Here is my opinion of what foods you should be eating to lose weight:
Fruits are not only a perfect snack choice, they could also be your key to keeping the weight off. Packed full of dietary fibre, vitamin C and antioxidants all fruit is in general, low in kilojoules (energy) and nutrient packed. So before you reach for the afternoon biscuit barrel or bite sized chocolate to satisfy your sweet tooth, why not munch on a crispy apple or delve into some delicious strawberries. They will not only satisfy your sweet tooth but be kind on your waist too. There are no “good” or “bad” fruits, choose seasonal fruit and most importantly, choose fruit that you like. Ignore all the other unnecessary noise. As a guide 1 serve of fruit is equal to 150g or 1 medium apple, banana, orange, pear OR 2 kiwi fruit, plums, apricots OR 1 cup of fruit salad/grapes. Aim for 2 serves every day.
With less than 7% of Australians meeting the minimum 5 serves of vegetables each day, it’s no wonder why out waistlines are expanding! If you are looking at reducing your waist line or taking a few kg’s off the scales then vegetables are your key nutrient SUPERFOOD to get you there. When it comes to vegetables there are two types. Starchy and non-‐starchy vegetables. Starchy vegetables contain more carbohydrate than non-‐starchy vegetables therefore its best to keep these in check. Although not exclude completely. Non-‐starchy vegetables are nutrient rich, provide beneficial antioxidants, dietary fibre and have a high water content to keep you healthy but also keep you full long after you’ve eaten them. Most non-‐starchy vegetables contain less than 100kJ (24kcal) per serve (i.e. 75g) and I’ve yet to see any clients put on weight from eating too much vegetables. Next time you are serving up your lunch or dinner meal make sure you include at least 2 cups of non-‐ starchy vegetables to your plate. You also want to choose 3 different colours to make sure you receive an mixture of nutrients. You will notice your waist and weight shrink before your eyes!
Wholegrains or grains in general have been given a pretty bad wrap (excuse the pun!) of late but not many people know that they play a crucial role not only in health but also weight management. When talking about wholegrains I am referring to wholegrain bread, cereals, quinoa, buckwheat, freekah, rolled oats, natural muesli, rice and pasta. Wholegrains typically provide valuable nutrients such as prebiotic fibre to feed our healthy gut bacteria, iron, thiamin, folate, iodine and phytonutrients despite what some groups may tell you. Most whole-‐grains are also a source of low glycemic index (GI) carbohydrates or fuel for our brain and muscles. Being low GI means that the energy from wholegrains is released slowly providing your body with a sustained supply of energy. This means that you will be less likely to snack on high fat, high sugar foods mid afternoon. Everyone’s need for wholegrains or carbohydrates are different and therefore it is very individual to you. As a general rule, include 3-‐4 serves of wholegrains daily into your diet which will ensure you receive a mix of good nutrients for optimal health and fibre that will help you feel fuller for longer and result in a reduction on the scales.
This is another food group that often gets given a bad wrap however, new research has shown that including 3 serves of low fat dairy into your daily diet regime can result in lower body fat levels and more muscle mass! You see, dairy contains more than 10 nutrients including calcium, riboflavin, protein, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A & D making it a superfood in my eyes. In fact the protein found in dairy may hold the key to maintaining lean muscle mass in an energy restricted plan. Dairy foods such as milk and yoghurt are made up to two types of protein, whey and casein. Whey protein contains a significant amount of essential amino acids including leucine (a branched chain amino acid) that is needed to switch on the muscles ability to build and maintain muscle. The more muscle we can achieve the higher our metabolism and the better we will be at burning fat! One serve of dairy is equal to 250mL low fat milk, ¾ cup (200g) low fat yoghurt or 40g (2 slices) cheddar.
You may think that almonds or nuts in general are high in fat and YES they are. They are rich sources of unsaturated fats (monounsaturated fats) as well as vitamin E, calcium, dietary fibre and, phytonutrients. Consumption of a daily serving of 30g of almonds has been shown to have no effect on body weight gain whatsoever. In fact an afternoon snack of almonds can help take the cravings off around mid-‐afternoon which can prevent overeating at the next meal, resulting in weight loss. So go on, add a daily 30g serve of almonds to your day, your health and waist line will thank you for it. So that’s it. There you have it. My top 5 foods to help you lose weight and keep it off. It may not be as sexy as the paleo or low carb high fat diet but hey, it works. It really, really works. Remember that the above mentioned advice is for general use only. As we are all individuals, there cannot simply be a “one size fits all” approach when it comes to nutrition. I invite you to come in and have a chat with me today. I am your nutrition coach and will help you to make sustainable changes that will result in long term success.