Nutrition and Weight Loss


 

Vitamin and Fitness diet, green grass

 

Weight Loss Series Part 1: Calorie Reduction

Apple and measuring tapePerhaps the greatest concern in regard to achieving a fitness goal among the general population is in regard to losing weight. The traditions of our culture combined with availability of high calorie food make it easy to gain unwanted weight. I have never struggled with this in spite of having a slow metabolism and a low thyroid level. Many people make comments about me that lead me to believe that they assume that I can’t help but have slender build, and think that I am the way that I am naturally.  Wrong.

The truth is that I do have be intentional about my lifestyle in order to remain slender.  Nonetheless, I don’t consider my lifestyle a difficult lifestyle. I simply apply a combination of practices that make it fairly easy to remain slim. I would like to share some of the practices that will help you lose weight or maintain a healthy body weight. The first strategy that I am going to share seems to be a no brainer, because the first strategy is to control your calorie intake. But I will give you some tips for how to do this without suffering greatly because if you are like me, it’s no fun to be hungry and barely eat for extended periods of time. I also want to point out that everyone is different.  One person may find it easier to keep eating the same foods, but just eat less of the foods they always eat in order to lose weight. Another person may find it much easier to switch to other foods that allow them to eat a more satisfying amount while losing weight.  Some people would gladly give up high caloric drinks in order to eat a decent amount, while others would rather sacrifice the amount of food they eat in order to keep drinking something they enjoy. Some people would rather combine diet with exercise in order to keep from having to reduce so many calories, while others would rather lose weight through diet without any planned exercise. Not everyone needs to follow every weight loss strategy in order to lose weight, but everyone will need to follow at least one strategy.  Those who choose to follow them all will find that weight loss will comes easier. In this article, I will discuss calorie reduction as a weight loss strategy.   This will be followed by articles that address controlling blood sugar level, controlling protein and carb intake, nutrient timing, and exercise strategies to help lose or maintain weight.

Ways to Reduce Calories

Eat Less
The simplest way to reduce calories is simply to consistently eat less.  Perhaps you don’t want to change what you eat and you would rather just eat less of it than to eat all kinds of crazy health foods. If you want to keep eating the same foods, but just eat less of the food you are already eating, you will probably need to count calories. Some people who are organized, systematic and analytical, or mathematical, may not mind counting calories.  If you are a person who likes to count calories, look at the food labels for the foods you are eating, or go online and find out how many calories are in each serving of the food you are eating. Most people are going to have to eat less than 2,000 calories per day in order to lose weight.  Some may need to be near 1,000 calories per day in order to lose weight. If you hate counting calories, there are other ways to reduce calories.

Avoid drinks that contain calories
If you are a person who often drinks, juice, milk, soda, coffee with sugar and cream, or any drink that contains substantial calories, it is possible that you can greatly reduce your calories just by cutting out these drinks, and just drinking water or other drinks that don’t have calories.

Avoid foods that are high in fat. 
Fat is higher in calories than protein or carbohydrates. If your current diet is high in fat, you may be able to substantially decrease the amount of calories that you eat and still feel like you are eating sufficiently by going low fat. This means that if you eat meat, it needs to be lean cuts of meat, and any dairy products that are eaten need to consist of variety that is either low fat, reduced fat, or skim. It also means to avoid eating nuts, avocadoes, egg yokes, butter, cooking oil and things that are fried. Watch out for chips, crackers, various cookies, and cakes that may be high in fat. Check nutrition labels for the fat content and be aware of fat calories that are easy to overlook such as spreads, sauces and dressings. Make sure if you partake of these things they are low fat varieties.

Avoid products high in sugar, syrups and honey
Our culture loves sweet food.  Unfortunately, sweet foods are usually high in sugar or some form of sugar.  A little sugar has a lot of calories.  If you can get by without sweet food and avoid sugar, you can often reduce your calories by a significant amount and still feel as though you are eating a substantial amount of food.  Candy bars, syrups, soda drinks, cake, pie, ice cream, and almost any dessert, are obvious culprits for being high in sugar and calories.  Other foods are not as obvious in regard to the amount of sugar they have.  Be careful about the cereal you eat as some are very high in sugar. Canned foods, sauces and sandwich spreads often have sugar added.  Some health food bars are quite high in sugar, or contain some form of syrup or sweetener that is high in calories.  Flavored yoghurt is often high in sugar calories.  You have to be careful when it comes to sugar because it is often added to foods that you may not be aware of even though you are trying to eat healthy foods.  Consider using low calorie sugar substitutes if you want your food to be sweetened.

If you choose to reduce calories by eating the same foods that you have always eaten and just eating less of it, you are likely to feel hungry.  On the other hand, if you reduce calories by avoiding high calorie drinks, fats, and sugars, it may be that you will end up eating what feels like a substantial amount of food while actually taking in a smaller amount of calories.  In this case, you may find that you can lose weight without becoming severely hungry.  In future articles, I will be discussing other strategies for losing weight. If you don’t like the idea of reducing calories, it is possible that one of the other strategies is for you. God bless.

 Continue to Weigtht Loss Strategy #2: Control Your Blood Sugar and Insulin Level

 

                                                                               

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