Each fad book and celebrity diet brings more confusion on how to eat to lose weight. And most of them ignore healthy eating. Getting the right amount of nutrients to protect yourself from heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis doesn’t even enter their radar screen.
So we gathered the best research on the healthiest ways to slim down, then put them together in our easy to follow Eat Great, Lose Weight plan.
At the heart of this plan is our Mix & Match Meals. We did all the nutritional calculations and meal balancing for you. Better yet, these meals are filled with delicious foods that you’ll love.
But first take a look at the “golden rules” of successful weight loss. They’ll provide the perfect direction for eating to lose weight.
It’s the volume of food – not the number of calories – that you eat that determines when you’re full. You consistently eat about the same volume of food, day after day. So you can lose weight by eating more foods that are low on the energy density scale: those with lots of water, such as fruits, vegetables, and broth-based soups. Eating foods that are less energy dense and contain more water can naturally reduce the number of calories that you eat by up to 20% without making you feel hungry.
You’ve been watching your fat, but you really need to be counting calories too. Luckily, our Mix & Match Meals does most of the counting for you. You can easily develop meals to meet your calorie needs. (In general, women should aim for about 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day, and men about 2,300 to 2,600 calories a day.)
Boost Your Calcium
Who would have thought that this bone builder could also help you lose weight? People who take in the most calcium from food (about 1,300 mg a day) reduce their chances of becoming overweight by an astonishing 80% compared to those who get only 255 mg daily. Calcium appears to control how fat cells work.
Eat More Fiber
Foods rich in fiber not only help keep you regular, but they also help you eat fewer calories because they fill you up faster than other foods. Also, fiber blocks absorption of some of the calories you consume by scooting them through your body before they can be absorbed. Experts estimate that each gram of fiber substituted for simple carbohydrates results in a 7 calorie loss. That means that tripling your daily fiber intake from 13 grams (the average for most people) to 40 grams (the average for our meal plans) would, by itself, result in about a 200 calorie a day deficit – or a 2 pound weight loss within about a month.
Snack All Day
As you get older, your body burns fewer calories. In one study, older women burned about 30% fewer calories after eating a 1,000 calorie meal than younger women. Eating two or three large meals per day (even if you’re eating the same number of calories that you would with smaller meals) could pack on 6 pounds a year. To combat that, eat mini-meals. Eating five or six mini-meals through the day maximizes your body’s calorie burning ability.