As your diet is the number one factor that decides whether you gain weight or drop some, it’s no wonder that many people are wondering what to eat to lose weight. With so much information about nutrition, weight loss, and food, it’s difficult for the average person to figure out what they really need to include in their diet to be able to lose fat. In fact, the abundance of information is part of the problem.
In this article I’d like to provide with a high level look at the sort of food you should eat in order to lose weight fast and some of the things you need to avoid. These are general recommendations. I won’t dive into each specific food item. However, these tips and guidelines should be enough to get you eating much better and healthier for long-term weight loss and maintenance.
The importance of protein to your health can’t be overstated. In terms of fat loss, protein plays a multi-factor part:
- It helps to build your muscle tissue which in turn boosts your metabolism and burns more calories, making it easier to shed weight.
- Protein itself is an excellent appetite suppressant (a natural and inexpensive one) so eating an adequate amount of protein can help you avoid overeating.
Protein can be found in many foods. To help you shed weight, it would be best if you focus on getting your protein from lean sources (makes sense, right?). Here are some options:
- Eggs (the protein is in the white but eating the whole egg has many benefits).
- Chicken breast.
- Lean cuts of grass-fed beef.
- Turkey and ostrich.
- Low fat dairy products.
- Soy (there is a great controversy around soy with some experts like Isabel De Los Rios claiming that it should not be eaten).
- Beans – one of the best and least known sources of protein.
Healthy sources of Fat
Anyone who says that fat is the enemy of a person who wishes to lose fat is either mistaken or over simplistic. Fat is not your enemy. It is a major macro-nutrient which is crucial to your health and the normal function of your body. You can’t not have fat in your diet. The only thing you need to focus on is getting the right kinds of fat, the healthy kinds. Here are sources of healthy fat that you should include in your diet without worrying about it for even one minute:
- Extra virgin Olive oil.
- Coconut oil.
- Nuts, pistachios, almonds.
- Flax seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, and so on.
- Fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring.
- Dark chocolate. I like the 85% cocoa concentration myself but you can go with anything that’s above 70%. Don’t overeat on dark chocolate as it is rich in calories. (I got this tip from Mike Geary, creator of the Truth About Abs program for getting flat abs).
Some of the fat sources you should avoid include:
- Hydrogenated oils also known as trans fat – This is a main candidate for the worst kind of ingredient any person who wishes to lose weight can eat. This is industrialized fat which the body finds extremely hard to get rid of.
- Deep fried dishes such as french fries, potato chips, donuts, fried chicken (I won’t name brands but take a guess) and so on.
- Refined oil – These are oils that underwent some form on industrialized process which has robbed them of many of their original qualities. This is why I recommend Extra Virgin Olive Oil and coconut oil above all others.
So, don’t try to go without fat, just choose your fats wisely.
Many diet plans try to eliminate or drastically cut out carbs. There is some truth in the assumption that controlling your carbs is crucial for your fat loss success as these supply the majority of your calories. However, cutting down carbs too much can be detrimental to your weight loss efforts which is why diet plans that use carb cycling of some sorts such as the Carb Rotation Diet, for instance, tend to provide better results than those plans which are simply labeled as low-carbs.
In addition, you need to choose your carbohydrates carefully and include complex ones in your diet. Complex carbs are more easily converted to energy your body can use instead of fat your body simply stores. Here are some of the common sources of complex carbs:
- Whole pasta
- Whole grains
- Whole breads
- Wild Rice
- Whole cereals
You’d be wise to avoid simple carbohydrates like those found in refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, white rice and so on. These will not be good for your weight loss efforts.
There are many artificial sweeteners that promise the world but can be just as bad as refined sugar. If you’re going to sweeten your food and drinks use raw honey or real maple syrup. These are real foods and while they may be rich in calories, they are still better for you and your body than all those other artificial sweeteners.
General Eating Tips
As a whole, you should focus on eating fresh, organic food as much as possible. The freshest the better and the closest to its natural form the better. Industrialized food and processed meals should be avoided as you hardly know what’s been put in them. You need to keep your food simple and tasty. It can be done and it can be done in an affordable way. If you eat fresh, whole foods, you will find it much easier to lose weight fast. Now you know what to eat to lose weight fast. All the remains is turning this from a theory into a way of life.