When it comes to matters of losing weight, there are a lot of conflicting and overwhelming information present in the public domain. Interesting thing is, according to one nutrition expert, the best diets (particularly diets which feature sustainable eating habits and not the conventional diets which many people turn to for weight loss) have a few characteristics in common.
Christopher Gardner, a nutrition scientist and a research professor of medicine based at the Stanford university school of medicine just recently gave a talk on the most suitable diets for weight loss while attending the American heart association’s scientific session annual meeting. In the course of the talk, Gardner is on record mentioning how doctors, dietitians and even scientists need to focus on figuring out which diet is best suited for each person and not which one diet is best suited for everyone.
As strange as it may sound, it is very common for people to be paralyzed by the choices they have to make especially when it comes to eating healthy with the sole intension of losing weight. You with be glad to learn that the American heart association, the obesity society as well as the American college of cardiology released a detailed analysis (which featured at least 15 different diets that ran the gamut from vegetarian to high quality protein eating plans) back in 2013.
Interesting thing is, according to Gardner, even with all these options present, the best diets are those which share a few things in common. For instance,
- Encouraging people to eat a lot of vegetables
- Encouraging a cut back on refined grains
- Avoiding added sugar.
Overviews of nutrition experts’ take on weight loss diets
Beth warren, the founder of Beth warren Nutrition and sole author of living a real life eating real food, agrees and even admits in her work that these three areas are properly documented in their effect on one’s health.
At the same time, Karen Ansel, the author of healthy in a hurry: simple, wholesome recipes for every meal of the day argues that there’s one very huge yet necessary factor which most people miss out on and this is “watching the portion size”. Just so you know, even the healthiest of foods have the potential of packing your body with a few extra pounds especially if you eat too much of it.
It is very important to understand the fact that: these elements are extremely useful for varied reasons. Take for instance, when it comes to vegetables, a plant based diet contributes a fairly significant amount of fiber plus it also helps calories. This is according to Lisa Moskovitz, the Chief executive officer of NY nutrition Group.
In order to ramp up your vegetable intake, Warren stresses that it is an extremely good idea to make veggies mandatory in your meals. This could mean adding food items such as spinach for instance into your morning omelet, settling for a hearty salad at lunch and also making it a habit to eat a side of vegetables together with some proteins at dinner.
Another very important thing is that, it is also strongly recommended that you incorporate vegetables into your snacks. For instance, having celery with almond butter, hummus with carrots etc. According to Moskovitz, it is an extremely good idea to turn your fridge into a mini salad bar that features plenty of chopped carrots, cucumbers, peppers and even tomatoes which you can easily grab on the go or better yet add on to a recipe on the fly. Take note, the easier you make vegetables more accessible in your life, the more you are likely to eat them.
What you need to know about added sugars
It is equally important to note that unlike vegetables, added sugars (these are the sugars which are added to foods during processing) are in the dog house and for good reason. Just so you know, sugar can easily wreak havoc on your health. As a matter of fact, added sugars have been found to lurk in very surprising places. It is for this reason that Jessica Cording, A New York Based R.D. admitted to SELF that it is an extremely good idea to check labels in a bid to establish the presence of sugar or any other sweetener which may have been added to condiments such as pasta, soups, sauces and breads.
In addition to all of the above, another good way to lower your intake of added sugar is simply to focus on replacing high sugar foods with healthier options. Taking into consideration the fact that many people who take in a lot of sugar have been found to get it mostly from snacks and other beverages, it goes without say that finding healthier alternatives is by far one of the best ways to cut back. For instance, instead of drinking soda while having lunch, settle for club soda (preferably that which is sweetened with lemon or any other piece of fruit). Also, instead of snacking on chocolate in the afternoon, take a fresh piece of fruit together with yogurt and a few nuts if possible.
Keep in mind, increasing the amount of lean protein and fiber in your diet is equally important since it would naturally help you significantly reduce sugar cravings since they would serve to level out your blood sugar. As far as feeling full is concerned, fiber has a tendency of expanding in the gut like a sponge as a result filling you up. It also significantly slows down the release of sugar from starchy foods into your system. This in turn keeps blood sugar and personal appetite on an even level for a fairly long period of time.
General idea of the link between added sugars and weight loss
Just so you know, just like added sugars, refined grains can trip up any weight loss efforts. Take note, white bread, rice and pastas have been found to serve as big sources of refined grains. Interesting thing is, packaged goods such as crackers and cereals are also usually made from refined grains. Keep in mind; refined grains simply refer to empty calories which increase appetite in turn leading to increased calorie intake which in turn would lead to weight gain.
It is very important to note that the easiest way to decrease the amount of refined grains is imply to choose minimally processed ones such as whole wheat pasta, brown rice, quinoa as well as whole wheat bread in place of the highly processed food items. In addition to all of the above, it is also very important to closely check the labels with an emphasis of establishing the presence and level of whole grains in the first few ingredients.
To crown it all up, keeping close tabs on your portion sizes is equally important since it would help make sure that you’re fueling your body properly without necessarily going overboard and accidentally taking excess calories. You should also know that mindful eating is such a wonderful way to practice all that has been mentioned above. As a matter of fact, here are 12 mindful eating habits to help get you started on the right foot.
Everything taken into consideration, in case you would like to incorporate all of the above mentioned tips but you are not sure of where to start then it is strongly recommended that you keep a food log of all the food items which you eat in a week and the work your way from there. Doing this is very important since it will pave way for a much easier introduction of manageable mini goals which would change your eating habits for the best and most importantly bring about weight loss. Remember, consistent small changes are extremely effective when it comes to weight loss, as a matter of fact, you would not need a major diet overhaul.