A common misconception about dieting and weight loss is that the only thing that matters is calories. While it’s true that eating fewer calories than you burn is a huge factor in any weight loss plan, the fact is what you eat affects your results just as much as how much you eat. Choosing your meals and snacks wisely is always important, but you need to pay particularly close attention to your intake when trying to reach a fitness goal like losing weight.
Breakfast Foods That Will Help You Lose Weight
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We’ve all heard this! Eating breakfast is crucial no matter what your health and fitness goals are, but especially when you’re trying to lose weight. Now, this doesn’t mean you can just grab any old thing to scarf down in the morning. What you eat for breakfast can make a world of difference in your weight loss efforts.
What makes up a good breakfast? First of all, include complex carbohydrates that will digest slowly and plenty of fiber to keep you full, energized and satisfied until your next meal. Also, include protein for sustained energy. A few breakfast options that have you covered are oatmeal with milk and fruit, whole grain toast with peanut butter, or even a fruit and yogurt smoothie with ground flax seed for added fiber.
Embrace the New Food Pyramid
I grew up being taught that grains like wheat, oats and corn should make up the foundation of our diet. However, more recent findings suggest that a healthier diet isbased on fresh vegetables and fruits, with whole grains being used more sparingly. Grains still have a part in a healthy diet, but they should be used sparingly and whole grain is always best. Here’s the healthier way to go: when you fill your plate at meal times, aim for covering half your plate with vegetables and fruit, a quarter with protein and the last quarter with healthy grains like brown rice or whole grain pasta.
Low Fat Isn’t Necessarily Better
When you see the words “Low-Fat” or “Fat-Free” on a food label, you might reasonably think that it’s a good choice to aid in your weight loss. Unfortunately, many low-fat options of common foods are formulated with synthetic chemicals that our bodies don’t really understand how to process. Also, they aren’t always necessarily less calories! The taste is often made up with added sugar, which won’t do your waistline any favors.
Make Dinner Your Smallest Meal
Somewhere along the line, our culture decided that dinner should be the “feast” of the day. It makes sense practically – it’s the meal that many families get to eat together most often. It’s also the meal that most people have more time to prepare. However, eating a larger breakfast and lunch during the day when we are more active makes more sense from a nutritional standpoint. “Breakfast like a King, lunch like a Queen, dinner like a pauper,” is one old dieting adage that’s not too far off. Ideally, we’d all eat 5 or 6 smalle rmeals or snacks a day, while consuming the most calories in the earlier meals.
Don’t overlook what you eat when it comes to losing weight! You can be working out on the best elliptical machine every single day, but if you’re eating junk all the time, you simply will not meet your weight loss goals. Clean up your waist line and see what adifference it makes for you!
Tracy Martin is a freelance health writer and is devotedly passionate about healthy, natural living, fitness and nutrition. She loves yoga and dance, and also stays fit by chasing her three little kids around, hiking with her husband, and training on elliptical trainers which on the rare occasion she can actually sneak away to the gym. This article was written by a guest author. Would you like to write for us?