It is well known that in order to lose weight, one must expend (or burn) more calories than calories consumed. Most individuals understand this concept and fall into “fad” low-calorie diets, lose the weight initially, then find it nearly impossible to sustain the weight loss and ultimately gain all the weight back (and then some). What’s even worse is that by restricting calories and following these “fad” diets, many individuals choose low-calorie, low-nutrient food sources and are not meeting the daily requirements of the essential vitamins, minerals, and energy substrates. Without these essential nutrients, the body will not be able to function at optimal levels and will be more susceptible to developing fatal chronic diseases.
In order to properly lose weight with calorie-restriction, one should follow a calorie-restriction with optimal nutrition (CRON) lifestyle meal plan. CRON is a lifestyle, not a diet, and promotes calorie -restriction while providing the body with sound nutrition and the essential nutrients needed for optimal health. The health benefits are proportional and the primary payoff is delaying (and even preventing) the various chronic diseases (heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer) while also promoting a stronger immune system, increased energy, and increased fitness.
CRON is about limiting calories and harmful substances while maximizing nutrients. Here is a list of foods that meet these criteria:
Lots of low-calorie, high-nutrient, and high-fiber vegetables and dark-colored fruits. Small amounts of fish, lean meat, or other protein, like nuts, beans, soy, and egg (white). Try to eliminate beverages containing sugar and reduce processed foods high in sugar. Reduce fats (minimize absolutely anything fried, most baked goods, and most processed foods), and cut back on saturated fats and/ or change to monounsaturated oils (olive, nuts, flaxseed, Omega-3 fatty acids). Beans are good, but rice, pasta & bread are borderline – relatively high in calories and low in nutrients. Brown/ whole wheat are best, try to avoid white/ highly processed.
Good nutrition is absolutely crucial – this is not about starving! Most nutrients should come from foods, not supplements. Tampa is evolving and quickly becoming one of the most nationally-conscious cities full of local whole-food, health stores and wellness facilities that provide nutrition and fitness advice and focus on promoting optimal health (such as FitLifeFoods, Fit4Life, Village Health Market, Tampa Rejuvenation, and local health and fitness gyms like Vitality Fitness).