Healthy Eating for Weight Loss Tips

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Can water help me lose weight?

Water: The Forgotten Nutrient for Weight Loss

Water is an essential nutrient that makes up about 60 percent of your body. It is found in blood and in every cell of your body. Water serves to cushion and lubricate joints, help remove waste products, and control body temperature. All of your metabolic processes occur in a fluid environment, so it is extremely important! Chances are you don't drink enough water.

One benefit of drinking liberal amounts of water is that it fills you up. Since water has volume but no calories it can help to prevent overeating. One problem most people have with water is that it doesn't have taste. Try adding lemon, lime or even artificial sweetener to your glass of water to make it more appealing. Another option is to purchase bottled water that has already been flavored. Flavored water has become a big success and can be found almost anywhere. Keep your water nearby, drinking frequently during the day. Getting in 8-12 glasses of water a day will help you stay hydrated and assist in controlling your food intake

How do I make quick healthy meals?

Quick Healthy Meals Made Simple

Cooking nutritious meals are easier than you think. The first step in preparing quick healthy meals is to make sure your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer are well-stocked. It also speeds meal preparation to do a quick inventory of the food you have on hand. Realize even the best cooks do not make every meal from scratch. Food items like frozen chicken breasts and pre-cut frozen vegetables and fruit can easily be put together for a quick healthy meal.

For a quick pasta dish try adding sautéed or frozen vegetables into tomato sauce and serve it over whole grain pasta. You may choose to purchase healthy foods that are ready to serve. Go to your local grocery store and buy a rotisserie chicken. Remove the skin and add a large garden or fruit salad to complete your meal. Today's leftover chicken, rice and veggies becomes tomorrow's chicken stir fry. Here are some additional quick healthy meal ideas.

  • Frozen whole-grain waffles or pancakes topped with low-fat yogurt and fruit
  • Cheese and vegetable omelets using egg substitute; fruit cup; whole-grain toast with butter substitute such as Molly McButter
  • Veggie pizza topped with low-fat cheese; garden salad with low-fat dressing or salsa
  • Rotisserie chicken; fresh or frozen vegetables; small baked or sweet potato with butter substitute
  • Veggie or garden burger on a whole-wheat bun loaded with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and/or onion; steamed or grilled veggies; sugar free jello with fruit
  • Whole wheat pasta with prepared tomato sauce and leftover grilled chicken; garden salad

How can I cook with less fat?

Simple Tips For Less Fat

Governmental guidelines suggest we consume no more than 30 percent of daily calories from fat. This is easier said than done, as hidden fat is everywhere. When cooking at home you have the power to reduce the fat content of your meals with a few simple tips. First when preparing meats trim off as much fat as possible before cooking. Select lean cuts of meat, avoid frying and drain the fat as you cook. You can cut the fat in turkey and chicken by nearly half by removing the skin just prior to eating. Use low-fat substitution when preparing dressing, sauces and dips. Eat your vegetables with high fat toppings. Try using spices and herbs for flavor. And finally, if your recipe calls for high fat ingredients, use smaller amounts of them.

Is there a relationship between eating breakfast and being overweight?

Breakfast: A Healthy Eating Strategy

You've heard it before: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well, it's true. The goal of eating in the morning is to "break" your overnight "fast." The longer you fast the greater the chance of impulsive snacking and overeating later in the day. This type of snacking and overeating does not make up the necessities of a healthy eating lifestyle.

Are you curious about the amount of breakfast that is needed to prevent binging at later meals? The good news is that it's less than you might think. On average breakfast should consist of about 20-25 percent of your total calorie needs for the day. Breakfast doesn't have to be a buffet of food. Half of a bagel with peanut butter, some fruit, cheese toast, or a quick bowl of cereal or oatmeal are all good choices. For those who do not eat breakfast something is better than nothing.

Eating breakfast is a learned behavior so set some realistic breakfast goals for yourself and work toward them. You may want to start by trying to eat breakfast two or three times per week, increasing until you are eating breakfast on a daily basis. The same strategy should be used to improve the amount eaten as well. Begin with just a few bites and work your way up to eating a healthy nutritious breakfast. And finally, for those of you who are rushed in the morning, grab a piece of fruit or toast to be eaten on your way to work. Eating a small amount of healthy food in the morning really sets you up for healthy eating throughout the day.

How can I add fruit to my diet?

Adding Fruit to Your Diet

Fruits are a key part of any well balanced nutrition plan. However, studies show that most Americans don't consume an adequate number of fruit servings per day. Whole fruits, dried fruits and fruit juices all provide the body with important vitamin and minerals like vitamins C and A, folate and potassium. Fruits have very few calories, contains no fat, and are low in sodium. How much fruit do you need? About two cups of fruit per day are recommended for a 2,000 calorie diet. How can you add fruit to your diet? Here are some tips that you might find helpful.


  • Use fruit juice, berries on cereal or yogurt, and whole pieces of fruit at the breakfast table. Watch not to consume more than 4-6 ounces of fruit juice. Due to its concentration it is higher in calories than whole fruit. As you are going out the door to work grab some fruit like bananas, apples and oranges.

  • At work you can incorporate dried, canned or fresh fruit easily into your meal plan. Pack your lunch the night before and use fruit as a healthy substitute for a high fattening dessert. If you eat out, some restaurants provide fruit as part of an appetizer or even for dessert. If the whole fruit is not available add a small glass of fruit juice.

  • The dinner meal is a great time to assess you fruit intake during the day. If you are behind on your fruit intake, use dinner as an opportunity to catch up.

  • Carrying fruits as snacks is probably one of the most convenient ways to achieve your fruit intake goal. A mid-morning apple or dried fruit will keep you from overeating at lunch.

What are some tips for healthy cooking?

Healthy Cooking For Weight Loss

If you go to your local bookstore you can find excellent specialty cookbooks that provide healthy weight loss recipes. These cookbooks can help you lower calories, total fat, saturated fat and salt in the food you prepare at home. However, you don't have to get rid of your favorite cookbooks to prepare healthy meals at home. Use these healthy cooking guidelines when preparing meals for you and your family.

  • Bake, broil, poach, roast, boil, grill or microwave meats instead of frying.
  • When using ground beef, drain the fat well and rinse with water before adding to other ingredients.
  • Choose skim milk, 1% milk or evaporated milk instead of 2% milk, whole milk, or cream.
  • Use 2 egg whites or ¼ cup of egg substitute in place of one whole egg in recipes.
  • When making dishes with cheese, substitute low-fat cheese or decrease the amount of regular cheese by ½.
  • Prepare main dishes with whole grain pasta, brown rice, peas, or beans. Add small amounts of lean meat for flavor.
  • Use salt sparingly in cooking. Use herbs and spices to flavor food. Mrs. Dash, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder are common favorites.
  • Remove the skin from chicken and trim all visible fat from meats.
  • Buy tuna packed in water instead of oil.

What are advantages of cooking at home?

Healthy Cooking Starts at Home

You are driving home after work and see all of the fast food restaurants. How often do you say to yourself, “I don't have anything at the house to eat, I'll just run through and grab something.” It happens to all of us because eating out is very tempting. There are fast food restaurants on every corner just dying for your business.

One solution toward avoiding the fast food temptation is to take the time to prepare food at home. By cooking your own meal, you are able to control how the food is prepared such as baked, sautéed, or grilled. Cooking at home also gives you the ability to select fresh ingredients, modify the recipe if needed, and choose the appropriate portion size for you. If you are serious about weight loss skip the fast food and start cooking healthy at home.

What does a healthy plate look like?

Use the Plate Method to Lose Weight

Of course you've heard that eating out can really pack on the pounds, so you've started preparing weight loss meals at home. Good for you, but you may be thinking, "Why isn't the weight just falling off"? It is important to understand that you can still overeat a healthy balanced meal no matter how nutritious it may be. It all boils down to calories in versus calories out. Be aware and watch those serving sizes! One way to be mindful of your balanced meal and serving sizes is called the plate method.

Arrange a healthy balanced plate in the following manner:

  • ½ of you plate should be fruits and vegetables. Choose fruits that are a variety of colors and non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, green beans, carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, cauliflower, spinach, peppers, and salad greens.
  • ¼ of your plate should be grains. Examples of grains include cereal grains (breakfast) or cooked grains, pasta, bread, crackers and starchy vegetables such as corn, potatoes, and squash. Try to include grains that are high in fiber like whole wheat pasta and brown rice.
  • ¼ or less of your plate should be meat and beans . Choose lean protein like chicken, fish or most variety of beans
There is no magic to using the healthy plate method. Try to use the above guideline when plating your weight loss meals. With some practice you can be reassured that the calories you consume will be under control allowing safe and effective weight loss.

Are alternative sweetners effective for weight loss?

Alternative Sweeteners and Weight Loss

For weight loss, every calorie counts. Try to limit the intake of simple sugars that are found in donuts, cokes, candy bars, etc. Otherwise, substitute alternative sweeteners for sugar to save calories. One common way to use alternative sweeteners is by switching from regular to diet soda. This small change alone in your diet could lead to weight loss. By following this tip you will be able to cut down on calories and move towards a healthy weight. The three most common alternative sweeteners are explained below.

Saccharin : This is the oldest and most researched alternative sweetener. It was once thought to cause cancer (in animals) but studies over that past several decades have proven otherwise. Saccharin is found in the pink packet and has the brand name of Sweet'N Low. It is 300 times sweeter than sugar and is very stable in food. The main problem most people have with saccharin is that it has a bitter aftertaste.

Aspartame : Formed from two amino acids, phenylalanine and aspartic acid, aspartame is 180 times sweeter than sugar. Found in the blue packet under the brand name of Equal and in liquid form as Nutra-Sweet. One reason aspartame is often preferred over saccharin is that it has no aftertaste.

Sucralose : Sucralose is probably the most versatile alternative sweetener on the market. It is about 600 times sweeter than sugar and its brand name is Splenda (yellow packet). The biggest plus to this sweetener is that it is heat stable, so it can be used for cooking. Foods containing sucralose include ice cream, soda, gum, and baked goods. Most recipes call for the substitution of ½ cup of Splenda for every cup of sugar.

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Jerry Mayo
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