What Should I Eat to Achieve My Ideal Body Composition? [Guest Post]

Nowadays, people are becoming more health-conscious. The consumer demand for healthy food options is increasing.

No wonder why we can see salad listed in menus almost everywhere, even your favorite fast food chain that is known for its juicy cheeseburger is throwing in some greens in order to fit in. While all these changes are great, taking the next step towards a healthy lifestyle through healthy eating can be confusing, especially when there are a lot of fad diets floating around.

When it comes to weight loss it all boils down to simple math: cut out 3,500 calories in the course of seven days to lose a pound in a week. But the thing is, not everyone has the time nor patience to count how much calories they are taking in. Enter mindful eating.

Mindful eating makes weight loss a lot easier. There is no need to worry about counting calories when you know that what you are eating is helping you achieve the healthy body you have always wanted. But when hunger hits, it’s convenience over health that ultimately wins so better stock up your pantry with these healthy foods to avoid eating takeouts, which are well, not your weight-loss buddies.

1. Whole grains

Mixed Grains

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Many people believe that the key to achieving successful weight loss is by avoiding carbohydrates. However, carbohydrate is an important part of a balanced diet as this macronutrient is the preferred energy source of our body. 

There are two types of carbohydrates: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates (fast-release) tend to give a sudden burst of energy followed by a slump. They are found in processed foods and anything with refined sugar. On the other hand, complex carbohydrates (slow-release) are broken down slowly providing a steady release of energy which helps keep us feeling full, longer. They are mostly found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

2. Salmon

Grilled Salmon

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Who would have thought that a “fatty” fish can help you lose weight? Wild salmon has a well-deserved reputation as one of the healthiest foods that you should definitely include in your diet.

This fish is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce inflammation and lower elevated triglyceride levels reducing risk of heart diseases. Salmon is also a good source of protein, which is responsible for the growth and repair of body tissues.

Including meat in a balanced diet is a good way to get sufficient amount of high-quality protein, just stick with lean meats as they contain lower amounts of saturated fats. In buying beef or pork, opt for cuts of meat labeled as “round” or “loin”, such as sirloin and center loin pork chops and trim as much of the visible fat as possible.

3. Nuts

Nuts

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The creamy, savory taste and texture of nuts make them a popular snack. But should you be worried snacking on nuts? As much as 80 percent of a nut is fat.

These bite-size nutritional powerhouses are packed with heart-healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals but are high in calories. That is why you should eat nuts in moderation. The effects of eating nuts on cardiovascular health have been examined by researchers from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health and their work shows that nuts are really healthy, especially for men at risk of heart disease.

Almonds are among the lowest-calorie nuts at 160 calories per ounce. These nuts are calcium-rich, making it a good choice to ensure that you are getting enough of this bone-building mineral. Plus, they are also rich in fiber and vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps fight off cancer and improve the condition and appearance of your skin.

4. Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and Vegetables

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We all know that including more veggies in your dinner plate is one of the keys to weight loss. Kale, spinach and romaine lettuce are low in calories and full of fiber, which keeps you feeling full for longer and thus, avoid snacking on high calorie foods. They are also nutrient-dense, providing you vitamins and minerals needed to nourish your body.

Berries

Eating berries will not only fill your tummy but also nourish your body. Berries such as blueberries and strawberries are dubbed as superfoods. They are loaded with antioxidants that fight off cancer and promote skin health. Add a handful in your smoothie or sprinkle over your breakfast cereal.

Avocado

Avocado is packed with vitamins and minerals that nourish our body. It contains essential minerals potassium and magnesium which help regulate fluid balance and prevents constipation, respectively.

Banana

Can’t stop eating but don’t know what to eat and not gain weight? Eat banana instead of prepackaged sugar-filled snacks that are readily available in convenience stores. This fruit is naturally sweet and packed with potassium. Think of how many calories you can save from eating banana instead of snacks with added sugar.

Leanne Thompson is a writer and a blogger who has contributed to some of the most well-known Health, Fitness and Nutrition blogs. She has struggled with her weight in her teenage years, which has driven her to undertake a Bachelors of Nutrition degree in the renowned Iowa State University, mostly to study the needs of a human body and how to make the most out of her life. She has made it her life goal to spread awareness about the importance of healthy weight loss and the wellbeing of people she has contact with. Find out more on her blog at www.leanneknows.com.

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