Losing weight does not mean that you have to starve or deprive your body of the essential nutrients it requires for its sustenance and efficient functioning. In fact, your body always needs the right nutrients in the correct proportions, regardless of whether you are overweight or not.
Even though you may be overweight, your body still needs carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals, as it cannot function properly without any one of them. However, some of these nutrients should be supplied in limited quantities to prevent weight gain or to promote weight loss. Therefore, your weight loss diet should be balanced in all the essential nutrients that your body requires, taking care to not include certain nutrients in quantities that fatten you.
Tips For A Balanced Diet To Lose Weight
Your weight loss diet should not omit carbohydrates completely. Your diet should contain complex carbohydrates that do not increase the glycemic load on your blood. Complex carbohydrates provide the much-needed energy to your brain and muscles, in a slow and steady manner, without abrupt spikes. Unlike simple carbohydrates they do not provide empty calories that go towards increasing wasteful fat deposits in your body.
About 40-50 percent of your meal should contain complex carbohydrates. Foods such as whole grain breads, fruits and vegetables contain complex carbohydrates, and these should be included in adequate quantities in your diet. Foods containing refined flour and refined sugar are high in simple sugars that have a tendency to make you gain weight. Therefore, these foods should be avoided or minimized, as much as possible.
Low Glycemic Index Foods
The glycemic index of a food refers to the blood glucose load it generates in the person consuming it. Foods high in glycemic index increase and decrease your energy more rapidly and abruptly than foods with low glycemic index. Therefore, on eating foods with low glycemic index you will feel energetic and satiated for a longer time than eating foods which are high in glycemic index.
Oat bran, natural meuseli, whole wheat, soya and linseed, carrots, mushrooms, cabbage, frozen green peas and frozen sweet corn are some foods that are low in glycemic index. These should be included in your breakfast or lunch menu. High GI foods such as instant white rice, tapioca, mashed potatoes, and glutinous rice should be avoided as they are high in GI.
Lean protein and not fatty protein should be a part of a weight watcher’s diet. Lean protein helps in proper metabolism of fat by catalyzing the release of glucagon. Lean meats, fish, yogurt, soy protein are sources of good quality protein.
Care should be taken to avoid proteinaceous foods that contain high amounts of saturated fats , as these add to body weight. Ideally, you should include 0.8 gms of lean protein for 2.2 gms of body weight in your diet.
Essential/ Healthy Fatty Acids
It is a misconception that all fats contribute to weight gain. Rather, certain fats are beneficial for your body and should be included in a weight watcher’s diet. Some fats perform many functions other than adding body weight such as protecting the cells and internal organs of the body and in facilitating cell metabolism.
About 20-30 percent of your meals should contain foods containing essential fatty acids such as omega-3 fatty acids, linoleic acid (LA), and alphalinolenic Acid( LA). Flax seeds, hemp seeds, soyabeans walnuts, and dark green vegetables are sources of good quality essential fatty acids. Foods containing saturated fats, trans fats, and hydrogenated fats, such as hydrogenated vegetable oils, chicken with skin, butter, cheese, palm and coconut oil should be avoided.
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