Top 5 Tips for Losing Weight & Healthy Living

For maintaining good health and beautiful body, you need to eat a healthy, balanced diet every day. While this sounds pretty difficult, it isn't! With a little planning and the following 5 tips, you can eat healthy, lose weight, (or keep your healthy weight), with hardly any effort at all.

Keep in mind that a healthy diet is really made up of two basic rules:

  1. Eat a wide range of foods so your body gets all the nutrition it needs, not just enough calories.
  2. Eat the correct amount of calories for how active you are. If you want to lose weight, you need to cut out about 300 calories each day (on average) and get enough exercise so you burn another 200 calories. This should result in an average weight loss of about 1 to 2 pounds per week. Most people eat far more than they need.

Are you ready? Let's take a look at the top 5 tips that will cover the basics of a healthy eating plan.

Tip #1. Add Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables

This is a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at the number of people who skip this basic premise. You should eat at least 5 portions of fruits and veggies every single day. If you find it hard to do this, try adding one more veggie at dinner, drink a glass of fresh (not the canned stuff) fruit juice instead of a soda with lunch, and add a fruit with your breakfast. You can also make snacks that include fruit or veggies and add an extra serving of vegetables to a salad.

Tip #2. Make Starches Your New Best Friend

Whole grain egg sandwhich

About one third of the foods you eat should be starchy carbs. This means whole grain pasta, rice, whole grain bread, cereals, and potatoes. (Don't forget to leave the skin on!) Try to include one starchy food with each main meal, such as chicken and rice or fish with baked potatoes. Most people believe that starchy foods are what put on weight, but the truth is that, gram for gram, they contain less than half of the calories of fat.

Tip #3. Skip the Sugar and Saturated Fats

Supermarket lined with soda

This is another biggie that most people skip over. While the body needs some fat, what it doesn't need are saturated fats, such as cream, butter, lard, biscuits, and hard cheese. If you are following the new Weight Watchers Smart Points program, you might have noticed that foods that contain saturated fats or sugar cost you far more points than those that do not. Eat healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, nut butters and avocados. Keep in mind, however, that even these need to be kept to a minimum.

And while it might not seem like rocket science, far too many people get the majority of their calories from sugar. Stop drinking sodas, excessive amounts of fruit juice, cookies, cakes, and pastries. This doesn't mean you can never eat them again, it simply means you need to make them a treat, not a daily, or even a weekly, menu item.

Tip #4. Don’t Skip Breakfast

This is a common trick dieter's use thinking that they will save a few hundred calories. It doesn't work, however. Research shows that people only end up eating more during the day. Think about a whole grain waffle with some fresh fruit slices or a veggie omelet and a piece of whole grain toast.

Tip #5. Think Water

Couple drinking water

Many people can save tons of calories simply by ditching the sodas, lemonades, and after work beer(s). The body needs about 2 liters of water each day, and more if you are exercising or if the weather is warm. Limit yourself to one glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice each day and then concentrate on water. You can add fruit slices or herbs (such as mint) to water to spice things up a bit if you get bored, but every single cell in your body needs water. Be a friend; give your body a big glass of water before every meal.

Don't forget that, in addition to a healthy diet, you need sleep and exercise. Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise most days and 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night will ensure that your body will be the healthiest it can be for many years to come.