Foods to Eat to Lose Weight

Foods to Eat to Lose Weight

Not many people are particularly well informed about the basics of nutrition e.g. what are proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Often those giving the advice seem more confused than those they are trying to teach about food group combinations.

They tend to make it too complicated to follow!

Below is a very simple list of what we will call ‘Superfoods’ (foods to eat to lose weight) – Super Proteins, Carbs and Fats – with a little explanation for each.

What is Protein?

Protein is a significant element of our muscles, tissues, skin, hormones and blood. It is very important in the repair of our muscles in recover from the wear and tear of daily life, sport or exercise.

Foods to eat to lose weight? 1. Super Proteins

Poultry – Chicken and Turkey (particularly breasts) are brilliant choices of protein as they are low in fat (make sure that you get rid of the skin and avoid frying with excess oil or using sugar-filled sauces.

  1. Fish – Excellent choices include tuna, grilled cod, haddock and sea bass.
  2. Low Fat Cottage Cheese –this is very rich with amino acids which help support muscles growth and repair.
  3. Eggs – Eggs can have a bad reputation when it comes to weight loss but they are packed with protein and the cholesterol concerns can be mitigated by just eating the egg whites (with a yolk or two for the good fats).

What is Carbohydrate?

Carbohydrates constitute our main source of energy for the body. Carbohydrates can be broken down into two categories:

  • Simple – Glucose, fructose and lactose
  • Complex – Starches – potatoes, rice, grains and dietary fibre

The word ‘carb’ now comes with some serious negative connotations with regards to weight loss however carbohydrates are actually a vital component of a healthy diet. That said, certain carbs really do not serve any nutritional purpose and can lead to an increase in body fat if eaten in excess. This type of carb is called a refined carbohydrate’ and is most often found in fast foods where sugar and flour have had their fibre and more beneficial nutrient content removed.

The general rule is that ‘complex’ carbohydrates are slow in burning and provide the body with more energy over a greater period of time when compared with refined carbohydrates.

Foods to eat to lose weight? 2. Super Carbohydrates (Complex)

Potatoes – available all over the place, very filling and also contain resistant start which is known to help increase metabolism and burn fat

  1. Brown Rice – high in calcium, magnesium, potassium, fibre and is filling while being low in calories.
  2. Oatmeal – (not the instant kind!) Oats are high in fibre, low in cholesterol, contain resistant starch, and help boost the metabolism and burn fat.
  3. Wholemeal Pasta – high in vitamins and minerals and has 2 or 3 times more fiber when compared to refined-wheat pasta.

What is Fat?

NOT ALL FATS ARE BAD! Fat is required in the diet, avoiding all fat for the purpose of weight loss is not the right approach!

Natural fat can be split into two sections:

  • Saturated Fats are mainly found in animal based sources like meat and dairy. They provide the body with a stored form of energy in fat cells.
  • Unsaturated Fats are mainly found in vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish and game: containing fatty acid which the body cannot produce itself.

Saturated fats in large amounts are bad whereas unsaturated fats in moderation are essential. A very bad type of fat however is known as: Hydrogenated Fat.

Hydrogenated Fat – created when liquid oil (e.g. corn oil) has hydrogen added it which alters its chemical structure. It is most often found in processed and refined foods.

 A helpful rule:

Bad Fats are solid or semi-solid at room temperatures e.g. butter or margarine.

 Foods to eat to lose weight? 3. Super Fats

  1. Nuts and Seeds (unsalted) – high in good fats (remember: good fat can be bad fat in excess).
  2. Oily Fish – e.g. Salmon, Sardines, Mackerel and Herring contain Omega 3 essential fatty acids.
  3. Avocado – contains Oleic acid which suppresses hunger and can help reduce cholesterol. It is low in sugar and high in fibre and protein.
  4. Natural Peanut Butter – a good source of protein, potassium and fibre.

A ‘healthy diet’ is really an ongoing balancing act. Be sure to include plenty of fruit and veg, follow the information on foods to eat to lose weight above and you should be on the way to significantly improving your diet and seeing some weight loss results!

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