If you’ve tried fad diets in the past, you’ve probably heard claims that cutting carbs or fat will help you to lose weight quickly. While some people do find short term weight loss results from diets such as boiled egg diet, cabbage soup diets, and others. The weight loss is rarely maintained in the long term. Instead of cutting out an entire food group, most nutrition experts recommend a healthy balance of fats, proteins, and carbs. With the perfect ratio, you can lose weight in a healthy way and keep it off long term.
Fat is an important factor in keeping your body functioning. While many of us have been told at some point to avoid fat if we want to lose weight, that claim isn’t exactly true. The key is finding healthy fats and avoiding unhealthy fats. The unhealthy fats, saturated and trans fats, are those that cause weight gain, high cholesterol, and increased risk of heart disease. These are the fats you’ll find in things like fried food, full-fat dairy products, and pastries.
On the other hand, unsaturated fats raise good cholesterol levels, lower bad cholesterol levels, and improve heart health. They can even improve your skin and help to prevent belly fat. You can find unsaturated fats in foods like avocados, almonds, and peanut butter. Including fat in every meal will help to satisfy cravings and keep you feeling full throughout the day.
The low carb diet craze led many people to believe that it’s not possible to eat carbs and still lose weight. Some of these diets even suggest not eating fruits and vegetables. How can a healthy diet not let you eat two of the healthiest food categories in existence? Carbs are a major food group and one that our bodies crave. Choosing healthy carbs like those found in fruits and vegetables (such as bananas), prevents binge eating, giving into unhealthy cravings, and overeating during meals.
The carbs to avoid are those found in refined and processed foods. Foods like cakes, cookies, white rice, and white bread are the foods to leave out of the diet or to have as a treat on very limited occasions. These foods don’t offer much in terms of nutritional value and will quickly lead to weight gain.
When it comes to weight loss, protein is a key factor. Nearly every diet will praise protein and advise you to increase daily protein intake. Protein offers a long list of health benefits like increasing metabolism, satisfying hunger and keeping you feeling full for longer periods, and killing cravings. Increasing your protein intake will give you the energy you need to workout and will help to stop you from indulging in unhealthy cravings. All of this will contribute to your weight loss efforts. You can add protein to your smoothies and reap all the benefits.
The Perfect Ratio
You know that fat, carbs, and proteins all have healthy benefits. So how much of each should you have each day? Nutritionists recommend dividing your daily calories into 45-65% carbs, 10-35% protein, and 20-35% fat. If you’re actively trying to lose weight, stay on the smaller end of the carb range and move into the higher range of protein.
There’s no reason to eliminate entire food groups from your diet or deprive yourself of occasional treats. Sticking with a healthy ratio of carbs, fat, and protein will help you lose weight and stay healthy over time.