Every year, people all around the world vow to lose weight and become fit. Only a small percentage achieve this goal. Most give up halfway or get disheartened by the lack of result. Weight loss, by no means, is an easy task. It requires relentless commitment and dedication, and a complete overhaul of your lifestyle. Successful weight loss requires you to switch to a healthy diet, exercise more and not give in to temptations. Losing weight is 75% diet and 25% exercise. It sounds simple enough.
Yet, millions around the world fail in their pursuit to slim down. The prime reason for this is the lack of attention to their nutrition. Read on to find out why nutrition plays a vital role in your quest for a healthy body.
Did You Know?
|Proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle is the only way to sustain weight loss.|
What is Good Nutrition?
Your body requires nutrients to repair body tissue, build muscle, and grow. Nutrients are ingredients in the food that help your body perform these activities. Carbohydrates, protein, water, fat, vitamins, and minerals are essential nutrients.
Every aspect of your body from muscles to internal organs to your skin is made up of protein. Around 20 different amino acids make up protein. Nine out of these 20 can only be obtained via food.
Carbohydrates and fats are the body’s principal sources of energy. Not only do you need the energy to move around, but your body also needs it to keep the internal organs functioning.
Vitamins and minerals are essential for the body to breakdown carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and keep the system functioning smoothly.
Your body requires a minimum quantity of each of these nutrients. When you consume foods that satisfy all these conditions, you are getting good nutrition.
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Why is Proper Nutrition Important for Weight Loss?
Each of the nutrients acts as a building block for your health. As seen above, they play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy body. When your body is deprived of any one of them, it throws the system into disarray. The ensuing chaos can even make you gain weight.
Take protein, for example. Protein is required to build muscles. Muscles burn fat and boost metabolism. What happens when your body is not getting sufficient amount of protein? It can cause muscle loss. Muscle loss can slow down the metabolism, causing you to burn fewer calories. This leads to weight gain.
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Similarly, vitamin D deficiency can also cause weight gain. An iodine deficiency impacts your thyroid and slows its functioning. The thyroid gland is responsible for maintaining metabolism. When it slows down, your body doesn’t burn as many calories as it should. An underactive thyroid gland also leads to an increase in weight.
Even a decrease in magnesium can affect the blood glucose level and lead to weight gain.
As you can see, no nutrient is too small to be ignored. A deficiency of anyone creates a dominoes effect throughout the body.
Weight loss requires a massive effort. How would you feel if all that effort yielded no result because of the lack of some nutrients? The reason most people fail in their weight loss pursuit is that they ignore the nutrition.
You may be consuming fewer calories than you burn. You may even be following a regular workout regimen. However, improper nutrition throws a wrench in all your hard work. Many get disheartened this way and end up giving up on their weight loss efforts.
Did You Know?
|Unprocessed foods are the healthiest.|
How to Get Good Nutrition?
A healthy diet should include all the food groups. It should help you get the required daily levels of macro as well as micronutrients.
- Protein: You need to consume around 0.8 to 1.3 gms of protein per kilogram(1) of body weight. The amount can vary depending on your level of activity. You can get protein from the plant as well as animal sources.
- Carbohydrates: Your body requires 200 to 300 gms(2) of carbohydrates every day. This also includes fibres. You should aim for at least 30 gms of fibres. Keep in mind that there are different types of carbohydrates. You should stick to complex carbohydrates. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates.
- Fats: Fats should account for 20 to 35%(3) of total calorie intake. Fats are a confusing area. For a long time, it was believed that you should cut out fat from your diet. The recommended percentage will seem too high. Similar to carbohydrates, there are different types of fat. You should include healthy fats in your diet and cut out the unhealthy ones such as saturated or trans fats. Fats help your body absorb nutrients. You should never completely remove them from your diet.
- Vitamins and Minerals: A balanced diet also includes fruits and vegetables. They supply the required vitamins and minerals. You should also include superfoods in your diet to ensure that you are getting all the nutrients your body needs.
You can start by cutting out all the junk food from your diet. Junk foods provide none of the essential nutrients. They are also loaded with unhealthy fats. Every single meal should have fruits and vegetables as part of the diet. These are a few small steps you can take to get good nutrition and lose weight.
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Did You Know?
|Soluble fibre feeds your gut bacteria, which in turn, regulates your digestive system.|
Does Nutrition for Weight Loss Work?
Various studies(4) have explored the effect of nutrition on weight loss. All of them have come to the same conclusion that nothing can replace proper nutrition. The effect may not be immediate. You may have to wait a while to understand how your health has improved. .
The end result will be truly worth the effort. After all, being fit is not just about weighing a certain amount. It is also about having the ability to fight any disease and recover from it. It is about holistic well-being. Nutrition is the key to achieving this.
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1. I Exercise Regularly. Why Am I Not Losing Weight?
Exercise is only 25% of weight loss. The rest if about diet. You need to consume wholesome foods that supply all the necessary nutrients to your body.
2. What Nutrients Does My Body Need?
You need carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fats, protein, and water.
3. Can’t Supplements Provide the Nutrients?
You cannot solely rely on supplements for all your nutritional requirements. It is alright to take a few of them to make up for their lack in your diet.