One of the reasons losing weight can be difficult is because of misconceptions about food. Advice about diet is often contradictory, confusing, and very misleading. But one thing you cannot argue with – are the basic facts – so before you waste any more time on the next ‘protein only’ diet or the ‘no carbohydrate’ diet, let’s go back to the basics of nutrition.
There are 3 main types of food: carbohydrates, protein and fat.
Contrary to belief, carbohydrates are NOT fattening foods: carbohydrates are POWER foods! They provide the entire body with long-term energy, and should account for 55 to 60% of your daily calorie intake. They are also the miracle food – they boost the metabolism and help you to lose weight. Carbohydrates are a much better source of long-term energy and include healthy foods such as pasta, bread, spaghetti, rice, fruit, vegetables and potatoes.
Carbohydrates provide you with energy to get more active and the more active you are, the more fat you lose. These foods are slower to digest, but keep energy levels higher for a longer period of time and keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Proteins should account for 10 to 15% of your daily intake. Protein is important for growth, development and repair of the body tissues, especially the muscles. They are found in both animal and plant sources. Try not to eat more protein than you need, otherwise it will store as fat. The best low-fat sources of protein come from cereals, pulses, eggs, poultry, white fish, cottage cheese, fromage frais, milk, liver and all vegetables.
Fat is absolutely essential to our health and well-being, but too much is definitely not! Fat equals 9 calories per gram whilst carbohydrate and protein equal only 4 calories per gram, so even a small reduction of fat will dramatically cut your calories by half.
This information will give you the power to decide for yourself which type of eating plan will be successful – or if it’s just another ‘hype’!!