The Right Foods
It’s far easier to gain a pound than it is to lose a pound. Choosing the right foods can help us in our weight loss efforts.
Think about the effort it takes to do a ½ hour cardio workout. Now think about how quickly you can eat a doughnut or a few cookies. Unfortunately, the two are not equivalent.
It usually takes me a week to un-due the pounds put on by a ‘fun weekend’ or even just a night out. So what do we do? We need to pick the right foods.
While I’m still a believer in moderation; moderation alone is NOT the solution.
Having just one Big Mac instead of two is probably not going to get us where we want to be.
We still need to pick the right foods and make them part of our daily habits to ultimately succeed in the long-term.
This doesn’t mean the elimination of our favorite indulgences, but it should mean that we indulge less often in those things that got us to where we don’t want to be in the first place.
For example, I’ll never give up ice cream…but I’m trying to use smaller bowls and space out the time between scoopings!
OK…what are the right foods, you ask? That’s the good news. The list is long and full of delicious foods.
Here are a few ways satisfy your hunger without regretting it 5 minutes later:
- Fruits & Vegtables
I’m sure that somewhere within this broad category of foods, you can find a few that you like. A large apple may be 100 calories, but it’s rich in fiber and will fill you up better than a chocolate-chip cookie. A small sandwich baggie full of raw broccoli and carrots is also high in fiber and can be a great snack on the go. Most fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, have no fat, and are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Also, it takes longer to eat a piece of fruit than a cookie which will allow you to feel fuller faster.
- Sugar-less drinks
If you’re stuck in a routine that includes a lot of soda or other sugary drinks, consider water. If water is too bland and boring for your taste, squeeze a slice of lemon or lime in your water bottle. The calories in soft drinks just aren’t worth it. A few sodas a day can easily wipe out the progress of a daily ½ hour workout. Consider the alternatives – you might find something better.
- Dry Cereal
There are many cereals out there that only have 110-130 calories in a 1-cup serving. Pay particular attention to the amount of sugar (try to stay less than 10 grams per serving), and the amount of fiber (try to get at least 1 gram or more). A small bowl of cereal can snuff hunger pangs just as good as a handful of potato chips with far less caloric consequences. Rice Crispies , Special K, and Cheerios are just a few that give you a good ‘bang for your buck’.
- Check out the Glycemic Index
The Glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how various foods impact our blood sugar. How can GI help us? Foods with a lower GI gradually raise your blood sugar and sustain the level for a longer period of time than foods with a high GI. So a food like pasta with a low GI will have you feeling satisfied longer than a food like white rice (very high GI). There are many good foods with low GI values. Use these foods to hold off your hunger and maintain your energy level.
If you’re trying to lose weight, your goal is to burn 3,500 more calories than you eat for each lost pound. This effort takes a lot of patience and persistence. Use the right foods to help you out. There are many foods that can fill you up with out filling you out.
You can find out more information on the right and best oods on the following pages: good snacks, nutritional data tables, and Glycemic Index and much more. Good luck in your efforts!
You can find The Right Foods and other motivational fitness information in the August 2006 article of The Bullhorn.
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