One of the topics overweight people tend to have the most trouble with is nutrition. Weight loss is intended to help people look and feel better but those who are looking for the quick fix overlook proper nutrition.
One great place to start is the food pyramid. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has created the food pyramid to help average people with nutrition. Weight loss can be made easy when you consider what the food pyramid says:
1. Eat plenty of whole grains. The average person needs six to 11 servings of bread, cereal, rice and pasta each day. Remember, a slice of bread is one serving, so the average sandwich has two servings of bread. Watch serving sizes. Read labels on product packaging to help you understand nutrition. Weight loss may come easier when you just watch how much you are eating.
2. Eat more vegetables. Listen to your mother's advice: You need to eat three to five servings of vegetables each day. Vegetables and whole grains provide fiber, which helps fill you up so you eat less. Vegetables also provide plenty of vitamins and minerals so important to good nutrition. Weight loss experts agree that an attractive salad is an excellent diet tool.
3. Indulge your sweet tooth with fruit. The food pyramid recommends two to four servings of fruit each day. Not only does fruit provide excellent nutrition, weight loss experts agree that fruit also provides sweet flavors that dieters need at times. Many cultures signal the end of a meal with a sweet dessert. Instead of indulging in a sinfully sweet dessert, ease your conscience by eating an apple, strawberries or melon. You'll satisfy your sweet tooth and still lose weight.
4. Strengthen your bones with dairy products. Most people should consume two to three servings of milk, yogurt or cheese each day for healthy bones and good nutrition. Weight loss experts agree that those who drink three glasses of milk a day can achieve a healthier weight than otherwise. If you are a stress eater, try drinking a cold glass of milk the next time you are all wound up: You may find yourself feeling calmer and ready to tackle what's bugging you.
5. Give yourself energy with protein: Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs and nuts all provide the energy we need, so most people should get two to three servings of them each day. These foods are important to nutrition: Weight loss devotees know that eating meats, beans etc. can provide iron, protein and other important nutrients. Just make sure you choose lean cuts of meat.
6. Fats, oils and sweets are meant to be special treats. In earlier times, sweets and fats were extra special foods that were only used rarely, at best. People would only expect to have cakes, cookies and candy once or twice a year, at most. Fats were only used on a limited basis to help with the cooking process, not as the foundation for nutrition. Weight loss clients need to remember that while fats and carbohydrates do have their place in providing energy and fiber, carrying vitamins throughout the body and protecting organs, they should only be used on a very limited basis.
The food pyramid not only provides a great basis for nutrition. Weight loss aficionados should also use it as a starting point to reach their goals.