Healthy Resources Articles

What to Eat for Long-Term Weight Loss

By Gillian Marloth and Teigh McDonough

Believe that "to change your body, you have to change your mind." So instead of offering quick-fix diet tips, they'd rather help you revamp your everyday eating habits and your lifestyle so you'll make better choices and have long-lasting weight loss results. Here are a few of their diet guidelines on how to get the body of your dreams.

  1. Protein with each meal. This becomes especially important as you begin to work out harder and need more protein to repair and rebuild muscle tissues. But just like carbohydrates and fats, not all proteins are created equal. Choose low-fat items such as skinless chicken breasts, egg whites, lean beef, whey protein shakes, legumes (beans, peas, etc.), and low-fat dairy options to keep your dietary fat and cholesterol level under control.
  2. “Good" fats. "Bad fats" are trans fats and saturated fats that elevate cholesterol and clog your arteries. These are found in a lot of fast food items and "solid" fat products such as margarine, butter, and animal fats. "Good" fats, or unsaturated fats, on the other hand, have been shown to reduce harmful cholesterol and work positively in the body to increase energy and give your skin, hair, and eyes that hi-pro glow. These fats are found in nuts, olive oil, seeds, and avocados. But remember that a little fat goes a long way—each gram of dietary fat contains 9 calories!
  3. Healthy snacks or mini meals. The more healthfully you snack, the more you will find yourself craving proper nutrition. Try to keep a bag of unsalted almonds or raw trail mix in the car. Apples and bananas are great and don't even require a bag. Plain or low-fat, low-sugar yogurt or cottage cheese is also great for a quick mini meal.
  4. Spice it up! Discover natural seasonings—balsamic or rice vinegar mixed with olive oil makes a great salad dressing; fresh basil chopped into a salad gives it a new kick; and a squeeze of lemon or lime mixed with a bit of pepper or turmeric can transform your bland fish into a tasty dish.
  5. Soup—the late-night snack. If you're starving late at night, try some low-sodium soup. Soups tend to be low in calories, fill your belly, and satiate the urge for something warm. Because we tend to eat soup slowly, it is difficult to overeat. There are many healthy soups to choose from—but make sure to read the label. Or better yet, make your own using fresh veggies.
  6. Slow down. Chew slowly and thoroughly to improve digestion and increase the feeling of satiety after each meal. A good trick to help you slow down is to put down your knife and fork after each bite, picking them up again only after you've chewed and swallowed. Also wait 20 minutes before going back for seconds; it takes your body that long to figure out that it's full.