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Nutrition and Weight Loss Tips

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It is very important to feed your body. If you body does not get an adequate supply of calories or the correct balance of foods it will enter the dreaded self-preservation stage. When the body goes into this panicked state it defends against starvation by storing food for later use and slowing its metabolism. (Metabolism is the rate at which the body uses energy.) The only way the body can store food is to convert it into body fat. However, if you are taking in the correct amount of calories and the correct food balance - your body never feels threatened, so it relaxes. When the body is in this relaxed state -it can utilize stored body fat for energy and the body releases weight.

Contrary to popular belief, your body requires a certain amount of fat daily to function properly. You should not eliminate fats completely from your diet. You must simply limit the total amount, avoid the bad fats (animal fats, poultry skin, butters, whole milk and dairy products) and have small amount of good fats (natural oils from grains, seeds and nuts such as olive and canola, and from fish).

These are the sugars (fruits, juices, raw sugar in baked goods) and starches (pasta, bread, potatoes) and are the main source of energy for all the muscles and bodily functions. Carbohydrates are converted by the body into glucose, a simple sugar which is either used or stored. For quick release of weight, it is best to keep the stores low by limiting carbohydrate intake and balancing meals properly. We have limited sugars because the body does not need to work much to digest them and tends to easily store extra energy from them, making you gain weight. These foods also increase blood sugar and insulin response making you hungrier and unsatisfied. Fresh fruits, juices and white flour products (white bread, sugared cereals, white flour muffins) should be avoided when you are attempting to lose weight. Only grains (multi-grain breads, oats, baked potatoes) and fresh vegetables which are high in nutrients, fibers and low in sodium are a part of your meal plans.

PROTEINS: Protein is, simply put, the most important nutrient for a person trying to lose weight. Protein is involved in almost every biological process within the body. It is required to build new muscle tissue, produce hormones and enzymes and support and enhance the immune system. In fact, protein helps control the rate of metabolism and regulates water balance and it is also extremely useful in maintaining muscle tone and muscle mass in dieting individuals. Lean protein sources are chicken, turkey, egg whites, fish, canned tuna, beans, tofu or even protein powder shakes. Vegetarians should make beans and tofu an important part of their diet to ensure they consume adequate amounts of protein.

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