Eat a diet rich in nutrient dense, real, whole foods. Avoid processed foods that are filled with chemicals and stick to foods that will allow your body to metabolize fat. Sure, it's important to be calorie conscious, but even more important is to be aware of what nutrition each food offers. For example, you can drink 160 calories of a soft drink or you could eat 160 calories of almonds. Obviously the latter offers more nutrition and promotes metabolism whereas the soft drink is automatically turned into fat (Despite the fact that it has the same amount of calories as the almonds). Don't be fooled by the latest diet fad or diets that offer magic results. The only way to lose weight and get healthy is to eat a variety of real foods and to exercise. If you want to learn more about a balanced diet, click here.
Unfortunately for many, there is no such thing as quick weight-loss when we are looking at long-term, sustainable results. Any diet plan that promises quick weight loss is after only one thing, your money. You may get the fast weight loss you want, but fast weight gain is also inevitable. Such diets are often nutritionally deficient and can cause health problems if followed for too long (more details about this here). Therefore, these diets are not meant for real weight loss that lasts. There is no magic pill. The only 100% effective way to lose weight is through eating a balanced diet and working out.
People often confuse these two terms even though they refer to rather different things. The word 'fat-free' means that the food contains very little fat. However, added sugar and additives replace the fat in order to make up for lack of taste. The term 'low calorie' simply means that a particular food is low in calories. This doesn't mean that there aren't hidden dangers in it. Don't be fooled by big promises on your food label. These terms are meant to entice you to buy instead of offer any real nutrition. If you really want to know what you are eating, eat real, whole foods that can be locally sourced. In general, if something is in a box and has more than 3 ingredients, take it as a warning to stay away from it! For more details about how to read labels, click here.
It goes without saying that fresh unprocessed fruits and berries are the healthiest; they contain a higher amount of vitamins, micronutrients and fibre. If a fruit is out of season, however,frozen fruits are your next best choice. The deep freeze process that they go through helps to preserve nutrients. On the other hand, preservation is another story. Large amounts of sugar and preserving agents are added and nutrients are not retained. You can read more about how to eat your fruits and vegetables here
In order to maintain optimal blood sugar levels, one should eat every 3-4 hours. This typically breaks the day up into five meal times a day: breakfast, lunch, dinner and two in-between snacks. The first snack should be between breakfast and lunch (from 10 until 11 a.m.), while the second should be between lunch and dinner (between 3 and 4 p.m.). Mix a high fiber carbohydrate with some protein. Choose foods like an apple with a few almonds or an organic yogurt with a bannana. Avoid foods with a lot of sugar and processed foods in general. Only eat an evening snack before bed if you are genuinely hungry. If not, it really isn't necessary to snack before bedtime.
Research has been divided as to whether or not coffee has beneficial or harmful effects. Since this is the case, coffee consumption should be balanced and not abused. If consumed excessively, coffee can cause tachycardia, arrhythmia, anxiety and also cause malfunctioning of the gastro-intestinal tract. There is some research, however, that shows that a high quality cup of coffee has a number of beneficial qualities. The caffeine found in coffee, stimulates brain function and improves attention span and mood. If you do not exceed 2 cups per day and you do not have any of the above symptoms, then there is no need to exclude coffee from your diet. You can read more about coffee here.
The Glycemic Index is a marker that reflects the rate at which sugar enters the blood during the digestion process. The higher the value is, the quicker and higher sugar levels rise after the consumption of a certain food. The sugar level then sharply falls often becoming lower than it was originally (for more details about this read here). This leads to strong hunger pangs and it causes a disruption in the synthesis of insulin ( in the long run this can lead to diabetes and other illnesses).
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It helps to decrease stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline which are at their highest in the morning. It also regulates appetite throughout the rest of the day. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast snack less in the afternoon. It is important to eat breakfast within one hour of waking up in order to get your metabolism going. If you are not used to this, eat something small like a banana or an apple and have your breakfast a little later on. If you can't manage to eat breakfast at home, take food with you to work. In terms of what to eat, slow-release carbohydrates like quinoa, buckwheat, or oats should be mixed with proteins like eggs, yogurt, or cottage cheese and fruit.