Have you ever found yourself sitting down with a new diet and asking, “Why do I have to starve myself to lose weight?” This can be the most damaging thought that causes you to not lose weight and maybe even gain weight. Yes, with the thought of having to starve yourself you can end up gaining weight rather than losing weight.
When I first started trying to lose weight I was in middle school. Not only was I in middle school but I was also in softball and marching band, two very demanding sports. Every diet I found either told me that I had to drink a certain shake or gave me only 1-2 items to choose from that I was able to eat. At the time I remember thinking, “This is the only way I could lose weight,” so I followed the rules of the diet. I was always starving, getting headaches, and not being able to perform at my optimal level of fitness. I did not know what caused this because it certainly was not the diet, right? WRONG!
That is exactly what it was. It was the diet. By cutting back on the food I was eating, or not eating at all, I was not giving my body proper nourishment; this in turn caused me to binge. Why? Because my body needed the nutrients, energy, and immune support. In the end, I would end up gaining weight rather than losing weight.
Throughout the many years that the “diet” industry has been a part of our lives this has happened to many people over and over again. I am betting that if you are reading this you have had a similar experience as well.
I am going to take this opportunity to jump out on a ledge and tell you that THIS DOES NOT HAVE TO BE YOU! You can lose weight without the starvation, without the shakes, or even without special “diet pills”. All you have to do is eat healthy by adding foods to your diet rather than removing a bunch of them.
By adding these 9 foods to your diet you can give yourself the benefit of extra energy, increased life expectancy, improved vitality, and all around better health. You will lose weight (without starving yourself) and start to see changes within your own body. These foods actually contain the vitamins, minerals, and satiety levels (feeling of being full and satisfied) that your body needs to live your life to the fullest.
1. Oatmeal – Oatmeal is becoming more and more popular for several reasons; with the main reason being that it helps lower blood cholesterol levels. It is also a whole grain that helps keep your body full longer by providing the fiber that your body needs to keep your hunger away and your blood sugar level. There are many varieties that you can use depending on how much time you have in your day. I strongly encourage you to use rolled oats rather than the highly processed instant oatmeal for higher nutrient and satiety levels.
2. Beans – There is a wide variety of beans, all of which are high in protein. The protein in beans is a plant based protein so it is very low in fat, carbohydrates, and calories (especially good for weight loss). Eating a healthy amount of beans each day will also help keep your digestive system healthy. You can purchase canned beans (make sure you rinse them before use to remove some of the sodium) or buy in bulk. Make sure you soak your beans before using them if you buy them in bulk.
3. Fruits – Fruit is nature’s candy. They are a nice treat to add to help curb your sweet tooth, plus they are filled with Vitamin C and Vitamin A. These antioxidants fight for the health of your body by warding off free radical damage and reducing the risk of cancer (berries tend to have the highest amounts). Be sure to choose a variety of fruits (or colors) for maximum health benefits. Fruit is also a great way to boost your immune system to fight off aging within the body.
4. Allium Crops – These include your onions, leeks, shallots, and garlic. These foods help lower the cholesterol in your body and help fight off the risk of cancer and other ailments. These are also great foods to add to any diet to help lower blood pressure and reduce blood clots. Add them to any meal and become creative with your food. Try eating these as close to their natural state as possible for their highest health benefits.
5. Fish – Salmon, Arctic Char, and Atlantic Mackerel are the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids without risk of mercury levels. The Omega-3’s that these provide help reduce the risk of heart disease and other health conditions. They also increase the glow of your skin and hair helping them look and feel healthier. These are fatty fish, but they contain the good fats that are beneficial in improving health in both children and adults. These fish are also great sources of protein, providing the nutrients needed to rebuild muscle tissue after a workout.
6. Flaxseed – These seeds contain Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9 fatty acids, all of which help reduce high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes. You can add flaxseed to cereal, baked goods, smoothies, and yogurt. When adding these seeds to items make sure they have been ground.
7. Peppers – These are a great food to add to any meal for a variety of color. Peppers contain beta-carotene and Vitamin C which help improve your immune system. They also contain a substance called capsaicin (this is what makes the spicy peppers hot) which acts as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. Get creative with your peppers by adding them to salads, salsa, baked meals, sautéed meals, or any others that you can create.
8. Nuts and Seeds – Nuts and seeds are higher in fats, but these are the good fats. I mention this because your body needs some fats to help fight off the bad fats that cause high cholesterol. The more good fats your body has, the fewer bad fats it will have. Nuts are also a great source of protein. You can crush nuts to use as coatings instead of breadcrumbs or you can eat them right out of their shells.
9. Yogurt – Yogurt contains calcium, Vitamin B, and protein. Yogurt is a great way to get your calcium for strong bones and teeth. You can purchase yogurt or make your own. The best yogurts are those that contain live cultures (probiotics) which promote healthy digestive systems. When buying yogurt look for those that are made with few ingredients.
Try adding one or all of these nine nutrient packed foods to your current diet over the next few weeks. By adding these to your diet you will begin to feel fuller, eat healthier, and create a healthy body that will live many healthy years. I do love hearing your feedback and thoughts, so please swing by my page and let me know what you think.