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Five Food Tips for Weight Loss

Most people wouldn’t mind trimming a few pounds; certainly not after being stuck inside during a global pandemic for the last year or so. I for one have gained and lost the “Covid 15” more than once and am set on keeping the weight off. As I organized my research for this week’s column, I kept coming back to a handful of basic things that have been proven to be effective. No surprise, the best solutions are usually the most obvious. Still, I think they are worth mentioning and will hopefully inspire you, my reader, to take care of yourself and to live your best life.

Eat Nutritious Food

To achieve and maintain a healthy weight everyone needs to consume quality food. This is food that is nutritionally dense. For example, per calorie, a carrot is more nutritionally dense (has more vitamins and minerals and other healthy stuff) than a candy bar. As I mentioned, healthy food will contain lots of vitamins and minerals, will also be low in refined sugar and contain lots of fiber and water. Sure, you might not like certain foods at first but with a little creativity and some new recipes you can certainly learn to like healthy food.
Eat Mindfully

When eating to lose weight we want to be very mindful of the food that we put in our mouths. This means not grabbing a cookie here, or a handful of chips there. We must first decide if we are actually hungry. Then we should consider what a nutritious meal will look like. While eating we will want to take our time rather than scarfing down a plate of food before our body actually has time to recognize that it is full. You might find that this type of eating experience is more enjoyable because you will be taking time to savor the taste of the food and enjoying the social aspect of a meal with friends and family.
Drink Water!

Even though title of this article specifies that it is about food, I would be remiss if I didn’t include a section about drinking water. Everyone knows that drinking primarily water is supposed to be good for us but most people aren’t exactly sure why. According to an article in Medical News Today, written by Jennifer Huizen and reviewed by Dr. Elaine Luo, there are six reasons why drinking lots of water may help you lose weight.

1.) Water is a natural appetite suppressant.

2.) Water increases calorie burning by 2-3% in the 90 minute period after consuming the water.

3.) Drinking water aids the kidneys and the rest of body in removing waste.

4.) Drinking water reduces the overall calories consumed because it is calorie-free and leaves less room to consume unnecessary calories such as with soda or sweetened fruit juices.

5.) Water helps you burn fat by interacting with triglycerides to create glycerol and fatty acids, a process called lipolysis.

6.) Drinking lots of water also helps with exercise by helping muscles and joints to move correctly and helps organs such as the heart and lungs increase their activity for the work you are performing during exercise. It can also help you avoid things such as muscle cramps and dehydration fatigue. The quantity of water you need depends on age, activity level, body size, temperature of the environment, and other factors. 11-15, 8oz glasses of water daily is a good place to start. That might sound like a lot but considering that the average glass is closer to 16 ounces you might not be that far off your water consumption goals.

Farm to Table Food is Best

When it comes to farm stands, fresh produce and high quality protein, North Central Pennsylvania is one of the most abundant places in the country. Whenever possible, take advantage of where you live and buy from local farms. You are not only getting food at its freshest and most nutritionally rich, but you are also supporting local farmers.

Avoid Processed Foods

If you are trying to lose weight, there is little good to say about processed foods which are high in salt, sugar and fat and are low in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are designed to be as addictive and desirable as possible. Many also have added chemicals which science is finding may have harmful, long-term effects on humans. If it comes in a box or you cannot identify something by sight, you probably should not be eating it.

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