How to Eat to Lose Weight

Learning how to eat to lose weight for good will mean making a commitment to some life long changes. But it’s not really as hard as you may think once you learn how to make small changes and apply them consistently. In this post I will show you 6 effective tips on how to do this simply, easily and effectively with no restrictive diets, just proper wholesome, low GI foods.

Firstly, you shouldn’t be put off by the sound of ‘life long changes’, just remember that short term diets don’t really work. Yes, you may initially lose the weight you were planning to lose but what happens then? Your diet is over, you’ve reached your goal, and more often than not you will slowly but surely slip back into old eating patterns; those very same patterns that made you gain weight in the first place.

 

KEEPING WEIGHT OFF FOR LIFE:

joyous life

This is exactly why they say diets don’t work, because you haven’t changed your mentality around food and instead just jumped straight back into your old and conditioned thinking patterns. This is only natural of course, but all is not lost as there is a far more effective method you should be using to keep excess weight off and it involves changing the way you actually think about food.

Yes, it may require a bit of effort at first – as anything worth doing in life does; but the results are a long term healthy body, with the added bonus of protection from all those nasty diseases that stem from a bad diet and obesity. Makes it all SO worth it right?

 

The yoyo dieting cycle

scales

Yoyo dieting leads to you not only gaining back all of your hard lost weight, but often more on top! And so begins a cycle of dieting and gaining weight again, and each time it just gets harder and harder to lose that regained weight, which is a process that eventually starts to mess up your metabolism completely. Oh yes, it all goes downhill from there UNLESS you do something about it and make these changes now.

Yoyo dieting was a pattern I was stuck in for years (since the age of 14, way back in the late 80’s when those ‘lose 10 lbs in 3 days’ types of diets were everywhere), but luckily I am out of that cycle now only because I changed my mentality about food. 

 

Starvation diet and weight loss problems:-

bathroom scales

Yes, they may very well work in the short term IF you have the willpower to starve yourself, but it is really only water and often lean muscle loss (losing muscle is a very bad thing of which I will speak more about later). You may lose a bit of fat too but this is minimal and in an ideal world you would want to lose just fat right?

Put simply, your body goes into starvation mode when you restrict calories too far. You may seem to lose weight at first but then fearing that food is scarce your body will go into starvation mode and actually hold onto fat! And for many of you serial dieters out there that is just the worst possible scenario as all your efforts will have been in vain.

To make matters worse, as soon as you go back to your old ways of eating you just pile it all back on again very quickly, and usually MORE on top – meaning you have ultimately done more harm than good. Depressing huh?

And so another vicious cycle begins, which hammers home my point about the need to make life long changes by eating healthily and exercising regularly. This really is the only way to keep your body in balance and your blood sugar stable – both of which are the major things that help to keep your BMI within a healthy range.

 

BENEFITS OF STABLE BLOOD SUGAR ON WEIGHT

avocado on sourdough

Stable blood sugar will help keep your body in fat burning mode, it really is that simple. Learning the low GI way of eating (GI stands for glycemic index, and refers to how quickly the sugars in a particular food are released into the bloodstream) will be of huge benefit to you, not only in your weight loss efforts, but for your overall health and continual weight loss in the long term.

For a full list of all the weight loss foods you should be eating please read this low glycemic foods list. It will show you how simple and easy it is to start using these fat burning foods that will help keep you in shape for life.

 

Examples of high GI foods that contain simple sugars are:-

  • White sugar
  • Syrups
  • Refined white flour
  • White bread
  • White Rice
  • White pasta

(ALL OF THESE ARE INCLUDED IN MOST CONFECTIONERY, CAKES, BISCUITS, JUNK FOODS AND SWEETS). 

 

Refined Carbohydrates:-

ring donut

During their refining process of white flours, pasta, breads etc, these foods have had a lot of their fiber and nutrients taken out. It is the fiber and nutrients in a food that would normally slow down the release of sugars into the bloodstream but when they are taken out our bodies don’t have to do the hard work of breaking them down. This means their sugars hit the bloodstream almost instantly, starting directly inside the mouth through receptors on the tongue.

It is this ‘fast’ release of sugar that promotes the high insulin response that is needed to mop those sugars up from your blood. They are then directed to the liver where they are metabolised, and unless you are about to embark on a hard workout, they will more than likely be stored as fat – and usually the most dangerous kind, which is belly fat. Eating low carbohydrate foods, along with a low GI diet, is the best way to keep blood sugar stable and ultimately keep your weight down for good.

 

FRUIT SUGARS:

basket of fruit

Most ‘free sugars’ such as white sugar, syrups and high fructose corn syrup are derived of mostly glucose and fructose. Fructose is the sugar found in fruits, and when consumed in high doses, essentially gets stored as fat in the body. This however, does not mean that you shouldn’t eat fresh whole fruits: the sugars in ‘whole’ fruits are not processed in the same way as free sugars, simply because whole fruits also have a high fiber and nutrient content making them a much lower GI than free sugars.

You should only eat high sugar fruits such as pineapples, mangos, bananas, grapes, pomegranates, and papayas in moderation if you are trying to lose weight, for the simple fact they are much higher in calories than the lower sugar fruits.

 

Fruit juices – not as healthy as you may think… Sorry!

glass of orange juice

Fruit juices are a definite no no as they are concentrated forms of fructose that have usually been pasturised, therefore they lose many of their their nutrients and live enzymes in the process. They have also had their fiber extracted in the juicing process, which is another reason why they are so high GI.

Even juices from the whole fruit ‘with bits’ are not great, for the simple reason you can easily consume 8 or 9 juiced oranges in one drink and therefore be taking in way too much fructose very quickly. This amount of fruit is something you wouldn’t be able to eat if you were to consume those whole oranges separately, therefore juices give you unnatural amounts of fructose and that in itself promotes insulin spikes and fat storage. 

 

HOW TO EAT TO LOSE WEIGHT FOR GOOD:

peanut butter and rice crackers

As discussed before, losing weight and more importantly keeping it off for good, usually requires some lifelong changes to your diet and lifestyle. The secret is to eat low GI plant based foods, AND to combine fats, proteins and carbohydrates into every meal or snack. This helps to slow down the release of sugars into the body, which in turn doesn’t lead to that high insulin response.

Below is a list of the 6 basic rules that should become part of your habits around food, and if you apply daily you will soon start seeing big changes.

 

1. ALWAYS EAT WHOLEGRAINS 

cooked bowl of quinoa

This means wholegrain pastas, breads, rices, buckwheat, quinoa, oatmeal, oats, millet, and cracked wheat. Cut out anything refined, such as free sugars, confectionery, pastries, white bread, rice, and pasta. Swap regular chocolate for at least 70% cacao chocolate as it is rich and you will not need to eat as much, plus it is high in antioxidants and has MANY other nutritional benefits. Yay for chocolate!

 

2. FOOD COMBINING

smoothie bowl

Never eat refined carbohydrates or fast sugars alone (and especially not on an empty stomach) if you want to keep trim and your blood sugar stable. Always try to combine low GI carbs in a ratio of roughly 2:1 with a protein such as soya, nuts, seeds, or pulses. Also add a little healthy fat if not already available in the protein source, such as in the case of olive oil, avocado, coconut oil, or tahini. 

For example, a perfect low GI meal or snack could be a slice of wholegrain sourdough toast with tahini and smashed avocado. This has all the elements of low GI carbs with plenty of protein and healthy fat to make it a great fat burning meal.

 

3. EAT LOTS OF FRUIT AND VEG

mixed salad vegetables

You need at least 7-10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day – yes this may seem hard at first, but it’s not really; not when you get into a routine and it becomes a habit. You can easily add a couple of pieces of chopped fruit onto your morning oatmeal, add a side salad to your lunch, have a green smoothie for your afternoon snack, and steamed vegetables with your dinner and bosh, you’ve done at least 10 portions right there – simple!

Wherever possible always eat raw or lightly cooked vegetables, this way they will retain more of their nutrients and fiber and therefore fill you up for longer, thus making them lower GI. A highly raw food diet will also take your health to another level as you will be eating all of those vitamins, minerals, and enzymes in their natural form without destroying any of their nutrients in the cooking process.

 

4. EAT A RAINBOW OF COLOURS

fruit juices and smoothies

Other weight loss tips include eating ALL the different coloured fruits and vegetables you can source. It’s the actual colour pigment in the flesh and skin of fruits and vegetables that is where the goodness of their antioxidants and flavenoids lie. These are the active compounds that not only help mop up free radicals in the body, but are also very anti aging and help lower your risk of all manner of diseases.

Eating a rainbow of colours, such as blueberries, dark green leafy veg, carrots, and colourful bell peppers will give you an array of vitamins and minerals, and will cut down drastically your cravings for bad foods as your body will be satisfied and not starving of nutrients.

 

5. INCORPORATE SPECIFIC FAT BURNING FOODS

halved pink grapefruit

 

There are many specific fat burning foods that can help you to lose unwanted fat, such as almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, nutritional yeast, pulses, wholegrains, cacoa, spirulina, chlorella, wheatgrass, cinnamon, broccoli, berries, grapefruit, green tea and coconut oil.

To keep your antioxidant intake high and your body in fat burning mode, it’s always well worth having a green superfood powder shot every day. This will not only give you a noticeable zing of energy, but you will literally sparkle from the inside out. There is just something about that intense raw green nutrition that takes your health to places it has never before been and I personally notice a difference in my health when I don’t have it.

shots of green superfood powder

There are many different sources of green superfoods available, and some are better and have a higher nutrient content than others. I have compiled a list of the highest reviewed and best value superfood powders of 2018 which all also come highly recommend in the fight against the flab. Admittedly, some don’t taste great, but hey they’re good for you and if you wanted a treat then you’d have a donut. No no no, these babies are about PURE nutrition, so man up and knock them back in a shot of water or juice -or even add to your smoothies and you’ll feel the awesome benefits.

 

6. PROTEIN

woman's bicep muscles

Obtaining enough protein (especially on a plant based or vegan diet) can sometimes be hard, even more so if you’re in training or doing your fair share of exercise. In both of these cases you may want to use a protein supplement to help you burn fat and build muscle. High muscle mass is a truly important part of long term weight loss as it burns way more calories than fat on a continual basis, even when you’re sitting on your butt doing absolutely nothing!

 

Do this easy weight loss hack every day:-

protein shake

I recently had a conversation with a vegan bodybuilder, whom said that to boost your metabolism and keep your body in fat burning mode ALL DAY then you should be eating 30 grams of protein powder as soon as you get up in the morning – NO carbs with it (except the small amount that may come in the powder). This means you may have to use protein powders that don’t have added sugars etc, but basically she meant just protein with either water, or sugar free nut milk.

Doing this fires up your metabolism for the day, which keeps your body in fat burning mode, especially if you carry on with your low GI diet for the rest of the day – we’re  talking ultra fat burning here from hitting it from all angles. You can have breakfast after this if you still want it (you probably won’t), but the point is to get the protein in fast, and first thing in the morning. She said this was the ONE thing she started doing that finally shifted the fat she couldn’t get rid of before no matter how hard she tried!

 

Choose the ‘right’ kind of protein powder:-

spirulina and chlorophyl

If you’re going to try this then be sure to choose a good quality protein powder, and I do highly recommend that you are exercising too as you will need to be putting stress on the muscles in order to rebuild them stronger in the first place. A higher protein, low in refined carbs diet, will also keep you full up and stop you craving and snacking on the unhealthy stuff.

As a side note, if you’re a woman and worried about getting too muscly then fear not, as you won’t. It’s much harder for a woman to build too much muscle unless she is also taking steroids and working out hard for many hours a day, otherwise you will just get nice and toned.

 

Diet Supplements:-

capsules

Weight loss supplements and pills are not something I would recommend in most cased as many of them are either fake, a rip off, or are just plain unhealthy – even dangerous. I always advocate losing weight through your own hard work, diet, and exercise for long term success.

As you know, lifelong weight control is about the reprogramming of old bad habits and installing new ones. There are however some natural weight loss supplements out there that do help give you a fat burning edge alongside diet and exercise. They seem to work especially well with new dieters, as reports show the body seems to respond better in the first few months of a diet plan.

 

Thank you for reading this article, I hope it has given you some insights in how to keep weight off for good. Do you have anything you would like to ask about weight loss and fat burning? If so, please post your messages below and I will be happy to help. I would also love to hear about your success stories, and maybe even use them in upcoming articles.

 

 

 

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Categories: WEIGHT LOSS

Stefanie Taylor

I have studied nutrition for many years, and have since discovered that a plant based diet has been the most beneficial to my health and body. I have more energy and zest for life than I have ever had and this website is dedicated to helping others who wish to know more, and start out on this lifestyle.

20 Comments

Penelope · 29/11/2017 at 9:13 pm

I had no idea that avocados and coconut oil were fat burning foods! Very cool. I do feel much better when I eat carbs in combination with fat and protein, as you suggest. must slow down the absorption or something – I don’t get the same “sugar high” that way. Thanks for the great tips!

    Stefanie Taylor · 30/11/2017 at 8:35 pm

    Hi Penelope, yes isn’t it great that some fats help burn fat! I think moderation is key with that though, like with everything in life. I eat an avocado every day and I know it helps keep my weight off due to it keeping blood sugar stable. Before I started doing this I found it hard to control my weight so I have tried and tested this one for myself. And yes, I always combine my carbohydrates with protein and fats, it really keeps me stable, including my mood, especially at certain times of the month.

ModernJ · 29/11/2017 at 11:25 pm

What a great article! You have answered some of my biggest questions in one article. I am curious though, with the lean meats, is it OK to stick to antelope, elk or deer?

    Stefanie Taylor · 30/11/2017 at 8:20 pm

    Hi there, I am very pleased to hear that I have helped you with my article. That really brings a smile to my face, as helping people understand nutrition is the reason I have started this website. In answer to your question, yes, you can eat these meats but I would probably stick to red meat just once or twice a week. It didn’t occur to me to mention these meats as we never or rarely eat them here in Britain. In fact I have never tried any of them in my life ha ha.

zebra36 · 30/11/2017 at 3:13 am

Thanks for this great information! Several great tips here that I really need to put into practice. It’s interesting that you say not to eat carbs/sugars alone on an empty stomach. Is there a reason for that? I would’ve thought that it would actually be better. I thought the body would be more likely to burn those when you need food and less likely to store it away as extra weight. Just curious! Thank you again!

    Stefanie Taylor · 30/11/2017 at 10:14 am

    Hi there and thanks for reading the article. Yes, I see your point about burning carbs on an empty stomach. And actually the answer is a bit complicated because it depends on various other factors. But the main the reason why you shouldn’t do it (and I’m talking about simple carbohydrates here as in white sugars/flours), is because when your stomach is completely empty you literally have nothing in it for it to ‘mix’ with and help slow down those high GI sugars. This will elicit a massive insulin response causing most of that sugar to be stored as fat. This is not good for many reasons, the main being that causing the body to have this response regularly can cause insulin resistance type 2 diabetes which is one of the biggest medical conditions of our age – and directly because of too much sugar in our diets, and sugar being eaten at the wrong times in the wrong way. 

    Yes, in this situation you may burn a little off as energy, but your body will still have this insulin reaction regardless, and you may get away with it slightly more if you are about to do a hard workout/exercise. Even then it is not advisable as you should be going for more slower release carbohydrates that naturally contain some protein and fiber. An example is wholegrain bread as it’s still predominantly a carb but also contains fiber and protein.

    The only time you can ever really get away with eating fast GI carbs is after hard exercise when you have depleted your glycogen stores. If you eat fast carbs in this situation the sugars will go straight to the muscles to refuel, and not stored as fat.

    So the best thing to do is if you really must eat refined carbohydrates then make sure you are also having some fat or protein (ideally both) with it as this will slow down the release of the sugar and help negate the insulin response. 

    Hope this is clear and sorry it is so long, it’s quite hard to explain. Thanks

Jan · 22/08/2018 at 2:00 pm

Hi, Stefanie!

I also think that the mentality, inspiration and guidance (like this article) is key in getting a better health.

I have heard about those green smoothies that are very popular, and they seem like a great way to get my body in shape.

I have high ups and downs in my blood sugar, is there anything special I should do or think about when I start working with my new diet?

Regards, Jan

    Stefanie Taylor · 22/08/2018 at 3:14 pm

    Hi Jan, well drinking some green smoothies would definitely be a great start to your weight loss plan. As for your blood sugar up’s and down’s I would advice eating the low GI diet as advised in the post. Eating low GI foods, along with lots of high protein foods, and a little healthy fat at every meal will go a long way to keeping your blood sugar from spiking too much. This means you will be less hungry for snacking on bad stuff. This always works for me. Here is the link again that was in the post of a low GI foods list.

Mitala · 22/08/2018 at 2:15 pm

Thanks so much for the tips on how to manage weight. I have recently gained a couple of pounds and I would like to shed them. This content has provided me with some awesome info to help me get started. Thanks a lot.

    Stefanie Taylor · 22/08/2018 at 3:08 pm

    Hi Mitala, that’s great! I wish you every success with getting rid of those couple of pounds. It’s surprising how much losing even that much can make a difference to your life and confidence. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any more questions.

frosteer · 22/08/2018 at 2:27 pm

I love the part you mentioned “eat a rainbow of colours”
Here are some fruits and vege that I can think of. I sort them according to colours =)

Red:
Tomatoes
Strawberries
Raspberries
Watermelon
Apples

Orange & Yellow:
Carrots
Oranges
Grapefruit
Lemons
Mangoes
Papayas

Green:
Spinach
Swiss chard
Arugula
Green beans
Peas

Purple and blue:
Blueberries
Blackberries
Red (purple) grapes
Red (purple) cabbage
Eggplant

    Stefanie Taylor · 22/08/2018 at 3:06 pm

    Hi there, I really appreciate you going to the effort of putting that fabulous list up for me. Thanks so much, and I will use this at some point on my website.

Josh · 22/08/2018 at 2:33 pm

Very informative article. Most people who go on fad diets do not realize the harm they’re doing to their system.

    Stefanie Taylor · 22/08/2018 at 3:04 pm

    Yes that’s so true Josh. Fad diets are really no good for long term health and weight loss. I learnt this myself the hard way when I was younger which messed my metabolism up now I’m older. Luckily I am finally turning it around through proper nutrition and a fitness plan. We live and learn hey?

Kyle Ann Percival · 22/08/2018 at 5:09 pm

Thanks for a great article Stefanie! I have had to radically change my diet since colorectal cancer 5 years ago. I rarely eat meat and get much of my protein from powder smoothies, cheese and nuts. Fruit is my “sweet treat” and I love all the berries.
This helps explain what is actually going on in our “gut” when we eat certain foods.Thanks for sharing your education with us.

    Stefanie Taylor · 22/08/2018 at 10:06 pm

    Hi there Kyle, I’m sorry to hear you had cancer, but happy that you have such a healthy diet now. You are right, we don’t need meet for protein like a lot of people presume. I too get most of mine from nuts, seeds, legumes, and protein powders and I get everything I need in those, even though I train hard too!

    Fruit is awesome; there’s nothing better than when you get some really tasty fruit that actually tastes like it should. Yum.

Garen · 23/08/2018 at 6:27 am

One thing I have been trying to work on for my diet is eating less bread. I typically, like to eat blueberry muffins and oatmeal for breakfast. It fills me up and gives me enough energy to keep going throughout the day. However, I have always heard that you should eat your carbs early in the day, which is why I eat oatmeal and muffins.

However, I want to start eating a lower GI breakfast. I’m not really a big fan of eggs, though. They are fine every once in a while, but as time goes on I dread eating them.

Do you have any ideas of what I could eat for breakfast, but won’t leave me feeling hungry and lacking energy?

    Stefanie Taylor · 23/08/2018 at 3:26 pm

    Hi Garen, I always used to think that eating carbs for breakfast was the best way to do it, and that’s probably fine if you don’t need to lose weight. But I’ve found that a high protein breakfast really boosts your metabolism for the rest of the day and still fills you up. Also, carbs need to be of the unrefined kind such as your oatmeal if you are going to eat them. Also, it’s good to have a carby breakfast if you are going to be training a few hours later.

    I have a protein shake with half an avocado for breakfast and that send to fill me up until lunch. I think you have to be sure you are getting enough protein in the morning. I’m not sure you would get enough with oatmeal and blueberry muffin. There’s probably a lot of sugar in the blueberry muffin which could be leaving you hungry very quickly.

    I’d go for just the oatmeal with either a scoop of protein powder, and some nuts and seeds and fruit. Eggs are also an excellent choice if you can eat them. Boiled are best as they haven’t been wisked up and broken down, so they fill you up for longer.

Blanka · 23/08/2018 at 1:20 pm

This is a beautiful article Stefanie. I like the way you explain the importance of maintaining stable blood sugar and how high GI foods, and especially refined carbohydrates impact our health and weight. I knew that refined carbohydrates were bad for our weight and health but didn’t know the exact reason. I usually avoid that kind of food and now when I understand the reason behind, it will be even easier to not eat it. I’ll also do my best to follow your 6 basic rules, thanks for that!

    Stefanie Taylor · 23/08/2018 at 3:18 pm

    Hi Blanka, it’s great you already avoid those bad refined sugars. They are the death to any diet that’s for sure! I only started losing my weight when I finally understood the proper workings of blood sugar, and how important it is to keep it stable.

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