The key to sustainable weight loss? A balanced diet — do a thorough sweep down these aisles.
Essential for maintaining a healthy immune system, dairy products also help to build strong bones, slow bone loss, and reduce fragility.
Skip: High-fat dairy products like ice cream, sour cream, and mayonnaise.
Pick: Fat-free or low-fat milk and yogurt.
Lean meat contains all of the essential amino acids the body needs and is a great source of protein. Up to 15 times more iron is absorbed by the body from beef than from spinach.
Skip: Processed meats like bacon and sausages — they’re high in fat.
Pick: Beef and pork cuts with the terms “loin” or “round.” Loins are flavourful, requiring little sauce or seasoning, and are naturally lean. Rounds offer leanness and tenderness. Try beef tenderloin or top round; both are high in protein and zinc.
This high-protein, low-fat food is immensely important for cardiovascular health. High in omega-3 fatty acids, eating fish helps regulate blood clotting and vessel constriction; omega-3s can also improve the condition of your skin, hair, and nails.
Skip: Fish known for high-mercury levels, such as king mackerel and swordfish, which contain nine times as much as “low-mercury” fish like tuna and salmon.
Pick: Salmon or tuna, these are particularly high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Don’t skip the carbs! Grains are filling and nutritious; they help to curb an appetite and aid in long-term weight loss. They’re also a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Skip: Less complex carbohydrates and grains like white rice, nonwheat breads and pastas, and any grain high in refined sugar. Grain products with high amounts of refined sugar and flour raise insulin levels in the blood, which depresses the immune system and leads to fat storage and weight gain.
Pick: Whole grain pastas, breads, and cereals that are high in fibre, B vitamins, and magnesium. These complex carbs will create fuel for your body and leave you feeling fuller and more satisfied.
The perfect energy source, vegetables are typically low in calories, so you can fill up on them. Flooded with fibre and nutrients, vegetables help boost energy.
Skip: Veggies doused in butter, oils, and cheese sauce — especially prevalent in frozen dinners. The high salt and fat content of these extras cancel out the health qualities of the vegetables.
Pick: A variety of fresh or frozen vegetables without the extras. Try these veggie heroes: Broccoli is rich in vitamins A and C; tomatoes are high in flavonoids that help prevent heart disease and cancer; and the vitamin B in mushrooms helps with red blood cell functioning.
The never-ending aisles of beverages can be hard to navigate, but sticking with the right drinks will help hydrate your body, give you the necessary nutrients to strengthen your immune system, and regulate body temperature — essential for a busy bride or groom-to-be.
Skip: Steer clear of any beverages high in sugar, especially fruit juices (fresh-squeezed is a different story), soft drink, and fatty milk products, which contain “empty calories.” Fizzy drink is especially bad for you because it contains phosphoric acid, which may contribute to bone loss.
Pick: Sparkling water, antioxidant-rich teas and 100 percent vegetable or fruit juices (try half water, half juice to cut calories and get more water in your diet).
A snack isn’t just a treat — it’s a way to maintain your energy throughout the day. Healthy snacking helps you maintain a higher metabolism, lower cholesterol, and keep your body alert. Choose the right snacks and you’ll stay alert all day; choose the wrong ones and you risk an energy crash.
Skip: Prepackaged unhealthy snacks, such as chips, biscuits, or lollies.
Pick: Opt for a mix of lean protein and high fibre snacks, such as a low-fat cheese stick and whole wheat crackers. Eating small snacks two to three times a day helps create lean muscle and decrease overall body fat.
Grocery Shopping Cheat Sheet
Beverages: Sparkling water, antioxidant-rich tea, 100% vegetable and fruit juices;
Dairy: Low-fat or fat-free milk, low-fat or fat-free yogurt, egg whites or egg substitutes;
Fish: Salmon, tuna;
Grains: Whole grain pastas, multigrain breads, high-fibre cereals;
Meat: Beef and pork cuts with the terms “loin” or “round”, beef tenderloin, pork top loin roast;
Vegetables: Fresh or frozen vegetables (without the extra sauce), cauliflower, spinach, carrots;
Snacks: Low-fat cheese sticks, whole wheat crackers;
Fruit: Apples, pears and oranges.
— Tia Albright
Source: Dr. Susan Mitchell, PhD, RD, FADA, and author of Fat is Not Your Fate, and SusanMitchell.org
by The Knot