If you are trying to lose weight, the chances are that you have been told that eating home-cooked food is the holy grail of weight loss. While it is true that there are several benefits to consuming a fulfilling, home-cooked meal, such as reduced expenses and near-instant access to the food itself, there are several things in your home-cooked meal that can be quite detrimental to your weight loss journey.
One of the first things you need to keep in mind while working on your diet plan for weight loss is considering basing your nutritional intake around a healthy eating plate. The Healthy Eating Plate is a concept that was designed to optimize an individual’s food intake to ensure that they have the maximum health benefits. A team of reputed nutritional experts from the Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health got together to create the ideal conceptual eating plate that consists of a balanced input of nuts, pulses, fresh vegetables, and animal/plant-based protein, making it a primary component in several weight-loss diets.
The primary objective here is to keep in mind the type of food you are putting into your body instead of the actual quantity you consume it in. A good rule of thumb to determine a healthy diet would be to consume a combination of all the essential food groups such as lean proteins, unrefined carbs, and healthy fats. The average Indian plate consists of 70% carb foods, either cooked white rice or whole wheat chapatis. Not only does this cause a major imbalance within the food groups that you include in your diet, but it can also lead to a serious deficiency in several essential nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus, which can lead to a nutritional gap, especially among children. When you take a meal like this into perspective, it objectively makes more sense to order in a salad from a nearby restaurant, a good source of fresh veggies, and has high protein content.
This is why there are certain things that you must keep in mind while preparing your meals at home to get the most out of your diet plan for weight loss. An easy way to go about this is to understand better the different food groups you are consuming and split them up between your meals to get a balanced intake.
Here are a few measures to keep in mind while cooking your meals or ordering in:
Protein: Healthy protein sources such as poultry, red meat, or fish are the primary components of your nutritional intake. They help you maintain your bone strength and density. However, you must choose the right kind of protein for your home-cooked meal as most of the commercially available processed meats have been identified as potential precursors to several health complications such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. A healthy alternative to this would be to opt for farm-to-table meats or vegetarian protein sources such as nuts, beans, and legumes, which are also essential components of several low-carb diets.
Grains: You must opt for the right kind of grains to include in your daily food intake. Foods like polished and cooked white rice, whole wheat chapatis are full of gluten, carbs, and fats with almost zero nutritional value and can disrupt your weight loss diet. If you follow a keto diet plan, stay away from starchy and refined grains and opt for healthier and low-carb foods such as vegetables and healthy fats.
Veggies: Another good measure to optimize your nutritional intake is to include many fresh vegetables in your daily diet. Vegetables can be a rich source of several essential nutrients and minerals, vital for maintaining your immune system and sustaining low-carb diets. Try to consume these vegetables in raw or undercooked forms to get the maximum nutritional benefit out of them.
Maintaining Water Intake: While it may not be an essential food group, having a good water intake is one of the most important things to follow while trying to lose weight. Whether you follow the keto diet plan or the Atkins diet, make sure to get in at least eight glasses of water every day. Doing so is beneficial in promoting optimal body functioning, hydrating your organs, and keeping your metabolic activity from dipping.
While following steps like this can help you optimise your lifestyle and food choices, the chances are that you may not have the time to measure out your food intake and keep an accurate record of how many essential nutrients are consuming. The best way to avoid potential complications such as nutritional gaps is to supplement your daily food intake with products such as HealthKart Multivitamins, designed to meet the recommended daily allowance for several essential nutrients and minerals in one go.