How You Should Eat to Lose Weight
As I opened my messages on Facebook, an old co-worker asked me what she should eat to loose weight expressing she doesn't know what to eat to achieve this goal. I thought it was a great question and topic many other people likely have as food can be very confusing.
I personally dislike categorizing food in terms of being good vs. bad. Food is a true blessing, and food at it's core is meant to be eaten, and isn't exclusive to certain foods we should/shouldn't eat–that is if the food is ACTUAL food and not artificial, modified or loaded with additives.
So, how should you eat?
What should you eat then? (Check out specific foods here).
First of all, understand that food is subjective in that nutrition will vary from person to person. This meaning, we all require different levels of nutrients based on various factors. Some factors might be age, height, level of activity, lifestyle, etc.
All these factors will dictate how and what you should eat. Thus, directly answering this question is difficult. HOWEVER, there are guidelines anyone can follow to help them achieve which ever goal they have in mind. And there are certain foods that optimize fat-loss in the body.
#1 Listen to your body
One thing I believe in whole-heartedly is listening to your body. No one knows your body better than you will. You are literally hard wired with everything you need in order to thrive healthily (ain't that amazing?).
This really means learning to be attentive to the food you eat, what you feel your body needs and how much of it you may require.
One rule of thumb especially when trying to loose weight is only eating when you're actually hungry and not when you catch a whiff of chocolatey chip cookies, fudgey brownies, greasy fries or warm banana bread (I know you're hungry now).
But in all seriousness, if your body is well rested, hydrated and you've eaten a nutritious meal you shouldn't be hungry to the point of over eating or indulging. Eat until you're full and satisfied–don't deprive yourself of nourishment!
#2 Buy Organic and Local
Don't underestimate the value and impact of eating organic and local food. Eating this way is getting you as close to the pure, whole nutrients of the food. How does this relate to weight-loss? Well, the more nourished your body is through natural, whole food, the better your body will function and health itself.
Eating food, whether is it's meat, eggs, veggies or fruit; it's all best to eat organic what you can. Obviously, organic food can be expensive unless you have your own garden (which is also a great idea and dream of mine). I suggest buying local first, then what you can't get locally get organic, and if you can't afford everything being organic, buy from the 'dirty dozen.'
#3 Eat Fruits and Veggies Raw
This follows the theme of eating ACTUAL food. The benefits of eating most of your fruits and vegetables raw is that all the live, active enzymes are in tact and not compromised the way they would be when cooked.
This doesn't mean eating everything raw like a rabbit, but aim to include at least one raw item in your meals, or only lightly steam your veggies. Your body will eat all the vitamins and absorb them so much better. You'll literally be eating life.
#4 Portion Better
When it comes to weight-loss and food, portioning your food well is e v e r y t h i n g. This goes well with my first guideline concerning listening to your body. Using portions in terms of not over-eating will accelerate your body's fat burning abilities.
Once you're full and fully nourished, stop eating. Eat proportionate to how much you feel you need to eat based on hunger and activity/exercise. It's not about being in control, but rather about learning to have a good relationship with yourself and food by being attentive to your body.
#5 Low Calorie, High Nutrients & Volume
Now, certain food are naturally higher in calories, and loosing weight also has much to do with your energy input to energy output ratio. Naturally, if you are eating more calories (energy) than you are burning calories, you will not loose weight. This doesn't mean you need to necessarily eat less. You can opt instead for food that is more nutritious and lower in total calories.
Eating foods that contain less fat will aid immensely as even natural, healthy fat food sources are higher in calorie. For every 1 gram of fat, there are 9 calories. Whereas with protein and carbohydrates contain 4 calories per every gram. It's why people who follow vegan diets are naturally more thin due to their primary food sources being complex carbohydrates and less fat.
By implementing these guidelines and habits into your life, you'll be allowing yourself to lose in a healthy, sustainable–and that's what I'm all about: losing weight by getting healthy. Thank you so much for reading. Don't be afraid to say hi or ask me a question! Share the knowledge with your friends and family and let's get us all healthier!