Are there certain foods to aid weight loss?
As much as we wish for a “magic pill” food that could guarantee losing “5 pounds in a week,” there is no one specific “magic” food that will cause quick weight loss. Marketing claims and hype around foods such as grapefruit, pineapple, cayenne pepper, green tea, no carbs, no fat…the list goes on and on, continues to give dieters false hope. As a Nutritionist, I have seen it all with new fad diets over the years and clients so desperately wanting to try these quick weight loss promises. Foods and diets that promise to solve all of your weight problems in a short amount of time, most always lead to very short term (water) weight loss with rebound weight gain, frustration and money lost on these so-called magic pills.
People want to lose weight and keep it off. Here are some healthy hints to help you choose wisely for long-term weight loss:
1. Include fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. These foods offer great nutrition with fewer calories and the extra fiber in these foods will help to fill you up!
2. Stay active. Everyday you should aim for at least 30 minutes of movement. Take a walk, swim, bike ride or hit the gym…find something you enjoy and keep moving.
3. Dine at home. This is such a challenge these days with so many options for purchasing food to-go but one of the best ways to control your weight is to prepare your own meals at home. You will know exactly what is going into your food and can avoid the extra salt, fat, portion-size and sugar of convenience foods. Plus, shopping, preparing and clean up all count as activity with more calories burned at the end of the day!
4. Stock your healthy kitchen. Having healthy, easy to cook foods and spices on hand will make all of the difference when you are too tired to cook but want something fast. Canned beans, pre-washed greens, quick brown rice, frozen veggies/fruit, oatmeal, whole wheat tortillas can save you time and money.
5. Eat a healthy breakfast daily. Beginning your day with a whole grain, fiber rich breakfast will keep you satisfied and energized all morning. Try some oatmeal topped with fresh fruit and a handful of nuts for a yummy start to your day.
6. Eat frequent, small meals throughout the day. The key here is to have healthy foods that you enjoy eating with you or readily available. No matter how good your intentions to eat healthfully, once you are hungry all of those intentions go out the window because you are starving. Prevent the “starve-stuff” cycle by eating 5-6 small meals/snacks throughout the day keeping your energy up to fuel your daily activity.
Kim Juarez, M.S.