Choosing lower fat foods. People who eat lower fat, higher carbohydrate diets tend to have lower body mass indexes. There are a few reasons why those who consistently eat a lower fat diet are able to maintain healthier body weights and don't tend to gain weight over time. High fat foods are "calorically dense". Because a lot of calories are packed into smaller volumes of food, it is much easier to overeat on a high fat diet and to underestimate the actual calories that have been eaten. I'm sure that you've heard of, or even know people who have lost weight on high fat diets (lots of meat, dairy products, etc.) This is because the "diet" is restricted in calories too, so the quantities of these foods are controlled to cause weight loss. In addition, high fat foods have a lot of taste appeal, making it much easier to eat more simply because it is pleasurable. In the real world of people just choosing foods without limiting calories or amounts of food, a low fat diet has been found to be most effective in maintaining good body weight.
For those of you who are trying to gain weight: Increasing fat intake is a short cut to gaining weight, but not for gaining muscle! The same healthy eating guidelines apply to those who wish to gain muscle mass - overeating high fat foods is not the answer!
So, if you have a day or even a week in which you are just not up to following a structured eating plan, you can still make progress by just following the specific goals and strategies for keeping fat intake within reason.
Eating more vegetables. Yes, here it is again - the golden rule of nutrition! Vegetables are quite high in nutrition and low in calories and most of us don't eat enough of them. Yet, the habit of increasing intake of vegetables was found in scientific studies of food habits in large study populations to be a major factor in maintaining healthy body weight. Those who eat a vegetarian diet tend to have the lowest body mass index, as a group. For weight loss, they help to provide lots of essential vitamins and minerals even when total food intake is low, and this can really help keep you well and keep your energy level high even during w
eight loss. For weight gain, they provide essential nutrients for energy metabolism, so that the body cell can build muscle through exercise.
Not your favorite food? Try an exchange diet. These diets allow you to substitute particular foods for choices you prefer. Even if you hate many vegetable chances are you don't hate all of them or you can at least tolerate some more than others!
Reading food labels Another study found that people who took the time to read nutrition labels of foods reported improved nutritional habits. Remember this rule: Look for packaged meals that contain 15 grams of fat or less per meal, and look for packaged "side dish" or desserts that contain about 5 grams of fat or less per serving so that you don't get too much fat at one time. Other things to look for on a label: total calories per serving, sodium, cholesterol, fiber, and look at the individual ingredients for types of fats, sugar content, and needless chemicals.
Everyone has obstacles to achieving goals, but not everyone allows them to become an excuse to quit their diet or exercise routine. If you are having a hard time following your plan, or you know you are going to have a challenging week ahead, instead of dumping your diet, choose one of the three things you can do to stay on track and you'll continue to make progress.