A Beginner's Guide to Eating Right for Weight Loss: Tips and Tools to Get Started
If you are dedicated to losing weight and maintaining it, the first step is to eat right. However, the idea of "eating right" can be confusing. Essentially, it means that you must balance calories while consuming sufficient protein and other nutrients that keep you full and healthy. Here are some tips to help you achieve your weight loss goals:
Schedule Your Meals and Snacks: Having a meal plan (with the help of a nutritionist, if necessary) can help you stay on track. Plan whether you will have three larger meals with no snacks or three smaller meals with 1-3 snacks throughout the day.
Build Healthy Meals: Protein should be the focus of most of your meals, especially if you are a weight loss surgery patient or like to feel full. Opt for lean protein (e.g., chicken breast, cottage cheese, eggs, beans, and tuna) instead of fatty ones (e.g., hot dogs, ribs, salami). Fill out the rest of your plate with vegetables (low in calories but high in fiber and nutrients), a small portion of whole grains or healthy starch, and healthy fats (such as avocado or olive oil).
Choose Filling and Nutritious Snacks: If you opt for snacks, ensure they are under control in terms of calories and include a filling nutrient like protein or fiber. Some examples include nuts or peanuts, peanut or nut butter with apples or raw veggies, veggies and hummus, fruit and cottage cheese, yogurt and oats.
Take Help When You Can Get It: Sometimes, it can be challenging to come up with meal and snack ideas for a few days or even a week. The BariatricPal Store has some meal planning ideas to help you get inspired. Choose from liquid diets, pureed foods, solid foods, maintenance diets, and back-on-track diets or opt for protein snacks, including chips, pretzels, and cookies, and shelvable items like nuts and peanuts.
With a bit of guidance and the right tools such as instant meals, protein snacks, and meal planning tips, you can take control of your weight and stay healthy.