Enter youCutting calories when trying to reduce weight may be tempting, but doing so might be harmful to your health. In fact, studies show that eating less than 1,000 calories per day frequently falls short of giving your body the balanced nourishment it requires and can result in vitamin and mineral shortages linked to major health problems.
Furthermore, when you consume much less calories than you require, your body starts using its own muscle and organ tissues as fuel. Also, your metabolic rate will be slower the less lean tissue mass you have, which is not good for weight loss.
So, focusing on feeding your body better meals is a more effective weight loss method than controlling your caloric consumption, advises Jamie Feit, a registered dietitian nutritionist and the creator of Jamie Feit Nutrition in White Plains, New York. According to experts, the following foods can help you stick to a healthy and long-term weight loss plan.
The Role Food Plays in Weight Loss
According to Matthew Olesiak, M.D., chief medical director of Bellevue, Washington-based SANESolution, weight regulation is mostly a hormonal reaction to specific foods. Hormones, according to him, "convey signals to the brain that affect our appetites, hunger, and body weight." The impact of various foods on your hunger hormones is as follows:
Protein makes you feel full fast and for a very long period. According to Dr. Olesiak, it also lessens ghrelin's post-meal releases, which lessens sensations of hunger.
He adds that the digestion of protein requires more energy and that lean muscular mass improves metabolism.
According to Dr. Olesiak, dietary fiber slows down digestion and promotes a gradual rise in blood glucose levels, which delays the release of the hormone insulin, which promotes fat storage.
"Many satiety hormones (including ghrelin) are released when fiber passes through the digestive tract, delivering signals to the brain to lower hunger and regulate food intake," he claims.
As a result, you'll feel satisfied for a longer period of time, which can help you avoid overeating and lower your caloric intake overall, according to Kara Landau, a registered dietitian, gut health specialist, and founder of the Brooklyn-based snack company Uplift Food. She continues, "Prebiotic soluble fiber also feeds the good bacteria in your large intestine, which enhances gut health.
Dr. Olesiak claims that because ultra-processed foods are deficient in minerals and fiber, they digest more quickly. Because of this, eating them (such as potato chips, candy bars, and toaster pastries) results in a considerable release of insulin, which in turn promotes a quick spike in blood glucose levels. The majority of those calories go to your fat cells because insulin has to quickly remove glucose from your bloodstream, he says.
"Ideally, you'll use some of these saved calories the following time you're in need of fuel. But if you consume a continuous diet of highly processed foods, you'll always add to your fat reserves rather than remove any of them, claims Dr. Olesiak.
How To Lose Weight Safely and Sustainably
According to Dr. Olesiak, severely limiting calories is not required and is really not advised. The healthiest and most long-lasting method of weight loss is to consume full, unprocessed, high-quality foods. He claims that "these foods naturally reduce your appetite, raise your metabolism, and encourage fat burning."
Feit advises to watch portion sizes and avoid as many processed, fried, and refined foods as you can. Using the plate technique, she advises, in which half of your plate is made up of fruits and vegetables, a quarter of lean protein, and a quarter of fiber-rich carbohydrates.
Accounting to Landau, eating a variety of unprocessed, clean meals can also help your gut health. She continues, "Good gut health is not only linked to a stronger insulin response (which reduces fat stored around the midsection), but it can also help decrease inflammation and improve immunity, which will have you feeling better physically and mentally so you can stay on track to achieve your weight loss goals.
3 Weight Loss-Friendly Foods,
Lean protein sources like chicken, turkey and grass-fed lean beef help keep you full, decrease cravings and stabilize blood sugar, says Feit.The same advantages apply to plant-based proteins such as legumes, beans, and lentils. They are also high in fiber, which encourages satiety.
According to Feit, all types of vegetables can aid in weight loss. For instance, cruciferous vegetables, which are strong in fiber and vitamins and can aid with digestive problems, include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. However, dark green leafy vegetables are a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals as well as protein. Furthermore, jicama and other crunchy veggies are excellent low-calorie snack options.
3. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds have different health benefits, says Feit. All nuts are filling sources of fiber, protein, and beneficial fats that also aid in satiety. In the meanwhile, seeds are a fantastic source of healthful fat and minerals. Watch what you eat here as well. A quarter cup of nuts and seeds constitutes one serving.