Summer means getting out doors and having fun. Let’s look at changing our eating habit to lose a few pounds, instead of just cutting back on our intake. The most consistent way to lose weight is to be consistent with your intake. I have been a diabetic for 25 years, and even with the vast amount of information available to us, I still have problems keeping on track. I remember meals my mother used to cook for me and my brothers, and I still fall back to desiring those items. Knowing that they are not healthy and yet I would prepare them routinely, and wonder why I was lethargic, had very low energy, always had flu symptoms, and refused to believe that my diet was the cause. Well, may years of the same results, I decided to give the doctors orders a try. Much to my surprise, I felt much better, flu symptoms disappeared, had some energy, and I finally got the message. I am 10 years into the new meal plan, and all is great!! Bad eating habits are just like any other bad habits, slow to replace. Once I conquered the habits, everything fell into place. The meal plan is simple, I follow it, and it works. Every one of us will have differences, as to what works well for our body, so it may take some experimenting to see what works. I will detail a list from the 5 food groups, high in protein, with low fat. Any of the food items on this list are great to be on your weekly meal plans. Here they are:
Don’t get too excited about Dairy, unfortunately Ice Cream is out of the question. I have tried low fat, no sugar, and anything that I’ve seen in the grocery stores, and even if there is not much of a sugar spike, there is always a sluggish after affect the next day. However, there is a great variety of cheeses available. You can have reduced fat in cheddar, Gloucester, or Gouda Soy with calcium, or Edam. There is a large selection milks, you can have powdered milk, evaporated milk, and skim milk, just stick to reduced fat. Most grocery store will have different flavors of each, strawberry, chocolate or regular, so there are some good options in milk. The last treat I have found in dairy is yogurt, with Greek yogurt being the best for weight loss. There are many varieties to choose from, you can have plain Greek yogurt, or there are light versions, labeled low sugar, no fat. Yogurt is a safe choice and is great with fresh fruit. There also has some great medicinal advantages to keep in mind. Yogurt is stomach friendly, with live cultures and probiotics. The best part about having yogurt in your diet is that yogurt will reap you the best weight loss benefit. “People who eat yogurt 3 time a day have shown to lose 22% more weight and 61% more body fat, than people who just cut calories.” Taken from WebMD – You should approach shopping for yogurt much the same as you do any prepackaged treat, high protein with low or no sugar, and low or no carbs. I have been able to find a good selection at our local health stores (Fresh Market, Whole Foods, etc.) as opposed to my local grocery store.
Grains are a little simpler than dairy. By replacing refined grains with whole grains in your meal plan, you will realize some benefits in your eating habits. Whole grains make you feel fuller faster (reducing intake), and will keep you feeling full longer.
Fruits have become my favorite food group to eat. The results I saw after adding 1 serving of fresh fruit to my diet are remarkable. The fiber in fruit, much like in grain will fill you up, and keep you feeling full for a long time. I tried substituting an energy bar between meals, and wow what a difference. I wanted another snack within 1 hour each time I tried the energy bar. Some fruits are better than others when it comes to losing weight. Grapefruit is rated as the best for curbing your appetite.
From Healthline-“Grapefruit is very low in calories and high in vitamins A and C. It may be a healthy snack before main meals to help reduce your overall food intake”. I realize grapefruits are not for everyone, and they certainly are not for me, I think they are too much work, and too sour. My fruit preference is berries. If you can get fresh fruit locally, then that is the best choice. In the event that’s not an option for you, I have found frozen fruit available with no added sugar.
Meats are a great addition to your meal plan for losing weight. Beef is high in protein, vitamins B12, zinc, iron, niacin plus the bones and bone marrow contain collagen and iron. You want lean beef, and if you get beef with fat on it, cook with the fat on for flavor, but be sure to trim the fat before you eat. Organic meats are certainly a better option is available in your market, as they have zero antibiotics or added hormones (used to speed growth and enlarge the animal). Chicken is also high in protein and is also very lean. Chicken also has vitamins iron, zinc, and B. Both beef and chicken are a good source of selenium, which has huge health benefits. Healthline lists 7 Science-based benefits of Selenium:
- 1. Acts as a Powerful Antioxidant
- 2. May Reduce the Risk of Certain Cancers
- 3. May Protect Against Heart Disease
- 4. Helps Prevent Mental Decline
- 5. Is Important for Thyroid Health
- 6. Boosts the Immune System
- 7. May Help Reduce Asthma Symptom
Wow!! That’s great to hear.
The majority of fish have an ample amount of Omega-3, proteins, and minerals, however there are a few that are better than others. Diabetic’s best fish is Salmon, due to the ability to help prevent mascular degeneration. Yellow-fin tuna is rated as the favorite and best if available, and affordable. In no particular order here are the top 6 fish rated for health benefits.
- Rainbow Trout
- Yellow-fin tuna
Vegetables are an absolute must have on a diabetic diet, or creating a meal plan for weight loss. There are a lot of people that do not eat vegetables for 1 reason or another, but I highly recommend at least 1 serving a day minimum, average 2 servings per day weekly, and in a perfect world 2 with lunch and 2 with dinner. Fresh produce is the best choice, however canned or frozen is certainly acceptable over a starch like fries or macaroni and cheese. Here is a short list of the best vegetables for losing weight (in no particular order):
- Green Beans, Red Beans, Pinto Beans, Kidney Beans, etc. on the beans
- Enjoy cooked beans, or a Bean Salad
You will see a slow reduction in your weight each week as soon as you get started. Getting in the habit of eating healthy requires new habits be formed. I have found that the easiest I can make the new habit, the better the chances that I would have success. Once your have decided to change your eating habit, you will see that it takes a little more time. Grocery shopping may take a little longer than usual, until you create different habits. Fresh fruits and vegetables will require more of your time. Unfortunately that is the reason most people don’t eat as much fresh vegetables and fruit as they would like. It will take your extra time, period! Time block enough time to shop every 4 days or so, depending on how many days your want to have fresh vegetables and fresh fruit. The next thing I would recommend, is to pre-package your fruit, not grapefruits and oranges, once your get home with them. You may want to make bowls/containers with a mixture of 2 or 3 kinds of berries. Getting in the habit of prepackaging your fruit, makes snacking healthy much easier. If your don’t have enough regular bowls or containers, a reasonable option would be light duty containers made by Glad. The cost is reasonable, and they are reusable.
I applaud you for starting a weight loss diet, and ask for any feedback you may have, or comments.
I wish you all to have success with your meal program, and achieve your weight loss target.