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Unhealthy and myth-based diets of the past have given fat a bad name that has had a negative lasting impact on the weight loss. Fat should not be considered a deep, dark enemy. It is not a dieting “F-word”! In fact, you need a good amount of the right types of fat in order to make sure that you can effectively lose weight, maintain a healthy immune system, improve your mood, and look great (with healthy hair, skin, and nails).
The Problem with Diets That Eliminate All Fat, including Healthy Fats
So here’s the scoop: there is a destructive dieting myth that is misleading all too many dieters, suggesting that if you want to lose fat, you shouldn’t eat fat. As it turns out, though, if you try to achieve a non-fat diet and always pick fat-free alternatives, you could be working against your own efforts. Fat, as it turns out, can actually be an important friend when you are trying to lose or maintain weight.
Your body requires healthy fats to achieve its best function levels:
- They are vital for the absorption of vitamin A (an antioxidant), vitamin D, vitamin E, and other nutrients.
- They are also a critical part of the health of your nervous system, including your brain, spinal cord, and nerves.
An Explanation of Healthy Fats vs. Unhealthy Fats
What fats are considered unhealthy?
First off, saturated fats are the type that you should work to avoid from now on. They come with the increased risk of heart disease and obesity, and make it very difficult to lose weight, while also increasing your bad cholesterol levels.
These unhealthy fats can be found in:
- Meat and poultry
- Dairy products like cream and butter, as a couple of examples
- Palm and coconut oils
What about trans fats? According to the American Heart Association, these should be avoided as best as possible because they can reduce your good cholesterol level, while increasing your bad cholesterol level. Plus, they can contribute to a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Yikes!
What are some of the foods that contain trans fat? Well, there are trans fats that are naturally occurring, and you would get these from animal products like meat and dairy. In addition to that, however, there are artificial trans fats, which are also known as trans fatty acids. These are made through a process that takes vegetable oil and adds hydrogen to it. This process makes the oil more solid, and it creates what’s known as “partially hydrogenated oil.” If you come across a food that lists this ingredient on the label, do not buy it!
The bottom line is simple: avoid unhealthy saturated fat and trans fat, and pack your diet with foods that are high in beneficial fats, such as the following:
The key is to choose the right, healthy fats. Focus on eating monounsaturated fats. They will not only help with weight loss and overall health, but studies have also shown that they have considerable benefits in lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke. They are also known to help to lower bad cholesterol levels while increasing good cholesterol levels, lowering your risk of built up plaque in your arteries. And, they can help with the maintenance of the health of your cells. Plus, research even suggests that good fats help to prevent fat from being stored in your belly area!
Some of the foods that are high in monounsaturated fats include:
- Sesame oil
- Sunflower oil
- Peanut butter
- Peanut oil
In addition to monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat is also considered one of the healthy fats that you should aim to get from your daily diet in order to maintain wellness. That’s because this type of fat can help reduce your bad cholesterol. Also, because polyunsaturated fats include omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, your cells, heart, and brain can use this type of fat to maintain proper function.
Some of the foods that are high in polyunsaturated fats include:
- Sunflower seeds
- Soybean oil
- Flax oil
- Safflower oil
- Corn oil
The Right Amount of Healthy Fat, and Where to Get It
You should also pay attention to the amount of fat you’re eating. After all, while there is a great deal of benefit to healthy fats, they still contain a large number of calories. Therefore, try to make up about 25 to 30 percent of your daily caloric intake with fats.
So where do you find these elusive healthy fats? In very flavorful foods that are affordable and easy to find. They include:
- Olive oil and olives
- Canola oil
- Peanut butter
- Sesame seeds
You’ll also find walnuts, flaxseeds, mackerel, salmon, and herring to be high in the types of fats your body loves. Those foods also contain omega-3s, which come with another whole range of health benefits.
It’s All About Balance!
When it comes to consuming a healthy diet, it is all about balance. Focus on getting all of the macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) that your body needs to thrive. And, when it comes to fat, in particular, don’t be so afraid of it anymore. Instead, just use your new knowledge about healthy fats versus unhealthy fats to make wiser choices when it comes to what you eat on a daily basis.
When you want to lose weight, you want it to happen quickly. No one wants to spend weeks or months, or even years, working hard by dieting and exercising to slim down to their target weight.
Unfortunately, when it comes to weight loss, you shouldn’t rush the process or expect the results to come sooner than they safely should. In fact, experts always recommend gradual weight loss, especially if you want to keep the weight off for a long time to come.
Continue reading to learn about fast weight loss vs. gradual weight loss, and why gradual weight loss is always the way to go.
Gradual Weight Loss Can Lead to Longer Lasting Results
Most people are tempted to try and lose as much weight in the shortest amount of time that they can. This strategy can actually lead to unwanted results. Studies have shown that people who lose more than 2 to 3 pounds a week tend to gain the weight back faster as soon as diet and exercise is taken out of their daily routine. Losing more weight than your body will naturally allow will also cause you to lose muscle along with fat. In fact, losing more than 3 lbs per week is considered unhealthy and can lead to more serious health risks than feeling hungry and having food cravings.
Water Weight, Calories, and Fat: What You Should Know
When you set a goal for successful weight loss, you want to ensure it’s going to stay off. In the first few weeks of diet and exercise, many people experience rapid weight loss between 3 pounds and 5 pounds per week. Much of this weight is considered water weight that is used and lost through perspiration.
One pound of fat contains an average 3,500 calories, over a week’s time, to lose two lbs of body fat one would have to cut their caloric intake by 1,000 calories per day to make up for the 7,000 calories in two pounds of fat. By reducing caloric intake by 1,000 calories a day, not only will you remain hungry, but your body will also activate its famine response where your body will store fat instead of using it as fuel.
When You Don’t Focus on Gradual Weight Loss, Problems Might Arise
There is also an increased risk for additional health concerns for those who attempt to lose weight faster than your body is ready to lose naturally:
- Dehydration- the majority of initial weight loss comes from losing water weight. Our bodies need water to function properly. Losing too much water weight can lead to dehydration. In fact, when you are dieting it is recommended that you drink more water to stay hydrated and when consumed during meals can help you eat less.
- Fatigue- Most people think that by cutting your caloric intake in half you will lose weight faster. While this may be true for quick weight loss it will gradually catch up with you in the long term. Our bodies turn calories into energy. Without sufficient energy you will feel tired and lose motivation for exercise. Your metabolism will suffer.
- Malnutrition- Also by restricting caloric intake our bodies become deprived of the nutrients it needs to function properly. Vitamins and minerals are essential for keeping our skin, muscles, organs and bones healthy.
- Other health risks of trying to lose too much weight too quickly include ketone build up, heart rhythm disorders, gallstones, loose skin, weakened muscles, and digestive disorders.
How to Achieve Gradual Weight Loss Effectively and Safely
To maintain overall health and lose weight, it is recommended that you cut your caloric intake by no more than 500 calories a day. In addition, sticking to an exercise routine between three and five days a week can help keep the weight off and ensure you are burning true body fat.
According to WebMD, there are several ways that you can go about achieving a safe and healthy amount of gradual weight loss when you are working on slimming down. Those gradual weight loss steps include the following:
- Being careful about the beverages that you consume, as you can take in a lot of calories and sugar without realizing if you are drinking those calories and sweeteners. Stick to pure water as much as possible. And, drinking more water can even help reduce your appetite at mealtime by filling your belly before you start eating the food. When you want something other than water, stick with pure fruit and veggie juices that don’t contain additional sweeteners, or unsweetened teas.
- Choose whole grains instead of refined grains when you’re working on gradual weight loss. In other words, ditch the white flour products, like bread and pasta, for those that are made with whole grains, like whole wheat. Other whole grains that are great for dieters include brown rice, rye, bran, and quinoa. These will fill you up, and keep you satisfied, with nutrients and fiber, and they can even help support a healthy metabolic rate for weight loss.
- Are you getting enough fruits and vegetables into your diet? If you aren’t, you might find it harder to achieve your weight loss goals. Experts recommend consuming a greater amount of fruits and veggies that are low in calories, as this can help satisfy you so that you don’t end up eating other foods that are higher in calories and fat. You can do this, for example, by reducing the amount of meat that you eat and making the focus on your plate the vegetables. You can also start off dinner or lunch with a salad or veggie soup to fill your belly before the main course, thereby helping you reduce portions. Plus, these foods will deliver plenty of energy, thanks to the myriad nutrients that they contain.
Remember, Gradual Weight Loss Is Best
Weight loss shouldn’t feel like a punishment and although it may feel like losing 1-2lbs a week can take too long, over time you will notice that losing weight through diet and exercise rather than starving your body will last much longer and you won’t be subjected to the diet roller coaster. It’s important to remember that slow and steady wins the race; losing two pounds a week over 6 months time equates to a 50lb weight loss!
With the year well underway, you may be interested in keeping up with a resolution to eat more healthfully or you may simply be wondering what 2020 food trends have to offer. Either way, with an obesity epidemic plaguing such a large percentage of the population, the way people eat is starting to look less toward adding bacon to everything and more toward a heart- and weight-friendly style of dining.
There are a number of different ways to lose weight, depending on who you are, what lifestyle changes you’re willing and able to make, and what your goals happen to be.
However, some ways to lose weight are better than others. By incorporating the following painless weight loss strategies, you can get great results without feeling miserable along the way.
Cranberries are a staple ingredient in many delicious holiday recipes, from dinners to desserts. But, are cranberries considered a weight loss food friend or foe? Should you be indulging in cranberries during the holidays, or should you be limiting your intake?
A Few Reasons to Eat More Cranberries
There are many great reasons to consume more cranberries. According to Reader’s Digest, these berries can help reduce inflammation, support the health of your urinary tract, control diabetes, protect against cancer, and support the health of your mind, heart, teeth, gums, skin, and digestive tract. Wow!
It’s pretty clear that, when it comes to supporting the overall health of your entire body, cranberries are definitely a friendly food that you should be adding to your meal plans more often—not just during the holidays, but throughout the entire year as well.
What About Cranberries as a Weight Loss Food?
Sure, cranberries are great for the body, but what about cranberries as a weight loss food? Can they help you maintain a healthy weight, too? It turns out that, yes, cranberries are good for you if you’re hoping to shed pounds or maintain your weight.
First off, cranberries are high in fiber, despite their small size. Just a single cup of this delicious fruit will give your body five grams of fiber that can support your digestive tract and help with heart health as well. Fiber is also key when it comes to managing your weight because it helps you feel fuller for longer, so you’ll end up eating less because you won’t be as hungry.
In addition to being high in fiber, these little berries are also recommended for those who are watching their weight because they’re low in calories. That same cup of cranberries that gives you a nice dose of fiber only contains around 50 calories, so these berries are a perfect addition to your low-calorie eating plan.
There you have it: cranberries are a weight loss food friend, so go ahead and indulge with some tasty, nutritious cranberry recipes!
Being overweight or obese is associated with an increased risk of a wide range of diseases. The same holds true for smoking. Unfortunately, a lot of people end up gaining weight when they quit smoking. But, should they be concerned? Should they still take steps to quit smoking, despite the weight gain that may occur? The answer is, yes!
Quit Smoking – Don’t Worry About the Weight Gain That Might Happen
When you quit smoking, you might be one of the many people who end up gaining weight as a result. For this reason, a lot of people feel as though they are trading one health problem for another problem, according to Health 24.
Nevertheless, researchers have found, thanks to a new study, that individuals who quit smoking are making a wise decision, even if it means that they will gain some weight.
Preventing Weight Gain Isn’t as Important
Even if you gain weight after you quit smoking, you’ll be better off in the long run because you’ll have at least a 50% reduced risk of premature death from various causes, including heart disease.
It is important to note, however, that preventing weight gain by taking healthy steps towards staying slim is a smart move. After all, if you quit smoking and end up gaining a lot of weight as a result, your risk of other problems, such as diabetes, may increase as a result. So, there is definitely a balance that needs to be achieved, but it really does start with quitting smoking first.
Make Sure You Diet and Exercise
Many smokers who end up quitting end up gaining weight simply because they do not make it a point to eat right and exercise. If you have been inactive as a smoker, once you quit, you have a wonderful opportunity to take another step towards improving your health by starting an exercise routine, as well as eating foods that are lower in fat and calories and higher in nutrients.
Ultimately, experts recommend quitting smoking, as that single step can help dramatically improve your health by reducing your risk for a range of ailments. However, it is equally important to prevent excessive weight gain by eating healthy foods and staying active.
There are a lot of weight loss strategies out there, but one of the strangest has to be weight loss hypnosis. If you’ve tried to buy adipex, juice cleanses, teas, or other weight loss aids to slim down, but still haven’t achieved results, you might be looking for something beyond the typical approaches.
Put simply, during a session, a hypnotherapist would help you achieve a state of deep concentration and focus, allowing you to become increasingly responsive to his or her suggestions. The hypnotherapist might give you suggestions regarding changes in diet, exercise, or lifestyle that can help you achieve your weight loss goals with greater ease, and once you implement those suggestions into your daily life, you might be able to get some incredible results. Continue reading “Does Weight Loss Hypnosis Work? A Scientific Look”
Are you having trouble losing weight? If you and your doctor have decided that a diet pill might be the right product to incorporate into your weight loss strategy, there are certain things that you should know before you shop for diet pills. Continue reading to access a few tips that will help you find the diet pills that work and can give you the safest and best results.
Diet Pills Work Best When You Eat Right and Exercise
If you come across a weight loss product that claims it can help you lose weight without having to change your diet or lifestyle, beware. Usually, those products simply can’t be trusted. Continue reading “What to Know Before You Shop for Diet Pills to Lose Weight”