The process of losing weight is very demanding and should not only lead to healthy body weight, but especially to the development of good eating habits. The aim should not only be losing weight quickly but also to lose weight healthily. This second component is definitely more important. What to eat to lose weight wisely, healthily and at the same time optimally fast?
What to eat to lose weight - basic principles
To make it simple, losing weight means eating fewer calories than your body consumes. However, if it was just simple mathematics, no one would think about what to eat to lose weight. While calorie balance is indeed the most important factor in losing weight it is necessary to know how to eat, in order to do it wisely and without a permanent feeling of hunger. Scientific research has been proving for almost two decades that some diets make you lose weight faster, while others make you lose it slower despite the same calorie content. So, what should you eat to lose weight?
The main foods that make your diet more effective and help you lose weight faster
- animal protein sources and pulses
- complex carbohydrates in limited quantities
What to eat to lose weight - protein sources
To lose weight more easily, eat plenty of protein - 1.2 to 1.6 g per kilogram of body weight. It is good to include its sources in every meal. Protein has several characteristics which make losing weight faster and safer - due to its complex structure, it is slowly digested, so the feeling of satiety after eating lasts longer than after meals dominated by carbohydrates. This makes it possible to spontaneously reduce the number of calories consumed because hunger is not as noticeable. In addition, the digestion of protein-rich meals alone forces the body to expend slightly more energy (80-100 kcal per day). High protein diets are very effective for weight loss. You can eat protein above the physiological norm to lose weight. However, remember to drink more water to help expel the harmful compounds of protein metabolism faster.
What protein-rich foods can you eat to lose weight::
- meat, e.g. chicken, turkey, lean beef, lean pork (e.g. loin, ham), rabbit, ham and quality sausages made from lean meat
- quark, cottage cheese, natural skyr
- protein powders
Want to lose weight fast? Eat vegetables
Weight-loss diets are low in calories, so it is natural to feel hungry. However, it is worth it and even necessary to minimise this feeling. What should you eat to lose weight fast without being hungry? Vegetables! Vegetables are very low in calories. They are mainly water and fibre, clogging ingredients that help you lose weight and have no calories. Vegetables can be added to every meal in unlimited quantities. Apart from eliminating hunger, they provide fibre, which regulates bowel movements and speeds up the excretion of toxins from the body. And, of course, they are a source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, the deficiencies of which can be easily acquired in an attempt to lose weight quickly.
Should you eat fat to lose weight?
For decades, fat in the diet has been demonised and blamed for the obesity epidemic, while at the same time the evidence regarding the immense harmfulness of sugar has been ignored. Anything consumed in excess is harmful, but the harm of sugar is incomparably greater than the harm of fat. To lose weight, you don't have to eliminate fat from your diet. On the contrary, you need it, and you should eat it. Numerous scientific studies comparing the effectiveness of various diets show that low-fat diets based on complex carbohydrates (promoted for several decades as the best way to lose weight) are much less effective than diets with an increased proportion of fat.
Fat is a taste transmitter. Eating food containing even a small amount of fat gives more pleasure than eating the same food " without it". A weight-loss diet is demanding enough. You do not have to sacrifice the taste and happiness of food. More importantly, fat is digested very slowly, so products containing it move slowly through the digestive tract, filling it up for more time. The longer feeling of satiety as well as the slower release of energy, the later hunger will come. It will be less annoying and you consume fewer calories without fighting with yourself. Fat, just like protein, causes a spontaneous reduction in the calorie content of your diet. Without counting, checking or thinking, you simply eat less, because your body does not constantly call for energy. It happens because on a high-fat diet, the level of glucose in the blood normalizes. A stable glucose level without blood sugar spikes and large drops (again a typical feature of low-fat diets based on carbohydrates) is responsible for the absence of the feeling of hunger.
What fat should you eat to lose weight? Healthy sources of fat are:
- olive oil, rapeseed oil, linseed oil
- coconut oil
- fatty marine fish such as wild salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel, sardines
- nuts, almonds, seeds, e.g. sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, chia
Carbohydrates - should you eat them to lose weight?
Carbohydrates are the macronutrients whose consumption is best to limit to lose weight. However, cutting down on carbohydrates does not mean that you have to eliminate them. Although diets that exclude carbohydrates are very popular and effective, they should not be followed without the support of a specialist dietician, so as not to harm yourself. Not every health condition allows you to eliminate them from your diet.
It is crucial to eat the right carbohydrates in the right combinations on a weight loss diet. Why? Because nutrition is not just about the number of calories, but mainly about how we treat ourselves with them. Carbohydrates provide fast-released energy, are digested faster than any other nutrients, so after consuming, hunger appears instantly. Just compare how quickly you feel hungry after eating three scrambled eggs for breakfast (protein + fat) and three jam sandwiches (carbohydrates). Both meals have almost the same calorie content!
To lose weight without starving, calories must be restricted spontaneously, so you must eat foods that satisfy you for a long time. Carbohydrates are not such an option, they cause large fluctuations in blood glucose levels, more frequent snacking, energy loss and sleepiness. Simultaneously, they provide fibre, a great number of minerals and simply must be eaten during some diseases. Therefore, it is necessary to know what carbohydrates to eat to lose weight and how to combine them in meals.
How to eat carbohydrates to lose weight?
- Avoid carbohydrate breakfasts. Better choices are eggs, avocado or sausages.
- Combine carbohydrates with fat and protein, such as rice waffles with peanut butter, bread with smoked salmon, pasta with meat.
- When you are very hungry, don't reach for carbohydrates first. Choose vegetables, cottage cheese or quark.
- Reduce carbohydrate portions and increase fat and protein.
- Choose high-fibre complex carbohydrates - cereals, wholemeal bread, pasta cooked al dente.
- Remember that fruit is high in simple sugars and is not a snack without penalty!