Many diet fads promise fast, effective weight loss – but which method should you follow?
Some diets can be extreme. Proponents of the Sirtfood Diet claim that eating only foods containing sirtuins (a protein found in many plants and animal tissues), can help treat autoimmune diseases; but restricting entire food groups could lead to nutritional deficiencies and disordered eating behaviors.
1. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Diets rich in fruits and vegetables can help reduce caloric intake while providing essential nutrition. A diet featuring an abundance of these food sources should also be low in added sugars, sodium levels and saturated/trans fats.
Many vegetables, particularly leafy greens, contain high concentrations of fibre that can help facilitate weight loss by slowing digestion and protecting against cancer and other illnesses. Furthermore, plant compounds found within vegetables also act as natural protection from such ailments.
2. Eat Less Meat
Eating less meat is one of the key strategies for fat loss. Red meat contains saturated fats which increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and certain cancers.
Substituting plant-based alternatives for meat can help lower overall calorie intake, but make sure that protein-rich foods such as tofu, quinoa, beans and lentils remain a part of your daily diet as well as eggs, milk and cheese.
3. Eat More Healthy Fats
Fat isn’t necessarily evil, but it is important to choose wisely. Dietitians recommend unsaturated fats found in olive oil, avocado and nuts to promote optimal health and weight loss.
Avoid ultra-processed foods while also eating moderate quantities of whole food that contain healthy fats such as avocado, eggs, fish and lean meats to help control hunger, avoid spikes in blood sugar levels and support fat loss. This approach will also reduce hunger pangs.
4. Eat More Whole Grains
Whole grains contain fibre, an important factor for weight loss. Furthermore, they also help regulate hunger hormones while stabilizing blood sugar and insulin levels as well as providing energy throughout the day.
Researchers recently conducted a study where they determined that eating more whole grains leads to greater weight loss by decreasing calories retained during digestion and increasing metabolism, in turn improving metabolic health and gut microbiota.
5. Eat More Lean Protein
Protein has long been considered essential to good health and has long been touted for helping people lose weight, particularly belly fat. Studies show that digesting proteins burns more calories than carbs or fat.
General guidelines recommend getting 10-35% of your calories from protein. A registered dietitian can assist in setting appropriate protein goals based on your specific needs and lifestyle.
6. Eat More Healthy Carbs
Carbs provide your body with energy, so it’s essential that they be consumed in moderation. Aim for complex carbs like brown rice, quinoa or higher-starch vegetables like sweet potatoes.
Foods rich in slow digestion provide steady energy throughout the day and include beneficial fiber, vitamins and minerals for overall health.
7. Eat More Water
Water is essential to our bodily processes. It brings nutrients directly into cells while flushing waste out from our systems – including metabolic waste like fat.
Anecdotal evidence supports that drinking water may help curb appetite. Water can also serve as an ideal replacement for high-caloric beverages like sodas and juices that have high sugar contents.
Set out 6-8 large paper clips on your desk where they will be seen throughout the day, and each time you finish off 16-ounce bottle of water, put one paper clip away.
8. Eat More Healthy Fats
Fats are essential components of our bodies, providing energy and helping the body create hormones. Experts emphasize consuming monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as those found in olive, canola and safflower oils as well as avocados, peanut butter and nuts as sources for these essential dietary sources of nutrition.
Steer clear of saturated and trans fats, which have been linked to weight gain, clogged arteries, heart disease and some cancers. Limit processed foods such as cakes, cookies and sugary beverages as much as possible.
9. Eat More Lean Protein
Protein can help keep you feeling satisfied and is an integral component of many nutritious diets. Furthermore, its thermic effect of food makes you work harder at digesting it – something known as thermogenesis.
Include protein from lean meat, fish, beans, nuts, seeds, whole pulses (rajma chole lobhia) milk and eggs as sources. Utilizing a calorie tracker is an easy way to determine how much protein you require on an ongoing basis.
10. Eat More Healthy Carbs
Carbs are our body’s main source of energy. While some diets discourage carbohydrates altogether, “quality carbs,” like those found in oats, quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes and beans can actually be beneficial.
On this eating plan, avoid inflammatory foods like sugar and processed grains to improve menopausal symptoms and lower weight loss resistance. It’s also rich in fiber and lean protein.