A nutritious diet is one of the most important factors when it comes to losing weight. If you want to see the number on the scale go down you need to eat the right foods and, most importantly, consume the right amount and quality of calories.
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Your recommended calorie intake depends on a variety of factors – height, age, sex, size, genetics, lifestyle, etc. According to Medical News Today, the recommended daily calorie intakes in the U.S. are 2,200 for women and 2,700 for men.
“Enjoy a variety of vegetables; from starchy vegetables like pumpkin and potatoes to low-starch vegetables such as capsicum and zucchini,” Alia Steglinski, Personal Trainer and Founder of Shift and Shape, says. “Adding vegetables to your meals through a salad or with your Shepherd’s Pie or risotto will ensure your body gets more fiber. This can help you feel full quicker, naturally allowing your body to crave fewer calories.” Also, adding more fiber adds more nutrient energy while acting as a detox or cleanse for your body; this can help you shift weight, she adds.
“A lot of people will choose to snack on something that will give them energy or fill an energy slump to help get them through the day. Usually these are high sugar snacks that are not good for you,” Steglinski says. “Our bodies actually crave water and nutrients that come from vegetables like cucumber, celery or small tomatoes.” Stock these in your fridge at home and at work and snack on them regularly and you will feel nourished and hydrated, she adds. “You may even find you don’t crave as many high energy snacks or sugar.”
“Sparkling mineral water has less sodium than soda water and has more minerals to help you feel full,” Steglinski says. “It is mineralized and is the perfect replacement for alcohol and fruit drinks which is often high in calories and sugar.”
“Green tea has been observed in human studies to block fat (triglycerides) and even cholesterol from our food,” Steglinski says. It has also been proven to help people lose weight, as it is in all the weight loss supplements. “Green tea still has caffeine, so if you are sensitive to caffeine drink it in the morning,” she adds.
Cook a big batch of complete nutritious meals “which include a bit of carbohydrate, fat and protein to help you eat healthy portioned meals,” Steglinski says. “A good example of a nutritious meal you can precook is a risotto with brown rice and heaps of vegetables in a natural tomato based sauce.” Place into bowls and enjoy as a ready to go portioned meal, she adds.
“Chia seeds help reduce calories by making us feel full and not crave more food,” Steglinski says. “They swell in contact with water and swell in the tummy while providing low calories but dense in nutrition energy.”
“Adding vegetables to your meals as a side makes you feel fuller and adds nutrition easily,” Steglinski says. “Vegetables provide excellent fiber which will make you feel full and satisfied quicker naturally allowing your body to not look for more food.”
“Studies have proven that we can eat, on average, 385 calories more the next day after a sleep deprived night,” Steglinski says. “When we are tired we crave more food to keep us up. Aim for quality sleep and at least seven and a half to eight hours per night or try to schedule in power naps during the day.”