How Healthy Eating Can Help with Weight Loss

Published
by Rmooney Rmooney (New)

Specializes in Nurse Educator. Has 14 years experience.

Advice on how to make healthy changes in your diet that can help with weight loss.

Are you eating healthy??

How Healthy Eating Can Help with Weight Loss

Losing weight and dieting doesn’t have to be complicated. There are a lot of programs designed to help people lose weight, but a weight loss program needs to be something sustainable long-term to keep the weight off.  The weight-loss equation is actually based on 80% nutrition and 20% exercise.  That means that you can lose weight just by eating healthy. But what does that look like?

According to the CDC, healthy eating consists of a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and a variety of healthy proteins. Your diet should also be low in added sugars, sodium, saturated fats, trans fats, and should be within your daily caloric needs. Add a variety of fruits and vegetables to your meals and snacks and don’t be afraid to try something new. When fresh fruit or vegetables aren’t in season, you can get in canned or frozen, just make sure it doesn’t have any added sugars or salt and is packed with its own juices instead. You can increase the calcium in your diet with low fat or fat-free milk or plant-based milk alternatives and low fat or fat-free yogurts with no added sugars. You can find many healthy proteins in your diet with meats like chicken and fish but also healthy nuts, which can be a great new favorite snack.

Tips to Be Successful with Your Diet

Meal Planning

Pick one day each week to plan all of your meals and snacks for the entire week. This will help you stick to healthy choices instead of grabbing something that isn’t as healthy for you.

Grocery Shopping

Make a list based on your meal plan and stick to that list. Don’t grab those unhealthy snacks that are full of sugar, salt, and fat that will only satisfy a craving and not your actual hunger. Stick to the outside of the grocery store when you are shopping. Foods located on the outside of the grocery store tend to be healthier for you because they are fresh or frozen, whereas foods on the inside aisles tend to have a lot of additives that we don’t actually need and can result in weight gain.

Nutrition Labels

Read the nutrition labels when you are shopping. You may think something is healthy for you and be surprised by the amount of sugar, salt, or fat that is contained within the item.

Drink Plenty of Water

Water is going to flush any toxins out of our body which will increase our energy level.  To make sure you are drinking enough water, take your body weight in pounds and multiply that by 0.5. That is the number of ounces of water you should drink per day. For example, if someone is 130 pounds you would take 130 X 0.5=65 ounces (which is eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day).

Eat Your Fruit Servings On an Empty Stomach if Possible

Eating fruit on an empty stomach can have many health benefits. When you eat fruit on an empty stomach it aids in detoxification, provides energy, assists in weight loss, provides antioxidants, and provides you with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. While fruit will offer these things on an empty or full stomach, when there is already food in your stomach and digestive juices, it can create excess gas in your stomach as the food begins to break down.

Clean Out the Pantry and Fridge

Clean out your pantry and fridge to get rid of the unhealthy options. If it isn’t in the house, you can’t eat it.

Start Slow

Cutting things out of your diet is HARD. Your body and taste buds are going to need time to adjust. When you are cutting things out of your diet, start with 1-2 things at a time. First, try to cut out refined sugars from your diet for 1 week. Then pick a week to cut out gluten, caffeine and then dairy, etc. Once you are able to recognize how you feel without these items in your diet, you can gradually add them back into your diet in small portions. There are many plant-based alternatives that you can replace what you are used to eating that offer many health benefits.

Pay Attention to How You Feel

As you are improving your diet, pay attention to how you feel. Do you have more energy? Maybe you have fewer headaches? Did you have acne that is now cleared up? Were you having arthritis pain that now feels better so you are needing less ibuprofen? These successes will help you stick to your new healthy habits.

Eating Healthy is All about Balance

You can still enjoy your favorite treats, just do so in moderation. When you decide to treat yourself, be conscious about how much of the treat you are eating and consider eating a smaller portion than you may have eaten prior to making changes in your diet. Don’t beat yourself up for having an unhealthy snack or meal. We all indulge every once in a while, and it’s okay if you do, too! Just make sure to return to your new healthy habits so you continue to experience the health benefits of healthy eating.


References/Resources

Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight

HelpGuide

Healthy Weight Loss = 80% Nutrition + 20% Exercise

How to calculate how much water you should drink

About The Buzz: You Should Eat Fruit on An Empty Stomach?

Rmooney

I've been a nurse for 14 years and have experience working on medical surgical floors, cardiology, primary care, supervising, was an operational director of two primary care clinics, and am currently a nurse educator for an associate degree nursing program. I'm married with 3 beautiful girls who remind me to chase my dreams every day. I've always enjoyed writing so recently decided to start freelance writing as a way further enhance my nursing career.

2 Articles   9 Posts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

9 Comment(s)

2BS Nurse, BSN

Has 9 years experience. 669 Posts

This is a great article. Health care workers are bombarded with unhealthy food options presented in our hospital cafeterias and "smorgasbords" in the nurses' stations. We are given large sugar cookies, pizza and candy as rewards. We are mocked by our coworkers when we don't join in the grazing. Stressful jobs lead to stress eating when the junk food is placed right in front of us. Ultimately, our health care systems are guaranteeing they will continue to make money... by keeping their staff unhealthy.

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 30 years experience. 31,583 Posts

I agree with the above that working can be our downfall and it does take planning to eat healthy for a 12 hour shift.  I have a tendency to stress eat and if there are donuts and pizza provided and I'm stressed and hungry I would grab that.  Now I make sure I have fruit on hand to crab and snack on while charting or reviewing charts, etc.  It's not my job's responsibility to provide me with healthy food but it's ironic that a health care organization provides such junk.

Also for some people adding too much fiber in the form of fruits, vegetables, grains and beans cause issues like gas and bloating so the "go slow" advice is  good.  Your body eventually will adjust to healthy high fiber eating as the gut microbiome adjusts.

Not to nitpick but water doesn't detoxify the body, the kidneys do this but need adequate fluid to do their job.

I think the idea of eating fruit on an empty stomach is a myth and I don't bother with that and have some fruit in the morning along with breakfast.  But do what works for you.

brandy1017

brandy1017, ASN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. 2,703 Posts

I had a pepsi addiction from my teens till recently and the only thing that worked for me to break it was topamax.  I was prescribed it for migraines and the first thing I noticed is it made soda, particularly pepsi taste terrible.   It took me awhile to actually stick with the topamax because I didn't want to give up pepsi, but once I made the decision to break this bad habit I took the topamax.  I lost ten pounds the first month.   What I had learned is that soda is linked to fatty liver and NASH and elevated liver enzymes similar to what alcoholics get and I never drank alcohol.  So to anyone out there with a soda addiction check your liver enzymes and maybe you want to consider if topamax would help you break it.  It is actually used in combination with phentermine as a weight loss supplement I don't remember the brand name.  I was just aware that it was used for migraines and is one of the few meds not linked to weight gain, but weight loss.  The two downsides I noticed is my short-term memory isn't as good as it used to be and sour cream tastes like soap to me.  I've noticed my appetitie is less, my blood sugar has improved a lot and even read some research that topamax may somehow improve insulin sensitivity.  I'm hopeful my labs esp liver enzymes will be improved.

Edited by brandy1017

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 29 years experience. 2 Articles; 3,996 Posts

You're kidding right? A healthy diet is associated with a healthy weight? Is this some sort of disinformation campaign?😉

Rmooney

Rmooney

Specializes in Nurse Educator. Has 14 years experience. 2 Articles; 9 Posts

On 7/12/2022 at 5:52 PM, 2BS Nurse said:

This is a great article. Health care workers are bombarded with unhealthy food options presented in our hospital cafeterias and "smorgasbords" in the nurses' stations. We are given large sugar cookies, pizza and candy as rewards. We are mocked by our coworkers when we don't join in the grazing. Stressful jobs lead to stress eating when the junk food is placed right in front of us. Ultimately, our health care systems are guaranteeing they will continue to make money... by keeping their staff unhealthy.

Thank you! I agree that when people bring in food for nurses, they all seem to be j healthy options! My clinical groups usually bring in something as a thank you for the nurses on our last day. I’ve been encouraging them to bring a mixture of healthier options and something sweet fir those that want it.

Rmooney

Rmooney

Specializes in Nurse Educator. Has 14 years experience. 2 Articles; 9 Posts

On 7/15/2022 at 5:24 PM, Emergent said:

You're kidding right? A healthy diet is associated with a healthy weight? Is this some sort of disinformation campaign?😉

I know, seems “silly” yet so many people I know will spend hours working out and not get any results because they have the misconception that if they are working out they can eat anything they want. They are always surprised on the amount of weight they lose just from making changes in their diet and making no changes to their workout routines. 

Rmooney

Rmooney

Specializes in Nurse Educator. Has 14 years experience. 2 Articles; 9 Posts

On 7/14/2022 at 6:39 PM, brandy1017 said:

I had a pepsi addiction from my teens till recently and the only thing that worked for me to break it was topamax.  I was prescribed it for migraines and the first thing I noticed is it made soda, particularly pepsi taste terrible.   It took me awhile to actually stick with the topamax because I didn't want to give up pepsi, but once I made the decision to break this bad habit I took the topamax.  I lost ten pounds the first month.   What I had learned is that soda is linked to fatty liver and NASH and elevated liver enzymes similar to what alcoholics get and I never drank alcohol.  So to anyone out there with a soda addiction check your liver enzymes and maybe you want to consider if topamax would help you break it.  It is actually used in combination with phentermine as a weight loss supplement I don't remember the brand name.  I was just aware that it was used for migraines and is one of the few meds not linked to weight gain, but weight loss.  The two downsides I noticed is my short-term memory isn't as good as it used to be and sour cream tastes like soap to me.  I've noticed my appetitie is less, my blood sugar has improved a lot and even read some research that topamax may somehow improve insulin sensitivity.  I'm hopeful my labs esp liver enzymes will be improved.

Thanks for sharing your experience! I’m glad you were able to break that habit. It’s really amazing the negative side effects unhealthy foods and drinks can have on our bodies. I hadn’t heard of people using topamx before and am interested in learning more about this!

On 7/13/2022 at 4:37 AM, Tweety said:

I agree with the above that working can be our downfall and it does take planning to eat healthy for a 12 hour shift.  I have a tendency to stress eat and if there are donuts and pizza provided and I'm stressed and hungry I would grab that.  Now I make sure I have fruit on hand to crab and snack on while charting or reviewing charts, etc.  It's not my job's responsibility to provide me with healthy food but it's ironic that a health care organization provides such junk.

Also for some people adding too much fiber in the form of fruits, vegetables, grains and beans cause issues like gas and bloating so the "go slow" advice is  good.  Your body eventually will adjust to healthy high fiber eating as the gut microbiome adjusts.

Not to nitpick but water doesn't detoxify the body, the kidneys do this but need adequate fluid to do their job.

I think the idea of eating fruit on an empty stomach is a myth and I don't bother with that and have some fruit in the morning along with breakfast.  But do what works for you.

Great advice!

fishguy909

fishguy909

9 Posts

I like your article but I think your sources could use some work. Eating fruits on an empty stomach is better according to who???? For example.

 

In my own experience changing my diet has helped a lot. I cut out all added sugars. I aim for 0 added sugar every day. The only sugar I get is from fruit. I also cut my sodium down to around 1500mg a day. Sometimes I get more but I shoot for 1500 a day. I’ve never felt better 

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 20 years experience. 4 Articles; 4,516 Posts

On 7/13/2022 at 2:37 AM, Tweety said:

 

Not to nitpick but water doesn't detoxify the body, the kidneys do this but need adequate fluid to do their job.

 

I think the idea of eating fruit on an empty stomach is a myth and I don't bother with that and have some fruit in the morning along with breakfast.  But do what works for you.

Good pointds to consider. 

Proper hydration is a must but each individuals needs may vary due to over-all health, exercise and organ function. The formula given would leave me thirsty at my current weight. I generally shoot for around a gallon per 24 hour period. 

Eating fruit on an empty stomach is a myth. Even the source cited by the OP states it is a myth that has made it onto several fad diet pages. In a brief search I could find no reputable peer reviewed studies to suggest this is true. In fact for some persons eating fruits on an empty stomach can cause elevated excursions of blood sugar which are rarely dangerous unless one is a diabetic like me. In fact my endocrinolgist wants me to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables along with fat (10% of total intake), 30% protien and 39% carb in every meal). He also told me that I should not be afraid of sugar which is far less damaging that artificial sweeteners.

The article suggest in a off-hand way that gluten should be eliminated avoided. The truth is that the only people who should avoid/eliminate gluten are people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. A physical exam and blood tests are required for accurate diagnosis. 

Things like moderate sugar, fat, and yes gluten add to foods texture and "Mouth feel" which helps to trigger the satiety centers of the brain so that one does not feel hungry but does feel satisfied.  

In addition to diabetes, I also have inflammatory bowel disease and fibromyalgia/Chronic pain and have been working with a healthcare team which includes specialists in nutrition, endocrin, gastroenterology and pain management as well as my PCP.

Sometimes very basic and simple charges are all that is needed to kick off healthy weight loss which should be about a pound a week.

It should be added that people who have a significant amount of weight to lose should always consult with their primary care provider to the cause of the weight gain as well as the healthiest way to go about it.