Another new year, another weight loss goal. Just as every other new year, taming the bulge still remains high on the list of goals to achieve. This isn’t surprising since recent studies show that more than 66 percent of adult Americans are considered overweight or obese. Besides setting reasonable goals and staying focused, which are the two most important factors in sticking with a weight loss program, the problem lies with trying to follow the requirements of certain fad diets and the foods that go along with them. But one thing you can do that is different this year is to focus on good nutrient dense foods…real foods for the human body.
Nutrition the Human Diet Requires:
- Calories/Energy: This acts as our energy source–carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Food provides us with energy, which is measured in calories and is meant to be used. Any energy not immediately used is stored as fat.
- Nutrients: Nutrients are in the form of vitamins and minerals and are called essential nutrients because they are necessary for metabolism, regulation and the building and repairing of tissues. Nutrients, when converted are used as energy.
- Hydration: This would be the intake of water for proper hydration. Some “experts” believe that we get all the fluids we need from our food, while we may not be sure of that, there is no doubt that those who diets are high in plant-based sources get a good portion of their daily water replenishment from food.
Now, the key is to fulfill your nutrition needs as efficiently as possible, which means, by getting the necessary calories or energy, but not at the expense of eating more food to do so. Our western diet…some whole foods, some water, too much sugar and salt and lots of process foods, are high in calories, but low in nutrients. And that’s the problem, since the body is searching for nutrients….you continue to eat until this requirement is met. If your daily food intake is low in essential nutrients, your body will begin to communicate with you… thereby increasing your appetite, why, because it’s trying to fulfill its nutrient requirement. So, if you eat low-nutrient foods, you will need more of them, than you would of the more high quality, nutrient dense foods, to fulfill the your daily nutrient requirement.
If none of the requirements above are met, usually through eating junk food, candy or processed foods, the this could lead to malnutrition (high calorie/low nutrient)and eventually the body will begin to breakdown. So, your goal is to eat nutrient dense foods in moderate amounts….moderate amounts because you need to only eat the amount of calories you expect to exert throughout the day. If you eat more calories than you expel in energy, then the excess calories will turn to fat….and if not used will lead to weight gain.
That’s it! Don’t get caught up in the fads or popular diets, just eat the widest variety of whole, natural foods that your body likes and craves, and try to get everything you need nutritionally with nutrient-dense foods and the least amount of food possible. Follow these principles and you’ll get closer to achieving your weight loss goal with optimal nutrition.