Our society puts a premium on thinness. Media has contributed a lot to the propagation of our society’s notion of what is beautiful… well-sculpted figures that absolutely show no hint of fat whatsoever—by showing impossibly sexy models as the epitome of what is ideal.
Unfortunately, most mere mortals interpret fitness to mean what they see on TV and go to great lengths to look like those that they see. Some people have become so desperate to lose weight that they go into crash diets to shed those extra pounds. The consequences, however, are dire. Those who try to lose weight at the expense of nutrition punish themselves by living in a constant state of hunger that eventually leads to exhaustion and collapse. Crash diets really do live up to their name — they literally make you crash.
Nutrition is an integral aspect in any weight loss program.
Healthy food choices and moderation, coupled with exercise is the key to losing weight in a healthy way. For starters, you’ve got to understand variety in the kinds of foods you eat is essential. Don’t get taken in by “high-protein/low carbohydrate” mindset that most fitness buffs propagate. Long-term studies on the effects of this kind of diet has not been fully established. What is certain is, maximizing on protein only is not a balanced diet.
While on any weight loss regime, your diet should include fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dairy (low fat or fat-free is infinitely better). Lean meat, fish, eggs, chicken (minus the skin) and nuts must also be incorporated into your eating plan.
Another so-called weight regimen that others follow is that of skipping meals. This is supposed to be a good method of losing weight.
The problem with skipping breakfast and generally not eating anything until dinner or skipping breakfast and dinner and eating only lunch with very little snacks in between, is that it causes unbearable hunger pangs. This leads to consuming more calories than usual to compensate for the meals skipped. Ideally, it’s advisable to have a full breakfast, lunch and dinner (again, with the right food and in moderation) and munch on light, healthy snacks all throughout the day. This is the best way to prevent overeating—the most common cause of weight gain.
Another set of food that has received a lot of flak—whether from miscommunication or some other cause—is dairy. Milk, cheese and eggs are foods that contain essential nutrients, calcium and protein that is important for your body’s overall functioning. In choosing milk, make sure that you go for the low-fat or non-fat variety. Yoghurt is a healthy snack alternative, too.
Nuts and read meat have also been looked upon as “evil” by some fitness quarters. The fact of the matter is that nuts have protein, dietary fiber, magnesium and copper that are important in a weight loss program. Red meat, for as long as you trim off the fat and taken in moderate portions, have protein, iron and zinc that your body needs.
Losing weight does not mean not eating. It is simply a matter of healthy food choices and consuming it at the right amounts.