Except for the fortunate few, losing weight is a tough task. So, why make it any harder than it already is by eating foods that don’t line up with your goals?
It is important for your clients to find the right ration of calories in versus calories out, but so, too, is maintaining good nutrition. Filing up on coffee and celery sticks won’t do anyone any good. Encourage your clients to selects foods that provide good nutrients and energy while also making them feel full (satiety).
Get Rid of the Junk Food
First, encourage your clients to clean out their pantry. Eliminate highly processed foods. These foods, such as canned soups, cheap frozen dinners, and boxed snacks, usually are high in calories with little nutritional value. They contain higher amounts of salt, sugar, and fat, which make them counterproductive for anyone trying to lose weight.
Focus on Macronutrients
Then, educate them on the basics. Good nutrition calls for the proper allotment of macronutrients—protein, fats, and carbohydrates—in the daily diet, and that doesn’t change when the goal is to lose weight.
Cutting back on carbs is standard in many diet plans, but as a main source of energy, they still play an important role in weight loss. The key is to eat the right ones. Sugars, starches, and fibers are all carbs. Those that are minimally processed are better choices than refined carbs, which include such things as white bread, pasta, cookies, and cakes. Better options include:
- Whole grain bread
- Brown rice
- Sweet potatoes
Of particular note among healthy grains, quinoa has a lot to offer those looking to lose weight. Used as a substitute for white rice or pasta, quinoa contains a high amount of protein and is loaded with various vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants.
Quinoa is one of the few plant foods that offer a useful amount of all nine essential amino acids, so it can be converted directly into muscle. When considering all it has to offer there’s little doubt why many consider it to be a superfood.
This macronutrient gets used to build muscle tissues, is part of every cell in the body, helps with hormone and enzyme production, and is part of what builds antibodies. Protein should be a part of your diet no matter what goals you want to accomplish.
As far as weight loss is concerned, focus on lean meats. Although chicken is the first option that often comes to mind, tuna is an excellent choice. It is low in calories and low in fat. Salmon is high in both protein and omega-3 fatty acids, making it a good choice for a healthy weight-loss diet.
Eggs are another protein that has a place in a weight loss plan. In past years, eggs were considered off-limits for dieters and those looking for a healthier diet because they were said to be high in cholesterol. But when eaten in moderation, they are satiating as well as high in protein.
And don’t forget to check out plant-based protein options such as:
- Black beans
- Hemp protein
- Pea protein
Many consider fats to be off-limits when trying to lose weight, but that shouldn’t be the case. Fats play a key role in a healthy diet, including transporting vitamins A, D, E and K. They also provide two essential fatty acids that the body can’t make—omega-3 and omega-6. Fats come in liquid and solid form and can be found in which weight loss-friendly foods such as the following:
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
Maximize Your Choices
Legumes are great sources of all three macronutrients. Weight loss-friendly foods in this category include some of the previously mentioned foods such as beans, nuts, peas, and lentils. Chia seeds are another excellent choice. Sprinkled on top of Greek yogurt, oatmeal, and salads, they are high in calcium and rich in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
Going Green and Beyond
Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, which are nutrients that protect against cell damage done by oxygen-free radicals, a major cause of disease and aging.
Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts are great vegetable choices. Known as cruciferous vegetables, they are high in fiber and tend to be filling. In addition, they are low in calories and full of nutrients.
Among fruits, apples, raisins, plums, and red grapes are all high in antioxidants. Though fruits contain some sugar, they should in included in a weight loss plan. They are high in fiber and nutrients.
Leafy greens should also be plentiful in a weight-loss diet. They are low in calories and high in fiber, helping with satiety. Good options include kale, collard greens, and spinach.
Hydration is Key
Drink more water! Weight loss-friendly foods are important, but so it staying hydrated. Water supports a healthy body through any stage of your fitness goals. While water is the go-to beverage for dieters and anyone in fitness, green tea is in another popular beverage that will keep calories low while boosting energy. Loaded with antioxidants and nutrients, green tea is a nice option if you need a break from basic water.
Interested in learning more about the particulars of a healthy diet? Dig into the details with the ISSA course on nutrition. You’ll learn more about helping clients build good eating habits to support a healthy lifestyle.