Weight loss is a journey that requires you to adjust your dietary patterns positively. You’d have to consume fewer calories than they expend. We will broadly highlight some of the adjustments you can make during meal times to lose weight.
It’s important to start the day off with a good breakfast. Skipping breakfast can mess up a person’s metabolism, slow down his/her metabolic rate by 25%, and yet your body needs those nutrients and fluids in the morning to get you started.
Carbohydrates should form the bulk of your breakfast (45 to 65%) for sustained energy throughout the day. Skip sugary and overly processed foods or those made with enriched white flour and choose whole grains fruits and veggies. Sweet potato, nduma, nyoyo or githeri, whole wheat bread, mixed seed and grain cereals are all good options.
Make sure your breakfast calories contain adequate protein (15 to 20%). Great sources of protein include nuts, seeds and whole grains. You could also have eggs and dairy products like cheese, but make a habit of eating plant based protein.
Finally, 20 to 35% of breakfast should be comprised of fat. Instead of consuming saturated fats, like from processed meats such as salami and sausages go for essential fats from sources such as avocado, olive oil, nuts and seeds and the butter made from them.
Note: The percentage ranges mentioned for carbohydrates, fat and protein for breakfast are applicable to the subsequent meals of the day. The percentage contribution for carbohydrates should preferably be highest at breakfast and lowest for dinner.
A healthy lunch keeps the energy levels up for the rest of the day. Avoid refined carbohydrates – just as in breakfast – like foods made with white flour and white sugar and go for whole grains, whole grain bread and pasta and starchy vegetables and fruits.
Great sources of protein include lean beef, fish, chicken and legumes (lentils, beans, peas). Including healthy fats in your lunch makes your meal more satisfying. Fats from nuts, seeds, avocado – just to name three sources- can help beat sugar cravings later in the day.
Ideally, dinner should have fewer calories, so it is advisable to consume carbohydrates sparingly and to fill up on lean animal or plant protein and vegetables. Carbohydrate, protein and fat sources for dinner are similar to those highlighted for lunch options.
If you are aiming for 1,500 calories per day, and you stick to 400 calories for breakfast, 400 for lunch and 300 for dinner then you’ll be able to treat yourself to two 100 calories snacks throughout the day and still leave an extra hundred for any milk in tea or coffee throughout the day and fruit too. There are approximately 52 calories in a small apple, 53 in a pear, 59 in an orange and 89 in a banana. It’s a good idea to have fruit with your morning and afternoon snack but as the fruit is high in sugar it’s best to limit yourself to three to four fruits a day.
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