Sometimes we make weight loss more complicated than it needs to be, so a return to the basics can keep your New Year’s resolution heading in the right direction. Weight loss comes down to a rather simple equation of energy in and energy out. To lose weight, you have to create a caloric deficit. In general, it is recommended that you cut 500 calories out of your diet a day through a combined effort of eating more nutritious meals and increasing your level of physical activity.
Find Foods that Count
To start, it is important to make your meals work for you. Here are some suggestions:
- Eat foods that are lower in calories but richer in nutrients.
- Avoid empty calories found in sodas and sugary foods.
- Go for items with higher fiber which fills you up and offers excellent health benefits.
- Add food options that contain more antioxidants.
A perfect example of how to get more bang for your buck is to compare food items like grapes and raisins. For a half cup (2.8 oz.) serving of raisins, you are consuming 220 calories, whereas a medium bunch of grapes (7 oz.) has 140 calories. In this simple exchange you are getting more fiber, a larger portion size (which will leave you feeling fuller) and less sugar.
Stick with the rule of variety. Diverse and varying food choices will ensure you get the full spectrum of nutrients your body needs, including the right balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat. Stick with 100% whole grains, a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables and lean meat sources. Dairy products should always be low fat. Try to avoid eating out of boxes and you will get a more well-balanced meal that is lower in sodium and fat as well.
Remember Portion Control
Losing weight doesn’t have to mean sacrifice, nor a turn towards fat-free or sugar-free foods. Have fun with your new lifestyle of eating healthier by remembering the key is moderation of portion size. Once you master this, you can still enjoy foods you like, but limit the amount. Enjoy new fruits, vegetables and dishes and expand your flavor horizons.
Use Your Calories
Last but not at all least; remember that cutting calories doesn’t only have to come by way of decreasing your food intake. Expend more calories by adding in some new physical activity into your daily routine. Even if you are already exercising, you can throw in a flight of stairs instead of an elevator ride. Or park far from the front door of your workplace, grocery store or wherever you are headed and walk a bit. Little bursts of activity can add up to extra calories expended.
For more information on weight loss and our services here at Brandon Regional, visit us online. Do you have any health questions or do you need a physician referral? Contact our Consult-A-Nurse service at 1-888-327-2636.