Earlier in the year I put out a post on Keep Healthy Simple and 8 Simple Tips – Healthy Eating Guide. These posts include most of the information people need to start leading a healthier lifestyle with a healthier diet. As I continue to see posts on stories of how “I am eating healthy, but I’m not losing weight”, it makes me think about how just eating healthy foods from these lists does not necessarily equate eating for weight loss. Remember some people are not eating healthier just for weight loss, it is very possible for people to eat healthy to just be healthier or combat medical issues.
There was a time in my life I thought I was eating healthier just because I cut out crap food like pop and French fries. I traded pop tarts for instant oatmeal, bought weight watchers meals for lunches, and stopped buying from the snack machine at work. Now I was eating healthier, healthier than before. And I was exercising, so I lost weight. But now I realize that half of that food was not as healthy as I thought. And now that I actually eat healthy and workout the right way, I didn’t just lose weight, I am much leaner.
Going out to the store and buying all things healthy is awesome! But just like everything else in life, healthy foods are not all created equally.
First off, don’t buy something just because the package says it’s healthy. Check the ingredients. If there are more than you can read or understand, put it back, it’s a gimmick. Just like sugar-free, fake butter, etc. Fake food is a no-no.
Buy fresh foods or frozen foods directly made from fresh foods. Not frozen, like a pizza or a weight watchers meal, but fruit or vegetables directly frozen from their true form.
Eating fruit is awesome, but fruit does contain a lot of sugars. So if your body is not too keen on that, eating fruit all day isn’t great. Eat fruit every day, but try to limit it to the recommended servings. Did you ever consider the amount of carbs you are getting in your diet just from fruits?
Eating vegetables is even more awesome. There a lot of vegetables, especially the green ones, that are low calorie and low sugar. But there are a few out there higher in calories and/or sugars. So make sure to eat these in moderate amounts. If you are going to amp up your game, eat more vegetables. Eat more than the recommended amount of low calorie and green veggies to help promote weight loss.
Same goes for healthy fats. You don’t need to cut fats, just swap all the bad ones for good ones, like olive oil, avocados, peanut butter, white cheese, etc. Again, in the recommended serving sizes. Avocados are a superfood, a healthy fat, but just know that when you sit down and eat a whole one, you still consumed a large amount of fat.
Stop drinking crap! Drink water, coffee, tea. (Do not use sugar in your coffee or tea) It irks me to no end the amount of people who want flat bellies and say they’re eating healthier, but guess what? THEY ARE DRINKING UP ALL THESE EXTRA CALORIES AND CRAP IN BEER (or high sugar alcohol mixers)!
JUST STOP! You have to choose. Beer or flat belly? Drink wine moderately or some of these new skinny drinks.
Eat good carbs. Stop asking what good carbs are. By now you should know. If you don’t check out this post To Sugar or Not to Sugar or do a simple search. It’s simple. Wheat, whole grains, oats, brown rice, quinoa. Unrefined, minimal ingredient products. I have even started baking with oat flour and it’s awesome! Did you consider that cutting out carbs isn’t necessary to lose weight?
Track your macros and your food. Losing weight doesn’t mean you have to cut all calories and go hungry. If you are not very active or most of your activities comes from cardio exercises, you do want to keep your calories on the lower end for weight loss.
But you want to be healthy too, you want your body to look better, you want to be full. So it’s essential that you are getting the right amount of the nutrients.
Now you don’t need everything to match up exactly to the gram, but make sure it’s close. Instead of getting overcomplicated on macros, focus on the basics. You are looking at what you are consuming in protein, carbs, and fats. Any food tracker nowadays will calculate them for you.
For a diet aimed at weight loss, you want to consume 40-50% protein, 30-40% carbs, 20-30% fats. Eating a diet this way will ensure that you are getting full, that your body is getting enough energy to sustain your daily lifestyle.
If you focus on the right kinds of foods and the right kinds of nutrients you do not necessarily need to sign up for a special dieting program or supplement to lose weight. Personally I enjoy eating and I enjoy snacks. I have no interest in cutting all my carbs. I have no interest in meal replacement foods. I have solely focused on getting healthier with right types of foods, the ones that our bodies were made to digest. The only exception is that I do use a protein powder in my smoothies on workout days and I decided to add this because most of my exercise includes heavy strength training.
Do endulge in your favorite treats and a cheat meal 1-2x per week. This way you will still get some of the stuff you want in moderation. And you won’t hate yourself for switching up your diet.
There are some specific foods that will help with weight loss:
- Green tea
- Beans (black beans, kidney beans, lentils
- Brown rice
- Hot peppers
- Greek yogurt
- Peanut butter
- soy/canola oils
The fact is that there are some great healthy foods to find that you will also enjoy.
The fact is that if you eat the right foods, natural foods we were made to eat, your body will thrive better.
The true fact is you have choices! If you make the right choices CONSISTENTLY you will lose weight.
Go the store, buy the right things, don’t eat out a lot, and indulge moderation!