Diet for managing body weight

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A healthy weight is an important element of good health. How much you eat-and what you eat-play central roles in maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight. Exercise is the other key actor.

For years, low-fat diets were thought to be the best way to lose weight. A growing body of evidence shows that low-fat diets often don't work, in part because these diets often replace fat with easily digested carbohydrates.

The truth is, almost any diet will work if it helps you take in fewer calories.

Diets do this in two main ways:
• Getting you to eat certain "good" foods and/or avoid "bad" ones

• Changing how you behave and the ways you think or feel about food

The best diet for losing weight is one that is good for all parts of your body, from your brain to your toes, and not just for your waistline. It is also one you can live with for a long time. In other words, a diet that offers plenty of good tasting and healthy choices, banishes few foods, and doesn't require an extensive and expensive list of groceries or supplements.

Some general guidelines to eat healthy food are :
• The most important rule of healthy eating is not skipping any meal. Skipping meals lowers your metabolic rate. Normal eating includes 3 major meals and 2 snacks between meals. Also, Never skip breakfast. It is the most important and a vital meal of the day.

• Learn simple ways to prepare food. Healthy eating doesn't have to mean complicated eating. Keep meal preparation easy and simple. Prefer more raw foods such as salads, fruits and vegetable juices, and focus on the pleasure of eating healthy food rather than the calories.

• It is important to be mindful and stop when you feel full. This will help you maintain your weight to an extent. This also will help you remain alert and feel your best.

• Drink lots of water. Keep a bottle of water near you while working, watching TV, etc.

• Variety of foods should be used in the menu. No single food has all the nutrients.

• To improve the cereal and pulse protein quality, a minimum ratio of cereal protein to pulse protein should be 4:1. In terms of the grains, it will be eight parts of cereals and one part of pulses.

• Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.

• Keep a supply of healthy snacks to hand. This will stop you from eating an unhealthy snack when hungry.

• Remove all visible fat from food before you cook it. Remove excess oil/ butter by an absorbent paper.

• Limit stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol and refined sugar.

• Limit the number of times you eat out to once a week. Take your own packed lunch to work.

• Only eat things you like the taste of - find what works for you and don't force yourself to eat things just because they're good for you.

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