Calories and Food
There is no need for tough choices. You can eat well, be healthy and lose weight all in the same, well, bite. Of course, moderate portions and exercise will assist you on your way to a new, more slender you, but choose the right foods and you can get healthful, nutritious sustenance with few calories.
You should be mindful of the calories contained in foods, but other attributes merit your consideration as well. Choose foods that provide the nutrition you need to keep your body humming, but also consider how well they burn fat, slow digestion, stabilize blood sugar and affect metabolism.
Packed with minerals and nutrients, loaded with fiber and low in calories, vegetables make other diet foods grovel at their mineral-packed feet. Vegetables contain complex carbohydrates, which slow digestion, stabilize blood sugar and curtail your later post-dining food cravings.
Vegetables are chock-full of fiber that scrubs your gut as it passes through, improving your digestion as it makes its way through your colon.
Vegetables of various hues and colors contain different nutrients. Integrate your plate, tease your eyes and tickle your tongue by mixing vegetables of different colors. Eat them raw to really work out your gut. If you prefer, nuke them, steam them, boil them or bake them. If you have a veggie-hater in your family, make the veggies go stealth: Toss them in your favorite stew, soup, stir-fry, casserole or curry.
Salad greens belong in the same family as vegetables, so they don’t need to grovel. They sit right next to the vegetables in the pantheon of diet foods. Greens like arugula, spinach, escarole and lettuce are rich in fiber and destitute in calories. Except for lettuce, greens have vitamin A, potassium and other nutrients such as iron and calcium.
If plain greens sound too Spartan, go the fabled stone-soup route, and dress up your greens with other veggies and foods that add more fiber, flavor, texture and nutrition.
Add yellow, green, red and orange peppers; cabbage; carrots; tomatoes; cucumbers; celery and onion.
Each vegetable has its own flavor and nutritional personality, and all are slim on the calories. These veggies provide phytonutrients, lycopene and vitamins A and C, along with other nutrients.
Feel free to load up on any of the afore-mentioned veggies as the calorie count is ridiculously low. Four cups of shredded spinach gives you a measly 28 calories, and 1 cup of diced green pepper surrenders a miserly 18 calories.
Add a medium sized carrot at 25 calories, stalk of celery at 6 calories, and medium Italian tomato at 11 calories, and for the low price of 88 calories you have yourself about 6 cups of nutritious and delicious food. Toss on a few grapes for sweetness and a few almonds to add protein-packed crunch. Then, spritz with a low-calorie olive-oil based dressing, and commence the mouth-party.
Lean proteins build muscles and provide the raw material necessary to synthesize brain chemicals that, among other things, regulate attention and improve mood. Proteins slow digestion, which stabilizes blood sugar and mutes that nagging appetite.
To boot, protein increases your metabolism, which burns additional calories. Proteins have a high thermic effect, which means you burn off calories just to digest the food.
For example, the energy you expend digesting turkey trims the 238 calorie, 1-cup serving down to 167 calories. Get your protein from lean meats like skinless turkey or chicken breast. Low- or non-fat dairy, products such as non-fat milk or low-fat yogurt, provides protein and contains calcium, which helps in the regulation of your appetite.
Green tea raises your metabolism and decreases your appetite. A study described at National Institutes of Health concluded that tea drinkers lost weight and had an elevated metabolism.