Recent health statistics show that over 70% of all adults in the US are either overweight or obese. One of the main reasons for the spike in weight problems is unhealthy diet that is high in calories but low in nutrition.
Food has now become more about convenience and less about nutrition. This convenience culture is evident from the 170,000 fast food restaurants across the country!
What’s even worse is that we have super-sized all our servings, drastically increasing our calorie intake and making us pile on the pounds.
Most people think that they would need to consult a dietitian and follow a restrictive diet to lose weight, but this is far from the truth. There are several small dietary changes that you can make to create a nutrition plan that helps you reach your ideal body weight.
Creating a Healthy Nutrition Plan for Weight Loss
Macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) are the foundation of any healthy nutrition plan. The acceptable macronutrient distribution ranges are 45–65% calories from carbs, 20–35% from fats, and 10–35% from protein. Tweaking this macronutrient ratio will help you create a healthy nutrition plan for weight loss.
Reduce your carb intake
From breakfast bagels and pancakes to lunchtime sodas and midnight snacks – there’s no denying that our daily carb intake is through the roof. Current research suggests that low-carbohydrate diets will not only help achieve weight loss but may also have a beneficial effect on triglyceride levels and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (bad cholesterol).
When cutting back on carbs, get rid of unhealthy refined carbs such as refined grains, bakery products, and sugar-laden foods. Instead, your diet should contain small servings of healthy carb foods such as fruits and vegetables.
Increase your protein intake
A recent study compared the results of a high-protein diet with a low-protein diet for weight loss. Although both diet plans had the same number of total calories, the test participants who followed a high-protein diet lost more fat and gained more muscle as compared to the participants who followed a low-protein diet.
High-protein diets help to increase the secretion of satiety hormones while simultaneously improving blood sugar levels. There are several ways to add protein to your diet. You can start adding whey protein powder to your morning milkshake or simply snack on nuts throughout the day.
Don’t avoid all fats
Cutting all fats out of your diet can hurt your overall health and energy levels. Doing that will reduce your intake of vitamins A, D, E, and K as they are fat-soluble vitamins.
According to health experts, unsaturated fats such as olive oil and safflower oil are good for us as they can help reduce the risk of heart disease. On the other hand, the fat found in butter, lard and fatty cuts of beef and pork contain saturated fats that are unhealthy and can increase your risk of weight gain.
Get More Fiber
Fiber does not contain any of the nutrients we require. Despite that, it plays an important role in diet and weight management.
The human body cannot digest fiber. It is left intact as it moves through the gastrointestinal tract. This means that the fiber in your diet will satiate your hunger without adding to your calorie intake.
A study on the effects of fiber on weight loss found that consuming an additional 14 grams of fiber for more than 2 days resulted in a 10% decrease in calorie intake. It also resulted in weight loss of over 4 pounds in 4 months.
Obese individuals will experience greater suppression of calorie intake and weight loss. Fruits, vegetables, and legumes are some of the best sources of dietary fiber while meat, fish, and eggs do not contain any dietary fiber so plan your meals accordingly.
See Also: The Plant-Based Truth
Always opt for fresh produce over processed foods
A healthy nutrition plan for weight loss will help you reach a healthy body weight. Unfortunately, it is not easy to stick to a healthy diet plan which is why you should also work on building resilience.
Improving your resilience increases weight loss and decreases the chances of you falling off the weight loss wagon. There are also several exercises to burn fat that will help you lose weight faster and reach your ideal body weight.
In your eagerness to lose weight quickly, you might be tempted to go all out and overhaul your entire lifestyle. This rarely works as your enthusiasm will wane over time. You will just fall back to your old habits.
Instead, make small gradual changes to your diet and lifestyle. This gives you the chance to adjust to the changes. Follow a healthy diet and regular exercise plan even after you lose weight to maintain healthy body weight.
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Author: Anita Fernandes
I have been writing extensively on health and wellness for over a decade. I expertise in nutrition, fitness, weight loss, and healthy keto diets and have contributed content to a variety of leading digital health publishers. Anita has a unique perspective on healthy living and lifestyle, as she has battled and overcome eating disorders and obesity. She shares her experiences in an effort to help others overcome the physical and mental health problems that can sometimes seem insurmountable.