Eat healthy, drink lots of water, have enough sleep and exercise. This will give you a higher chance of losing weight and improving your health, which would result to a new, healthier you.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Perfect Diet For Weight Loss

The perfect diet for weight loss outlines exactly how you should structure your daily food intake in order to maximise your weight loss efforts.

Over the years there have been many different recommendations regarding what people should eat in order to lose weight and improve their health. Unfortunately, the recommendations are often conflicting, which leaves people confused about the best approach to take.

The Perfect Diet has been designed based on the most up-to-date scientific research. Best of all, its design is purely objective. There hasn't been any lobbying by food groups or 'sponsored' research to influence its structure (as may be the case with other food recommendations).

This eating format has been used successfully for many years by professionals in the health and fitness industry in order to assist people with their weight loss efforts. In this article we will cover the recommendations and the reasoning behind them.

Low Density Carbohydrates (fibrous vegetables): These are the type of foods you should emphasise most in your diet if you want to lose weight. You can virtually have an unlimited amount of them. They are nutrient-rich, calorie-sparse foods. They are classified as a carbohydrate but contain very little of it. They mainly contain fibre, water, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals.

You should have at least 4-6 serves a day of these foods.

Examples include: broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, tomato, lettuce, green beans, spinach, cucumber, squash etc.

Lean Protein: If you took all the water out of your body over half of your dry weight would be protein. It is a component of all cells and as the name suggest (from Greek prôteios - of the first quality) is of primary importance in the body.

By having a serve of protein with every meal you provide your body with a constant supply of amino acids which has many vital functions in the body including, supporting the immune system, making enzymes, and constructing body tissue.

If you don't supply your body with high quality protein every 2-3 hours during the day then your body will go into a catabolic state and your metabolism will slow down, limiting your weight loss efforts.

You should have 5-6 serves a day of these foods.

Examples include: fish, chicken breast, lean steak, eggs, protein/meal replacement powders, soy-based products, legumes, nuts/seeds, etc.

Medium-density carbohydrates (fruits, starchy vegetables, dairy products): These foods have more carbs per serve than the low-density carbohydrates. Therefore, their ability to increase blood sugar is greater. Since they increase blood sugar, insulin will also get secreted, which means the body will be more likely to store body fat.

Accordingly, only 2-3 serves a day are suggested in the Perfect Diet. In saying this though, these are natural foods and do provide the body with a wide range of essential nutrients.

Examples include: potatoes, pumpkin, corn, bananas, peas, grapes, milk, apples, yoghurt, oranges, etc.

High-Density Carbs: These foods are concentrated sources of carbohydrate and tend to be refined grain-based foods like, bread, pasta, cereals, and rice. Government lobbying by food producers in the last century had these foods being recommended in higher quantities than natures own fruits and vegetables!

While they do contain some nutrients, they are loaded with carbs and can have a dramatic impact on your blood sugar levels. As a result, only 1-2 serves a day are recommended.

Examples include: pasta, bread, cereal, sugar, honey, fruit juice, rice, jam, etc.

Fats and Oils: These foods are the most energy dense, which means they have the potential to significantly add to your overall calorie intake. Therefore you must carefully control your intake of these foods. However, they do contain the fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K, so they must be included in your daily food intake.

Only 1-2 serves a day of these foods is recommended.

Examples include: oils, avocado, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, peanut butter etc.

Extras: These foods are not an essential part of the Perfect Diet but they do fulfil our desire to consume good-tasting foods. Since your goal is to lose weight, only allow yourself to consume these foods once a week, on your 'Treat Day'. Have one or two meals on your treat day where these foods are included.

Examples include: take away foods, chocolate, cakes, biscuits, lollies, alcohol etc.

If you are considering losing weight and would also like to gain the benefits of feeling good, having more energy and improving your body's functioning then follow the Perfect Diet for 30 days. You will be amazed with the results!

About the Author

Stephen Smith is the part-owner of Body Concepts, an Australian supplement company, and Focus On, a health and lifestyle magazine. Stephen has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 18 years and has a science degree from UWA. His website is: