If you want to lose weight, the basic concept is very simple: you need to burn more energy than you eat. If you need to lose a few kilos there are high chances that you haven’t done so before. This means that you must make a change regarding your lifestyle because it is usually the number one reason that has led to overweight in the first place. The rule of thumb is that without a healthy diet it is not possible to stay in the normal weight even if you exercised or were otherwise having an active lifestyle. You should eat healthy and nutritious meals in order to stay in good shape. There are so many diets and diet recommendations out there that it can be difficult to evaluate which ones are benefitting for well-being and weight loss. This can be frustrating and difficult for anyone overweight who is trying to lose weight.

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Miracle diets are just a myth

Some years ago, and partly still today, it seemed to be customary that every now and then there would be a miracle diet entering the market that promised to shape the body into unrealistic expectations. These slimming diets were successful but only for a few weeks or months because no one could consume plain cabbage soup or grapefruit for a longer period of time. Once there was even a candy diet with a goal to lose weight by only eating sweets and biscuits. Nutrition professionals are quite unanimous in their view that instead of quick miracle diets, the goal should be to take a holistic approach and make a permanent change in the diet that would lead to a healthier lifestyle and weight loss.

Small changes are important

As stated, if you want to lose weight successfully and permanently, it is not worth trying to jump into the latest miracle diet and try to make a huge change at once. Instead, you should start weight loss by thinking about your own diet and identifying the biggest weaknesses in your eating habits. When you identify one or two of the biggest problems in your diet, you should try to change these things in the right direction. With this more of a moderate method, kilos may drop slower, but it will work better long term. This way is certainly more comfortable when you do not have to try to starve yourself by not eating anything, or even worse, by restricting yourself to cabbage soup or grapefruit.

Healthy and nutritious diet

Instead of fast weight loss, you should strive for a diet that is not only healthy but one that is sustainable. This means that you do not have to starve yourself with not eating, but try to eat as nutritious food as possible without consuming excess calories. However, you don’t have to count every calorie you consume as long as you know and understand the basic principles of a healthy diet.

It is impossible to stay healthy and in good shape, if you only consume unhealthy junk food because then you won’t receive all the vital nutrients and contrary, receive more calories that won’t help in weight loss. In order to stay healthy and acquire a normal weight, you do not have to eat salads for the rest of your life. Unhealthy food can be indulged with occasionally, as long as the diet does not consist mostly of it.

More fruit, berries and veggies

One of the simplest and most frequently repeated healthy diets is to eat more vegetables, fruits and berries. This is due to their low energy density, which simply means that by eating them makes you feel full and satisfied without gaining an extra amount of calories. They can, therefore, be eaten without any worries of a further weight gain.

The current nutrition recommendation is to eat half a pound of vegetables, fruits and berries per day. Very few, however, is able to reach this goal. A study in the UK found that only one-third of people eat the recommended amount of vegetables per day. Increasing the consumption of vegetables, fruits and berries is the most effective means of lowering body mass and avoiding becoming overweight or obese and suffering from diseases that come with it. Read more about those here.

Carbohydrates from whole grain products

The information about unhealthy carbohydrates has started to emerge more and more, thanks to the low carb diet boom. This is partly a good thing as it has brought people’s awareness of the potential disadvantages of carbohydrates. However, in this case, too, it is not worth exaggerating, as people need carbohydrates for a balanced nutrition. However, it would be good to focus on whole grain products when eating carbohydrates.

Whole grain products have a few clear advantages to the fattening white ones. They dissolve slowly, which makes them good at maintaining blood glucose at the right level. They also contain a lot of vitamins and minerals. In addition, whole grains are more satisfying, so they keep hunger away for longer. Thus, people do not feel the need to eat so often, which of course results in lower calorie intake. This makes whole grain products an excellent part of the diet of some who’s trying to lose weight.

Steer away from sugary drinks

Various sugary drinks such as lemonades and juices are often extremely unhealthy. This is because when drinking the belly doesn’t get full nearly the same rate as opposed to eating. These sugary drinks are therefore easily drinkable in large quantities and thus, full of calories. One hundred milliliters of Coca-Cola has 42 kilocalories and 11 grams of sugar. Often considered healthy, some juices are not any healthier, for example, many apple juices have the same 42 kilocalories per hundred milliliters as Coca-Cola.

You should really be careful with drinks as many do not often even think about how many calories they can include. This does not always apply to sugary drinks. For example, light milk can contain 46 calories per 100 milliliters, which is more than in Coca-Cola. Even in fat free milk, the reading is 33 kilograms. Sugar can be found in both around five grams, fat-free even has slightly more than light milk.

Consistent meal times

Along with a healthy diet, another important weight management factor is having consistent meal times. This is because without regular and nutritionally adequate meals, the body can go so far as to save fat on the body. This is because, due to not eating enough, the body thinks that food is unavailable and that energy is being stored. In this state, the metabolism slows down and hence human energy consumption can drop by as much as 40 percent. With such a low energy consumption it is quite impossible to lose weight.

Another reason for the importance of regular meal times is that if meals are missed, many will easily eat too much during the next meal. Such anxiety leads to weight gain, recognizing that it has further gained weight. Often people hear overweight people say that they do not really eat too much and that often they even “forget to eat”. Despite this weight does not seem to drop. The reason for this is probably the lack of regular meals. To avoid this, experts recommend eating at least three meals a day. With a smaller number of meals, there is a great danger that people eat too much food at one go and gain weight because of it.

Energy in food

One important factor to consider when being on a diet is the energy levels of foods. This refers to the amount of energy in food (kilojoules or kilocalories) per 100 grams. The healthiest solution is to eat foods that have low energy because the foods that have high energy are the most fattening.

It is worth to remember that satisfaction comes from how much food has been consumed so how much food is in the stomach. That is, if the hunger is such that 100 grams of low energy food satisfy the stomach, the high energy food should also be eaten the same 100 grams before becoming satisfied. However, 100 grams of high energy food has much more calories. For this reason, much more calories will be required to keep hunger away.

No one is surprised to find out that an excellent example of low energy foods are vegetables, fruits and berries. The energy in veggies is often about 10-30 kilocalories per 100 grams. The figure for fruits and berries is usually about 40-50. On the other end of the scale are traditional unhealthy foods. The energy level of snacks is often over 200, sweets over 400 and potato chips up to more than 500. Weightless food energy density is about 120-150 kcal/100 grams. So if you eat on an average amount of calories, the weight should remain the same.

Concrete goals and major changes

If you’re planning to lose weight, it is thus, important to change your diet in order to succeed in your weight loss goals. These lifestyle changes are better achieved if they are tangible and easy to follow. Instead of thinking vaguely about eating more vegetables, it is better to decide to eat two carrots and an apple a day. This way success in easier to achieve.

Another factor you should take into account when setting goals is that dietary changes must be meaningful. Often, it may be difficult to figure out where these relevant changes should come from. Many begin to lose weight by cutting off all their delicacies until they eventually give in and gain back the lost weight.

However, not eating any delicacies is not necessarily the best way to do it. Assuming a person drinks two cups of light milk every day and eats one bag of lollies every week, many assume that leaving a bag of candies is clearly the best way to lose weight. However, if the person exchanges light milk to skimmed milk, the saving will be practically the same, slightly less than 1 600 kcal per month. Most people, however, are likely to think that switching light milk to skimmed is a more convenient way to change their diet than to completely sweep sweets.

How to keep the extra kilos away?

Then what happens after the extra weight have been lost? How to make sure they do not come back? There are a couple of researched ways that can tackle this. In the United States, a study was conducted to examine people who had lost over ten pounds and then managed to keep it off. These people identified four common factors. The first one is having a regular breakfast. The secret of breakfast is that it leads to more control over the whole day, the sizes remain adequate and will not be the source of weight gain.

The other factors were low-fat food, excessive exercise and regular self-weighing. While many experts point out that a dieter should not be a slave to the scale and stress every hundred grams up to excess, it looks like a regular visit to the scale will help keep the kilos away. This is due to the fact that when a person follows his or her own current situation, the slips are immediately noticeable and it is possible to intervene on time. However, short-term changes aren’t worth stressing about.

Another tip to keep the kilos away is having small meals. Studies have been carried out in which people have been given different sizes of meals and were asked to eat until they felt satisfied. It was found that people ate more from the big plate. For this reason, it is good to keep the meal sizes small.