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Healthy Food Habits