We often make the decision to go on a weight-loss diet while in a bad mood. Disappointment with ourselves, anger, insecurities, maybe someone’s rude remark – those are the impulses to start dieting. Can such beginning promise success?
It is certainly easier to count calories when having a positive attitude towards the diet, as well as knowledge that will help you avoid the basic nutritional mistakes.
Before we start dieting, we need to understand that there is no one simple way to lose weight, or a dieting trick that will cause magical 5 kilo to disappear just like that.
Weigh loss is a multi-aspect process that doesn’t just occur in our sides and stomachs, but also in heads and habits.
What could help us go thought it effectively and painlessly?
Changing the attitude towards dieting
We’re all on a diet, which absolutely doesn’t mean we’re all losing weight. A diet is the way we eat at a particular moment. It might be balanced, poor, muscle-mass-building, preventive, or for a weight-loss.
Plenty of us are also on a junk diet – eating instant food, processed to the point where you only have to wet it, heat it or stir it, and that’s it. Junk food doesn’t provide a sufficient amount of nutrients, while being rich in unhealthy fats, sugar, leavening agents and artificial flavors and aromas the names of which are hard to remember.
On the other hand, we have a numerous number of restrictive diets based on a few or a dozen products that not only don’t provide enough vitamins and minerals, but also calories. To lose weight, it is better to avoid not only junk diets but also the restrictive ones.
The magic of habits
Being overweight and obese tend to be problems of genetic nature, they might have to do with an illness or the medicines taken, but in most cases the “magic 5 kilo” comes from bad eating habits.
These are mostly: not enough fruits and vegetables in the daily diet, snacking on candy, eating at irregular intervals, small breakfasts and huge suppers, preferring sweetened drinks to natural water.
Changing the habits is another basic step, right after changing the attitude towards dieting, that impacts the success of weight loss.
That’s why we should focus on eating regular meals, cooking our own food or cutting down on snacks. A diet can also be supported by:
- drinking a lot of water
- cooking and baking instead of frying your food
- drinking coffee and tea without extra sugar
- quitting instant products
- limiting the use of salt in favor of other spices and herbs
- limiting animal fats in favor of vegetable ons
- steering clear of canned food, pates and cold-cuts
- reading product labels
What do I need a dietitian for?
That’s a question you could ask yourself with your nose high in the air and just ditch the idea of visiting a dietitian office right away. After all, weight loss is not a tooth extraction or treating sinus infection for us to require a specialist.
On the other hand, we could seriously think about what a dietitian could help us with.
That’s right, what?
A dietitian can help us realize how our food choices impact our metabolism and changes to our weight, prepare an individual (which means the most effective) food plan for us, eliminate the elements of our diet that are bad for us, as well as take a look at the composition of our body with adequate tests.
On top of that, to some people a dietitian’s supervision is a valuable source of sticking to your diet resolutions. A dietitian and a personal coach could shake each other’s hands. It is also not uncommon for sports coach to specialize in preparing food plans for their pupils.
If we intend to mostly lose wight through working out, consulting such specialist is something to consider.
What about supplements?
Supplements can help us lose weight, but only if we treat them as an additional support in this process.
The power of supplements is not strong enough for one or even a few of selected preparations to take care of it all. In other words, a weight loss tea won’t do a thing if we drink it with a chocolate brownie.
Reasonably selected supplements, however, can help clean the body from toxins, block craving for candy or remove excess water from the body, which often adds a few extra kilograms.
Eating on a weight-loss diet
We’re slowly getting to the point. A weight-loss diet is first and foremost food – healthy, balanced and carefully thought-through in terms of our goals. Everyone who wants to lose weight has to quit certain products but it doesn’t actually mean torturing yourself with food without a gram of fat or a note of sweetness.
Life without sugar doesn’t have to be bitter
It’s hard to find someone these days who would insist that sugar is the best source of energy. Our society is aware enough about nutrition at this point that almost everyone knows the harmful properties of sugar.
And even though having a candy bar or a chocolate indeed gives us an energy boost, there are several pretty strong arguments in favor of replacing them with something like a glass of oil…
Sugar is harmful, as it is made of the simplest carbohydrates that can exist in nature. It gets absorbed into the bloodstream very fast, giving a lot of energy that then suddenly drops. It makes us feel a sudden urge to have another serving of sugar.
Such energetic mood swing, in turn, causes fluctuations of the insulin level in blood and leads to development of diabetes, as well as obesity. That’s why, if we want to lose weight, we need to drastically limit the traditional white sugar. It will improve our state of mind and we won’t be so nervous anymore. After some time, we won’t crave sugar anymore.
Don’t give up on the sweet flavor altogether. Replace regular sugar with xylitol, erythritol or maple syrup. Eat fruits. Get your calories from complex carbohydrates that release energy slowly over a long time, not causing pangs of hunger and nervousness.
You will find them in whole grains and vegetables.
Kilograms versus fiber
Fiber is among complex carbohydrates, but it also has unique properties.
First of all, it doesn’t have any calories.
Secondly, it swells inside stomach and fills it up, causing you to feel full. Fiber also serves one unique function, though, which causes it to be an absolutely desired ingredient of every diet. To be exact, fiber slows down absorption of sugars.
The right amount of fiber in diet protects us from sudden drops of energy, limits craving for sweets and regulates functioning of pancreas, preventing insulin resistance and development of type 2 diabetes. Fiber is the basis of weight loss.
You can eat it as an addition to food (vital fiber, bran) or choose products that are particularly full of it – whole grains, legumes, whole fruits, nuts.
Good fat – what is it and where?
We don’t need to be familiar with dietetics to know that fats constitute a desirable element of diets. You always hear those praises in media, after all, about the properties of olive oil, cod liver oil and vegetable oils and butters.
The doubts may arise when fat is something we want to get rid of. Why would we want to provide ourselves with it? It turns out that fat regulates hormonal balance, makes it possible to absorb vitamins, improves functioning of brain, regulates immunity, forms basis of healthy looking skin.
By quitting fats, we ruin our health, as well as the results of dieting. Healthy fats, such as those in fish and omega-3 vegetable oils improve the feeling of being full after meals and stop adipose tissue from accumulating inside body.
Those are properties of fats present in fresh nuts, oily fish, avocado and in cold-pressed, unrefined oils.
Fruit & veggie smoothies
If any nutritional program lacks fruits and veggies, we can tell that something’s wrong with it. Both groups of products make a great source of fiber, as well as vitamins, mineral components and antioxidants.
Fruits can sate our craving for sweets in a healthy way. In recent days, fit diets are dominated by fruit & veggie smoothies with all different properties – energizing, cleansing or nurturing.
Smoothies can help lose weight, but in such case they should be treated as separate meals (i.e. instead of lunch or supper, not on top of them) and with carefully selected ingredients. Let’s not forget that certain vegetables and fruits have a high glycemic index, which causes the sugars in them to be absorbed faster.
They include bananas, watermelons, grapes, pumpkins, fava beans or canned corn (although the last one doesn’t taste very good in smoothies).
On a plate and in a box, or what about those calories?
To count them or not? That is the question.
They used to recommend to restrictively cut down on calories, but for some time now there have been voices that it’s not about the number of calories but their quality.
Meanwhile, from the physical point of view, calories are calories. Eating empty calories may not be advised, but consuming a caloric excess in nuts or coconut oil won’t help us lose weight. If we want to lose weight, we should eat less calories than our body needs, so that it could utilize the fat reserves. Of course it should all be within reason.
Lowering the caloric value of meals can be supported with diet catering (the so-called box diet) or making your own meals. In the latter we should remember that half of the plate should be vegetables! That way the dinner or supper will be healthier and less caloric.
Weight loss through fat burning
It might seem now that weight loss is all about changing the diet. However, we can’t diminish the role of physical activity in this process, as it is significant. For one thing, physical activity blocks appetite.
More than anything, however, being active makes metabolism faster and constitutes the most effective way to burn adipose tissue. The record number of calories can be burned by such sports as running, swimming or spinning. It mostly arises from the type of exertion that is most prevalent in them.
Fat reduction occurs the fastest during aerobic and interval training, which although not easy, it leaves the body in a state of fat burning for as long as 48 hours. And let’s be honest, by lying on the couch and eating bran we won’t get a slim body.
As we can see, weight loss is not just a whim by those who dream of a perfect body. It’s a rational process that helps us restore and maintain our health and physical prowess.
A weight-loss diet should seamlessly transition into a balanced diet that takes the positive habits develop through weight loss into account.