Dieting for Weight Loss

A great part of maintaining a healthy body at its correct weight comes from what you eat and drink. It is all about what you put into your body and how it copes with what it gets that will result, to a greater extent, in the way you look.

So this article takes an overview look at weight loss dieting and how you ought to ensure that you understand why things are the way they are when it comes to the way you look and to the state of your general health and well being.

Most people are well aware that if you consistently eat too much and drink too much that you will get fat. They are also well aware that if a large proportion of the food you eat is high in calories, you will similarly become overweight.

They are also aware that if the majority of the food you eat is made up of stuff that is obviously bad for you, then not only will you become overweight that your health will eventually decline as a result. This applies whether you are eating a diet for a man or for a woman.

dieting for weight lossSo it makes pretty good sense to be aware of what you are putting into your body so that you can ensure that the majority at least of what you eat is healthy and will not result in weight gain. To do that, you need to have a decent understanding of what certain foods and food groups do to your body and to know which ones to eat and which ones to avoid.

Here is a guide that might seem like common sense when you read it, but you'd be surprised at just how much of it is getting into your general diet, sometimes without you even knowing.

Foods to Avoid

Generally, you should avoid anything that comes out of a fast food restaurant, like burgers, fries, hot dogs, pizza, milk shakes, pastries, pies etc. Even some of the healthy looking salads that come from these places are loaded with calories in the dressings they put on them to give some flavor to what would otherwise be a bland, tasteless plate of leaves.

You should also avoid cakes, biscuits, cookies, candy bars, sweets, and the like. This also includes all forms of soda (fizzy drinks) whether they are labelled as "diet" or not. They all contain ingredients that are bad for your health and if it isn't sugar, then its an artificial sweetener that will stimulate your appetite and make you want to eat more and has hidden properties that can lead to cancer and other nasty illnesses when you drink enough of them over time.

Avoid fatty meats, processed meats such as those nice looking packs of what can only loosely be described as ham, turkey or chicken etc slices. Stay away from sausages, frankfurters, bacon, anything that is or looks processed (spam, pate, meatloaf, black pudding etc). Avoid high fat cheeses and spreads and don't buy lard to fry anything in.

Also to be avoided are the processed foods that you find in all supermarkets, such as ready meals, frozen meals, processed foods such as chicken nuggets, filled pasta shapes, pies and pastry based items. The list is extremely long so your best plan of action is to read the labels on everything you plan on placing in your basket and discarding anything that is full of:

All these foods will be detrimental to your health in some way and likely contain high levels of saturated fats, sugars and additives that are potentially detrimental to your health. Lastly, on the note of bread, pasta and rice, avoid white bread, pasta made from refined white flour. White rice is not ideal but often the only choice you have, so go with something like basmati rice which has some nutrients left in there.

Foods to Eat

Believe it or not, there are some foods left over from the previous list that are actually good for you and will help you in your weight loss efforts. These generally fall into the category of fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables you buy in their raw state.

dieting foods to eatSimilarly, lean meats that are not processed, such as prime cuts of beef, steak, chicken, turkey, lamb, pork etc. Most fresh fish is good for you so learn to love the smell of a fresh fish stall and buy your fish that way (not packaged and processed).

If you must eat bread, then opt for wholemeal (whole grain) breads which are low in salt (sodium) if possible as these contain the goodness present in the wheat bran which is stripped out of bread made from refined white flour. Wholemeal bread is higher in low GI carbs (whereas its white cousin is high in high GI carbs) and so releases it sugars into the bloodstream more slowly.

Same goes for pasta and if you can get hold of brown (wholemeal) pasta, then it is much better for you than its white counterpart. Brown rice when available is also a healthy alternative to white rice.

When it comes to spreads, there are many low fat alternatives to butter and polyunsaturated margarine. Monounsaturated spreads made from olive oil are preferable to the alternatives and you can get low fat mayonnaise if you have to have it.

Sweet things sometimes just have to be part of our meals and that's understandable. You can make use of fresh fruits to provide sweetness most of the time.

Final Note on Reality

While in a perfect world we would only eat fresh foods and do sufficient daily exercise to maintain a healthy body that remains at its ideal weight, the perfect world does not exist. There is no question of "does it work" or not, because it just does. People like to eat things they know are bad for them and you know, sometimes you just have to give in to your desires.

That doesn't mean you have to chastise yourself for slipping up every so often by eating a chocolate bar or enjoying a pizza for lunch. We're human and humans are not perfect. We make mistakes and constantly learn from those mistakes.

Therefore, when you place yourself on a strict diet to lose weight, don't beat yourself up if you slip up once or twice. It's normal to do that and you'd go crazy if you didn't. Just use common sense and if you do slip up on a diet, then counteract it by doing some extra exercises to compensate.

Everything has a balance and you can maintain the balance of a healthy, low calorie diet with exercise and getting some activities into your lifestyle. It's all about your overall health, after all. So do what you have to do to be as healthy as you can be, but remember that you are human and you'll be fine.