What is the first thing when you think of going on a diet? Lettuce usually comes to everyone’s mind – lots and lots of bland, green lettuce. Fortunately, experts are now recommending that a diet incorporating a wide range of nutritious, colourful and tasty foods is the best way to lose weight, and best of all, keep it off for good.
With this in mind, let’s explore some of the more delicious options available to make losing weight and more importantly fat, an achievable and sustainable goal.
Shake it off
One of the most effective and delicious methods to reach your goals is through the consumption of a weight loss shake. These delicious meal replacements can provide a satisfying, nutritious alternative to less-appealing foods. As part of a well-rounded diet plan which includes a range of fruits, vegetable and proteins, they can be the extra impetus our bodies need to successfully lose fat and maintain weight loss.
So, the question then becomes whether you should go for a high or low carb option. While carbohydrates convert to sugar in our bodies, which can be stored as fat if this energy is not expended, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the low carb option is preferable. Carbohydrates, when consumed as part of a balanced diet, can increase mood, promote weight loss and assist in maintaining heart health, among other benefits.
A low carb, high protein diet is the key to losing not just weight, but actual fat, whilst also protecting and building our muscles. Severely restricted diets with little protein may see a shift on the scales, but much of this is lost muscle tone – nobody wants the saggy, limp look in any part of their body!
As with everything, moderation is the key. Balance your diet with an array of colourful fruits, vegetables and seeds and include a serving of some protein. Good sources may include:
- Oily fish
- Meats – ideally grass fed or organic
- Poultry – ideally grass fed or organic
- YoghurtYogurt – natural, plain
- Beans and lentils
The internet is full of deliciously nutritious recipes made using cheese, meats and vegetables including those found here. By including as many different coloured fruits and vegetables into your daily diet as you can, you ensure that you are covering your body’s quota of vitamins and minerals. Changing your thinking and choices doesn’t mean losing out on taste!
Carb down, sugar off
Whilst I’m not an advocate of cutting out food groups, for fast effective weight loss reducing carb intake is ideal. Carbs are not only found in pasta, bread, cakes and potatoes but are hidden in a variety of other foods. The aim is to limit them so the body uses its fat stores as energy rather than sugar from carbohydrates.
Many of the villainous ‘white foods’ implicated in the rise of morbid obesity are also high in simple carbohydrates so it is understandable that many low carb diets are also associated with significant health benefits.
Fructose is a form of carbohydrate found in fruit. Commercially produced fructose however, is derived from sugar and has been implicated in everything from morbid obesity to cancer. Sources to steer clear of include:
- Soft drink
- Sweets and lollies
- Sweetened Yoghurt
- Commercially produced salad dressing
- Commercially produced bread
- Frozen junk food
- Canned fruit and fruit juice
Fat has long been touted as a ‘no no’ in weight loss regimens but experts are now appreciating its role in keeping dieters full for longer. Low GI foods perform a similar function by controlling blood sugar spikes which result in food cravings.
Introduce healthy foods into your diet, high in monounsaturated fats such as:
- Salmon and tuna
- Sunflower and pumpkin seeds
Use olive oil or coconut oil in cooking and saute or steam vegetables lightly to retain their healthfulness.
As with everything, eat in moderation and be mindful of your caloric intake.
Tipping the scales
Whilst a low carb, high protein diet may see you drop up to three kilograms in a short space of time due to excreting retained water, the numbers on the scales don’t tell the whole story.
Weight loss may stall or stop completely for periods but this can indicate muscle growth. Since muscle is more dense and heavier than fat, changes in the shape of your body are better indicators than the scales. For this reason avoid consulting them too often or better yet toss them all together. A tape measure is a better indicator of how your diet is performing.
Visit any fruit market and you can see the vivid array of healthy, natural food on offer. Open your palate to the feast provided by nature and enjoy delicious eating along with a slimmer, healthier body.