Nutrition tips for weight loss from a certified health coach. Simple tips to help you reach your goals without “dieting”.
Eat Whole Foods – When grocery shopping choose foods from the earth, not a factory. Stick to the perimeter of the store where you’ll find produce, meats and fish, dairy, and all the fresh food. The more you shop the perimeter of the store, the healthier your shopping trip will be. After, you can then go down the aisles for things such as rice, beans, and other healthy staples. Check out my post on how to eat healthy without “dieting” for more information on eating whole foods.
Be Prepared! – Meal Prepping is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle. You never have to worry about not having healthy food on hand when you do a little prep work before. See my best tips on meal prepping and how to get started, and make sure to go grocery shopping each week to stock up on clean and wholesome food. (Find a printable version of some of grocery staples HERE — and also, be sure to check out my Clean Eating COSTCO Shopping List for eating healthy on a budget!)
“Failing to Plan is planning to fail.”
Buy Only Low-Fat Dairy Products – Dairy is naturally high in fats, but choosing low-fat options for dairy can save MAJOR calories, and still let you enjoy your favorite foods. For example, whole milk contains 150 calories and 8 grams of fat, while 1% milk contains only 100 calories and only 2.5 grams of fat. Skim milk is even better at 80 calories and half a gram of fat. Oh, and always be sure to buy these organic and grass-fed when possible.
Know the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen – Eating organic is ideal, but sometimes it’s hard to find, and can get expensive. If you’re on a budget or have a hard time finding quality organic produce, make sure you know The Dirty Dozen and The Clean 15. Knowing which conventional produce is loaded with chemicals and which aren’t makes it easier to choose foods that are organic or not when at the grocery store.
Variety is the Spice of Life! – Eating only a small variety of foods is boring and is also not very nutritious. Different foods have different nutrients, so having a variety of many different foods is better for your health. For example, orange vegetables are high in carotenoids which help your immune system and lower your risk of heart disease. And red vegetables are high in antioxidants to prevent damage from free radicals that can cause cancer and chronic diseases. Also, fish is high in healthy omega-3’s, while red meats are high in the mineral iron. Try eating colorful salads to get a variety of fruits and vegetables into your diet. And try to eat fish at least twice per week for heart healthy omega-3’s.
Learn Proper Portion Sizes – Learning correct portion sizes is important in reaching and maintaining your goal body shape. Most people have a very hard time with correct portion sizes, even when eating healthy foods. An avocado, for example, is healthy, but you should only eat about a quarter, not half or the whole thing! Use the chart below, or measure your food to make sure you are not over-doing a good thing! Also, when you are first learning correct portion sizes, it might be wise to invest in a food scale — that way there is absolutely NO question if it’s the correct serving size. HINT: This is how you can eat all your favorite foods and never count calories again!
Eat Protein at Every Meal – Protein is much harder for your body to digest than fats and carbs. Therefore eating lean protein will not only keep you feeling fuller longer, but also boost your metabolism. Diets high in protein help to build and maintain muscle mass, too. Muscles burn more calories than fat, so the more muscles you, have the more calories you’ll burn!
Fill Up on Fruits and Veggies – Fruits and veggies contain fiber that is harder for you body to digest than something like pasta. Make this a “nutrition rule”: Load up half of your plate at each meal with fruits or veggies. This helps to add some bulk, and tons of nutrients to your meal without adding tons of extra calories. Getting enough lean protein as well as fruits and veggies will lead to a diet lower in fat and calories as still keep you feeling full.
Spice It Up! – Use spices and herbs rather than salt, sugar, sauces and dressings to flavor your food. Using spices adds flavor without adding calories, making your brain think that you are eating something more satisfying. Many spices and herbs can even help boost your metabolism such as cayenne pepper and cinnamon. These are some of my favorite spices and herbs for weight loss that I ALWAYS have in my pantry.
Everything in Moderation – If you deprive yourself from certain foods you love, you’ll eventually give in and binge on your favorite unhealthy treats, adding tons of extra calories. It’s better to treat yourself with smaller portions of unhealthy favorites, than to deprive yourself and binge when temptation hits. I allow myself a piece of dark chocolate each night to satisfy my sweet tooth. This helps keep me satisfied so that I don’t order a giant dessert when I am out to dinner. Try some of these healthy desserts to help keep you on track! 😉
Have I missed anything? Let me know if you have any additional nutrition tips in the comments below!