The best foods to eat for breakfast and the best foods to eat for lunch and dinner have to be planned with care if we want to lose weight.
Before I write about foods I want to put emphasis on the importance of water. A healthy diet includes a reasonable amount of water for the body to function properly. I am going to write more about water and other drinks in a future article but I want to remind us that water is very important to our health. Experts recommend 6-8 glasses of water in normal circumstances and more if we do exercise.
About foods to eat, we need a healthy and balanced diet that contain all the nutrients necessary to have strength and stamina to do the things during the day, to have a good metabolism, to heal, to replicate the cells, to have energy, to think clearly.
A balanced diet is the one that has the right amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and oligo-elements.
In order to do that, let’s look at common foods to determine their nutritional density. Nutritional density is the concentration of a kind of nutrients that the food has.
Most of the foods have a lot of types of nutrients but some of them have more protein, others have more carbohydrates others have more fat, others have more water or fiber.
Let’s see what foods have more protein. Fish, beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, the egg whites, beans have a lot of protein
Quinoa and buckwheat have a lot of protein and they have a lot of carbohydrates also.
The egg yolk has a lot of fat and it is better if you eat and egg whole to absorb most of the nutrients. The combination of boiled egg and boiled potato is very nutritious, do not overeat the potatoes because they are carbohydrate-dense and you can gain weight, but once in a while, you can indulge with this rich combination.
Butter is a rich fat food, it has vitamin D and K that are good for the teeth, use it sparsely and enjoy. Olive oil is very good but use in limited quantities.
Milk has a lot of calcium, protein, and fat.
Vegetables are rich in fiber, vitamins, and oligo elements, they can be used at your discretion raw in salads, sandwich or snack. I eat lettuce or raw celery, instead of pop corn sometimes when I watch television, you can get use to that.
You can cook vegetables in your casseroles, stews, pies or soups. Vegetables and some form of protein are a good combination.
Foods rich in carbohydrates are recommended in small quantities if you want to lose weight because if you do not use the calories that they produce, the carbohydrates transform into fat and then the fat gets stored in the body. Be careful when you eat bread, pasta, cookies, crackers, potatoes, sweet potatoes. Limit it to some days or very small portions unless you do strenuous exercises
Fruits are rich in water, fiber, vitamins, antioxidants and natural sugar.
I love fruits, when I was growing up we used to go to the family farm on weekends and three months a year. I overate on mangoes, breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack, they were big mangoes. The doctor recommended me to eat only two or three fruit’s a day if I wanted to lose weight; he just did not understand to be surrounded by fruits. But I had to do it, I had to limit my fruits, three or four some days.
When I was a teenager the doctor recommended this 800 calorie diet, He wanted me to eat protein ,veggies, some fat and only two fruits. I was living in an all girls dorm and I shared my bedroom with three more girls. At the beginning of the diet, it was very difficult.
One night I was so hungry, so hungry. The dorm turned off the electricity at midnight because they wanted everybody to go to bed early. If we had homework after midnight we needed a flashlight; the owners did not say that we needed a flashlight, they said that we had to go to bed earlier than midnight, we just figured it out that we needed a flashlight. Imagine if you did not finish your homework by that time, what a stress.
This night that I was so hungry I did not want to awake my friends and the one that was awake doing her homework with a flashlight only had chocolate cookies, she loved chocolate cookies, and I was not supposed to eat that.
I drank some water and I told my friend: “ I am going to the kitchen to see if they have some fruit or veggies”. My friend told me: “ If you do not find anything, eat one of my chocolate cookies, don’t worry about it, it won’t do anything to your diet”.” OK” I said but I did not want to eat a chocolate cookie.
I went with my flashlight to the kitchen on the first floor, the building was old with high ceilings and arches, the wooden floors crack when I walk, I felt shame. I arrived at the stairs; the stairs were made of cement, the light was off too.
I got to the kitchen praying that the door was unlocked. I opened the door and I went to the refrigerator, open it and found pineapple chunks. I took a bunch and I ate them slowly, they tasted so delicious. Time slowed while I was eating and I felt satisfied, not hungry anymore. I went back to the bedroom promising myself that I will always have some spare fruit in my locker I did not want to feel hungry never again. I felt relief that I did not have to eat the chocolate cookie.