There are a number of reasons why an unhealthy diet causes weight gain. For one, most unhealthy diets are high in calories. As a result, your body stores the excess calories in the form of fat. While this is an evolutionary process meant to store energy for a rainy day should you ever find yourself with limited, or no, access to food, in today’s society this physiological mechanism works against us.
But what is it about a healthy diet that helps facilitate weight loss? Below are 3 reasons why switching to a healthier diet will help you with your weight loss goals. On a healthy diet:
- You Consume Fewer Calories
High fiber foods have a filling effect especially compared to fried foods. As a result, you eat less food throughout the day because your stomach feels fuller quicker. This results in an overall decrease in caloric intake which can help facilitate weight loss. It also means that you don’t feel deprived since your stomach feels satiated on this type of diet.
- You Have Better Macro- and Micronutrient Distribution
On a healthy diet, your macro- and micronutrient intake is more balanced. For example, if you’d previously been consuming a lot of sodium, a switch to a healthy diet can drastically cut your salt intake in half. As a result, you’ll lose the excess water weight that your body has been retaining and you’ll see a difference on the scale. Not to mention your blood pressure will thank you as well.
You’ll also consume less refined sugar which gets absorbed quicker by the body compared to other nutrients. Sugar is also easily converted into fat. Not only will you eat less sugar on a healthy diet but your increased intake of antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals will help optimize the body’s biological processes thereby aiding in maximizing metabolism.
- You’re more Regular
On a healthy diet full of fiber, you’ll feel lighter! Many people don’t consider the impact that fecal matter has on weight but it can easily be a matter of a few pounds. Plus, it’s not healthy to have bowel movements just sitting in the gastrointestinal tract. Not only will you feel lighter but the fiber will promote the growth of good gut bacteria which will positively impact the body’s metabolic capabilities.
So what components comprise a healthy diet and what should be the main point of focus? Well the best diets are those that are simplest, meaning that the simpler the food, the better.
Focus on Food Quality Instead of Food Calories
We’re a culture obsessed with calories yet despite this, we’ve struggled to lose weight. Rather than counting the number of calories you’re consuming, try to focus on the quality of the food you’re eating. Try to eat foods in their whole, most natural form. You’ll want to aim for foods that are minimally processed, or not processed at all. One way to think of this is to consider what has been done to the food before it reaches your mouth. For example, the vegetables in your salad are often rinsed and sliced prior to being tossed in your salad. This is excellent because they still retain most of their original nutrition, fiber, etc. without adding excess calories to your meal.Now if you eat a bag of potato chips, which have been rinsed, sliced, deep fried, and then salted, you need to realize that much of the fiber and nutrition has been lost. Additionally, excess calories and salt have also been added due to the preparation process.
It’s also important to remember thatcalorically dense food doesn’t automatically qualify itas unhealthy. Avocados are full of excellent nutrition and are almost always served raw which means minimal nutrient loss. But avocados are also high in calories. Yet if you had to choose between an avocado, or 5 low calories crackers, which would be the better choice? The avocadoes would be the better choice because, while they contain more calories than 5 crackers, they also contain better nutrition than the crackers.
By focusing on the quality of food you’re eating instead of the calories, you’ll not only fuel your body better but you’ll also be less stressed since you won’t have to obsess over calories counting.