Ultimate Guide to Weight Loss & Healthy Eating.
I won't insult your intelligence.
You know how important it is to maintain a healthy weight, heck you have probably considered a total detox program before.
Losing weight can be good for your health as well as your state of mind for many reasons. The problem is the task of losing weight can allude even the most committed person.
Several obstacles could get you off track, but these obstacles are not unbeatable.
The only thing that is standing in your way is a little knowledge, which I will share in this Ultimate Guide to Weight Loss & Healthy Eating.
What You Will Learn
WARNING: Reading time is long, (over 4,500 words) and full of facts. If you don't like the sound of this we suggest that you turn back now!
In order to lose weight and become healthy, it is very important to understand what you should do and also how it affects your body.
This guide is meant to help you do something that everyone else doesn't want you to know...namely how to keep looking great in the long term.
Health Form isn't interested in gimmicky nonsense that promises the world but fails to deliver as I am sure you have seen many times in your own research.
We will be going through the major food groups and how what they do for your body, as well as giving you some interesting ideas about how you can exercise without actually exercising!
- What a calorie is & why they hold the key
- The 3 major food groups & why you need each of them to secure a healthy balance
- A sample weekly food plan to get you going
- A very, very brief overview of the Paleo diet which could be something you might want to explore further
- Some sample exercises you can do that don't actually take out any time from your day
- Why you need to relearn what consumption really means and how this can help you in the long run
- How supplements can aid your new healthy habits and which ones we recommend
- Why you need to cheat every now and then to stop yourself going mad and how to do it without actually cheating!
- Summary of what you will have learnt
Does this sound good?
Great, then let's get right into it :)
NOTE: You are beautiful already and this Ultimate Guide to Weight Loss is meant to make you look and feel better in a sustainable, healthy way.
Health Form is very much interested in making you feel better about yourself and who you are, and we want everyone to understand that being beautiful is a concept that is linked to you as a person and not just to your outward features.
The Human Form Is Perfection
Ultimate Guide to Weight Loss Redefined
One important aspect to understand about weight loss is it is not a simple plan but rather an entire lifestyle change.
This is perhaps one of the grossest misunderstandings regarding weight loss.
Many people assume that losing weight is the end-goal, but it is the result of changing your lifestyle.
You should understand that those who attempt to simply lose weight without changing their lifestyle usually end up gaining weight again.
This is why only 5 percent of the people dieting in the United States manage to keep the weight off permanently.
To put things into perspective, losing weight without changing your lifestyle is akin to throwing away a beer bottle without dealing with the alcoholism.
Obstacles Weight Losers Have To Deal With
There are several obstacles that you have to deal when you attempt to lose weight, and it is better for you to know them so that you steer clear of them.
One obstacle is those get-thin quick schemes.
Don't get fooled by flashy sales talk...healthy eating is a natural process
I have seen several programs that promise incredible weight loss results, and you have probably seen a few, too. These schemes are meant to take advantage of people who believe that there is nothing more to losing weight than, well, losing weight.
People are lured into the idea of losing weight in a matter of weeks, which may be effective, but it usually falters in the long run.
Again, this deals with not addressing the weight-gain lifestyle that caused one to be overweight in the first place.
It should be noted that bad or less-than-true advertisements also play a role in many failed weight loss attempts.
This is mostly due to the fact that some companies perpetuate misinformation.
The FTC reported that many commercials for weight-loss programs exaggerate results on a regular basis, making people think that losing weight can be achieved quickly. They might also insinuate that a person did not lose weight because he or she did not stick with the program.
However, these schemes aren't always to blame.
Put your hand up if the following sounds like you, (unless you are in the office or on the bus!):
- Giving up on your resolution too quickly
- Setting unrealistic goals gives you a reason to quit when they are not realized
- Using a made-up pass to eat certain foods after exercising
- Not decreasing or saying no to some beloved dishes
The Key to Maintaining a Healthy Weight
We need a varied amount of the different food groups to stay fit & healthy.
Losing weight is about changing your lifestyle as well as learning how it needs to change and why. The first step is to learn what is making you overweight and understanding a few “weight words.”
These words include calories, carbs (carbohydrates), proteins, and fats. I have seen these words tossed around without really diving into how they relate to weight gain, weight loss, and overall health.
Calories, proteins, fats, and carbs can make you gain weight but only when they are eaten incorrectly.
Secondly, these foods are vital for your overall health. This means that you cannot simply eliminate them from your diet.
The key is to rearrange your diet so that these ingredients do what they are meant to do in your body and not cause you to gain weight, which means lifestyle changes.
Sample 7 Day Meal Plan For Ultimate Weight Loss
This is a sample meal plan that is taken from Good Housekeeping, but we like it because it contains excellent, nutritious whole foods.
This is very important because 1 key to weight loss is making sure that you stay full for longer and making every calorie count and actually be useful.
- 3/4 cup bran flakes
- 1 banana
- 1 cup fat-free milk
- Sandwich: 1 mini whole wheat pita, 3 ounces turkey breast, 1/2 roasted pepper, 1 teaspoon light mayonnaise, mustard, lettuce
- 1 stick part-skim mozzarella string cheese
- 2 kiwifruits
- 4 ounces broiled flounder or sole
- 2 sliced plum tomatoes sprinkled with 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, broiled until just golden
- 1 cup cooked couscous
- 1 cup steamed broccoli
- 1 fat-free pudding cup
- Smoothie: Blend 1 cup frozen berries, 1/2 banana, and 8 ounces fat-free milk
- 1/2 English muffin spread with 1 teaspoon light margarine
- 1 cup vegetarian vegetable soup
- 1 veggie burger in a mini whole wheat pita with lettuce and salsa
- 6 ounces light yogurt
- 15 grapes
- BBQ chicken: Brush 4 ounces boneless, skinless breast with barbecue sauce and grill
- 1/2 cup vegetarian baked beans
- 3 small boiled red potatoes topped with 1 teaspoon light margarine and a pinch of dill
- Oatmeal: In the microwave, cook 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats with 3/4 cup fat-free milk; 1/2 apple, chopped; 1 teaspoon honey; and a pinch of cinnamon
- Chicken salad: Toss 4 ounces shredded skinless roast chicken breast with 1/4 cup sliced red grapes, 1 tablespoon slivered almonds, 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise, and 1 tablespoon fat-free sour cream. Serve over lettuce
- 1 banana
- 4 ounces steamed shrimp
- 1 baked potato topped with 3 tablespoons salsa and 1 tablespoon fat-free sour cream
- 3 cups spinach, steamed
- 1 low-fat frozen fudge bar
- 1/2 toasted English muffin topped with 1/2 small apple, sliced, and 1 ounce shredded reduced-fat cheese, any type. Microwave 30 seconds on High
- 6 ounces light yogurt sprinkled with 1 tablespoon slivered almonds
- 1 cup tomato soup
- Sandwich: 1 mini whole wheat pita, 3 ounces thinly sliced roast beef, 1 teaspoon horseradish, mustard, tomato slices, lettuce
- 1 cup raw veggies
- 1 pear
- 3 ounces poached salmon
- Slaw: Toss 1 1/4 cups coleslaw mix and 2 sliced green onions with 2 tablespoons fat-free dressing (no more than 30 calories per 2 tablespoons)
- 3/4 cup cooked brown rice
- 1/2 cup pineapple chunks in juice
- 1 cup Cheerios, 1/2 cup berries, 1 tablespoon slivered almonds, 8 ounces fat-free milk
- Quesadilla: Spread 1/4 cup fat-free refried beans over 1 small whole wheat tortilla. Sprinkle on 1 ounce shredded reduced-fat cheese. Top with salsa and another tortilla; microwave 45 seconds on High
- 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese topped with 1/2 cup mandarin orange sections
- Cucumber spears
- 3 ounces roasted pork tenderloin
- 1 cup baked acorn squash, mashed with a pinch of cinnamon
- 2 to 3 cups salad greens with 2 tablespoons fat-free dressing
- 1/2 cup vanilla fat-free frozen yogurt topped with 1 cup berries
- 1 toasted frozen waffle, spread with 1 tablespoon peanut butter and topped with 1/2 sliced banana
- 8 ounces fat-free milk
- Tuna pita: 1 mini whole wheat pita, 2 ounces water-packed light tuna, 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise, mustard, and cucumber and onion slices
- 10 baby carrots
- 6 ounces light yogurt mixed with 1/2 banana
- Jambalaya: Combine 3/4 cup cooked brown rice; 1/2 cup corn; 2 ounces cooked turkey sausage, sliced; 1/3 cup salsa; and 1/4 cup canned kidney beans. Heat through
- 3 cups spinach, steamed
- 1 medium apple
- 1/2 toasted English muffin layered with 1 ounce reduced-fat cheese, sliced; 1 tomato slice; 1/2 cup steamed spinach, drained; and 1 poached egg
- 1 grapefruit
- Black bean salad: Toss 1/2 cup canned black beans, 1/2 cup mandarin orange sections, and chopped red bell peppers, red onion, and scallions with 1 teaspoon vinegar. Serve over salad greens
- 1 mini whole wheat pita
- 1 pear
- 3 ounces broiled or grilled flank steak
- 1 baked sweet potato with 1 teaspoon light margarine
- 1 cup steamed zucchini
- 1/2 cup pineapple chunks in juice
The great thing about this week long food routine, is that you mix and match and move things around. You don't have to just stick with the format presented here.
This 7 day meal plan should be around 1,200 calories per day and will leave you feeling satisfied and not hungry. But most importantly, it is all delicious, healthy food!
But what does healthy food, really mean? Check out the next section...
Food Groups Explained
You have probably heard someone say that you need to burn off those extra calories.
You might have even been exposed to numerous machines or smart technology showing you how many calories you have burned in a day.
This might cause you to think that calories are the cause of your weight issues.
In essence, they are, but that is mostly because there is an abundance of unused calories in the body.
What is a Calorie?
A calorie is actually a unit of energy.
Your body needs energy for everything, including powering your heart, blood cells, and the entirety of your livelihood.
Every one of those units gives your body the power it needs to run, but every person runs a little differently.
For example, a soccer player is going to need a lot more calories than an elderly person who rarely exercises.
This makes it harder to pinpoint how many calories a particular person might need, though nutritional experts say the average guy is going to need about 2,700 calories each day, while a woman might need about 2,200.
The key here is to not only consume the amount of calories that you need; it is also imperative that you do not consume empty calories. Empty calories do not cause the unit of energy to be empty, but it is not accompanied with all the other ingredients the body needs to function, like healthy carbs, proteins, fats, and other nutrients.
Empty calories are everywhere.
You can even find them at your local fast-food restaurant. You should say goodbye and good-riddance to all those foods that provide you with empty calories.
Carbs are one of the most maligned ingredients when it comes to dieting.
Carbohydrates come in many forms, such as starches, sugars, and fibers. These little guys are considered one of the 3 macronutrients that the body needs for energy.
In other words, they are completely necessary.
You can find these macronutrients in everything from fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy products. It should be noted that there are four calories in every gram of carbohydrates. Experts recommend that carbohydrates should make up about 45 to 65 percent of the entire amount of calories that you need. This usually amounts to about 135 grams.
Carbohydrates help power the central nervous system while preventing the body from using protein as its only source of energy and helping the body use fat properly.
Sadly, there is an enemy out there passing as a regular carbohydrate.
These impostors are processed carbohydrates or sugars. What you get from these guys is sugar or starches without minerals, vitamins, or fibers. Processed carbohydrates are also empty calories, and they are one of the culprits that cause weight gain.
All you have to do is eliminate processed foods and food products that have refined sugar. This does not mean that you have to give up sugar completely; just choose healthier options.
Consider some examples such as:
- Dried fruits
- Unrefined coconut sugar
- Raw honey
These are just as examples and there are many more out there.
Proteins are biomolecules that are quite sizable and sometimes called macromolecules.
These biomolecules contain the residue of long-chained amino acids and perform all kinds of functions in the body that are absolutely necessary, such as DNA replication and functioning.
Proteins also help the body respond to stimulation, like your senses.
The biomolecules are essential in the transportation of other molecules from one location in the body to where a particular molecule is needed.
You will find 4 calories packed in every gram of protein, and one can find proteins sources like meats and dairy products.
Having a proper protein diet helps boost your metabolism and energy consumption. This is why it is important that your calorie intake is made up of about 30 percent of protein.
We all know by now that fats are an essential part of our diets, and even many popular diets maintain that we shouldn't cut out a the "good fat" from what we eat.
You might think that talking about fats is necessary to help you lose weight, but it is important to understand how fat works in the body.
Again, it isn't about cutting fats out but rather correcting the intake and ensuring that the fats you are eating are healthful ones.
Sure, the whopper is that fat contains 9 calories per gram, which is the reason many dietitians fear fat, but there is nothing to fear as long as you stay away from empty calories. Empty calories (regarding fat) comes from artificial trans fats, and you really need to know where those are coming from to avoid them.
Of course, you probably already guessed where some harmful fats come from. If you thought overly processed foods, certain refined oils and the like, you are right. Staying away from all those foods and switching to healthier options is the way to go.
The switch should include foods like:
- Fresh caught fish
- Leafy greens
- High quality Virgin olive oil
It should be noted that all that fat that has been maligned in some diets is actually necessary to burn excess fat.
As you can see, it is not so much about cutting these ingredients from your diet but rather ensuring they are coming from sources that have not been processed and still contain all the goodies, like nutrients or minerals.
What you are going to notice is that you are going to be eating differently by making some of these changes. You might start eating more vegetables, fruits, and nuts rather than huge meals that only include meat. You might also start having meat as a side dish rather than the main dish, but most importantly, you will be staying away from processed foods.
A Short Introduction To The Paleo Diet
While the Paleo Diet may seem like just another fad diet, it is actually a very simple diet that is designed to take you back to a very simple lifestyle.
The premise of the entire diet is to not eat anything that our ancestors couldn't hunt or find, cutting out many processed foods, reducing your caloric intake, and opening you up to a whole new world of food.
What Can You Eat?
- All fish
- Leafy greens
- Most vegetables
- Any kind of processed food
You can make substitutes and you can eat all of the things in the GREEN BOX whenever you want.
The diet doesn't focus on numbers or on eating certain combinations of foods, but on making your whole diet cleaner.
You are encouraged to eat until you are full, and to make your own choices for the day, leaving you with much more freedom than other diets.
The diet is designed to eliminate foods that make you gain weight, keep you from being your best, and cause any number of issues.
Exercise and Weight Maintenance
Exercise and weight loss has been promoted as the key to weight loss, but it is just one part. You might have heard that you need to do hardcore exercise routines to lose excess weight, but this is not necessary.
Changing where you get your calories from and how is already helping you lose weight, meaning that your exercise routine does not have to be too strenuous.
Remember that you will not get the best results if you just exercise for 30 minutes a day, and flop yourself on the couch the rest of the day.
Remember, it is about changing your lifestyle into an active one.
This does not mean that you have to get into hardcore sports or jump off mountains; just become more active.
Exercising for 30 minutes is fine, but integrate more exercises throughout the day in other ways. You can do this by simply taking more walks throughout the day.
Park further away from your destination.
Try taking the stairs when you can take the elevators.
Walk to the store instead of driving.
It is important to set goals to ensure that you are staying on track. The key here is to burn more calories than you are consuming per day, but that is easy to do as long as you maintain a normal active lifestyle. You need to exercise about 3 to 5 hours a day to burn more calories than you are consuming.
You can track the amount of calories easily nowadays using smart technology (mentioned earlier) like smart watches, or download a free app on your phone.
But I Don't Have That Kind Of Time!
I know that three to five hours may seem like a lot, but it’s not when you consider the following:
- It takes about an hour to shop at a grocery store
- Most mall shoppers stay in the shopping center for about an hour and 24 minutes
- Walking a mile at a normal pace might take about 30 minutes, so walking a mile to and back takes care of one hour
- Sexual activity can be strenuous, which is good. It should last a minimum of 30 minutes; foreplay and seduction is included
- Play a sport, or take up a physical hobby that could be added to your everyday activities
Beginners Workout Infographic, (Full 30 Routine Easy to Follow)
Relearn the Ways of Consumption
It may seem strange that you have to re-learn how to eat food again, but that is exactly what you have to do. As you can see, you will need to change your lifestyle in more ways than one.
For example, it is recommended that you eat a heavy and calorie-rich (not empty calories, of course) breakfast, which should help reduce your appetite throughout the rest of the day.
The meal should be around 700 calories.
It is important that you understand the rest of your meals should be smaller but should amount to around 3 to 5 more meals. A small meal could be toasted bread with avocado slices on top, something like a salad, or even an apple.
You should also remember that chewing longer is a good thing, since it means that your body is going to have an easier time absorbing the nutrients and calories in the food you eat.
Good absorption leads to good and quick usage, meaning that your weight is controlled better. Effective absorption also means better digestion, which means that you will get rid of extra waste-weight.
In fact, chewing longer should make you eat a minimum of 20 minutes. This is how long it should take you to finish an average meal because that is how long your stomach takes to tell your brain that you have had your fill.
Have You Considered Detoxing?
Supplement With Supplements
This is not exactly a bad thing, especially if you choose the right supplements that will help you along.
There are several foods that will be helpful while you are losing weight, but some are hard to get. These supplements include cod liver oil or probiotics, which are good for digestion.
The key here is to get high quality supplements for the nutrients you cannot get otherwise.
What Kinds of Supplements Are We Talking About Here?
5 useful supplements you might want to consider, include:
- Omega 3,6,9 oil capsules - Great for your joints, your heart, your digestion and your brain...pretty essential things!
- Multi vitamins - Make sure to choose a decent multivitamin that caters to your needs. You should be able to find this information from your doctor. This isn't necessary, but it saves you money so you aren't just peeing money down the drain!
- Vitamin D3 - Absolutely essential to your continued good health. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to several health issues ranging from your weight to cancer. We get most of our Vitamin D from sunlight being absorbed by our skin, but most of us don't get enough sun so an extra supplement may be beneficial. Vitamin D3 is the the most bioavailable form i.e. it is the easiest and quickest for the body to absorb.
- Coenzyme Q10 - An amazing fighter of inflammation. Why would you need to reduce inflammation? Because it could be the cause of other issues such as headaches and heart disease.
- Folic Acid (Folate) - A B vitamin that lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s and improves your blood flow.
Other notable mentions:
Where Can I Buy Health Supplements?
There are many places that you can buy decent health supplements from, including online. However where possible, we would recommend to visit your doctor first and make sure you get what your bodies are deficient in.
This way you can get properly approved supplements and can stay well away from any kind of snake oil, empty BS that is all too easy to come across online!
Cheating the Diet Without Cheating
You are probably wondering if you really have to say goodbye to all the meals you love, but the truth is you do not (as long as you know what to choose).
You can still enjoy a juicy burger sometimes; just try to use bison, which is leaner and denser in nutrients than beef.
Ensure that the bison meat comes from a trusted source and comes from grass-fed buffalo and stay away where possible to intensively farmed meat...the stuff that is pumped with antibiotics.
The bread you use for the bun should not be processed incorrectly; so try to eat bread made from sprouted grains. You can also opt to make your own bread using healthful sugars that are good for you not to mention fun and can even reduce the stress of daily life!
You can still have a chocolate bar, but ensure that the chocolate is made from raw cacao and a natural sweetener. You might even find some healthy treats at your local health food store (but look at all the ingredients).
I think you get the idea!
It is more about substituting the bad things you love with what you should have been eating all along.
You were meant to eat good food; you just need to make sure you opt for the healthy alternative–not the overly processed version.
It is about letting go of those weight-gaining habits and introducing healthy-weight ones.
This guide is meant to show you what you can achieve by having the right mindset.
There are a whole raft of amazing benefits that come from choosing to eat healthily and exercising when possible. These include but are not limited to:
- Improving your mental state
- Looking amazing
- Feeling fantastic
- Help you to organize your life more efficiently, (via planning out meals & taking control of your life)
Health Form is committed to providing only the very best information and we take pride in thoroughly researching all of our articles and backing them up with sources.
We also take pride with the readers we have as our friends, because we know that by making it all the way down to the end, you are super committed and ready to improve your life 🙂
So go out there and start becoming all you can be!
If you enjoyed our Ultimate Guide to Weight Loss and found it useful, make sure to share as much as possible to spread the word.
Post researched & written by Stefan Ginoranis with over 8 years advising clients about nutrition as a personal trainer and edited by Harry