Balanced and healthy eating is essential for everyone. I don’t endorse any of the strict, restrictive approaches. The word “diet” or the expression “cheat meal” usually end up in weight loss failure and frustration. However, try to fuel yourself with real food as often as possible. Food that will make you feel good and give your body all the nutrients it needs to function properly. But eating isn’t only supplying yourself, eating is also a pleasure. If you keep thinking about the square of chocolate you can’t eat because you want to loose weight, there’s a good chance you will get obsessed and suddenly jump on the whole bar and eat it all. So I would advise you to eat a square of black chocolate and enjoy it (1 square, not 4)!
If weight loss is your goal, then you need to be aware of your caloric intake. Weight loss comes down to a very simple equation: calories in versus calories out. In other words, if you eat more calories than you burn up, you’ll gain fat and weight. If you burn more calories than you eat, you’ll lose fat and weight. I’m not a big fan of counting calories and obsessing over how many grams of a particular nutrient I should eat. It’s is a lot of work, it adds stress and doesn’t make cooking or eating any fun or enjoyable! Also, be aware that calories are only half the battle because NOT all calories are created equal. Example: a donut and an avocado have about the same amount of calories, but to your body, the difference is dramatic!
Don’t forget, eating healthy doesn’t mean eating tasteless food. You will be amazed by how addictive healthy food can be! Besides, as a wonderful side effect, it also will lower your risk for health issues. Soon you’ll be craving healthy foods!
To help you make good decision in your food choice, I advocate following a few simple guidelines:
· Eat 3 simple and balance meals a day
· Eat 2 small snacks between meals, such as raw vegetables, fruits or nuts. These snacks should be 100 to 200 calories
· Control portion sizes
· Emphasize :
- organic vegetables and legumes: broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes, lentils…
- organic fruits: banana, apple, pear, berries
- nuts: almonds, walnuts…
- grains: rice, quinoa, oats, muesli
- low fat dairy products: milk, yoghurt, cheese, non-diary alternatives
· Include lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs and alternatives.]
· Try to:
- Limit saturated and transfats, sodium and added sugar.
- Avoid processed and refined food.
- Cut out alcohol, soda, sweetened beverages and other high calorie, sugary drinks
· Try to eat slowly when you’re hungry, stop when you’re 80% full.
Also, don’t forget to ENJOY your food!
100 – 200 calorie protein snack ideas:
- Berries and cottage cheese
- 3/4 cup of muesli with skim milk
- Apple and 2 tbsp. nut butter
- A small bowl of oat meal and honey
- A few nuts and dry fruits
- 1 scrambled egg with spinach and mushrooms
- Small whole wheat turkey sandwich with pepper jack, tomato and broccoli sprouts
- Hummus and a few light crackers