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Lose weight by eating right

Janelle Vreeland

Dietary guidelines for eating right and losing weight

The best way to lose weight and keep that weight off is to have a healthy, well-balanced diet and get involved in exercise. Although this can seems like an overwhelming task at first, the USDA has a lot of helpful hints and suggestions, all designed to keep you fit and healthy.

When changing your diet in order to lose weight, you must consider all of the food groups and what and how much of them you should consume. The first group are grains. When it comes to grains, you should be consuming whole grains and enriched refined grains. At least half of the grains you eat should be whole grains, like oatmeal and brown rice. These are the healthiest forms of grain and will help you lose weight.

The second group to consider are vegetables. They fall into five subgroups according to their nutrient content, dark green vegetables, red and orange vegetables, beans and peas, starchy vegetables and other vegetables. The USDA recommends that at least half of your plate should consist of fruits and vegetables.

Fruits are the next group and can include fruits as well as 100% fruit juices. The fruit group helps you lose weight by providing you with natural sweetness, helping to curb those cravings for sweets and sugar. By grabbing a peach instead of a candy bar whenever your sweet tooth strikes, you’ll keep calories and refined sugars away along with the extra pounds.

The next group is dairy. Although many individuals are lactose intolerant, there are ways of coping with this while still getting the nutrients you need to lose weight. The USDA suggests having dairy products in smaller doses than what is recommended, or my having lactose-free items. Whether or not you prefer lactose-free items, be sure that your dairy products are low in fat or fat free altogether. This will help you lose weight.

The last essential group is protein. While this usually refers to meat, there are other non-meat products that are rich in protein. Nuts, beans, seeds, peas, seafood, poultry and eggs all contain protein. When choosing proteins, choose skinless, lean, low-sodium varieties. These are the healthiest proteins and will help you lose weight and have energy.

Although not a group unto themselves, oils are also very important to one’s diet.

Lastly, if you want to lose weight, you should engage in moderate or vigorous physical activity. Light physical activity will not cause you to build muscle or lose weight. Such activities can include walking briskly, jogging, bicycling, playing tennis and aerobics. All of these activities will help improve your health and help you lose weight.

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