If you’re going to eat healthy, you have to eat good food, says Michael Siegel, PhD, director of the Institute for Science and Health at Harvard Medical School.
Here are some tips on how to get there: Choose fruits, vegetables, and grains well, not just for health but also because they contain fiber and vitamins.
That means you’re getting the nutrients that your body needs.
Get more than one protein and protein-rich food a day.
And eat more than four servings of vegetables a day, not two.
That includes greens like kale, collards, and mustard greens.
Avoid eating the same foods every day.
Eat less fat and more plant-based fats.
“You can get to the point where you can eat about 70 percent of your calories from plant foods and the remaining 30 percent from animal foods,” Siegel says.
Get enough protein to support muscle growth.
“If you’re not getting enough protein, you’ll not get the muscle you need to build muscle,” he says.
“For instance, if you have a body fat percentage of about 30 percent, you should get at least 15 grams of protein a day.”
The best part is that there are plenty of foods to choose from, he says, including beans, peas, nuts, and soy foods.
He also recommends eating at least four servings a day of beans, lentils, and rice, as well as at least one serving of fresh, cold, and canned fruits and vegetables.
Keep an eye on your weight and how you feel.
That can help you know how much weight you’re putting on and how much you’re losing, Siegel advises.
“Your weight will fluctuate throughout the day, so it’s really important that you monitor your weight.
If you feel heavy, that’s a good sign that you’re gaining too much weight.
And if you feel light, that could be a sign that your weight is in a healthy range.”
Get enough rest.
“There’s nothing more annoying than losing weight when you’re tired or you feel like you’re fidgeting,” he adds.
“So get enough rest and exercise, both of which can help reduce your appetite and decrease your chances of overeating.”
Make sure you’re eating the right number of calories each day.
“Be careful when you eat a lot of calories because it’s going to make your body crave those calories,” he notes.
Also, make sure that your total daily calorie intake is appropriate.
“When you’re consuming more calories than you need, your body can’t process them properly,” Suggs says.
And for the most part, “you’re not going to be able to get rid of the excess calories.”
“Keep your body hydrated,” he explains.
This includes drinking plenty of fluids, taking the occasional cold shower, and eating some protein-packed foods such as eggs and fish.
“Some people find that when they’re dehydrated they feel sluggish, and that may be an indication of a calorie imbalance,” Saffron says.
He adds, “You don’t want to be dehydrated if you’re trying to lose weight.”
You can also do a variety of activities to keep you in good physical shape.
“It’s all about your body,” he emphasizes.
If that’s true for you, you might be able get by on a regular basis without breaking the law.
“I have found that the most effective way to lose body fat is to do moderate exercise and not to do very much weightlifting or weight training,” he advises.
If all else fails, just get a good night’s sleep.
“A lot of people go to bed hungry,” Sifra says.
“But the reason that people are hungry is because they’ve been eating too much and they’re hungry,” he continues.
“This is why I recommend going to bed after you’ve eaten.
If your body’s not burning as much calories, it doesn’t need to eat as much.”