Researchers have proven that there isn’t just one good method to follow to lose weight, but when it comes to effective diets, they all have three things in common. Whether you’re a fan of the paleo lifestyle or devoted to a low-fat keto diet, these commandments cross over in all weight-loss approaches – and most experts agree on their effectiveness.
Eat Your Vegetables
Almost 9 out of 10 American adults fail to meet their daily fruit and veg requirement. Considering these statistics, it’s safe to say that we need to go back to the advice we received as children and eat more vegetables.
There are hundreds of popular diets being followed around the world and they all subscribe to one philosophy: consume less processed foods and more fresh produce. And there is a reason why vegetables get all the hype; they are extremely filling but low-calorie foods and contain a ton of minerals and nutrients which are essential for boosting your immune system and fighting off diseases.
Most food trends promote the consumption of certain ‘low carb’ vegetables such as zucchini, cauliflower (hello, gluten-free pizza) and kale, but just eating a handful of veggies won’t give you all the benefits this amazing food group has to offer. Incorporate all seasonal vegetables into your diet, with an emphasis on leafy greens. There are plenty of ways to cook up vegetables and make them taste delicious. If steamed beans are not your thing, you can always opt for roasting or sautéing them with herbs and spices.
Most experts recommend a layered approach when developing a habit of eating vegetables. If you’re not used to getting your five-a-day, start by adding only a handful of veggies into the foods that you already love, such as pasta and stir-fried dishes. This can help us get over your phobia of eating certain produce and make us more confident about trying new ways of incorporating vegetables into our diet.
Cut the Sugar
Most people blame their genetics for having certain food preferences but the truth is that we all like sugary foods and can easily get addicted to them, thanks to the way our brains are hardwired. Most food companies understand the role of sugar in our diets which is why they add it to almost every food from pasta sauce to breads to salad dressings and even yogurts.
The daily sugar limit for a healthy adult, according to American Heart Association, is 6 teaspoons per day but most Americans consume three times the recommended amount every day, which is only adding to the rising obesity epidemic. Knowing the harmful effects of sugar, most diet experts will advise you to steer clear of it, no matter which diet plan you decide to follow.
Whole Foods Are the Best
Another common theme among most diets – low-carb or not – is the preference of whole foods over the ultra-processed kinds. Many researches have shown a link between the consumption of processed foods and weight gain due to the lack of fiber in these foods which can cause overeating.
Fiber is an important nutrient found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains which keeps us full for longer. Some of the ultra-processed foods that most people consume every day include ice creams, pizzas, potato chips, and baked goods.
These foods have the same effect on our blood glucose level as simple sugars and can trigger an insulin spike after mealtime which can eventually lead to diabetes.
There are different ways of incorporating whole foods into our diet depending on which lifestyle we follow. For vegans and vegetarians, choosing whole grains, fruits and vegetables can help them lose weight whereas those who love eating nuts will find the Mediterranean diet beneficial for shedding the excess weight.