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How To Practice Healthy Eating for an Optimal Weight

Healthy Eating

Sticking to a mindful diet is harder than ever in this era of fast-paced advertising and ultra-processed food. That crispy, crunchy fried chicken and cheesy pizza are undoubtedly hard-to-resist. But unfortunately, excessively eating these foods can lead to instant weight gain. 

If you’re noticing a significant increase on your weight scale, you might have probably asked yourself: which diet is right for me? How can I adopt and maintain healthy eating in the long run? 

Even if you’ve found the “right” diet, sticking to that diet and maintaining an optimal weight isn’t easy. Yet, there are certain tips and tricks that make healthy eating easier. Let’s explore them. 

The Ideal Food Plan

You’ll often find the newest fad diet being described as the “best” or the “healthiest” diet. Yet, when it comes to eating, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. 

The “right” diet depends on a wide set of factors. That includes your activity levels, genetics, health, gender, age, medical history, and culture. No single diet can be perfect for everyone.

At the end of the day, the healthiest diet for you is one that you can stick to in the long run. It should promote your health above anything and manage your optimal weight.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans describe a healthy eating plan as

  • Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.
  • A variety of protein foods like eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds, soy, lean meats, poultry, and seafood.
  • Low in sodium, trans fats, cholesterol, saturated fats, and added sugars. 
  • Within your daily calorie requirements.

You can visit USDA’s My Plate Plan to see which foods for healthy weight will help you stay within your calorie needs.

What to Eat 

There are certain types of healthy foods that you must include in your diet without any question. Unless you are allergic to them, fruits, vegetables, meats, calcium-rich food, and water are your ultimate weapons to stay fit. 

Fruits

It is usually assumed that fruits help gain weight due to their sweetness and naturally occurring sugar. However, in reality, certain whole fruits support healthy weight management. In fact, this fact is supported by strong studies conducted on both men and women of various ages. 

The daily consumption of whole fruits is indirectly proportional to weight gain. This means that by consuming more and more whole fruits every day, you can curb your calorie intake and reduce your chances of long-term weight gain. 

Additionally, according to research, a diet rich in non-starchy fruits such as pears and apples may promote weight loss, helping you reach your fitness goals. They have low glycemic levels that prevent spikes in blood sugar to reduce your hunger. 

Whole fruits are also rich in vitamins A, C, and E, which are associated with promoting less abdominal fat. Besides, antioxidants in fruits, such as polyphenols, are also known to reduce fat gain. 

So, which fruits are a must-have in your diet? Other than apples and pears, avocado is a perfect pick for weight management. As per a study conducted in 2021, women consuming one whole avocado daily experience an incredible loss in visceral fat. 

Similarly, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, grapefruits, and kiwi are a few low-calorie fruits that deserve a place in your fruit basket. 

Vegetables

If you want to maintain a healthy eating lifestyle, eating plenty of vegetables every day is the best thing you can do for your body. Vegetables are low in calories but are rich in fiber and water. These properties help them reduce inflammation. 

There is a long list of vegetables that you can enjoy. For example, according to a study, Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables are linked to a weight loss of 0.68 pounds over four years. 

So, having these vegetables as a filling side dish may be your best bet. 

Other options include spinach, cauliflower, carrots, bell peppers, cabbage, and zucchini. These vegetables are low in calories, high in fiber, and amazingly rich in nutrients. 

Many people may suggest you exclude sweet potatoes from your diet. However, while they are high in carbohydrates, sweet potatoes contain carotenoids known to reduce weight gain and help maintain triglyceride levels in your body. 

For maximum health benefits, have the potatoes with their skin to consume a good amount of fiber. 

Meats

As one of the healthy foods, meat is a source of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and loads of proteins. Therefore, having this food in moderation with a portion of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is a perfect way to stay fit. 

If you are trying to lose some extra fat, pick lean meat any day. Options such as chicken breasts, pork, and lamb are popular lean meat types available for a healthy diet. In fact, a study shows that red lean meat without fat is linked with maintaining an optimal blood cholesterol level

Consumption of poultry meat with a vegetable-rich diet also does wonders for your body. Such meat is rich in vitamin B6, thiamin, niacin, iron, and magnesium, contributing to your overall well-being. 

In your pursuit of adding meat to your avoidance, remember a few things. Avoid processed meat at every cost. This option has a lot of saturated fats and salt. 

Additionally, follow the recommended meat serving size according to weight to reap your food’s maximum benefits. 

Calcium-Rich Foods

Calcium plays an incredible role in promoting several bodily functions, such as nerve performance and blood clotting. In addition, calcium helps increase the levels of thermogenesis in small amounts. This boosts metabolism, prompting the body to burn fat.

Unfortunately, 42% of Americans fail to meet the daily requirements of this nutrient, regardless of its benefits. If you don’t want to be among them, here is a list of calcium-rich food items to incorporate into your diet. 

  • Nonfat and low-fat yogurt are excellent sources of calcium. You can have a bowl with fruits or granola. In most cases, such yogurt can also substitute sour cream. 
  • One cup of low-fat cow’s milk provides 310 mg of calcium. However, if you are dairy intolerant, you can opt for plant-based milk options such as almond or soy milk. For maximum benefits, it is best to consume milk with fruits in the form of smoothies. 
  • Low-fat cheeses such as mozzarella cheese contain 74 mg of calcium in a one-ounce serving. You can also go for low-fat cottage or cheddar cheese to intake your daily healthy levels of calcium. 
  • Cooked leafy greens contain more calcium than their raw versions. A cup of raw turnip contains around 104 mg of calcium. However, its cooked version has 197. Mg of this nutrient. Similarly, cooked kale contains 177 mg of calcium. 
  • Every ounce of chia seeds has around 179 mg of calcium. They are one of the most nutrient-packed seeds you can mix with yogurt or milk. Chia seeds are incredibly fulfilling as well. 

Staying Hydrated

To maintain optimum weight, you must add a few healthy drinks to your diet as well. 

Water tops this list any day. As per a study, a healthy amount of water intake can increase your metabolism to support weight management. Besides, it helps you feel full. As a rule, you should drink an ounce or half of water for every pound you weigh. 

Protein shakes are also a great way to keep yourself hydrated. They also help in managing your portions by suppressing your appetite. 

You should swap juices with green tea any day. This beverage is healthy and can help reduce the secretion of the hunger hormone ghrelin at the same time. 

If you can’t live without coffee, enjoy the unsweetened or black version to facilitate your hydration and weight management

5 Tips For Healthy Eating

Are you up for incorporating foods for healthy eating in your life? If yes, know it won’t be easy in the first few days. You might feel overwhelmed and may think of dropping the idea. 

However, with a few tips in place, you may achieve your goals faster than you imagined. 

Plan Ahead

Curate a food plan for a week and follow it religiously. This way, you won’t waste time thinking about what to prepare every day. 

List down the calories you get with every meal, ensuring proper weight management. In addition, 

Monitor Your Progress

While you may hate stepping on the weighing machine, tracking your weight is one of the crucial things to do in this journey. You must monitor your progress at least once every week and make changes to your diet as required. 

Enjoy Filling Snacks

Good snacking is always healthy as it curbs your hunger. Use fruits and vegetables as snacks to keep yourself full at odd times. 

Avoid processed snacks at all costs! 

Avoid Crash Diets

Don’t get lured by the results of crash diets you see online. Such plans may help you lose weight instantly, but their long-term consequences are often harmful. 

Eat well and in portions to manage weight. That’s all you need to do! 

Keep Whole Foods at Home

Whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, beans, fish, and nuts are your life saviors. They are incredibly healthy, rich in nutrients, and so fulfilling. 

Make sure to stock them in your pantry every week. 

Takeaway

Your decision to live a healthy life while maintaining an optimum weight is the best gift you can give to your body today. Therefore, don’t detail and start incorporating healthy foods in your diet. 

Bid farewell to fad diets right away, and plan a healthy food meal plan using the options above to make your body thank you for your great move. 

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