This post continues the point we started setting out in The 3 Secrets To Healthy Weight Loss. Visit that page first if you’re new!
List 2 – Eat These If You Want, But Go Easy
Oats (cook with low-fat milk)
Whole wheat pasta, couscous, bread and other products made with whole wheat flour (but not containing sugar or fats)
Oils and fats for cooking and salad dressings
What does “go easy” mean? It means don’t have more than the amount that a slim person would consider to be a portion. That could be one teaspoon of oil per person in a recipe, or maybe 10 nuts. And if you have a salad, have only either avocado or an oil-based dressing or nuts, not two or three of them.
List 3 – Don’t Eat These
White rice, pasta, couscous, bread and other products made with refined flour
Anything containing added sugar (which means most chemicals ending -ose: glucose, dextrose, fructose)
Why is it better not to eat these foods? First because they are not healthy. Alcohol is a poison that our bodies can learn to adapt to (known as “getting a taste for it”), but it still damages us. Flour and sugar are not poison but they are too fast digested, they produce a blood sugar rush that leads to a crash later and makes you want to snack on more sugary, floury foods.
Second because these things add calories but very little nutrition, so we can pile on weight consuming these things.
Secret #3 – …And WHEN You Eat…
Eat three meals a day and a maximum of two snacks. A snack would be like a banana plus a few nuts, or a couple of slices of cold cooked chicken with cucumber and tomato.
If you are hungry between meals or between dinner and bedtime, that’s when to plan your snacks. If not, if you stay full on three meals, you don’t need to have the snacks.
Plan your meals at the same time each day if you possibly can. A good plan is breakfast at 8, lunch at 12.30, a snack in the afternoon, and dinner at 7. Or dinner at 6 with a snack before bed. You get the idea.
Why? Well, having set times for your meals is good for two reasons. First, your body gets to trust that food is coming at certain intervals so it doesn’t feel a need to hang onto every last calorie and store it as fat. This is especially important if you have been on lots of restrictive diets in the past. Your body stops trusting you to feed it, so it stashes all the food it can. Result: belly fat.
Second, if you always eat lunch at 1 or whatever time suits you, you won’t be constantly thinking “Should I have lunch now or is it too early? Am I hungry? I’ll wait… no, I think I’m too hungry…” and on and on like this for possibly hours. In short, if you don’t have set mealtimes, it’s easy to become totally obsessed with what and when you’re going to eat.
So that’s what I suggest most people should do if they want to lose weight and keep it off. Just check with your doctor, of course, if you have any health issues or concerns. But for most people, if you follow these three secrets to healthy weight loss, you will never need to worry about calories or grams again.