10 Best Weight Loss Food Rules
It's not only what you eat but how you eat and when you eat that most affects your health and weight loss efforts. Here are some of our favorite rules for how to eat for opitmal weight loss:
Read your labels!
Weight Loss Rule #1: If it comes in a box or bottle or plastic wrapping, chances are it's high in carbs and/or artificial ingredients. Always check the nutritional information on the label. If the carb content is more than double the protein content, don't eat it. And if you see more than four artificial-looking ingredients, good to skip that too.
Eat low-glycemic foods.
Weight Loss Food Rule #2: The glycemic index of foods indicates the rate at which its carbohydrate content breaks down into sugar in the body. Foods with a low glycemic index will stimulate a relatively low amount of insulin. Foods with a high glycemic index will, on the other hand, trigger a big spike in insulin.
Eat fruit solo.
Weight Loss Food Rule #3: Fruits digest rapidly, so it's best to eat them alone or with a little yogurt. Other foods can be eaten a half hour later. When fruits are eaten with foods that require longer digestion time, indigestion will occur. To get specific, the fruit sugars will putrefy in your gut, causing bloating (adding non-fat inches to your waistline!) Fruit is a superb diet food when eaten right. Go for low glycemic fruits. They can safely be eaten alone. When you eat a high glycemic fruit, be sure to eat it with soaked nuts (almonds, preferably, as it's a great weight loss food) or non-fat plain unsweetened yogurt or low-fat cheese. Consult our glycemic index chart for glycemic load rates of various fruits.
Eat protein with every meal or snack.*
Weight Loss Food Rule #4: Protein is a natural regulator of fat-producing insulin. Make sure you include protein with any high carb or sugary meal or snack. It will reduce the amount of insulin production, which will encourage your body to burn the food you eat rather than store it as fat.
* This may sound contradictory to Rule #3, but keep in mind this caveat: low glycemic fruits can be eaten with little or no protein, if you tend to have digestive difficulties.
Don't be afraid of fat.
Weight Loss Food Rule #5: Fat does not make you fat. The wrong kind of fat will cause digestive problems and other health issues, but fat in and of itself is not your dietary enemy. Eat the right fats: olive oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, avocados, walnuts, almonds, to name a few.
Be afraid – very afraid – of transfats.
Weight Loss Food Rule #6: Avoid – like the plague! – all products containing hydrogenated oil and partially hydrogenated oil. Also, skip the french fries and other fried foods served at restaurants.
Chew your food thoroughly.
Weight Loss Food Rule #7: Did you know digestion starts in your mouth? Saliva breaks down carbohydrates, so chew your breads and grains until soft and mushy. Thorough chewing also jump starts enzyme production in the stomach. Remember that undigested food creates bloating and toxins that find their way to your fat cells, making them larger in size.
Stop eating before you are full.
Weight Loss Food Rule #8: 80% fullness is the ideal. One of the most prevalent factors underlying many diseases is over-eating. When we eat too much at once, we put tremendous stress on the digestive organs, and later the eliminative organs. Lighter meals will nourish your body more fully and give you more energy.
Eat in peace.
Weight Loss Food Rule #9: Eat in a calm, serene setting. If you're eating alone, let the process of eating be a sensory meditation. If you're eating with others, keep the conversation on pleasant topics. Never eat during an argument or while watching disturbing shows on TV.
Don't eat late.
Weight Loss Food Rule #10: Eat your last meal at least three hours before going to bed. Any undigested food that a late night meal or snack produces will increase your waistline from bloating and your fatty tissues from the storage of toxic by-products.