What is a Good Nutritional Diet Plan For Women?

If you’re a fan of the Food Network, you might feel overwhelmed with the thought of trying to embark on any kind of a nutritional diet plan. Especially if you’re a woman.

I’ve been trying out different diets for years, trying one “fad” diet after the other and never getting very far at all until the past few years. What changed for me? I decided to go back to the basics and eat very simple but easy to prepare food. I also took another look at the American Diabetic Association’s food guide. So, though when you look at television and even flip some diet cookbooks, try to remember that healthy eating can honestly be relatively easy and uncomplicated.

You can actually base your diet around starchy foods like pasta, potatoes and rice. As long as you add lots of fresh fruit and plenty of veggies you will be okay. Don’t forget your protein at lunch at dinner. In my opinion, protein is the building block of any healthy food plan. It’s what allows your body to build lean muscle and lean muscle is what burns fat. Your diet will also need to incorporate dairy products such as milk and cheese but there are lots of low-fat cheeses to choose from and 1% fat milk is always your best friend. It will fill you up without piling on lots of extra calories.

Consuming a healthy diet is all about balance and portion size. This means that you will have to choose from a wide variety of different foods and drink lots of fresh water. If you live in either England or the United States where the average person is either overweight or clinically obese, you may find yourself doubly challenged. This can be difficult especially if you eat a lot of fast food or processed food. If you are spending long hours at the pub each week tossing back lots of ale, then you’re also going to have a hard time consuming a good nutritional diet plan.

The Different Food Groups

Nutritious foods are divided into five different categories and they are:

  • vegetables and fruit

  • grain products

  • milk and dairy products

  • protein (meat and fish)

  • oils and fats

But I don’t want to eat fats and oils, I’m on a diet! you might be saying to yourself. Oils and and other healthy fats are very important to your body. Your body must have a certain amount of fat in it if it wants to process other foods well. You don’t need a lot of fat or healthy oils, but you do need some. Don’t entirely limit fat and oil from any weight loss diet.

Fruit and Vegetables:

Fruits-and-VegetablesBecause fruit and veggies are such a vital source of minerals and vitamins, a health nutritional plan will include about five servings of each per day. Research has shown that people who do consume this amount of fruit and vegetables significantly lower their risk for both heart disease and stroke. A portion of a fruit might be as small as just one medium sized banana. Alternatively, just one slice of fresh pineapple can count as one serving. So, you don’t have to be eating oodles and oodles of fruit and veggies every day if that’s not your thing. It’s certainly not mine. I actually don’t like fruit or veggies very much but I eat them now. You will find that if you start to incorporate small bits of fruits and veggies into your diet that you will be able to work  yourself up to the five servings per day with minimal fuss. If you swap out your morning donut for a small tangerine, you’ve added one serving already!

Starchy foods

starchy-food-in-your-dietAbout ⅓ of our daily diet should be made up of starchy foods. That means it is fine to go ahead and base your meals around starchy foods like potatoes and pasta. Potatoes are also rich in fiber if you don’t remove the skin. So when you bake a potato, go ahead and leave the skin on and eat it. It’s good for you and if your potato has been baked in an oven rather than a microwave, it will taste delicious.

If you’re going to eat pasta, switch from white grain pasta to whole wheat pasta. This will bump up your protein level enormously and remember what I said about protein? It is the building block of every balanced nutritional plan.

Meat, fish, eggs and beans

nutritional-diet-for-womenMeat, fish, eggs and beans are all excellent sources of protein. In addition, they also provide a hefty amount of vitamins and minerals your body needs. Meat contains iron and zinc and B vitamins. In fact, meat is one of the best sources of vitamin B12 — no need to take a B12 vitamin if you’re eating at least one serving of red meat per week, well-cooked, of course.

Fish is also very high in protein but even more importantly, if you are eating “oily fish” such as sardines or salmon, it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. You should try to have fish about twice a week.

Milk and dairy foods

milk-dairy-productsMilk and other dairy products are also excellent sources of protein. Dairy products also contain calcium which is needed to strengthen and keep bones healthy. You will definitely want to enjoy reaping all the benefits of dairy products in your diet without the added calories it can bring. So choose either 1% milk or skim milk. Cheeses like cottage cheese and 0% fat yogurt (Greek yogurt) are also high in protein without the extra fat content.

Fats

In general, most people who live in western countries consume way too much fat and sugar. Processed foods are saturated with both of these things. The more processed food you can avoid, the more successful your diet plan will be in the long run. That being said, fat is an essential component for every single diet and every person needs to consume a certain amount of fat each day if they want to remain healthy. But do you know that there are different kinds of fat?

Saturated fats, the kind found in things like cakes, sausages and pie (think solid when chilled) are high in cholesterol and ultimately clog your arteries leading to heart disease. These should be avoided at all cost, if possible.

Unsaturated fats such as olive oil, the type of oils found in nuts and avocados are good for you. You can use and eat these liberally without worrying too much about what they are doing to your body. When you are dieting, though, it is best to measure them.

8 Super Foods for Weight loss

Do you remember when you were a kid constantly being told by your mom to eat  your fruits and vegetables? I certainly do and boy, oh, boy, do I regret that now. Of course as I matured, I came to have a new appreciation for my fruits and vegetables. But since I’ve been on my weight loss program, I’ve also come to realize that there are 10 super foods which you must incorporate into your diet if you want to lose weight. Yes, we all know how important it is to limit the number of calories we take in on any given day but losing weight also has a lot to do with what kind of food you consume as well.

Learning to eat in a whole new way can really be challenging so go easy on yourself. As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day!” and neither were your thighs. If you’re like most women you’ve been gaining weight a slow, but steady pace probably since university. And that’s exactly the way you’ll have to lose it — at a slow, but steady pace.

So, exactly what are the 10 wonder foods to eat to facilitate weight loss? The following list includes some of the most delicious food that you can consume almost to your heart’s desire and without any guilt whatsoever. Enjoy!

  1. wonderfood-broccoliBroccoli: This leafy green vegetable is excellent in soups, steamed or even just raw. It provides an excellent source of both calcium and fiber and will help you stay feeling full for long after you’ve finished your meal. You can toss it onto a salad and then add just a teaspoon of sesame dressing and voila! you’re finished.

  2. superfood-cabbageCabbage: I love cabbage rolls and love to add fresh cabbage to many of my home prepared dishes. This wonderful vegetable is blessed with many antioxidants and vitamin C so it helps provide a great foundation for your immune system. You can cook cabbage up with apples and some ginger and you will get a delicious applesauce. It can also be used for Thai wraps instead of lettuce. This will give you an extremely low calorie meal which also will give you  a great health boost.

  3. wonderfood-CauliflowerCauliflower: If fighting off cancer is one of your worries, then add lots of cauliflower to your diet. This wonderful cruciferous vegetable comes packed with lots of vitamin C and it is highly rich in folate. Because of the folate which helps prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida in fetuses, cauliflower is an excellent vegetable for pregnant women to eat. You can steam it and then mash it as a delicious alternative to mashed potatoes. It is delicious when eaten raw.

  4. superfood-grapefoodGrapefruit: Grapefruits are so delicious that sometimes I just peel one and eat it like I would an orange. They provide lots of heart health advantages and even help stave off the development of atherosclerosis, or cardiovascular disease. Grapefruits contain large quantities of potassium, vitamin C and folic acid. They also contain a soluble fiber called pectin which is what protects against heart disease. If you’re looking to add more lycopene into your diet, opt for grapefruit.

  5. wonderfood-spinachSpinach: Oh, spinach has got to be my favorite vegetable. These delicious leafy greens pack a wallop in terms of their nutritional content. Folic acid, vitamin K, vitamin C and beta-carotene and lutein. You can throw all your vitamin supplements away if you add spinach to your diet just twice a week. It`s very easy to swap out your old favourite romaine lettuce for some fresh spinach. Just wash it and spin and top it with some fresh pomegranate seeds and some walnuts and you have a delicious salad. It can be easily used in a breakfast omelet — add some reduced-fat feta cheese and some tomato and Greek olives and you’ve got a wonderful Mediterranean breakfast in no time.

  6. superfood-lettuceLettuce: This is one of the best, diet-friendly foods you can eat. Lettuce provides an excellent source of vitamin B as well as folic acid. It also is, pound for pound, one of the best sources for manganese which is known to regulate blood sugar. If you’re going to use lettuce, opt for the dark leafy kind rather than just plain iceberg lettuce which has virtually no nutritional content at all.

  7. superfood-radishesRadishes: Radishes are fantastic sources of folic acid and antioxidants. They also contain lots of sulfur compounds which are extremely helpful in aiding with the digestive process. If you’re going to use radishes in a salad be sure to also use the greens. These little powerhouses contain about six times the amount of vitamin C as the root, the radish itself.

  8. Protein: Adding protein to your diet is not only smart, it’s essential if you want to lose weight. Protein comes in a variety of forms. I personally like to eat quinoa which is an ancient grain that is loaded with protein. I cook mine up with some chicken broth, and toss in a handful of chopped walnuts and some sultana raisins. Yummy. Eating protein at every meal, whether it is in the form of a hard-boiled egg or some turkey slices is what will hold you until it’s time to eat your next meal. Protein has also been found to help with mood stabilization and protect brain functioning. Because it is very low in calories it is easy to add to almost every meal. If you have some protein with your meals, it will keep you satisfied and you will be much less likely to snack between meals.

Getting the proper nutrients is essential to maintain your good health. This is true whether you are on a diet or not. But adding some of the above foods to your diet will help you achieve a slimmer waistline and boost your energy levels.

8 Ways to Lose Weight During The Christmas Holiday

Christmas. This is probably the most dreaded word in any dieters dictionary. With all those sweets around the house, not to mention the nightly eggnog toasts, it’s no wonder that most people put on a minimum of ten pounds over the holidays. There are some ways that you can actually lose weight during the Christmas holidays and I am going to show you how.

1. Do not be afraid of your hunger pangs

hunger-pangsIf you’ve spent months eating whatever you like whenever you like then you probably have not felt really hungry in a long time. It’s very easy to forget how you feel when you experience those gnawing feelings of hunger. So, when you first change your eating habits, you will no doubt feel very uncomfortable when you begin to experience these feelings again. In fact, you’ll probably find yourself reaching for that bag of Oreo’s pretty quickly. Though many fad diets promise you that you’ll never experience feelings of hunger, this is a completely unrealistic claim. Have faith. When you first begin a new way of eating food, it is very normal to experience hunger pangs. They will go away in time. Probably much sooner than you might have expected. Just be patient and learn to cope with them differently. It’s all a matter of perspective.

The key to coping with hunger pangs is to learn how to recognize them and not be scared by them. Then once you realized what you’re feeling, you need to learn different (and new!) ways to cope with them. So, instead of viewing them as something that is negative, try to think of them in a positive way. Don’t you actually feel good to feel hungry for a change and look forward to your next meal? Another new way to cope with hunger pangs is to spend some time rating them on a scale from 1 to 10 where a rating of 1 means you are fully satiated and a rating of 10 means you are on the brink of starvation. You should only reach for some kind of snack if your rating is at least a 7 or more.

2. Eat breakfast like a King (and don’t ever skip it)

So, in the interest of flogging a dead horse, yes, I know you’ve been told this or read this a million times. The biggest problem with your skepticism is that it is 100% completely true. Skipping breakfast is SO not a good idea because you are setting yourself to fight hunger the whole rest of day. Eating a good breakfast which contains some serious protein such as in the form of two eggs or a bowl of Greek yogurt is THE best way to start your day. One study at the University of Leeds proved that people who skip breakfast almost always eventually lose control over their resistance to their hunger pangs and will snack on just about anything within reach.

3. Eat lots of fiber

The easiest way to do this is to change all the “white” things in your diet for things that are “brown” instead. So, you will need to definitely ditch stuff like bagels, farine spaghetti and white bread. It also means you will also probably have to lose your favorite breakfast cereal if you like to eat things like cornflakes.

The reason for doing this is that high-fiber foods help combat against hunger. Why? The first reason is that high-fiber foods usually take much longer to chew before you can swallow. This means you will take longer to eat your meals and you will give your brain time to realize that you have eaten enough and are, consequently, full. You’ll be less likely to eat too much.

Another reason is that fiber works like sponge in your stomach and absorbs water. But, by far, the best reason is because fiber takes longer to digest which means that the feeling of fullness will last longer. Usually through until it is time to eat again.

4. Choose foods that are low on the glycemic-index

When you eat foods that are lower on the glycemic index, it means that they will release sugar into your bloodstream at a much slower rate than other foods. Again, this will leave you feeling more satisfied from your meal for a longer period of time. Eating a snack which is on the low end of the glycemic index will keep your blood sugar more stable and will help you maintain better control over your appetite over a longer period of time. Foods with low glycemic index ratings are things like oatmeal, nuts, whole wheat bread and fruit.

5. Pick up lots of protein

Scrambled-EggsEating protein will definitely help you feel full for a longer period of time. Protein can be found in meat like chicken and fish. It is also found in eggs and cottage cheese as well as other hard cheeses. Having some tuna on top of your salad at lunch time will be more than enough to help  you feel full until dinner.

6. Start your day off with an egg

Again, this is tied to protein. Eggs are a great source of protein. Just two eggs in the morning will hold you until lunchtime. Guaranteed. A study carried out at the Rochester Center for Obesity found that people who ate two eggs for breakfast were able to prevent hunger so much that they were able to reduce their overall intake of calories by 400. Not bad for two little eggs! Female participants in the study found that they ate smaller portions at lunchtime after eating two eggs for breakfast.

7. Eat a little more slowly

You may not know this but our brains need about twenty minutes before they register the signal from the stomach that we are full.

drinking-water-exercise

This is true no matter how much or how little you actually consume. So, if you eat more slowly, you will almost certainly feel full by the time you’ve eaten half of what everyone else at the table has eaten.

8. Don’t forget to quench your thirst

It’s sometimes a good thing to try to figure out if you’re hungry or just plain thirsty. It’s easy to confuse the two feelings and fill up our plates before we really know what’s what. If you’re at a dinner or even a Christmas party, you can always opt for some sparkling water. The bubbles will help your stomach feel full!