Controlling weight is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Having a regimented diet plan and keeping active are essential to maintaining a healthy body.
Avoid foods high in calories and carbohydrates, and stock your kitchen with diet-friendly options. Eating smaller meals may also help you lose weight. For example, using a small plate or bowl can cut your portion sizes by 100-200 calories a day.
Portion control is a critical component of a healthy eating pattern and is useful for many health goals, including supporting hunger cues, maintaining energy levels and supporting weight loss. There are several strategies to improve portion control, including using smaller dinnerware, tracking foods and eating slowly.
Using portion control tools can help you track and manage your calories and macronutrients without having to count them every day. In addition, it is an effective way to reduce food waste and save money by making sure that you eat only what your body needs. Moreover, it can also help you avoid over-indulging on unhealthy food. For example, you can use a portion control tool to determine the right amount of mayo to put on your sandwich. In addition, you can use a ratio of protein-to-carbohydrate-rich foods to keep your energy level consistent throughout the day. Several randomized controlled trials have shown that the use of these tools can facilitate weight loss.
While it wasn’t that long ago that many leading health experts were claiming fat was all-around bad news for your health, emerging research now supports that certain types of fat can improve health.
Healthy fats are those from unprocessed whole foods and can help lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, support heart health, boost energy levels and help you lose weight.
The two main categories of healthy fats are monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. These fats can be found in plant-based oils, avocados, peanut butter and some nuts and seeds. They supply important omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that your body cannot make.
Avoid unhealthy fats such as processed fatty meats, hard cheeses, fried foods and butter. They contain saturated and trans fats that raise cholesterol, increase your risk of heart disease and can lead to obesity. General recommendations suggest that you limit your total fat intake to 20-35% of calories.
Dietary fiber is the nondigestible part of plant foods that can’t be broken down by human digestive enzymes. It consists of the remnants of plant cell walls, resistant starches, polysaccharides (including oligosaccharides), pectins and gums. Most dietary fibers are water-insoluble/less fermented (cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin) while others are water-soluble/well fermented (pectins, gums and mucilages).
Different types of dietary fiber contribute to health in different ways. Modest increases in dietary fiber intake (to a range of 14 g/1,000 kcal) can reduce postmeal hunger and increase satiety. In addition, soluble fiber may bind carcinogens in the large intestine and prevent their absorption. In general, dietary fiber promotes healthy weight control by regulating appetite and energy intake. It also helps improve stool bulk and consistency while having a laxative effect on the colon. This is accomplished by binding bile acids and reducing their conversion to short chain fatty acid metabolites, which may protect against colon cancer. This is the mechanism that explains why a diet high in dietary fiber is associated with reduced colorectal cancer risk.
Exercise is an important component to controlling weight. Physical activity enhances health and fitness, and can help prevent disease (cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer), improve strength, endurance, flexibility and mood, aid bone health and more. Exercise can be anything from structured workouts to household chores, yard work or simply walking. Exercise is most effective when done regularly to maintain results. Talk to your doctor about exercise recommendations for you. Exercise can help control your weight when combined with eating a healthy diet.