You Are What You Eat

Knowing the right foods to choose for a healthier life and maximum weight loss may not seem that difficult, but you’ll be amazed at just how bad some seemingly innocent popular foods are for you and how they can prevent you from shedding those extra pounds. What you eat does make a difference in not only your weight, but also your overall health. Banana chips and granola or energy bars may seem healthy, but that’s not always so. Some granola/energy bars are loaded with sugar and banana chips are fried, with fewer nutrients of a fresh banana.

Choosing healthy foods means never having to diet again.

Or as Ali MacGraw from “Love Story” might say, “Eating the right foods means never having to say your sorry.” Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch, but it is true. When you make smart food choices, your body thanks you with a healthy weight and plenty of energy. Processed foods are not on that list. The closer you come to whole foods, foods with very little processing, the better off you are. Whole foods contain more vitamins, such they aren’t destroyed by heat from cooking. They provide fewer hidden ingredients, especially if they’re organic. (Some of the hidden ingredients in some non-organic fruits and veggies may be pesticides.) You can eat as much as you like when you’re eating whole foods. It’s hard to eat enough fresh fruit and vegetables to put on any weight.

What you drink makes a huge difference.

Stop immediately before you reach for your next can of soda. Pop is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to poor nutrition. It’s sugar water with flavoring. Even fruit juice can be a little bit of an enemy, since much of the bulk and fiber is removed, so you have to drink more before filling up on it. It also is missing the bulk that helps slow the absorption of the sugar in the fruit in your intestines. Even in a smoothie, where you put the whole fruit and vegetable in the blender, you may be getting all the vitamins, but not nearly the same satisfaction or feeling of satiety. While smoothies are better than juice and juice is 1000 times better than carbonated drinks, water is probably the best drink for you if you’re trying to shed extra pounds.

You need fat in your diet.

Too often people cut out all fat when they diet, even healthy fat. That’s not good nutrition. Healthy fat has a lot to offer. It keeps you feeling full longer, promotes good metabolism, aids in the absorption of vitamins and is good for the heart. Avocados, salmon, real butter (particularly from grass fed cows) and coconut oil are examples of healthy fat that actually aids in weight loss and makes your body healthier.

Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit, but get a broad mix of colors. A simple way to insure you’re getting all they phytonutrients and vitamins and minerals from fresh fruits and vegetables is to insure you have a broad mix of colors.

Learn to cook foods differently. When you steam vegetables instead of boil them, more of the nutrients stay in the veggies. Baked or grilled meat is always better than fried.

Learn to make substitutions in cooking. Some of the fat or sugar in baked goods can be replaced with unsweetened applesauce.

Find lower calorie substitutions. If you want the richness of sour cream, but with fewer calories, use Greek yogurt instead. There are hundreds of small changes and substitutions you can make to lower calories, but get the same flavor.