Controlling weight is important because excessive weight gain increases your risk for developing diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure and gallstones. The most effective way to lose weight is by eating fewer calories and exercising more.
Many factors can affect our hunger and satiety signals, including hormones and medications. You can help regulate these signals by eliminating foods and drinks that are high in sugar, fat and salt and replacing them with nutrient-rich whole foods.
Eat More Vegetables
In general, most health experts recommend eating more vegetables – at least five servings per day. Adding these foods to your diet helps control your weight and provides your body with important vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that fight disease and ageing.
Getting more veggies is easy, and the benefits are many. For example, a single cup of vegetables is low in calories, and they are high in nutrients like fibre and potassium. This can help lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease.
It’s also a great way to cut down on fat, as most vegetables are low in saturated fat and trans fats. You can eat vegetables fresh, frozen or canned, but choose those without added sugar, syrup, cream sauces and other high-calorie ingredients. Try steaming vegetables instead of frying them, and pack in the flavour with herbs and spices. Also, make sure to include a variety of colours when you’re eating your vegetables. Aim to eat at least five different vegetables each week.
If you are trying to control your weight, it’s important to eliminate alcohol from your diet. Many alcoholic beverages are high in empty calories and sugar. Additionally, drinking alcohol prevents your body from processing and burning fat.
In addition, alcohol has been linked to malnutrition because it can interfere with your ability to absorb nutrients from food. A few alcohol-free days per week can improve your digestive health and boost your energy levels.
Eliminating alcohol can also help you curb unhealthy cravings. A study published in the “Nature” journal found that alcohol stimulates agrp neurons that activate your appetite, causing you to crave unhealthy foods. Many people find that they experience fewer unhealthy food cravings after reducing their alcohol intake. Getting rid of alcohol can also help you improve your mental health, as it may be a contributing factor to stress. It is best to let family and friends know your drinking goals so they can support you.
Eat More Healthy Fats
Despite the common misconception that all fats are bad for you, some types of fats are important in controlling your weight and overall health. In fact, the general macronutrient guidelines suggest that healthy fats should make up 20-35% of your total calories. The key is to limit saturated fat and increase unsaturated fat intake. This can be done by making simple swaps, such as using olive oil for butter in cooking and adding sliced avocado to sandwiches. In addition to helping you feel full, these healthier fats can also help lower triglycerides and reduce cholesterol levels. For more tips on eating more healthy fats, listen to the latest episode of the Health Essentials podcast.
Nutritionists agree that a healthy balanced diet should include foods from all categories, including vegetables and fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, low-fat dairy and nondairy alternatives, lean meats and fish. In order to control your weight, you should focus on limiting highly processed and unnatural foods, which are often high in saturated fat.