Healthy Weight Loss
Healthy weight loss begins with understanding food and the role it plays in maintaining your body at a healthy weight.
For people who are looking for healthy weight loss it is important to identify the foods you can’t or shouldn’t cut out of your diet.
All food affects our bodies in different ways and some are necessary for our bodies to function properly.
Most people tend to cut out all the foods they know are bad for them but fail to replace this food with enough good quality food. The problem most people face when attempting
healthy weight loss is they don’t eat enough.
In order to have a healthy body, it's not enough to just be the right weight or to go on a diet and lose weight.
Although not carrying excess pounds will alleviate stress on the organs and muscles, you also need to maintain a balanced diet so that your body receives all the nutrients
it needs in order to function to its best standard.
Never, ever cut out a whole food group, no matter how much weight you need to lose.
What is Healthy Weight Loss?
Healthy weight loss is sustaining a steady weight loss of two pounds every week without depriving your body of any of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals it needs to remain healthy.
Losing weight by starvation diets will damage your health and as soon as you go back to eating normally you will put back on all of the weight you have worked so hard to lose.
This situation is commonly seen in people with yo-yo weight problems.
Healthy Weight Loss and a Balanced Diet
The best way to healthy weight loss is to become familiar with the food pyramid. Maintaining a balanced diet throughout your weight loss is essential and the easiest way to achieve this is to think of your complete diet as a pyramid (or triangle) shape.
See picture below.
Click on the food pyramid to see a larger image.
For healthy weight loss use the recommended servings on a sliding scale.
For example, the largest food group at the base of the food pyramid is bread, cereals, rice and pasta and the recommendation is between 6-11 servings. If you want healthy weight loss then you must not cut out this group completely, use the lower suggested amount of servings in this case 6. Replace white bread with wholemeal bread and remember one slice of bread equals one serving. Therefore to make a sandwich you would use 2 slices of wholemeal bread which equals 2 of your 6 servings.
Also remember that anything white such as bread, rice, flour has been milled to the point where everything of any nutritious value has been removed so always opt for brown, whole or unrefined.
Healthy Weight Loss and the Food Pyramid
The bottom section of the pyramid is where you find your basic fillers - bread, pasta, potatoes, rice etc. These are usually rich in carbohydrates and make up much of the body's energy source. However, they are also have a high calorie value and shouldn't be overused.
Instead of eating white bread or pasta, consider switching to a high or full fiber alternative so that you are getting more health value from the food product. One slice of bread is the equivalent of one serving in this category, as is half a cup of rice, pasta or cereal.
For optimum healthy weight loss you should aim for between 6 and 11 servings of this part of the food pyramid daily and greater weight loss will be achieved the further you lower the scale towards 6 but do not cut this group out completely. 6 Servings is the absolute minimum you should be eating from this group.
Fruit and vegetables are vital for healthy weight loss and contain many essential nutrients for a healthy body, these make up the next band on the food pyramid.
You should aim for 3-4 servings of each per day; however I would recommend 5 servings for healthy weight loss. But remember that some fruits and vegetables contain more nutritional value than others - for example blueberries are thought to be especially good for many functions in the body and research is showing that they may even have an impact on the memory.
From early childhood we are encouraged to eat our greens - this is because leafy greens contain many vitamins that can help keep us day-to-day healthy by boosting our immunity to germs.
One serving is equivalent to one medium sized fruit (or half a cup of chopped fruit/berries), or half a cup of cooked/raw vegetables.
The next important band on the pyramid is the protein band. This group is especially important if you are over 50. This is where you find the dairy and meat items that make up the remaining main part of our healthy daily diet. The most important thing to remember here is that although proteins are extremely important, they are also often high in fats and for this reason must be controlled especially in a healthy weight loss situation.
Fish is also a good quality source of protein and unlike meat it does not contain fat. Oily fish, in particular, contains the healthy omega 3 and 6 oils that are so essential in maintaining healthy mobile joints. Eating fish two or three times a week will give you all the benefits of the protein group without the harmful fats.
People with a cholesterol problem will need to be especially careful with this food group. Where possible, find low fat or fat free alternatives. The group is vital to good health however and should not be completely excluded from your healthy weight loss program for any reason.
The recommended intake is 2-3 servings of both meat/poultry/fish and dairy components of the protein group. One serving equates to 2-3 ounces of lean cooked meat/poultry/fish or 1 cup of milk/yoghurt, 1.5-2 ounces of cheese.
The top of the pyramid is concerned with fats and oils. There is no recommended intake on these. A healthy body needs a certain amount of them, but they must be used sparingly in small limited amounts.
Just remember that fats that are solid at room temperature for example animal fats found on meat are unhealthy fats and where possible you should cut these down to a bare minimum.
Taking fat binders
may also help. Proactol
weight loss pills are high quality natural fat binders and can take up
to 28% of the dietary fat out of your diet for you.
Healthy Weight Loss Benefits
The benefits of healthy weight loss come with slow, controlled weight loss over a reasonable time scale. Following a healthy diet can reduce your risk of developing certain health issues as you get older. It can also help control some health complications that you already have, such as diabetes, and can reduce the need for medication in some instances.
Salt and sugar should also be cut down to a minimum; you should be getting all the salt and sugar your body needs to function properly from natural sources by eating a balanced diet. There should be no need to add more.
Eat right, and you are giving your body the best chance to give you a great quality of life for as long as possible and you will well on your way to healthy weight loss.
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Healthy Weight Loss Resources
The Food Standards Agency government site
Eat well, be well has free information on a healthy diet, with guidelines for making healthier choices.
You can find out more about Nutrition essentials, The eat well plate, Fats, sugars, salt, Food myths debunked, Vegetarians and vegan as well as healthy Recipes you can make yourself.
For more information visit: http://www.eatwell.gov.uk/healthydiet/eighttipssection/8tips/
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