Overweight and obesity are common health problems caused by a positive energy balance, i.e. when the body is supplied with more energy than it needs. The excess energy is stored as body fat. In order to reduce the health risks of being overweight, it is often necessary to permanently normalize body weight. This requires a change in behavior and health-conscious eating habits.
In this article, we will share some practical tips for weight loss and maintenance through health-conscious eating habits.
1. Focussing on Whole Foods
One of the foundations of a healthy diet is the preference for whole foods. These foods are barely processed and rich in vital nutrients. Unlike processed foods, which often contain high amounts of sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats, whole foods provide an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. These nutrients are essential for overall health and well-being and can help promote satiety and regulate blood sugar levels.
Examples of whole foods:
- Fruit: apples, bananas, berries, oranges, pears
- Vegetables: broccoli, spinach, carrots, peppers, tomatoes
- Whole grains: whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, oatmeal
- Lean meats: chicken, turkey, lean beef
- Healthy fats: avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil
2. Portion Control
Controlling portions is vital for weight management and avoiding excessive food intake. It is easy to eat more than necessary, especially if we use large plates or bowls. By using smaller pieces of dishes, we can visually tempt our minds to be satisfied with smaller portions. In addition, it is important to have a balanced distribution of food on the plate.
Portion control tips:
- Use smaller plates, bowls, and glasses.
- Fill half of your plate with colorful vegetables, a quarter with lean protein, and a quarter with whole grains or starchy vegetables.
3. Drinking enough
Proper hydration plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health and assisting with weight loss. Water is essential for many bodily functions, including regulating body temperature, eliminating waste products, and lubricating joints. In addition, drinking water before meals can help increase satiety and reduce calorie intake.
- Drink enough water throughout the day.
- Replace sugary drinks such as sodas and fruit juices with water or unsweetened teas.
4. Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is about being fully present and being aware of your eating experience. This includes awareness of the physical and emotional sensations associated with food, as well as awareness of the sensory experiences (appearance, smell, taste, texture) of the food.
Through mindful eating, we can build a healthier relationship with food and make it easier to make conscious choices that align with our weight loss and well-being goals.
Tips for mindful eating:
- Avoid distractions such as watching TV or watching screens while eating.
- Take your time with each meal and chew each bite thoroughly.
- Listen to your body’s signals and only eat when you’re really hungry.
5. Plan and prepare meals
Meal planning and preparation can significantly support healthy eating habits. By planning your meals in advance, you can ensure that you maintain a balanced and nutrient-dense diet. In addition, preparing meals ahead of time can help avoid impulsive choices for less healthy options.
Meal planning tips:
- Plan your meals for the week in advance and create a shopping list with the ingredients you need.
- Prepare meals in advance and store them in the fridge or freezer.
- Pack your lunch and snacks for work or excursions so you don’t have to rely on fast food or ready meals.
By adopting healthy eating habits, you can achieve weight loss while nourishing your body. Incorporate these habits into your lifestyle and experience the positive effects they have on your overall well-being, energy levels, and long-term weight management.
Please note that this information is not a substitute for individual nutritional advice. Nutritional treatment/counselling is a health insurance benefit and should be used if necessary.