Nutrition gets more confusing with every fad diet book published, every miracle pill released, and every fruit that’s declared a superfood. Every summer we’re bombarded with so much new information that contradicts everything we supposedly learned last year about food, that no longer know how to lose weight in a healthy way. There is no secret formula to a well-balanced diet; here is some diet advice that everyone can understand.
Don’t cut out anything
No-carb diets gained a big following once pasta, bread, and other refined carbs were declared an enemy of the flat stomach. However, although you should try to cut out refined carbs from your diet, cutting out all carbs will only leave you feeling tired, grumpy, and constipated. When eaten, carbohydrates are digested and converted into glucose (fuel for your body). Every cell in your body requires glucose; it is the main source of energy for your body cells. The brain and central nervous system, for example, rely on glucose to function. You just need to know which good carbs you need to include in your meal plans.
Vegetarian/vegan diets aren’t easy
If you want to cut out meat, eggs, and dairy from your diet for ethical reasons, that’s fine, but you need to replace the nutrients you’re losing by cutting out entire food groups. Before you make drastic dietary changes, you need to learn more about all the nutrients you’ll need to replace. Too little iron can increase a woman’s risk of postpartum depression, and meat-free diets that don’t include dairy, beans, or eggs are also low in the quality protein needed to repair the microdamage to your muscles that comes from working out.
More fruits and vegetables
That said, a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle will certainly increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Foods from the ground are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, which have been shown to protect against chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. However, some people do struggle with getting their recommended intake. Fortunately, people who drink smoothies on a regular basis are more likely to get a varied intake of fruits and vegetables every day. It’s better if you make the smoothies yourself so you know for certain what you’re consuming.
Drink more water
Most dietary experts say that people snack so much because they confuse hunger with thirst. Despite knowing this, most of us still go to raid the fridge instead of keeping a bottle of water nearby. This might be because they think water is boring and would much rather drink juice or iced tea to stay hydrated; this is also a mistake because these drinks are often loaded with sugar. Fortunately, there are plenty of delicious and refreshing infused water recipes to convert even the most stubborn juice-lovers.
Healthy eating is just as much about how much you eat as it is about what you’re putting into your body. Making your portions smaller will significantly contribute to your weight loss goals.