There’s a mountain of advice about foods you shouldn’t eat when you’re trying to lose some kilos. Biscuits, cakes, pastries and sweets are all best avoided: they’re high in calories and don’t offer much in the way of nutritional value.
You might have seen diet plans based around a specific type of food that’s promoted as the secret to weight loss. The grapefruit diet, the egg diet and the cabbage soup diet are examples of these eating plans. While you can certainly lose weight on these restrictive diets, they’re very hard to stick to for long. And you’re almost guaranteed to put the weight back on again if you return to your previous way of eating.
Think of losing weight and then keeping it off as a long term project. You’re learning a healthier way of eating that will last you a lifetime. It can be a challenge at first! Bach Flower Mix 51 is a blend of pure Bach flower essences that helps your self-discipline while you’re changing your eating habits.
No single type of food will cause you to lose weight. Instead, choose a well-balanced diet that includes all the essential food groups. Luckily, there are plenty of delicious, nutritional foods you should include in a weight loss diet. Here are our top picks:
Choose whole grains rather than white refined carbs. Whole grains are high in fibre so will help to keep you satisfied for longer. They also help to avoid those dips in blood sugar that encourage between-meals snacking. Wholemeal bread, brown rice, and pasta made with whole grains are good choices that will help as part of a weight-loss diet.
Fruits can be relatively high in sugar but are a very valuable part of a healthy diet. The secret is to keep an eye on portion sizes. Fruit juices are best avoided except in small quantities as they are relatively calorific. It’s far better to eat a whole apple or orange than to drink a glass of juice. It takes you longer so is more satisfying, plus you have the benefits of the fibre in the peel. Try to ”eat a rainbow” of different coloured fruits for a range of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.
Leafy green veggies are an ideal addition to a weight loss diet. Green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, spring greens, swiss chard and spinach are low in calories but rich in vitamins and minerals. And thanks to their high levels of fibre, they’re a good way of adding bulk to meals, filling you up without adding calories.
Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, trout and herring will satisfy your appetite and is an excellent protein choice for a weight loss diet. Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation and may help in fighting obesity. All kinds of fish and shellfish supply iodine, which is needed to keep the metabolism functioning properly.
This one might surprise you! White potatoes might not be as fashionable as sweet potatoes, but they’re an excellent food to eat if you want to lose weight. They contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and potassium. And because they fill you up so well, you’ll find that you can eat less of more fattening foods.
Watch out for the method of cooking- you don’t need the extra calories in roast potatoes or fries. The best way is to boil or bake them without oil or butter. If you then allow them to cool slightly, the potatoes form resistant starch, a substance that can help weight loss.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you can eat both red meat such as beef and white meat, such as chicken and turkey. Meat is one of the best protein sources, and including protein in your meals will keep hunger pangs away for longer. If you’re following a low-carb diet, you can also eat fatty meats such as spare ribs or pork with crackling.
They’re not just for vegetarians! Pulses such as lentils, chickpeas, beans and peas are an excellent source of protein and are low in calories. They’re often used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern recipes. For optimal nutrition, combine pulses with a starchy food such as hummus and pitta bread or good old baked beans on toast.
Dairy foods such as milk, yoghurt and cheese are a good way of increasing your protein intake. They also contain valuable amounts of calcium, an essential mineral that may help boost the metabolism and burn fat more effectively. Choosing low-fat dairy products will reduce your calorie intake, but full-fat dairy helps to suppress the appetite, so you eat less in general.
One of the secrets to successful weight loss is finding a diet plan that you can stick to. There’s no need to completely exclude any food: if you fancy a treat, eat just a small portion. Choosing food that you enjoy will boost your chances of success. Eating a wide variety of fresh foods in moderation is the first step in the road to a healthier, slimmer, life.
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