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Eating Right Can Help You Lose

Finding the best five foods for losing weight is actually easier than you think. Common sense will go a long way, and it is recommended that you follow the age-old food pyramid, put out by the Department of Agriculture. If you go onto their website, you can log-in and create a personal food pyramid to match you and your lifestyle, and your weight-loss, or weight maintenance needs.

Don't Starve, Choose These Foods and Lose Weight

It appears very simple. You can enjoy a wide variety of healthy foods while slowly ridding your diet of unhealthier ones such as fried foods, foods containing trans fats, white bread, sugar-laden soft drinks, regular pasta, and fatty dairy products. These foods are slowly reduced and replaced with healthier foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and more. Weekly eating plans provide suggested meals, and help provide a structure to your diet.

The first food group you need the most of are vegetables, and lots of them. Vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Not only delicious, but fruits and vegetables reduce your risk of heart problems and cancer, along with the added benefit of maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing your risk for diabetes. Some of my favorites are cherry tomatoes, which are easy and fun to pop in your mouth, or lightly steam some broccoli to the point where it's still slightly crunchy. Butternut squash is also a delicious food that can be baked, or even microwaved for a filling side-dish.

Whole Grain Goodness

The second food groups to focus on are whole-wheat breads and pastas, whole-grain low-sugar cereals, brown rice, bulgur, quinoa, barley, oats, oat bran and wheat tortillas. These foods are great sources of fiber, which can encourage weight loss and aid in digestion. It's important especially when you eat a lot of vegetables and protein to include these in your diet.

Low and No Fat Dairy

The third areas to focus on are low-fat and non-fat dairy products which are excellent source of bone-building calcium. Non-fat and one percent milk are examples of that. There are also some great low-fat cheeses, such as low-fat string cheese.

Nuts and Seeds

The fourth group of foods that are good for weight loss are nuts and seeds, which are rich in protein and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Some of my favorites are almonds and sunflower seeds. I like to add them to a stir-fry , a chicken or tuna salad, or pack a zip lock bag full to snack on while at work exercising, or out shopping.

Protein is a Many Splendored Thing

The fifth food group that is best for weight loss are proteins. Skinless chicken breasts, and turkey, fish, legumes and eggs are examples of good proteins. Some good examples of protein are grilled chicken breast over a fresh green salad, a hard-boiled egg, some lentils, or smoked salmon from the grill. This is by far, the most important food group, as protein is what fuels your body and keeps you going.

Eat and Move

Finding balance between food and physical activity is really the key to losing weight and weight maintenance. With protein, you get the most nutrition out of calories you take in. Stay within daily calorie needs and you can maintain your weight. You will lose weight if you increase exercise, and stay within your body's caloric needs.

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