The word “diet” can strike fear into many people.
There’s a misconception that on any weight-loss plan you won’t eat much, will be hungry all the time, won’t be able to eat your favorite foods, will experience side effects and will have to eat foods that you wouldn’t normally eat.
Luckily The Healthy Mommy is a VERY different health and weight loss plans
The belief many people hold is that diets are all about starving yourself so you can lose weight.
However, losing weight doesn’t and shouldn’t have to be a painful experience. In fact, the most important part to get right when you are losing weight is to ensure that you eat nutrient-packed foods that your body will thrive on – and which will also give you lots of energy so you can look after your baby and family.
Eating poorly leads to low energy levels and tiredness, an inability to lose weight, the increased likelihood of weight gain, greater risk of illness, a sluggish metabolism, poor digestion, dry skin and brittle hair.
It is especially important to have a diet rich in the correct nutrients if you are breastfeeding your baby, otherwise your milk may decrease.
If you are concerned about this you should talk to your Primary Care Doctor or contact the American Pregnancy Association at https://americanpregnancy.org/breastfeeding/ for advice.
Unfortunately, because of the lifestyle many of us live today, not many people get the correct nutrients in their daily diet.
Stress, environmental pollutants, processed food, junk food, lack of exercise, any medication we take and exhaustion from looking after young children can all challenge our health and weight loss goals.
To feel vibrant and have our bodies working well, we must eat healthy foods and include a wide selection of vitamins and minerals in each meal to nourish the cells in our body.
In a perfect world the best way to achieve this is to have freshly prepared food from each food group at each meal plus drink at least 1.5 litres of filtered water a day.
Our daily food consumption should be made up of vegetables (the more colorful the better due to the antioxidant and nutrient level), whole grains, lean meats and proteins, dairy, legumes, fruits and some good oils such as those found in avocado and in olive oil.
When trying to lose weight, a good guide to try to stick to is to ensure that your plate is always half full of vegetables, a quarter full of lean meats or legumes and a quarter full of whole grains which will ensure your body gets a good serving of all the nutrients required to function efficiently and burn fat.
It’s all in the planning
Planning is the key to long term and successful weight loss and health so to avoid making poor food decisions, get into the habit of planning ahead so healthy options are always on hand. This is especially important when you go out with your family.
If you are eating out, avoid fast food restaurants. Although the food is cheap it tends to be deep fried or dripping in oil. Instead try Japanese, Italian and Asian – all offer healthy meal options.
Some tips for ordering when you are eating out include:
- Avoid anything in batter – instead go for grilled, steamed or stir fried foods
- Avoid creamy sauces and instead go for tomato or vegetable based sauces
- Ask for sauces, gravy or salad dressings on the side so you control how much you have
- Skip the side bread portion and instead order a side portion of vegetables with your main
- And you can have a dessert, just share one with your partner or friend so you only have a few tastes and ditch any side portion of cream.
Eating healthily at home is all about being organized and firstly that means clearing all of the junk and unhealthy food out of your cupboards as if you keep it in the house, in moments of weakness you will turn to it.
Secondly you need to organize your weekly grocery trips so there is enough fresh, frozen and canned or dried food to last you and your family for the week.
Frozen vegetables are great for getting your daily nutrients in and are great value and there is little difference nowadays in the nutrient value with fresh and frozen vegetables but the cost can be significant. The same is to be said with frozen fruits and berries which are great for adding into smoothies or yogurts.
A great tip is to plan your family meals for the week and ensure you have all of the ingredients to last for the week then stock up on lots of healthy snacks like nuts, raisons, fruits and yogurts to keep everyone going at snack time.
The added bonus about retraining yourself to eat a healthier and more nutrient-dense diet is that you will also be setting a good example to your partner and children to do the same, which will ensure your entire family can be as fit and healthy as possible for the long term.
10 tips for healthy weight loss
- Keep a large bowl constantly filled with colorful and delicious fruit that you can easily reached for at snack times.
- Throw out all the junk food in your kitchen cupboards so you don’t get tempted.
- Visit your local farmers’ markets where, in some areas, organic fruit and vegetables are often cheaper.
- If you can’t buy organic, always wash your fruit and veggies. Try rinsing them in water with a little cider vinegar in it. This is great for removing pesticides
- If you are not able to eat a freshly prepared meal with all the nutrients in it at each mealtime consider taking a supplement.
- Increase the amount of fiber-rich food in your diet to aid digestion and help detoxify of your body. Think whole wheats, vegetables and fruit, especially apples, prunes and raspberries
- Fill a large jug of water up each morning and add some lemon slices. Keep in the fridge so it is icy cold and more appealing than tap water.
- For each meal, try and ensure your plate contains one quarter protein, one quarter whole grains and one half vegetables.
- Lightly steam your vegetables rather than overcooking them, as this depletes the nutrients.
- Stock up on unsalted nuts, which are a great energy-boosting snack and are packed full of nutrients.
If you want to get healthy and lose weight then check out the 28 Day Challenge here