Yesterday's blog post offered some tips and tricks for making your beverages less caloric. Of course, plain old water is your best beverage and calorie-free, but what about your food choices?
Here is another no-brainer: eat more veggies! When it comes to food choices, veggies offer the most nutrition for the fewest calories. If you are trying to go low-carb, the best veggies to choose are the dark, leafy greens. These are the superfoods of the veggie world, due to loads of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, plus low carbs and low calories. Spinach, kale, collards, swiss chard, watercress, arugula, and mesclun are all excellent choices. You can eat your greens raw, in a salad, or steamed, sauteed, stir-fried, roasted, or dehydrated! Throw some baby spinach into your smoothie or your soup. Need some crunch? Just make some kale chips. So many possibilities!
Veggies with more calories and more sugars/starches/carbs include sweet potatoes, white potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets, and other roots and tubers. If you are going super low carb, for example on a ketogenic diet, you might need to avoid these root veggies, at least for awhile. If you are simply cutting calories, just go easy on these higher carb choices.
Veggies with high fat content include olives and avocados. (Technically-speaking, these are actually fruits!) Excellent for a low carb program, you can throw them on your salad without worry. If you are cutting calories instead of carbs, just go easy on them. Olive and avocado oils are healthy choices as far as fats are concerned, and you need some fat in your diet, no matter which weight loss plan you choose.
Fruits are a different matter all together. There is quite a bit of controversy surrounding how much fruit one should consume. This is because fruits are fairly high in sugar. (Dried fruits like raisins are extremely high in sugar.) Sure, fructose is a naturally occurring sugar. But too much fructose appears to have negative effects on our health. Some studies show that fructose is the worst type of sugar for our bodies, and negatively affects our blood sugar even more dramatically than pure white sugar (sucrose.) If you want to include some fruit in your diet, berries are best as they contain the most nutrients for the calories, in addition to plenty of fiber and antioxidants.
Substitute veggies for grains in one or two meals per day and you will quickly see your numbers drop when you step on the scale. For more tips, tricks, and personalized weight loss coaching, please leave a message below in the comment section!