It’s that time of year again when we set our new year’s resolutions with the intentions on giving it our best shot at losing weight. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get sucked into the latest dieting fad in our attempt to lose weight, but in reality we need to make life long lifestyle changes.
Now whenever we think of dieting, we automatically think we need to eat less food or worse cut out whole food groups. While we need to eat in a caloric deficit, we do not need to eat less food but instead focus on filling our diet with healthy nutrient dense foods.
Healthy nutritious food that packs in the volume without packing in the calories is the key to dieting success and this is where vegetable play their part. Apart from being loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, fibre and minerals essential for a healthy body, they generally add a lot of volume to your meals without adding loads of calories.
Go to vegetable for micro-nutrients and volume
– Green beans
Imagine adding a plate full of vegetables to your day for minimal calories whilst getting loads of fibre, potassium and vitamins. Of course, there are loads more vegetables to choose from such as potatoes, carrots, asparagus, zucchini etc so be sure to include a wide variety.
Like vegetables, fruit packs in the volume without the calories and contain a load of vitamins, minerals and fibre to help keep us full. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is a diet full of volume, micro-nutrients and good health.
Go to fruits for micro-nutrients and volume
– Strawberries 160 calories
– Apples 260 calories
– Watermelon 150 calories
Like vegetables there is a massive range to choose from, each contain different micro-nutrients and various benefits to our health. Be sure to fill your diet wide plenty of colour to get the most out of your food.
Adding protein is an excellent choice for any diet. Protein plays the important part of muscle growth and repair. Choosing a good source of protein will help you get the most benefits. Highly processed proteins such as deli meats contain high levels of sodium and saturated fats and should be eaten sparingly. Try to aim for unprocessed protein sources to get higher levels of protein without the added sodium and fat.
Great sources of protein to include are:
– Chicken breast
– Turkey breast
– Lean beef
– White Fish
– Beans & legumes
– Greek yogurt
– Cottage cheese
Adding a serving of lean protein to each meal will help you reach your daily protein needs and will help keep you fuller for longer.
Unfortunately, we have been told over the years that a low-fat diet is essential for weight loss but a diet containing healthy fats is essential for the body’s hormone function and research suggests they may have beneficial effects on reducing stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline.
Great go to sources of healthy fats to include:
– Various seeds
Fat contains more than twice the number of calories per gram than carbohydrates and protein at 9 calories per gram so the calories from fat can quickly add up, so we need to choose wisely.