January is resolution time and many people vow to exercise more, eat less, lose weight, get more active and while I applaud all efforts to lead a healthier lifestyle, it is important to remember that in an effort to cut calories, you don’t want to cut out key nutrients.
By Deborah Lowther
Always consult your family doctor and a personal trainer for effective strategies that will help you reach your weight loss and fitness goals but the simplest advice is to make time to be active everyday, and if you are cutting calories, ensure you are getting the nutrients you need to stay healthy while you lose weight.
Proper Nutrition for Weight Loss
Eating less and depriving your body of the nutrition it needs is not an effective weight loss strategy. Instead make sure what you do eat is healthy. Fill your grocery cart, your fridge and your meal plan with basic protein such as fish and chicken, pick whole grains when choosing breads or pasta, and eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and some dairy. Make the calories you are consuming nutrient rich, real foods. Avoid packaged snacks, frozen meals and fat free options that will fill you up with added artificial ingredients in place of the vitamins your body needs.
Consider taking vitamins as an insurance that you are getting the nutrients you need for a healthy immune system. Your goal is to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and proteins to get the vitamins you need through food; however, we all have busy on-the-go days where we are not eating as well as we would like. Certain vitamins can actually help you lose weight by increasing your metabolism and preventing your body from storing fat.
Weight Loss & Vitamins
An all natural Multi-vitamin free of artificial dyes, colours and sweeteners can provide your body with some of the vitamin A, C, D, E and folic acid it needs on a daily basis. Add in the vitamins you will get from eating all those fresh vegetables and fruits, and you are on your way to a healthy strong immune system that can fight off viruses.
These are fuel for your metabolism. The 8 water soluble B Vitamins include B 1,2,3,5,6, 7,9,12 and they work to help you digest food, turning the protein, fats and carbohydrates you eat into energy and keep your metabolism going. B Vitamins also help make red blood cells, fight disease and infection, and keep your nervous system, skin and muscle tissue healthy. B vitamins are found most often in green leafy vegetables, eggs, nuts, lentils and red meat.
Calcium and Vitamin D work together to not only grow strong bones, but also have been shown to regulate normal blood sugar levels. These important nutrients may also help your body burn more calories and store less fat. Look for fortified juice and cereals, as well as dairy products to get the calcium and vitamin D your body needs or consider a supplement, especially in the winter months when there is less opportunity to synthesize vitamin D from the sun.
This essential fatty acid may help you feel full longer, reduce inflammation and help your muscles recover faster after exercise. Omega 3 fatty acids improve the body’s blood flow to the muscles during exercise and help your metabolism work more efficiently. Found in fatty fish such as salmon and fortified in some cereal and dairy products,be sure you are choosing DHA and EPA Omega 3 rich foods or supplements as they contain more health benefits than ALA Omegas found in flax and walnuts.
An important part of losing weight is staying healthy so you can continue to stay active. Eating healthy foods and ensuring you are getting the proper vitamins is the nutrition you need while losing weight.
Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 young daughters who, when not running after the kids, is running in the trails! She contributes Family Health articles to many websites and ensures her own family has fun while eating healthy & staying active.