How Good Nutrition Can Help You Lose Weight
What do you think good nutrition is anyway?
- Bad choice: A box of macaroni and cheese
- Good nutrition choice: Raw or blanched broccoli
- Bad choice: A sugary or artificially sweetened drink
- Good nutrition choice: A Glass of pure clear water
Sometimes food and drink choices aren’t quite so obvious though are they? Some people would say that a bran muffin is a better choice than a doughnut but the odds are that the bran muffin, as healthy as it may sound, contains more sugar, fat and calories than the doughnut. While neither one is an ideal choice, if you’re trying to make small changes, choose the doughnut but don’t think for a second that this justifies good nutrition.
Remember, your brain is what can push you away from the table but it can also allow you to act badly. To stay on track with the purpose to this article and to clear up any misconceptions, let’s define good nutrition as choosing the food needed to obtain good health; specifically weight loss.
Why Dietary Fiber Matters
You see it in advertisements; you hear it from doctors, nutritionists, maybe even your own mom, that you need fiber in your diet. It’s true, you do and there are two different types of fiber that you should understand. Both are important for good health and weight loss and both are important in different ways.
Soluble fiber is the kind of fiber can be broken down in water – soluble. Soluble fiber will absorb water and other liquids and then turns into a gel-like material inside of your stomach. Think about the weight loss attributes here as a single teaspoon of soluble fiber, once hydrated, grows to about a quarter cup in size.
As you can imagine a single teaspoon of soluble fiber gives you a full feeling which in turn can help you lose weight. With a spoonful of soluble fiber you’ll be feeling fuller and eat less. While helping you to eat less, you’ll be consuming fewer calories and still feel full and satisfied.
So what’s all the fuss about insoluble fiber then?
Insoluble fiber is a type of fiber that is not broken down by your body; it’s not dissolved by water and passes through your digestive tract relatively intact. Insoluble fiber has the effect of sweeping, scrubbing and pushing along the food and waste through your system.
The big benefit here is that if food is allowed to sit idle in your gut too long it begins to grow unhealthy bacteria and release toxins into your bloodstream. If you’re not moving this digested food and waste through your system and it stagnates there, guess what – you’ll be susceptible to disease, weight gain and your energy level feel low.
The reason that insoluble fiber can help you lose weight is because it helps to keep your digestive system running smoothly. It can help you keep the balance of the much needed “good bacteria” in your stomach at optimal levels. This can also help you reduce bloating and many people feel that once they’ve developed the habit of consuming insoluble fiber on a daily basis it helps to increase their energy and provide a nice sense of overall well-being.
So where do you get those soluble and insoluble fibers?
While there are fiber supplements available, this article is about good nutrition so let’s focus on consuming grains, fruits and vegetables for our source of fiber.
Soluble Fiber Sources Include:
Insoluble Fiber Sources Include:
- Brown rice
- Brussels Sprouts
- Green beans
- Leafy Lettuce
- Turnip Greens
- Whole wheat
- Wheat bran
- Whole grains
Start off by eating more fruits, veggies and more whole grains. For an easier transition into these healthy foods start slowly and add one or two into your diet at one time. Before long will you not only begin to feel better but you’ll be noticing that the weight will begin to come off too.
Inflammation – A Real Problem for Weight Loss
Your body responds to poisons, toxins, bacteria, viruses, injury, and other foreign invaders through inflammation. It’s a process that your body responds to in order to protect itself. It’s an immune response that works encourage healing at the site of injury, even throughout the entire body if that’s what’s needed.
Generally this inflammatory response is a good thing. Unfortunately, the wrong nutritional choices can lead you down a path of chronic inflammation. Certain foods, when ingested, are seen by our bodies as a poison which results in a state of chronic inflammation. This chronic inflammation is a big contributor to many diseases and is a cause for obesity.
When you reduce or completely eliminate these inflammatory foods from your diet your risk of disease goes down, along with your body weight and excess fat deposits.
Reduce, or eliminate these inflammatory foods from your diet:
- Refined Sugars: All types of refined sugars cause inflammation. Cane sugar isn’t better than corn syrup in this regard. Sugar causes inflammation inside of your body and should be avoided as much as possible.
- White Flour: Your body processes white flour and other starchy carbohydrates a lot like sugar because it is also processed very fast, spiking blood sugar and triggering an inflammatory response.
- Trans Fats: You’ll find these in many processed foods like pastries, cakes, margarine, and shortening. Avoid Trans fats if not completely, as much as you possible can.
Good Nutrition Choices to Reduce Inflammation
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and the healthy fats are good for reducing inflammation. Other things like green tea, sea vegetables, and fresh fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, aloe vera and raw nuts all can help you reduce inflammation and that can be an important catalyst in helping you to lose weight.