4 Simple Nutrition Tips to Lose Weight
The general topic of nutrition is much more complex than what can be fit into a single article.
However, there are 4 very simple, real-life action steps that we can take every single day to help us lose weight, feel more energy, improve our mood, and increase our work productivity! Here they are:
1. Eat Smaller Portions
Although this may seem simple, it’s not… as Americans, we tend to overeat, having much more calories each meal than needed (particularly if our goal is weight loss…). The reason I am singling out my fellow Americans is because we have one of the highest obesity rates world-wide compared to other countries.
Information accurate as of 2015.
To put things in perspective, Japan has a 3.6% obesity rate today. On the other hand, the United States currently sits at a whopping 80% obesity rate, and climbing…
Why do we have a problem over-eating?
We eat too fast.
With busy schedules, we are always on-the-go, stuffing down the next meal quickly so we can get back to work. The problem with this is that we eat so fast we do not give our brain enough time to signal to our stomach that we are full and then we end up over-eating. Start by slowing down, taking 30-40 chews per bite to properly break down and digest food, and give your body enough time to feel full.
Money-hungry food manufacturers.
Between advancements in technology and overall growth of the food industry, food manufacturers are producing food at scale like never before. Many of these foods are loaded with preservatives (to sustain a longer shelf-life) and sugar. There’s no doubt why these companies include so much sugar in their foods… sugar is 8x as addictive as cocaine! The more we buy and eat these foods, and the fatter we get, the more money these companies make.
2. Eliminate Fried Foods
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Agriculture, a ½ pound of fried chicken breast is 570 calories and has 29 grams of carbohydrates, whereas a ½ pound of grilled chicken breast is 410 calories and has 0 grams of carbohydrates!
Bottom line, fried foods are loaded with unnecessary calories that will prevent you from hitting your weight loss goals.
Try and stick with grilled or roasted lean meats like chicken breast, lean ham or turkey, and roast beef, among other things.
3. Eliminate or Reduce Sauces
Sauces like mayo and ranch dressing are very underestimated. Mayo for example has 94 calories per tablespoon, that is nearly 100 calories in just 1 tbsp alone! And the reality is that none of us are having just 1 tbsp of sauce per day, we’re having much more…
And beware of salads! These foods are secret calorie bombs marketed as “healthier” options at most restaurants.
Salad in it of itself is certainly a great alternative to other un-healthier options. Unfortunately, once restaurants add their toppings to it (i.e. croutons, cheese, dressing, etc.) it becomes as healthy as a Big Mac from McDonalds…
See how many calories are in your favorite foods using this database:
Preferably you eliminate sauces all together. But, if you do need to add some sauce to your meals for extra flavor, I recommend sticking to some of the lighter options that have fewer calories, like salsa, siracha, pesto, guacamole, ketchup, and mustard. And try using no more than a tablespoon with each meal.
4. Only Drink WATER
We all know that water makes up about 60-70% of our body, yet we continue to neglect our daily water intake and fill our body with unhealthy calories from soft drinks like soda, sweet tea, lemonade, juices, smoothies, and more…essentially everything EXCEPT water.
And when we are drinking water, we do not drink enough.
An easy way to know how much water you should be drinking is the 8 x 8 rule. Meaning, you should consume at least 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water each (most standard cups/ glasses are 8 ounces, so it’s not too difficult to meet this goal).
If you are still not sold on the whole water thing, check out this clinical study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information showing the powerful weight loss benefits of water consumption:
In 2010, a study was conducted with two groups of overweight adults following a lower-calorie meal plan.
The first group drank 17 ounces of water before each meal. The second group drank NO water before each meal.
Over a 12-week period, the first group who drank water pre-meal lost an average of 44% MORE weight than the group who drank no water before their meals.
Not only do we need water to live, but it is clear to see that it helps in immense ways when it comes to helping us lose weight.
We need to (1) stop over-eating, (2) eliminate fried foods, (3) eliminate or reduce our sauce intake, and (4) drink MORE water.
As a natural fitness competitor who’s had to frequently go up and down in weight during competition season, I understand how difficult it can be to make these changes (despite how simple they may seem at face value), but these 4 action tips are a great way to kick-start and/or expedite your weight loss goals.
If you’ve found this article helpful, or have any questions, shoot me a comment below; I want to know your thoughts!