Wondering what you should eat? Which foods are the best for weight loss? Have you seen articles and products that claim to be the answer for almost magical weight loss? Without further ado, here is the answer: there are no magical weight loss foods. It is all a pile of nonsense and really, you should know better than to think otherwise. I wish there were secret foods and tricks; it would allow me to maintain a better physique with less work. But you and I are in the same boat; we need to make smart food choices and make the decision to move some everyday.
I have been in the business of fitness since 1991. During that time I have helped thousands of people lose weight, build muscle, feel better and be healthier. Also during that time I tried to help thousands more, but with no or limited success. Why did the others fail? Because they were shopping for a solution that did not include making wiser food choices and making activity a part of their life. Some were stubborn, others simply misinformed, others still- ignorant, even when faced with the facts. Ask any trainer how often they hear people who are unhappy with their looks and energy say that they eat right, even healthy. Nonsense! If you did, we would not be having the conversation.
There is no denying or avoiding the fact: calories in and calories out determine our weight. From a purely economical and efficiency perspective, there is no simpler way to change or control your weight than by regulating your calories eaten. There are simply not enough hours in the day to undo chronic poor food choices. You must find a way to balance the calories you eat with the calories you burn, period. No other option. No “yeah, buts…”. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero. None!
So do I have any answers for you? Yes. Try this:
- Don’t eat fried foods or junk food: Don’t like that, do you? Eating fried food and junk usually adds extra calories, and quickly, to a calorie intake that may already be more than you need. Can you make room for them? Sure, but while losing weight when your daily calorie allowance is reduced, it can be difficult to squeeze in enough activity to offset the extra calories.
- Don’t drink beverages with calories. This includes soda, juice, sweet tea and coffee drinks. Try water or unsweetened tea/coffee.
- Eat less of what you do now. Try eating a third less per serving and see what happens.
- Consider eating pre-portioned meals — Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, Smart Ones…there are many options. These meals have gotten much better and healthier over the years. Most are 300 calories or fewer per meal, making them the perfect size. They are also a good way to get used to portion sizes and calorie vs meal size comparisons.
- I know you have heard it before, but try to get several servings (3-5) of fresh fruit and vegetables each day. These are not only good for you, but they generally have fewer calories per serving size than other foods, so they can fill you up and keep you full longer.
- Find an activity you like and try to do it most days of the week. Shoot for 30-90 minutes. And yes, getting a 10-minute bout of exercise three times a day counts as 30 minutes!
There it is, a few simple tips to help you maintain or lose weight. No super-secret tricks, just common sense. If you constantly seek out a quick fix you will be doomed to fail or suffer in the process. Take it step-by-step and day-by-day and at some point down the road you will be pleasantly surprised with how far you’ve come.