nutrition for weight loss


You might look back on your day and think, “Well, I've had my .... drink. But the choices aren't always that obvious are they? For example, what's better; .... However, the modern diet causes your blood sugar to spike multiple times every day.

What is Good Nutrition? ............................................................................................................................ 3 The Basic Food Groups .......................................................................................................................... 3 Good Nutrition Helps You Lose Weight Because... ........................................................................ 4 Nutrition Myths – Busted! ........................................................................................................................ 4 Nutrition Myth #1 Carbs are Bad ....................................................................................................... 4 Nutrition Myth #2 All Calories are Equal......................................................................................... 5 Nutrition Myth #3 All Saturated Fat is Bad for You ..................................................................... 5 How Does Good Nutrition Help You Lose Weight? ............................................................................ 6 Fiber ............................................................................................................................................................ 6 Inflammation ............................................................................................................................................ 8 Metabolism ................................................................................................................................................ 8 Steady Blood Sugar Levels..................................................................................................................... 9 Make Small Changes – Reap Big Results ........................................................................................... 10 The Power of Changing Your Habits............................................................................................... 11 Getting Started ........................................................................................................................................... 12 Basic Nutrition Fact Sheet.....................................................................................................................14

What is Good Nutrition? Trying to eat better? It can be a confusing path. Information about what’s healthy and how to lose weight comes in many shapes and forms, and the information is often contradictory. You might hear the old adage, “calories in, calories out.” And the next minute you might read that “not all calories are equal.” So what’s the truth and what is good nutrition? Do you trust the federal nutrition guidelines, your doctor, your best friend, the latest trend or do you listen to your body? If you’re confused and frustrated, you’re not alone. The good news is that all of this confusion really only stems from two places: 1. New science and information being released 2. People trying to profit These can overlap – quality companies and manufacturers do make good, nutritious food based on the latest in health and nutrition science. If you can evaluate the nutrition information you’re reading or hearing and ask where the information comes from, then you’re way ahead of the majority of the population. This guide incorporates that new science and information. We’ll share what the guidelines are and why they have been created. Let’s start with the information you may have learned in grade school and how it’s changed over the years.

The Basic Food Groups Do you remember the food pyramid? Presently it looks a bit like this:     

6-11 servings of bread, cereal, rice and pasta 3-5 servings of vegetables 2-3 servings of milk, yogurt, and cheese 2-3 servings of meat, eggs, nuts, eggs, beans Fats, oils, and sweets – use sparingly

It doesn’t look like a big deal, right? You might look back on your day and think, “Well, I’ve had my six servings of grains and bread. I’ve had my dairy, meats and I’ve even had a fruit or veggie serving today. I’m not doing too badly.” Serving size matters! Servings are often misleading. For example, one serving of pasta is a half-cup of cooked pasta. Put that on your plate and you might frown because it looks like a quarter of what you might consider to be a serving. However, a serving of vegetables is a full cup. Serving size is where most people get tripped up. Why the difference? Why is a serving of pasta a half cup and a serving of vegetables a full cup? Because, while calories are equal mathematically, your body processes foods differently. Calories from a cookie are not the same as calories from an apple. Don’t worry, we’ll break it down so it’s much easier for you to manage – you can eat nutritiously and lose weight. A Beginner’s Guide: Nutrition for Losing Weight

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Good Nutrition Helps You Lose Weight Because... With all the fad diets and pills on the market you might wonder why nutrition matters. Many of the not so healthy foods we eat are inflammatory – that is, they make your tissues and cells swell up. This inflammation is responsible for most diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. It also causes weight gain. Good nutrition reduces inflammation. Instead of constantly trying to repair, your body can function optimally. Good nutrition:    

Gives you more energy Increases your metabolism Repairs disease and dysfunction And much more.

Your body is an amazing machine. In many cases you can actually reverse damage done to it by simply changing your diet and fueling your body with the nutrition it needs and deserves. Before we dive into the nitty gritty, let’s have a little fun and debunk some common nutrition myths.

Nutrition Myths – Busted! Nutrition Myth #1 Carbs are Bad Carbohydrates are not inherently bad for you. In fact, they’re one of the fastest sources of fuel for your body. However, all carbs are not created equally. A slice of white bread is much different than a slice of whole wheat bread. And white rice is different than brown rice. Whole grains generally have more fiber and more healthy fats. Additionally, moderation is key here. Remember that a serving of pasta is ½ cup. If you have toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and a plate of pasta for dinner then you’re probably consuming 7-9 servings of carbs and that’s not including any chips or snacks you had during the day. These calories add up. Here’s the takeaway – eat carbs in moderation and pay attention to the type of carb you’re eating.

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Nutrition Myth #2 All Calories are Equal You intuitively know this. You know that the calories you consume when you eat a pint of ice cream are not the same calories as you’d get from the caloric equivalent of vegetables. If you ate 1000 calories of veggies your body would burn them quickly and you’d take in a lot of nutrients. If you eat 1000 calories of ice cream your body stores those calories as fat. Several studies have been conducted recently on this concept of “all calories are not created equally.” One of the most notable studies placed 1600 people into three different diets. They found that the low fat diet had the worst results. The high protein high carb diet had great results in terms of weight loss but some unpleasant side effects, and it wasn’t a diet people could stick to long term. However, the low glycemic diet – which favors whole foods rather than processed foods – had the best long-term results. “It’s time to reacquaint ourselves with minimally processed carbs. If you take three servings of refined carbohydrates and substitute one of fruit, one of beans and one of nuts, you could eliminate 50 percent of diet-related disease in the United States. These relatively modest changes can provide great benefit.” David Ludwig, director of the study. You can find the details of this study at: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/26/which-diet-works/?ref=opinion, or in the Journal of the American Medical Association at: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1199154.

Nutrition Myth #3 All Saturated Fat is Bad for You For many years we were taught to believe that all saturated fat was bad for you. It raised cholesterol, caused heart disease and clogged our arteries. The truth is that there are different types of saturated fats and some of them are quite good for you. “Researchers have long known that there are many kinds of saturated fats, and they are handled differently by the body when consumed. Stearic acid, a type of saturated fat found naturally in cocoa, dairy products, meats, and poultry, as well as palm and coconut oils, does not raise harmful LDL cholesterol but boosts beneficial HDL cholesterol levels.” Source: Julie Upton, MS, RD, Cooking Light Magazine. What is the takeaway from these three busted myths? Good nutrition matters! Whole foods, foods found in nature, are the foundation of good nutrition. So now let’s dive into the basic food groups and dig deep to discover why this is true and how good nutrition can help you change weight. Then we’ll take a look at how to make changes in your daily habits to make good nutrition simple, easy, and a part of your life.

A Beginner’s Guide: Nutrition for Losing Weight

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How Does Good Nutrition Help You Lose Weight? What is good nutrition? We know it intuitively. We know that a box of macaroni and cheese isn’t as nutritious as steamed broccoli. We know that a glass of water is better for us than a sugary coffee drink. But the choices aren’t always that obvious are they? For example, what’s better; a donut or a muffin? Neither is ideal, however many would say that the donut is better because it has less sugar, fat, and even calories than the muffin. For the sake of continuity and clarity let’s define nutrition as the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth. And in this particular case, for weight loss. On that note, let’s now explore the various aspects of good nutrition as they specifically help you lose weight.

Fiber You hear it from doctors, nutritionists, and maybe even your mom. You need fiber in your diet. There are actually two types of fiber, and both are important – but in different ways. Soluble fiber – this type of fiber can be broken down in water. It actually attracts water and forms a gel-like material in your stomach. Imagine eating a teaspoon of soluble fiber. It attracts and absorbs water and that teaspoon grows to about a quarter cup. As you might imagine, that teaspoon of fiber creates a reaction that fills you up. Soluble fiber makes you feel full. This is how it helps you lose weight. You feel fuller, eat less, and consume fewer calories.

But what about insoluble fiber? It’s fiber that is not broken down in your body. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water, which means it passes through your gastrointestinal tract relatively intact. This has the effect of bulldozing the passage of food and waste through your gut. You see, if food is allowed to sit in your gut it begins to attract bacteria. They feed on this stagnant material and guess what...you start to feel bloated. You’ll A Beginner’s Guide: Nutrition for Losing Weight

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also likely begin to feel lethargic as the bacteria multiply and begin to cause problems. Insoluble fiber helps you lose weight because it keeps your digestive system running smoothly. It helps keep the balance of good bacteria in your stomach at optimal levels, and it reduces bloat and often increases your energy and sense of well-being. So where do you find soluble and insoluble fiber? As you might suspect, they come in the form of grains, fruits and vegetables. Here are a few food sources for both: Sources of soluble fiber include:  Oatmeal  Lentils  Apples  Oranges  Pears  Strawberries  Nuts  Flaxseeds  Beans  Blueberries  Cucumbers  Celery  Carrots Sources of insoluble fiber include:  Whole wheat  Whole grains  Wheat bran  Seeds  Nuts  Barley  Couscous  Brown rice  Bulgur  Zucchini  Celery  Broccoli  Cauliflower  Cabbage  Onions  Tomatoes  Carrots  Green beans  Dark leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and collard greens

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Start eating whole grains, more fruits and veggies and not only will the weight begin to come off, you’ll feel better too.

Inflammation Your body responds to toxins, poisons, viruses, injury, and invaders through inflammation. It’s a process that actually strives to bring more nourishment and immune activity to a site of injury or infection – wherever that infection may be. If you sprain your ankle, your ankle will swell in a protective response. When your cells are irritated the same thing happens. Biologically this is usually a good response. Unfortunately, there are many things in our modern diet that cause chronic inflammation. They’re perceived by our bodies as toxins and poisons. The result is a state of chronic inflammation, which has been shown to lead to the majority of deadly diseases we’re dealing with today. These diseases include heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer and much more. It also causes obesity. Reduce, or eliminate, these inflammatory foods and you’ll not only reduce your risk of these serious diseases, you’ll lose weight. So what are the foods you should eat? Let’s first take a look at the primary foods that cause inflammation:  Sugar – Any type of sugar causes inflammation. Cane sugar isn’t better than high fructose corn syrup here. Sugar causes inflammation.  White flour – Your body treats white flour and starchy carbohydrates much like sugar. It’s processed quickly, causes a spike in blood sugar and leads to inflammation.  Trans fats – Trans fats are the bad fats found in cakes, pastries, margarine, and shortening, among other foods. Avoid them completely. So what can you eat that will reduce inflammation? You already know this – look at your food pyramid. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats are all okay. Other things like green tea, fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and nuts all help reduce inflammation and help you lose weight.

Metabolism Your metabolism is the process that provides energy to your cells. It powers every thought, action, and movement you make. Your body needs energy to survive and thrive. When you provide it with nutritious foods that fuel your body, it can run smoothly like a car with the optimal grade of fuel in it. However, when you fuel your body in an unhealthy manner, your body has to fight and struggle to extract nutrients from that food and to battle any negative response. You may generate a little energy from junk food, but it comes at a great cost. However, with nutritious foods you generate energy only – no extra cost to your body. Thus, you can eat less and feel better. You’ll lose weight.

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Some foods are known for boosting your metabolism. They include:  Lean protein – fish is particularly good for your metabolism and it has healthy Omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation.  Green tea – full of anti-oxidants and a small bit of caffeine. It has been shown to increase metabolism and reduce risks of certain cancers.  Broccoli, grapefruit, and high fiber foods including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You may see a trend here – fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are some easy foods to focus on. Replace some of your unhealthy foods with vegetables and fruits and you’re on the right path.

Steady Blood Sugar Levels The food you eat has an impact on your blood sugar. For example, place a bit of sugar in your mouth and you might notice that it begins dissolving and digesting almost immediately. Foods that have a high glycemic level are digested quickly and cause a spike in your blood sugar levels. This isn’t a big problem if it only happens occasionally. However, the modern diet causes your blood sugar to spike multiple times every day. Each time you eat a sugary, starchy snack you’re causing your blood sugar to spike. Unfortunately, what goes up must come down, including your blood sugar. This leaves you feeling exhausted and craving foods that will give you another quick blood sugar spike. All of this up and down is hard on your body. You’re not only eating more food than your body needs, and thus storing fat, you’re also causing your insulin system to become resistant. This means that it stops hearing the signals from your body and it takes more and higher glycemic foods to give you the energy you need. Foods that are high in sugar and starchy carbohydrates are the biggest offenders, meaning they cause the highest blood sugar spikes. Avoid:       

French fries Sugary drinks Bagels Pretzels White rice White potatoes Cereal

So what can you have? You might already know the answer to this question based on the trends in the previous guidelines. Yep, you guessed it; fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Low glycemic foods stabilize blood sugar and include:  Artichokes  Eggplant  Asparagus A Beginner’s Guide: Nutrition for Losing Weight

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                   

Green beans Peppers Squash Spinach Kale Collards Tomatoes Carrots Sweet potatoes Zucchini Apples Pears Peaches Kiwi Oranges Nuts and seeds Beans and lentils Oats Quinoa Millet

Many experts also recommend dairy and/or soy products as low glycemic options. Take care if you have allergies or sensitivities to dairy or soy – many people find that they have issues with these foods, which can then cause inflammation. So now you have a solid understanding of how nutrition can impact your health and your weight. However, at this point you may still feel overwhelmed. The remainder of this report is dedicated to helping you not only create a plan to overhaul your diet and change your live but to guide you on how to make those changes as easy and painless as possible.

Make Small Changes – Reap Big Results Deciding to eat healthier is the first step to losing weight and keeping it off for the rest of your life. If you’ve made that decision then you’re halfway there. The second step is to commit to changing your habits, one at a time. Sure, it’s tempting to want to make a huge change. Unfortunately, few can make that kind of life overhaul stick for the long term. Instead, it’s much easier to tackle one habit at a time. It’s also more powerful. You can systematically identify the nutritional and food challenges you personally face and create a lifestyle that fits your needs. Many “diets” are created with a “one size fits all” approach. The problem is that you have a unique body with its own systems and sensitivities. For example, gluten may cause you to have some stomach issues, but you may not know that until you begin to change how you eat. You may realize that the carbs you can eat need to be very different from the carbs that the FDA recommends. Let’s take a look at the process of changing your life, one habit at a time, and adopting a healthier and more nutritious lifestyle for lasting weight loss. A Beginner’s Guide: Nutrition for Losing Weight

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The Power of Changing Your Habits First, take a deep breath and relax. Good nutrition isn’t a “diet.” It’s not about going on some highly regimented plan for a few months and hoping for the best. Rather, you’re changing your lifestyle for lasting health and sustained weight loss. Here’s how: Step One: Identify Poor Nutrition Habits There’s no room for shame here. Sit down, be honest with yourself and start listing the dietary and nutrition habits you need to change. Let’s step back to that food pyramid for a second.       

How many fruits and vegetables do you eat each day? Do you eat breakfast and if so, what do you eat? Do you drink your calories (e.g., soda, juice and sugary coffee drinks or sports drinks)? What do you snack on? Do you eat whole grains? Do you eat processed foods? How much fat and sugar do you eat daily?

Start making a list of the habits you want to change. Prioritize the list. What’s the first habit to change? It might be the one that’s the easiest to change or it might be the one that you feel will have the biggest impact. For example, you might decide to switch to whole grain bread instead of white bread. That’s a simple step that’s pretty easy to take. Or you might decide to start having a morning breakfast smoothie. This smoothie could contain half your day’s fruits and veggies. It would significantly impact your health and nutrition in a positive way but might require you to make some changes to your morning routine – in short, it might not be easy, but it will be worth it. So decide the habit you want to tackle first and decide how you’re going to replace that unhealthy habit with a nutritious one. Make a plan.

Tackle Your Habits One at a Time They say it takes about 21 days to create a new habit. So that gives you about three weeks for each new habit. Take this time. Give yourself room to adapt and grow. You can get overwhelmed by trying to make too many changes at once. You may begin feeling restricted and deprived. Then what usually happens is a backlash. You might be doing well for several weeks as you cut out all of those unhealthy habits and hold yourself to a very high standard. But then you have a bad day, something stresses you out, you fall back into old habits and all of that hard work is forgotten. A Beginner’s Guide: Nutrition for Losing Weight

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When you give yourself time to adapt and change you won’t feel deprived. You won’t feel overwhelmed, and you won’t lose control. And when you do have a soda, eat an ice cream sundae or enjoy a cheeseburger you won’t feel like you’ve failed because you know that you’re in control and one “cheat” does not ruin all of your efforts for the day, nor will it impact how you eat tomorrow. Eating healthy isn’t about being perfect. It’s about knowing what foods fuel your body and make you feel great. You’ll lose weight, it’ll stay off, and you’ll be able to enjoy the occasional indulgence without feeling guilty or like you failed. And here’s a side benefit that might surprise you... With each change you make, you’ll gather momentum. So next, let’s take a look at some small changes you can make to get big results. Small Changes You Can Make To Get Big Results  Kick the soda habit.  Eat fruits and veggies for snacks.  Eat a healthy breakfast!  No more starchy carbs. Start replacing them with whole grains.  Veggies with every meal – including breakfast.  Bring your own lunch to work – it’s difficult to eat a nutritious meal at most restaurants.  Eat fish at least once a week.  Eat a vegetarian dinner once a week.  Try a new fruit or vegetable weekly.  Bring snacks with you – don’t allow yourself to get to the point where you’re so hungry you’re craving sugar or junk.  Drink more water and fewer sugary drinks like juice or coffee drinks. Remember, it’s much easier and you have a better chance of success when you tackle one habit at a time. Start with the habit that makes the most sense for you, create a plan to make it happen and enjoy the results. Before we wrap up, here’s a quick example of how you might create a plan for one of these habits. Let’s say you have a habit of drinking soda during the day. You know they’re empty calories with no nutritional value whatsoever and diet soda isn’t much better. So you decide that’s the habit you want to replace first. You’ll need a twopronged approach. How will you quit drinking soda and what good habit will you replace it with? If you drink several sodas a day you might cut back to one per day for a few days and then half a soda a day for a few days and then just one soda a week. You could replace your soda with water or even carbonated water. After a week or two of drinking one soda a week, it’ll be easy to quit drinking soda all together. If you drink two sodas a day, simply quitting this habit A Beginner’s Guide: Nutrition for Losing Weight

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will help you lose a pound a week or 52 pounds in a year! Small changes reap huge rewards!

Getting Started As you begin to make changes to your nutritional habits and start losing weight remember that this is supposed to be a positive and fun experience. Stay focused on your long-term goal, which is to get healthy and to look and feel better. Don’t feel like the food you have to eat needs to be tasteless to be nutritious – real food is delicious, and weight loss and good nutrition can be too. Stay focused on your long term goals and when you make mistakes, don’t give up. Keep working to modify your nutritional habits to live a long and healthy life at your ideal weight.

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Basic Nutrition Fact Sheet Know Your Food Pyramid ☐ 6-11 servings of bread, cereal, rice and pasta ☐ 3-5 servings of vegetables ☐ 2-3 servings of milk, yogurt, and cheese ☐ 2-3 servings of meat, eggs, nuts, eggs, beans ☐ Fats, oils, and sweets – use sparingly

Help Yourself Lose Weight Through Food... Fiber – both types are important for weight loss: ☐ Insoluble fiber is not digested by your body. It passes through and helps clear out your system. ☐ Soluble fiber attracts water and helps you feel more full. Metabolism – boost your metabolism (the rate at which you burn calories) by: ☐ Eating more lean protein e.g. fish ☐ Drinking green tea ☐ Eating high fiber foods Control your cravings by controlling blood sugar: ☐ Avoid starchy carbohydrates like fries, white rice, cereal ☐ Instead, choose low glycemic foods – fruits, vegetables and whole grain ☐ Remember, not ALL carbs are bad!

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Create New Food Habits Now it's time to start creating new food habits, based on the following questions: ☐ How many fruits and vegetables do you eat each day? ☐ Do you eat breakfast and if so, what do you eat? ☐ Do you drink your calories (e.g., soda, juice and sugary coffee drinks or sports drinks)? ☐ What do you snack on? ☐ Do you eat whole grains? ☐ Do you eat processed foods? ☐ How much fat and sugar do you eat daily?

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