If you want to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, stressing over calories and counting them every meal is not the way to do it. In fact, a calories in/calories out (CICO) approach to dieting is almost guaranteed to fail.
Our health experts at Low Testosterone & Weight Loss Center in Allen, Texas, focus on weight loss as a means to achieve more vitality and better health. The best way to reach those goals is through proper nutrition. That means changing, but not necessarily reducing, the food you eat.
If you’re ready to take charge of your health and body through safe, sustainable weight loss, certain foods help you do it. Throw out the concept of CICO and think instead of keeping your blood-sugar levels stable and limiting inflammation. Here’s how to do it, one plate at a time.
Bring on the colors
Get a huge salad bowl. The type you might use to toss a salad for your family. Fill it up with nutrient-rich and flavorful ingredients such as:
- Red or green lettuce
- Onions or green onions
- Red cabbage
- Grated carrots
You can also toss in some cooked, cooled-down veggies from last night’s dinner, including broccoli, brussel sprouts, or asparagus. Then, turn the whole thing into a meal by adding one or more protein sources, including:
- Boiled eggs
Add an avocado to your salad to make it creamy and satisfying, too. The fats and fiber in avocados help you feel full for longer and supply you with key nutrients. Make a home-made salad dressing with healthy ingredients such as:
- Olive or avocado oil
- Apple-cider vinegar
- Lemon juice
Don’t forget cooked veggies and chilled fruits
Highly colored vegetables contain vitamins and anthocyanins, which help reduce inflammation. Also, be sure to include plenty of cooked vegetables every day, including:
- Brussel sprouts
- Green beans
Make those huge plates of hot veggies more palatable and filling by drizzling them with healthy fats. Adopt the custom of having a piece of highly colored fruit for dessert instead of nutrition-poor cookies or cake.
Cold (and warmed up) potatoes or rice
Sweet potatoes and yams are relatively low on the glycemic index, which makes them a good, filling choice for a starchy snack. But did you know that you can transform high-glycemic white rice and white potatoes into a lower glycemic treat simply by cooling them down?
When you place starches — such as white potatoes, white rice, or pasta — in the fridge after you’ve cooked them, the cooling transforms the structure of their starch molecules. The starch molecules become resistant to digestion in the small intestine — that’s why they’re called “resistant starches.”
Since your small intestine doesn’t break down resistant starch, the starch can’t raise your blood glucose levels the way normal starch would. In other words, you don’t get a blood-sugar spike the way you would if you ate pasta or rice straight out of the pot. The starch travels to your large intestine, where it’s broken down by the bacteria in your gut.
Therefore, resistant starch has two benefits: it keeps your blood sugar stable, and it feeds the good bacteria in your gut, which reduces inflammation.
Lean, healthy proteins
Protein is the most satiating macronutrient. Increasing your healthy protein intake by 25% may cut food cravings by 60% and helps you lose almost a pound a week. If possible, look for meat that’s been humanely raised and fed a species-appropriate diet. Animals raised in factory farms are stressed, and their meat isn’t as nutritious. Look for labels that read:
- Grass-fed (cow, bison, and lamb)
- Organic and pastured (poultry, eggs, and pork)
- Wild-caught (fish and seafood)
Stay away from processed meats, such as cold cuts, which are associated with higher rates of cancer. Avoid charring your meat, which creates carcinogenic chemicals. Also, feel free to use unprocessed non-meat proteins, such as legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
You may remember the days when high-fat diets were associated with weight gain and heart attacks. But a lot has changed. Good quality, healthy fats help your cells stay strong and also keep you feeling full for longer. Look for:
- Organic, virgin, cold-pressed olive oil
- Organic, virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil
- MCT oil
- Grass-fed butter
If you’re ready to lose weight by eating more nutritious foods, call us today at 469-912-2113 or use our online form to schedule a weight loss appointment.