With the temperature steadily rising and the sleeves getting progressively shorter it is important to get into the best shape of our lives. Given that most people can probably lose a little bit of fat and gain some muscle, it is no surprise that new diet fads are always coming out. While calorie and portion control are the fundamentals of any weight loss or weight gain goals, simple yet sustainable diets can sometimes do the trick. In a report by ABC News, they revealed that the quality and type of food you consume is just as important as counting calories.
Maya Feller, who is a dietitian from New York said in an interview with ABC News: ‘the takeaway is that the quality of what you eat is incredibly important. You may or may not need to eat a 1,800-calorie diet, but what you need is a diet that is based on whole and minimally processed foods without an excess of added sugars, salts, and saturated fats.’ That is why Maya suggests a diet that is rich in whole foods and filled with fruits and vegetables.
A report by Livestrong suggested the use of a fruit and protein diet since it provides dieters with energy for daily activities and weight training. They explain that protein is a nutritional component required to help muscle tissue recover and repair after weight training. On top of that, fruit provides good carbs for the right kind of sugar-fueled energy. When you combine these two foods along with some vegetables, you get a low-calorie diet that helps you lose weight and build muscle. The beauty of this diet is that it is inherently filled with nutritious, whole foods.
Protein coming from animals, beans, nuts and/or soy products is mostly natural and fruits that are seeded are almost always from the earth. The article went on to stipulate the specific type of protein that dieters should try to ingest. They explain that when choosing proteins for a diet, avoid fats. Foods like red meat, milk and eggs have high amounts of saturated fats, which are bad for cardiovascular health. You should choose lean meats like skinless chicken and turkey. When it comes to fish, which naturally contains omega-3 fatty acids along with protein, you should choose mackerel, tuna, trout or salmon.
Fruits, while considered a carb, tend to be a good source of energy. They are also low in calories and are almost always natural. Fruits like apricots, melons, peaches and tangerines are full of healthy sugars. These are good for snacking in between meals. Grapefruit is a very low-calorie fruit full of vitamins and nutrients. Grapes and cherries are also good for a portable, healthy snack. Bananas are beneficial for their potassium content.
And of course, any good diet for the purpose of weight loss needs to include some form of exercise. According to a study from the United States National Library, the increase in muscle mass causes an increase in metabolism which in turn helps the dieter burn more calories. Thus a focus on strength training and gaining muscle will greatly increase one’s caloric output. The Livestrong article explained that cardio exercise is the way to go if you want to burn calories. If you went over your caloric intake target, a good cardio exercise can burn all that excess off. To top it off, you can add resistance training to increase your muscle mass. Muscle burns off more calories even when you’re just sitting!
And according to the Harvard School of Public Health, ‘there isn’t one “perfect” diet for everyone, owing to individual differences in genes and lifestyle,’ but the data doesn’t lie. Harvard stated: ‘“a calorie is a calorie” is an oft-repeated dietary slogan, and not overeating is indeed an important health measure. Rather than focusing on calories alone, however, emerging research shows that quality is also key in determining what we should eat and what we should avoid in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Rather than choosing foods based only on caloric value, think instead about choosing high-quality, healthy foods, and minimizing low-quality foods.’ So while many diets have grown prominent over the past few months, a diet rich in whole and nutritious foods such as protein and fruits is essential not only for weight loss goals but also for health and longevity.
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