Q: What kinds of food should I eat to lose weight?
A: What a loaded question. I can’t tell you specifically every little bite you should eat, but there are a couple of keys things you should know about nutrition as far as weight loss goes.
- It’s really all about portion control. You can eat anything (within reason) as long as you are eating the proper portions. There’s the whole thing that brown rice is better for you than white rice, and yes it’s true. But if you must, a ½ cup of white rice every now and then cannot do any harm. It is when you pile 3-4 servings on a plate and eat it nearly every day where problems occurs.
- Moderation, which is nearly the same as number one. But with moderation, portion control is not the only thing you are watching, it’s how often are you eating something. If pizza is your absolute must have, have 1-2 small slices of cheese pizza every other week, or even less often. You don’t have to give pizza up FOREVER, just learn some moderation.
- Fill up on the fruits and veggies. Fruits are a great alternative to sugary desserts and candy. Have an apple or banana whenever you have the munchies. It’s so satisfying! Try and eat 1-2 servings of veggies with every meal. Per serving (most ½ cup) the calories are pretty low which means you can have more. The key is to fill half your plate with veggies, ¼ with a protein, and ¼ with a carb.
- Watch out for low-fat, fat-free products, sugar-free, low-calorie, because they simply add more sugar, salt or other artificial flavoring to modify it. Stick to food in its natural state.
- Shop from the outer ring at the grocery. The food is less processed, more in its natural state like veggies and fresh meat. If it comes in a box, bag, frozen, canned or otherwise packaged it’s been processed.
- Read the labels! Most people don’t realize what exactly a portion of pasta, rice or meat is. Labels also include calories, fat, carb, fiber and sodium content, all things to watch when starting a healthy lifestyle. But really, if the food has a label, you’ve strayed out of the outer ring! But that’s okay, just remember portion and moderation.
- Pack all your meals. This is key when you spend most of your day away from home. This way there will be no temptations to stop for fast food, or hitting the vending machine for a snack. Packs meals, snacks and extra water if needed.
- Plan all your meals in advance. Shop for the week on one day and pre-cook everything over 1-2 days and put them into serving size containers. This way there is no fretting over what to eat; everything has been taken care of in advance. Always keep some handy standbys on hand like pre-cut veggies, protein bars, and fixins for sandwiches.
I'm sure there are more things I could say here. Nutrition being 80% of the weight loss equation, this is nothing to take lightly. I recommend the Eat Clean book by Tosca Reno because she explains very clearly how to eat the best foods to maximize weight loss.