It can be tempting to replace one source of nutrients completely with another. However, depending on only one source hinders the journey to health. All the nutritional components are required to be in a balance to achieve this. Overconsumption of just one nutrient can hinder weight loss and harms the body.
A lot of different kinds of fad diets are commonly practiced today that suggest cutting down on one type of nutrient source with the intention of fat loss. However, these kinds of diets are harmful in the long run. If we take an example, the same quantity of fat contains more calories than carbohydrates; there are lots of diets that cut down on fat and replace it with carbohydrates instead. This is, in fact, harmful to the body as it results in an insulin spike in the blood, which in turn makes it difficult for our body to access the fat stored for energy. Similarly, low-carbohydrate diets are not good.
In these cases, the body actually begins to release energy by using up stored glycogen. Water is required to release this glycogen energy in the ratio 3:1. Thus, the weight loss that is observed initially in these diets is primarily because of water loss.
A balance must be achieved between the major nutrient components to achieve weight loss. The question remains as to how to go about achieving this balance. There are also a lot of other micro and macronutrients that help in achieving health goals when taken in the right amounts. Items that will help you embark on this journey of a balanced diet are listed below.
Adding as many colors as possible to your plate will help you achieve your goals. Fruits and vegetables of every sort should be a part of your diet. The more colorful your meal, the better the nutrition it will provide. It’s hard to go wrong with fruit and vegetables as they contain only the required amounts of fats. Moreover, they contain fiber and complex carbohydrates, which all, in turn, contribute to weight loss.
They also have natural sugars instead of processed sugars that are found in junk food, which also adds to their benefits. Apart from their role in helping with weight loss, they also have vitamins and antioxidants that help to improve metabolism and help boost our immune system. This, in turn, improves digestion and promotes weight loss. Make sure to choose whole fruit over juice, or else, you lose out on all the fiber, which helps with nutrient absorption.
Water as a Savior:
When you feel hungry next time, just grab a glass of water. Most of the time, it’s a thirst that’s mistaken for hunger. Our body finds it difficult to differentiate between hunger and thirst, and we end up overeating as a result. Moreover, drinking water about 30 minutes before a meal makes you feel fuller and helps you address the problem of overeating.
Just make sure not to drink water while eating your meals or right after, as this leads to diluting gastric juices in the stomach, which slows down the digestion process. Slow digestion then leads to the slowing of your metabolism and putting on weight as a result.
Moderation is the Key:
Include everything in your diet. Whites like wheat, rice, and cereals are all good to have but in limited quantities. They are an important source of fiber and carbohydrates for the body. However, overconsumption can lead to weight gain. Moreover, it is best to avoid processed white flour at all costs. This provides calories but is devoid of fiber. Use wheat flour to make bread instead. Incorporating multigrain bread into your diet also gives your body a bunch of nutrients.
Sugar, Salt, and Everything Nice:
Sugar has been recognized as a health threat. The addictive capacity of sugar has been proven by French scientists when the test rats chose sugar over cocaine, even while being addicted to cocaine. Sugar is difficult to stay away from, especially with ready meals and junk food that are readily available, as it is one of the key ingredients that add to the taste and oomph of everything that we eat.
Taste plays a major role in selling foods that have their fat levels lowered to convince people that they are, indeed, eating healthy. It was found that the sugar that was added was more potent and a leading cause of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease than any other source of calories. The average can of soda packs about 10 to 12 teaspoons of sugar, and, considering that some people reach for more than a can or two in a day, it is no wonder that obesity has reached the current levels. It is to be noted that the total number of calories that we consume is actually irrelevant; it’s the source of these calories that makes all the difference in the world.
We may think of how sodium might negatively affect our systems. As mentioned earlier, moderation is the key to nutrition. However, most of the sodium intake in our country comes from restaurant and processed foods. Most of the time, we do not know we are eating it, and too much of it, too. Salt helps to modify the flavor and preserve foods; not all foods that contain salt appear to be salty, and there are so many variations of sodium that help to enhance flavors in different ways.
Some affect water activity, but a lot of others affect the chemical reactions in food, preventing them from spoiling. Salt raises blood pressure, and this is what leads to heart failure, heart attacks, and strokes. There is also a lot of evidence to show that high salt intake and chances of stomach cancer, kidney disease, kidney stones, osteoporosis, water retention, and vascular dementia are correlated. Salt is essential in moderate amounts, but going overboard will eventually kill us.