One of the most difficult parts of weight loss is diet. If you are like many people trying to lose weight, you might find it relatively easy to get to your favorite workout class or go running with a friend, but once you are around some birthday cake, you can’t control yourself. Eating for weight loss requires you to make healthy decisions about what you are going to eat every day, and this can be overwhelming when faced with delicious, sugary, fatty foods. In our previous blog, we went over how to eat and how much to eat for weight loss. In this blog, we will go over what to eat, and when to eat it.

What to Eat

Eat More Protein

Protein-rich foods are key to weight loss. Protein has a high thermic effect of food (TEF), which basically means that more calories you consume from protein are burned by your body than other macronutrients. Twenty to 30 percent of the calories from protein you eat will be burned by your body; compare that to the three to four percent of calories from fat that are burned, and you can see why protein is a more weight-loss friendly macronutrient. Additionally, protein keeps you fuller for longer and helps you build muscle mass. Some foods that are high in protein include:

  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Legumes
  • Beans

Eat More Vegetables

Many people find it difficult to eat their veggies, probably from years of their mom telling them to eat their broccoli. However, your mom was right for several reasons. First of all, vegetables contain the vitamins and minerals you need to be healthy; simply put, vegetables make you feel good, and your body to function at its best. Additionally, vegetables are low in calories, yet large in volume, which means they keep you feeling fuller for longer. Focus on eating a wide selection of vegetables prepared different ways. Some great veggies to include are:

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Squash
  • Cabbage
  • Kale

Be Moderate with Carbs and Fats

You don’t need to eliminate all carbs and fats from your diet (in fact, you shouldn’t), but make room on your plate for the increase in protein and veggies by reducing carbs and fats. Eat a small amount of carb-rich, healthy foods, and keep an eye on your fat consumption, as it easy to overeat fats like nuts or olive oil. Some good carbs to eat are:

  • Oats
  • Brown rice
  • Wheat pasta
  • Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Fruits

Some good fats are:

  • Nuts
  • Avocado
  • Olive oil
  • Eggs
  • Seeds

When to Eat

Finally, it is ideal to time your meals to promote weight loss. One way to do this is by making sure to consistently keep full throughout the day by eating every two or three hours. This is a good strategy if you tend to go long periods of time without eating, and then binge. Additionally, make sure to eat something both before and after you workout. Eating a small snack like a banana or a smoothie before your workout will keep your stomach from becoming upset, and something with protein after your workout will help you with recovery.

At F.I.N.E., we love providing our members with the education they need to make healthy changes to their lives. Whether you are in search of workout classes in Medford or a gym where you can work out alone, we have everything you need at our fitness club. Contact us today!