Sometimes it’s hard to know which are the right foods for weight management. Generally, a good rule of thumb is that if you eat healthy, you are probably getting a lot of the right foods. Eating healthy means following the food pyramid and getting a daily supply of whole grains, leafy vegetables, colorful fruits, proteins and healthy fats. Here are some foods that fit into those categories.
Grains: While whole grain cereals and breads definitely count toward this category, make sure you try to supplement your diet with brown rice and whole-grain pasta too. Refined grains like white rice aren’t good because they don’t have the same quality nutritional content as whole grains. Whole grains help your digestive system and supply you with fiber, which your body needs during your weight management program. Try to add a whole grain to every one of your meals throughout the day.
Fruit and vegetables: The thing to remember for this category is to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables from different color groups. That’s because different color fruits and vegetables give you different nutrients. If you only eat iceberg lettuce, you aren’t getting your dose of other vitamins and minerals. Eat plenty of green, leafy vegetables but also try to get a variety. Include veggies of different shapes and colors. Try to add fruits and vegetables to all of your meals, including breakfast. For example, cook an omelet with mushroom, peppers and tomato to get your veggies in.
Proteins: This includes fish, poultry, eggs, beans and nuts. Red meat isn’t as healthy because it isn’t good for your heart. Bacon, cold cuts and processed meat should also be avoided for the same reasons. Add proteins to at least two of your meals.
Healthy fats: Weight management doesn’t have to mean cutting out all fat from your diet. In fact, it’s important to get some healthy fats like olive and canola oil. Use these oils for cooking instead of using sprays or butter. Avoid butter and trans fats that just make you gain weight and don’t add many nutrients.
And finally, whether you’re involved in a weight management program or not, it is important to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Tea and coffee also count as fluids, although add as little sugar as possible. Drink a glass of juice and milk once a day, and avoid sugary drinks at all costs; they dehydrate you, add unnecessary calories and aren’t healthy.
When you are following a weight management program, don’t buy into any advice that tells you to only eat protein or to eliminate all fat. Instead, think about having a well-rounded diet full of healthy foods. Eat organic when possible to keep harmful toxins out of your body, and keep a list of everything you eat so you know what you’re missing. When you snack, eat carrot sticks, snap peas or broccoli. Alternatively, munch on whole grain bars or protein bars. Weight management means managing your weight responsibly; eating healthy foods is the first step!