If you want to  lose weight then one of the things you need to look at is what you eat. If you consume more calories than you expend these calories turn into fat. Something no one wants. So other than exercising one of the things you can do is to look at your diet and eat more of the types of foods that help you lose weight.

The estimated average daily calorie requirement is 2000 for women and 2500 for men, this is just an estimate and will depend on your age, weight, height, body composition and levels of activity.

Low GI foods:

Foods with a low glycemic index will leave you feeling fuller for longer so they will help prevent you reaching for a biscuit or chocolate bar during the day for that extra boost of energy:

  • Apples
  • Cherries
  • Plums
  • Grapefruit
  • Peaches
  • Peanuts
  • Walnuts
  • Raisins
  • Raw carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Green beans
  • Tomato soup

Negative calories foods:

These are not foods that contain no calories, they are foods that are said to use more calories in the digestion process than it provides. Generally these foods are low calorie fruit and vegetables:

  • Apples
  • Lettuce
  • Grapefruit
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Sprouts
  • Mushrooms
  • Cucumber
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Tangerines
  • Oranges
  • Apricots

These foods provide you with nutrients but they need to be eaten as part of a healthy balanced diet. Keep them in mind when you fancy a snack.

Don’t just reduce your calorie intake because this can have the opposite affect. This is why diets sometimes don’t work, it may look like the diet is working and you see weight come off but as soon as you start to eat normally again you will just put the weight straight back on again. The changes you make need to be lifestyle changes, they need to be ones that you can stay with for the rest of your life so that’s why it is important that you eat the right amount and the right types of food so you can stay healthy and get the nutrients you need and to be active. Remember its not just eating the right foods that help you lose weight you need to exercise and have a healthy and balanced diet

Think of your body as a car, for your car to last a long time and not breakdown you need to put fuel in it and you need to make sure it is the right kind of fuel and it needs to be looked after and taken out for a drive regularly so it doesn’t cease up. Your body is the same, you need food for fuel so that you can do your day to day activities and also to exercise to keep your body in working order. By exercising and eating a healthy balanced diet you reduce the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, high cholesterol, diabetes, osteoporosis etc.

For a healthy balanced diet you need to eat the correct type of foods and the right amount. We can group our daily foods as follows:

Fruit and Vegetables

These provide necessary vitamins and minerals.

This food group should make up 1 third of what you eat daily. It is advised that we should eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. If you really think about it this is not that hard. 1 banana or apple is considered 1 portion, a slice of pineapple or melon is a portion or three heaped tablespoons of vegetables is another portion. So one way of getting your 5 a day could be to have a few strawberries with your cereal for breakfast, an apple or orange for a mid-morning snack, a side salad with your lunch, a banana for a mid-afternoon snack, and vegetables with your dinner and there you have done it you have eaten your 5 a day.

You can even make a smoothie or juice from them and easily get your 5 a day.

Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods

These provide fuel and nutrients for your body such as fibre, calcium, iron and B vitamins

These should also make up 1 third of what you eat and form the basis of most meals. Go for the wholemeal or wholegrain varieties where you can.

The other third of your daily intake should consist of the last 3 groups;

Meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non dairy sources of protein

These provide protein and other vitamins and minerals.

Milk and dairy foods

Provide protein, calcium, Vitamins A and B12

This group is vital for maintaining the health of your bones, skin and blood. Go for the reduced fat version.

Foods and drinks high in fat/sugar

These are the types of food that need to be minimized. Many people over indulge on saturated fats (such as biscuits, cakes, sausages) and foods or drinks with added sugar. These are the ones that cause us to put on weight, they are high in calories and it is having too many calories that cause us to put on fat.

We do need fat and sugar in our diet though we just need to cut down on the ones that are bad for us. Instead of saturated fat we should have foods with unsaturated fat so nuts, seeds, avocados etc. We get sugar from fruits and milk so we need to cut down on the food and drink which has added sugar, such as fizzy drinks/soda, sweets etc.

You can treat yourself to chocolate, cake, biscuits etc every now and then as long as it is in moderation, remember these foods are meant to be eaten as a treat not as a staple with every meal. When you reach for the chocolate or biscuit just remember your goal and what you want to achieve and whether eating it is really worth it.

Keep exercising and eating a healthy balanced diet and you will see the weight start to drop off, it takes time and effort but you will be rewarded.

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