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Foods to Include and Avoid to Lose Weight

Updated: Apr 2

When aiming to lose body fat, including lean proteins in your diet can help support your weight loss goals. Lean proteins are low in fat and calories but rich in nutrients and can help you feel full, reducing the likelihood of overeating. Here are some lean proteins to consider:

  1. Chicken Breast: Skinless, boneless chicken breast is a great source of lean protein. It's versatile and can be used in various dishes.

  2. Turkey Breast: Similar to chicken breast, turkey breast is low in fat and high in protein. It's a healthy choice for meals.

  3. Fish: Fish such as salmon, trout, and mackerel are not only rich in protein but also contain healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for overall health.

  4. Lean Beef: Lean cuts of beef, such as sirloin or tenderloin, are good sources of protein. Opt for grass-fed beef when possible.

  5. Egg Whites: Egg whites are a pure source of protein and can be included in your diet in various ways, such as in omelets or scrambled eggs.

When it comes to carbohydrates to avoid or limit for weight loss, it's recommended to reduce refined carbohydrates and sugars. These can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels and may contribute to weight gain. Here are some examples:

  1. White Bread and Pasta: These are high in refined carbohydrates and low in fiber, which can lead to rapid spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels.

  2. Sugary Drinks: Beverages like soda, sweetened teas, and energy drinks are high in added sugars and calories, which can contribute to weight gain.

  3. Pastries and Sweets: Foods like cakes, cookies, and candies are high in sugar and calories.

  4. Processed Foods: Processed foods often contain added sugars and unhealthy fats.

  5. White Rice: While rice can be part of a healthy diet, white rice is high in refined carbohydrates.

Foods to be mindful of:

  1. Fruit: All fruit contains sugar. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are sweet, lower in sugar than other fruits, and contain fiber to help keep you full. For example there are 27 grams of carbs in one banana verses 12 grams of carbs in one cup of strawberries.

  2. Whole grains: While whole grains have many nutrients and fiber, they also contain a lot a lot of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates that are not used as energy will store as body fat. When trying to lose weight, it is imperative to stay within a caloric deficit regarding carbohydrates.

  3. Starchy Foods: Potatoes are rich in carbohydrates, particularly starch. While carbohydrates are an important part of a balanced diet, consuming too many can lead to weight gain. Potatoes have a high glycemic index (GI), which means they can cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. This spike in blood sugar can lead to increased hunger and may contribute to overeating. Other vegetables high in starch include peas, lima beans, and corn.

  4. Beans: While beans are a healthy food choice, meaning they are high fiber, low fat, rich in protein and slow to digest, it's important to pay attention to portion sizes, especially if you're trying to lose weight. Beans can be higher in calories than other vegetables such as spinach, cauliflower, broccoli or asparagus.

Overall, focusing on lean proteins and reducing intake of refined carbohydrates and sugars can support your weight loss efforts and help you achieve your goals. The only way to know exactly how many macronutrients to include in your diet to lose weight is to have a resting metabolic rate (RMR) test done. Your RMR can change through diet and exercise. It is important to retest often, every 4-6 weeks, to keep your diet consistent with your RMR numbers.

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