Whether you’ve been losing weight or are just beginning your weight loss journey it will serve you greatly to become familiar with what to eat when losing weight. The foods you should be eating on a regular basis to maintain and further facilitate your weight loss should be both healthy and enjoyable.
What to Eat When Losing Weight
It’s a journey that can be just as confusing as it is exciting, and, if you find yourself to be a little confused as to where you should head next- read on to see how the food choices you’re making could either be helping you or hindering your progress.
Get ready to dive into fad diets (and why they’re often unsustainable and unhealthy choices), what to eat when losing weight, and what you should be eating less of in order to create a healthy lifestyle that you will enjoy long-term!
What exactly qualifies as a fad diet? A fad diet is any sort of weight loss plan that promises results in rapid speed by making extreme changes in your diet. As it turns out, making these extreme changes to your eating regimen is not a healthy diet for losing weight.
There are many different kinds of fad diets- some get you to lose weight by fasting, cutting out all carb sources or manipulating fat/carb ratios, or eating a certain type of food for an extended period of time.
These diets are often unsustainable and even dangerous to your health and here’s why:
- Most fad diets only consider short-term weight loss and are too dangerous to maintain for long periods of time
- It takes time to lose excess fat and dedication to keep it off (crash dieting for a few weeks won’t guarantee that it won’t come back)
- Depending on the diet, you may be starving your body of vital nutrients that can lead to energy loss, decreased focus, and mood swings
- What to eat when losing weight needs to be a healthy decision. If you’re starving your body of fats and carbohydrates, once you put them back into your body you may binge and end up gaining more weight and become what is called a “yo-yo dieter”. This is someone who’s weight ends up bouncing up and down due to fad dieting, re-gaining weight, then fad dieting again to lose it. This is a vicious and unhealthy cycle that can wreak havoc on your health.
- The weight that you lose on a fad diet usually comes from 2 sources- your excess water weight and lean muscle due to malnourishment. Note: the kind of weight you want to be losing is from excess fat stored in various places of the body.
Fad diets were created to sell products to people who want to lose weight quickly but the truth is that it takes some time and many adjustments to design a healthy lifestyle that works best for you. We believe that a healthy lifestyle is much more important than rapid weight loss. What to eat when losing weight is of the greatest importance and vital to long-term success.
What TO Eat When Losing Weight
A healthy diet for losing weight doesn’t have to be as confusing as it sounds and healthy eating foods don’t have to be boring! There are many different foods that you can choose from to help you lose and maintain your weight.
The great thing is that though what to eat when losing weight is pretty simple, there are many things you can do to the foods to make them most satisfying to you. The more you can enjoy these foods, the easier it will be to make it a lifestyle instead of just a diet.
Keep in mind that it can take 2 to 4 weeks for your taste buds to readjust themselves to less sugary and salty foods. If you stick with it, you will find that you are able to taste more flavors than you’ve ever been able to taste and you may even find yourself liking foods that you disliked before.
Different foods go through different metabolic pathways in the body and can impact your body’s sense of hunger, hormones, and the ability to burn calories. Without further a due, here’s what to eat when losing weight:
Whole eggs- Eggs used to have it bad in the dieting world because it was said that they adversely affected blood cholesterol levels. However, research has been finding for quite some time that they don’t negatively impact your health and can actually satiate you for longer periods of time with fewer calories.
Eggs are high in protein and are a good source of healthy fats- an omelet with veggies thrown in and some fruit on the side can make for a breakfast that will sustain you till it’s actually lunch time.
More fruits and veggies- We all know that what tops the list of what to eat when losing weight are fruits and veggies but do you know why? Both fruits and vegetables are full of vital nutrients, minerals, and vitamins that support a healthy digestive system, keep you full for longer periods of time and reduce your cravings for unhealthy foods.
If you think that fruits and vegetables are the most boring of healthy eating foods- think again. Try your hand at creating indulgent smoothies or juices with a mix of greens and fruits or a delicious grilled vegetable sandwich.
Salmon- Salmon is one of the healthiest proteins you can eat. Oily fish are full of high-quality protein, healthy fats, and important nutrients such as iodine which contributes to healthy thyroid function. The thyroid is what regulates hormone production and metabolism. You can also give trout, herring, or mackerel a try!
Though meat has been demonized throughout many communities, when sourced properly and eaten in moderation it can be the perfect addition to what to eat when losing weight and here’s why. Protein is a filling nutrient that will keep you satiated for longer periods of time and reduce cravings for other foods you shouldn’t be eating.
Just do yourself a favor and stay away from fried and highly processed meats as these make you more likely to gain weight.
Other Protein Sources
If you are a vegetarian or looking to eat less meat for environmental purposes, you can still have your fair share of protein. In fact, lentils have more protein gram-for-gram than lean beef. Other forms of non-meat protein sources include beans and legumes that have high fiber content to aid in healthy digestion.
What to eat when losing weight can be more diverse than you might think. Consider soups for example. Meals with a lower energy density make overeating less likely. Soup is a perfect example of a meal with a low energy density- this simply means that there is more water in the meal, leaving you satiated instead of starving throughout the day.
Apple cider vinegar-
Apple cider vinegar is a popular choice in the natural health community and after you learn the benefits it’s clear to see why. It’s good for weight loss, lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels, improving the symptoms of diabetes, anddetoxifying the body. You can use it on salads, in marinades, or even dilute it in water and drink it in the morning.
Ask any natural health nut about what to eat when losing weight and they are bound to tout the benefits of incorporating apple cider vinegar into your diet.
The Art of Snacking
Snacking can either help or hurt your weight loss efforts. We’ve discussed the staples of what to eat when losing weight, now let’s talk what to snack on when losing weight!
Healthy eating foods for snacking:
- Nuts- high in protein and healthy fats, improve metabolism and increase weight loss when eaten in moderation
- Granola- usually a mix of dried fruit, nuts, and whole grains, this snack will give you an energy boost and keep you satiated
- Fruit and yogurt- a great way to satisfy a craving for something sweet without binging
- Air-popped popcorn- you can still have popcorn on your movie nights- just opt for the less-processed version
- Smoothies- can be used as a post-workout snack or even a meal replacement when it contains a decent amount of protein
- Trade chips in for veggies/pita and dunk away in hummus and even guacamole or salsa
We’ve given you some basic ideas of what to eat when losing weight, what is going to make it most enjoyable for you is taking some artistic license and playing around with different recipes and ideas to see what you really enjoy. The right sauce or dressing could make or break your ability to enjoy any certain food so don’t be afraid to try things multiple ways.
What NOT to Eat While Losing Weight
What not to eat when losing weight is just as important as what to eat when losing weight. Here are some of the items you should steer clear of when trying to maintain weight loss:
- High-processed foods like chips, candy bars, baked goods, etc.
- Sugary beverages such as juices from concentrate or sodas
- White breads (besides natural sourdough)
- Alcohol (especially beer)
- Foods containing saturated and trans fats
If you are holding extra weight around your stomach specifically, you need to make adjustments in your diet. It’s most common to hear of complaints surrounding belly fat and the belly stores fat when the body is unable to process high amounts of fat and sugar contained in the diet.
It can be tough to cut everything out at once so be gentle with yourself. Even making a few substitutes a day can lead to big changes over time.
What to eat when losing weight can be as complicated or as simple as you want to make it. If you’re looking to maintain your weight loss you’ve got to make healthy eating a priority and find the things you love to eat that support your goals. It can take some time to find out what really does it for you but it’s more than a fair trade for long-term health.
Once you get the hang of what to eat when losing weight you’ll wonder how you used to do it any other way!