Eating Healthy Eating Tasty Food
How many times have you started a diet program only to find that it meant you’d have to eat food that was practically tasteless?
Especially common among those ‘miracle diet’ programs that promise you they’ll ship out food to you that will get you to lose weight in record times, the end result normally ends up being bland food that you can barely stomach.
No surprise then that after a week or less of having to choke down the food, you’d probably end up just wanting to quit your diet.
But here’s the good news: Eating healthy does not mean that you have to resort to those tasteless, bland, and altogether un-eatable meals that are so often found.
In fact, it doesn’t even mean that you have to go for the low-cal alternatives.
At the end of the day, the truth is that you can eat healthy and lose weight, and still eat food that actually tastes great and makes you feel good!
How is this possible? Well, we’re going to tell you that, and more.
Frankly speaking though, a lot of the problem stems from the fact that people inevitably end up falling for ‘miracle diets’. Really, this is where the slide down to tasteless, bland food begins. And who can blame them?
After all, wouldn’t you like to lose 20 kg in a week? Wouldn’t you like to be slim with just a snap of your fingers?
Yes, we’d all like that, but just remember: If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
In this case, certainly, it definitely is. Real, true, and healthy weight loss is something that does take some time, and a little effort, but it can be achieved. And the truth is that it can be achieved in a way that doesn’t involve starving yourself or choking down bland food.
Also, losing weight in the right way is going to be much better for you in the long run, because you’re not going to suffer from any of the health problems that come hand-in-hand with most shortcuts, nor are you going to face all that weight coming back.
Or, to put it simply: It is the best way to lose weight!
What you need though, is the proper knowledge, to help guide you. Once you have that, you’ll find that you’re able to easily eat healthily, even when eating meals that are really, really tasty!
That’s what this guide is going to be all about, so let’s get started by looking at the most basic basics of food!
Calories 101: The Art of Eating to Lose Weight
One of the most misunderstood concepts of all, and the same one that contributes a lot towards misunderstandings about ‘healthy eating’ is that of calories.
Really, it seems to have become pretty much a ‘buzz word’ right now, and is thrown about without much regard for what it actually means. Worse, it is often misinterpreted and misused so there’s a lot of general confusion regarding it.
On a very basic level though, the concept of a calorie is simple: It’s just a measure of energy.
Yes that’s right, calories don’t necessarily mean fat, calories just mean energy. When your body consumes food, it converts it to energy, and the amount of that energy generated is measured in calories.
So where does it tie in with fat? Well, here’s the thing: When your body can’t finish up all the energy that it has generated, it stores it. And when energy is stored by your body, it is stored in the form of fat.
See the link now?
As you should see, calories do not have to turn into fat. They just can, sort of, if the energy isn’t used up.
What this should also mean to you is that you don’t necessary have to be consuming zero calories in order to lose weight. In fact, consuming zero calories is not even healthy eating – it’s starvation!
What you do need to be doing however is ensuring that you’re not eating too many calories so that there isn’t that much leftover energy to be stored as fat.
Notice the distinction? That is the core idea that is behind eating to lose weight, and it is something that you need to grasp fully. Truth be told however, you don’t need to sit there and count calories to ensure that you’re keeping your count low enough so that you don’t have excess energy.
If you know what to eat, you can be pretty much assured that your calorie count is going to be low anyway. And that ties into another very important foundation concept…
Eating to Live, Living to Eat
At the core of a healthy meal is the fact that you’re eating not just for the enjoyment of eating – but for the fact that you need to eat to survive!
Well, we all know that, but unfortunately, few of us really put it to practice.
In fact, the vast majority of us tend to eat what we feel like eating, as opposed to what we should be eating.
Enough of the lecture though – the point is that your real purpose of eating should be to get nourishment from the food that you’re consuming. What’s more, you should be aware that different types of food can provide different types of nourishment.
Based on this, it would seem to make sense that the very first step you’d need to take is to ensure that you’re getting enough nourishment.
To do so is tough, especially considering that you, like most people, probably only have a very basic idea of what your body actually needs. Don’t worry though – it isn’t going to be a huge impediment, and really, we’ll be fixing that soon.
For now though, let’s get back to the main point at hand, and that’s actually more to do with the fact that you don’t want to be eating bland, tasteless, but ‘healthy’ food.
If you think about it a minute though – you’ll realize that we’ve really been talking about something that interconnects with just that. Consider it this way: Now that you know that your body needs certain type of nourishment, from certain types of food, and that is the only thing you really need to be concerned about…
Why does your food have to be tasteless?
Could it not be completely possible to build a tasty meal out that fills out all the nourishment requirements of the human body? Where does ‘blandness’ even come into play, considering that it doesn’t really affect the nourishment that a meal can provide?
Of course, yes, you don’t know enough about the different types of food that provide nourishment just yet, but we’re slowly working our way towards that. And now that you have realized how crucial it is, let’s start looking into it more deeply, shall we?
An Introduction to Nutrients
Knowing what nutrients are necessary, and which ones aren’t, is going to play a huge role in your understanding of how to end up being able to eat healthy, yet tasty, meals!
Based on what we were discussing a minute ago, you should already have some idea why, so let’s not rehash all that right now. Instead, let’s get stuck in and start exploring the various nutrients that are contained in food, all of which play a role in the human body.
Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be one of those bio-intense explanations. What we’re interested in mostly is gaining an understanding of the nutrients themselves, so that you can see how to source each one.
That way, you’ll at least know what you should be eating.
And from there, you should find all the following steps to be that much easier. So, let’s see what’s first on the plate…
Generally speaking, carbohydrates are the biggest source of energy that you have. Before you think that this means you’re going to have excess energy if you consume them, think again.
End of the day, your body needs energy, no two ways about it, and carbohydrates are your ticket to getting that energy. All that you need to do is control your intake so that you’re not getting too much energy.
If you cut carbohydrates out entirely, you’ll find that you’re getting too little energy, and end up feeling lethargic, tired, and other unpleasant things.
Incidentally, carbohydrates aren’t all the same, and in fact, they can be broken up into three main subcategories, namely:
What distinguishes each of these from the others is the amount of ‘sugar units’ that they contain, which is 1, 2, or many, respectively. Polysaccharides are normally called ‘complex carbohydrates’, which is a term that you’ve probably heard used before.
These complex carbohydrates are also sometimes called ‘good carbs’, because they’re the kind of carbohydrates that you want to be eating.
Basically, due to their longer sugar unit chains, they take longer to digest, which in turn causes less spikes in your blood sugar, and reduces your risk of things such as heart disease. Also, and more importantly as far as you’re concerned, they help you get full faster, and ensure that you’ll continue to feel full for longer.
Not too shabby, is it?
Basically, you can find these ‘good carbs’ in practically any type of fruit, vegetables, beans, and whole grain products. So yes, those should be forming the bulk of your carbohydrate intake, if possible!
Refined grains, on the other hand, don’t share the same ‘good carb’ criteria, so if possible, dodge them in favor of whole grains.
Of course, although carbohydrates are important, there is another source of energy that is possibly as important, and it is…
As much as that word probably makes you cringe, the simple truth is that fat is vital to your diet.
And you should also be aware that you’ve probably been misled for quite a while regarding just how bad fats are, because the fact is: Not all fats are bad for you.
Working in tandem with carbohydrates, which we just mentioned, fats also help to give you that ‘full’ feeling of satiation after a meal. In other words, having some fat around is going to make you feel more satisfied, and probably help you to eat less overall.
More than that however, with its role as a nutrient, fats play an important role in nourishing various parts of the body, including the brain, heart, nerves, and others.
Just like carbohydrates however, there are definitely ‘good fats’ and ‘bad fats’, and knowing the difference is key to knowing what exactly you should be eating. Let’s take a look at some of the types of ‘good’ fats first of all:
1. Monounsaturated fats
Commonly, monounsaturated fats end up invariably linked with olive oil, because it is the easiest source of such fats. That said, it is also found in a variety of other plant oils, and also avocados and several types of seeds.
This particular type of fat has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, which makes is definitely the ‘fat of choice’!
If you can consume monounsaturated fats over the other ‘bad fats’, well, you’re on the right track as far as your diet is concerned.
2. Polyunsaturated fats
Next in line as far as the good fats are concerned are polyunsaturated fats.
Just like monounsaturated fats, studies have shown that polyunsaturated fats can too reduce the risk of heart disease, and even dementia. Naturally, this makes them a fairly good type of fat to be consuming.
However, polyunsaturated fats are less common, and are found in corn or soybean oil and walnuts, among other things.
Be aware though, many people hesitate to recommend taking in a lot of polyunsaturated fats because, when heated, the sources of polyunsaturated fats can form free radicals that could wreck havoc in the human body.
Still – if properly used, polyunsaturated fats can be a great option.
Having discussed the ‘good fats’, its time we touched on the bad ones. Why? Well, simply because some of the bad fats really are very bad, and should be avoided at all costs.
In short, your healthy diet should try its best to minimize on these ‘bad fats’ as much as you can.
3. Saturated fats
Quite simply, this type of fats can up your cholesterol level, and cause a whole lot of problems in that regard. And really, they’re probably the most common type of fat that is consumed.
Reason being: They’re the type of fat that is found in milk, and most red meats. Also, they can be found in both coconut oil and palm oil, which is, incidentally, also used to make a number of other products.
Of course, this means that the solution is simple. Instead of fatty red meat, go for lean meat, poultry without the skin, low-fat dairy products, or even fish. As far as oil goes, well, there are many alternatives, such as olive oil, corn oil, and other types of vegetable oils.
Simple enough to dodge, don’t you think?
4. Trans fat
In many ways, this is the absolute worst type of fat that you could consume. Basically, not only does it raise your bad cholesterol, but it lowers your good cholesterol, which is far more dangerous than what saturated fat can do.
Fortunately, trans fat is more rare, and it is found in hydrogenated products.
Generally speaking, hydrogenation is something that is used quite widely in the food industry to produce various forms of crackers, snacks, baked food, and even some margarine.
Be aware of this, and be sure to avoid such hydrogenated products whenever possible.
Great, now that you know enough about both good and bad fats, you should be able to consume more of the former, and dodge more of the latter.
Even that alone should ensure that you’re off to a great start.
So, let’s move on to our next nutrient, and that’s going to be…
Unlike fats and carbohydrates, proteins are slightly more complicated, but we’re going to try to adapt as direct an approach as possible to discussing them.
In a nutshell, protein isn’t just divided into ‘good proteins’ and ‘bad proteins’. Instead, protein is made up of amino acids, and it is these acids that are used for a huge number of functions within the body, primarily in the creation and maintenance of protein.
Now, the body uses some amino acids consumed through the diet to produce other amino acids, and these other amino acids that can be produced internally are known as non-essential amino acids.
However, some amino acids can’t be produced internally, and must be obtained through your diet, and these in turn are known as essential amino acids.
While it’s crucial that you grasp this so that you understand the full importance of protein, you should also know that this doesn’t mean you need to go around inspecting everything you eat to ensure it has all the amino acids that are essential.
Why not? Well, that’s because there are two types of proteins in general:
1. Complete proteins – that contain all the essential amino acids
2. Incomplete proteins – that do not contain all the essential amino acids
Essentially, this means that if you can ensure that you’re consuming complete proteins, as opposed to incomplete proteins, then you’re on the right path.
And really, complete proteins are all around you, with sources that range from meat, eggs, poultry, fish, milk (and some other dairy products), and many, many more. Some type of beans and nuts also work well as a source of protein.
Remember – protein is also an energy source, so do not eat too much protein or you might find that all that excess energy ends up being stored as fat.
Undoubtedly, you’ve heard of vitamins before. But have you heard of all the types of vitamins that are out there?
Most people haven’t – and that’s largely because there are really quite a lot of them, numbering 13 in total. However, only 12 of them need to be worried about, because Vitamin D is produced by the skin under sunlight (or more specifically, ultraviolet radiation).
Still, 12 whole vitamins represent quite a challenge to document, and if we looked at each vitamin individually, we’d be here all day.
As opposed to doing that, here’s the best advice that you could get with regards to vitamins: Eat lots of fruit and vegetables.
Of course, fruits and vegetables are good for other reasons too, including their high fiber and mineral content, so you’re really going to be killing two birds (or more!) with one stone. In particular, leafy greens (the darker the better, in general) provide great sources of Vitamins A, C, E and K.
Many fruits also provide a good dose of Vitamin C as well, and the brighter their colors are, the more likely they are to contain all those yummy nutrients that you’re after.
Similarly, beans, nuts, and soy products can also have a lot of Vitamins packed into them, which is a great thing considering you already know that these types of foods are extremely good as part of a healthy diet.
If you constantly face vitamin deficiencies, you could even resort to taking supplements, however assuming you stick to the advice given, you should not have to!
Apart from vitamins though, there is one other type of nutrient that is just as varied, so let’s look at that now…
Just as with vitamins, minerals are a very varied bunch and so discussing them as a group could be difficult. Some minerals are more important than others though, and are required in a much larger (200 mg or so) quantity as a result. In contrast, the other, ‘less important’, minerals are often just required in trace amounts to help with certain reactions.
Here’s the good news: When you’re eating healthily in general, you should be able to take care of most of your mineral needs automatically.
By this point, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that a lot of the nutrient-packed foods which we’ve discussed carry many other types of nutrients too, apart from the ones in which we were discussing them in context too.
So, it would be reasonable to expect that minerals are contained in them, and indeed, we just talked about how minerals were in many vegetables, especially the leafy green varieties.
For this reason, we’re not going to go over every mineral, but instead, we’re going to focus on a few very important ones.
That way, you’ll at least be able to know that you’re covering the better part of the issue, and still be able to rest easy knowing that the other minerals are provided for due to the healthy diet that you’ve embraced.
Primarily, calcium is the mineral that helps grow and strengthen bones (including teeth!).
Contrary to popular belief, bones actually need a constant supply of calcium, otherwise they’ll weaken, and be more prone to fractures and other problems. At no time is this more important than during childhood and adolescence.
Seeing as the human body cannot ‘manufacture’ calcium, you’re going to have to rely entirely on your diet to provide it.
And the main place in which calcium is normally found in a healthy diet would be milk and dairy products. Mind you, skimmed, low-fat, and no-fat milk all contain similar amounts of calcium as regular milk, so you can easily rely on those and keep your saturated fat and calorie content low.
For vegetarians, vegans, or those with lactose intolerance, soy products form a suitable alternative source of calcium.
Even if you may not like to drink large quantities of milk, you could try other dairy products, such as yogurt, that will help you too. Be aware though that most yogurt products are sweetened, and could have other elements that aren’t as good for you.
Ensuring that you have enough calcium will help your bones last long into old age.
Yes, iron is another mineral that is equally valuable, and it goes to work within our blood.
If you aren’t getting enough iron in your bloodstream, you could face a whole host of problems that lead to tiredness, fatigue, low moods, and even frequent infections. In short: You need iron!
Fortunately, there are many easy sources of iron, and some of them we’ve already discussed. Red meats form the best source of iron, but be sure that it is lean, and not fat-filled!
Apart from that, you could even opt for oily types of fish.
Some green leafy vegetables, and whole grains, can also be a source of iron, but it is worth remembering that plant-based irons are not as easily absorbed by the body as meat-based irons.
Still, if you’re vegetarian or vegan, they’re going to form your primary alternative.
Yet another important mineral, magnesium really has many different functions, from helping the parathyroid gland, to helping your body turn food into energy.
Can you guess what one of the biggest source of magnesium is though? Well, green, leafy vegetables of course! Once again, they come to the fore with their nutrient packed nature.
Apart from that, there are other sources such as nuts, bread, meat, fish, and dairy products, all of which could be used to gain valuable quantities of magnesium.
All in all, there is nothing tricky about consuming sufficient magnesium.
As a mineral, phosphorus is known for tying in with calcium to help produce strong bones and teeth. Thus, its importance is pretty much underlined by the fact that without it, your bones are going to be prone to the same sort of problems as calcium deficiencies could cause.
Also, phosphorus has a role to play in helping the body convert food to energy.
On the bright side, just as with magnesium, phosphorus is easily found from a variety of sources, including red meat, nuts, fish, dairy products, and even poultry.
Chances are, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about getting the right quantities of phosphorus, unless you’re a vegan or vegetarian, in which case you might want to be sure to eat some nuts every so often.
Technically, salt is known as sodium chloride, but what we want to focus about here is “Sodium” which is an important part of your nutrition.
Within the body, sodium is tasked with controlling the body’s fluid balance, as well as maintaining the manner in which the muscles and nerves work. But unlike the other nutrients that we’ve discussed so far, most of the problems with salt is not about consuming enough.
No – with salt the problem is that many people consume too much salt!
An excess of salt has been known to lead to many problems, including high blood pressure. Normally, the human body is quite good at regulating the amount of salt within it, and prompting feelings such as thirst, to encourage you to consume more water and help with excreting excess salt.
However, sometimes this goes wrong, and with too much salt in your body, you could face problems.
Generally speaking, if you’re consuming large quantities of salt regularly, you might want to cut back on it. That much is important for a healthy diet.
Similar to salt, potassium also has a role to play in regulating the balance of fluids within the body, and there is reasonable evidence nowadays to suggest that it also could help lower blood pressure.
Although it can be found from a number of sources, the biggest, and best, source of potassium is: Bananas.
Other fruits and vegetables also contain potassium, though not in such bountiful quantities. Nuts, seeds, red meat, poultry, fish, and milk can also contain some quantities of potassium, so if you absolutely hate bananas for some reason, you could try those instead.
End of the day though, not many people are really that adverse to bananas, and they taste great, so why not just eat one or two every so often!
These six minerals that we’ve discussed are probably the more important ones, and even within them, you can see that there are a lot of ties between the foods that provide them.
In fact, you should be seeing this increasingly throughout our discussion.
At this point, you already should have a reasonable idea of the ingredients to a good and balanced diet. And seeing as we’re nearing a close of our discussion of nutrients, that really is to be expected.
Really, there’s only one last item left on our agenda, and it is one that you might not have thought we’d be discussing…
Yes, good old H-2-O. Sometimes it is easy for us to forget that our body is made up, essentially, of about 70% water, and you should be keeping it that way!
How much water you need exactly varies, from person to person, as well as environment to environment. In essence, depending on the amount of water you end up secreting, you could have to consume more or less to replace it.
As a guideline, most people need about 2 liters of water a day.
Of course, if you regularly perform physical activities or anything that makes you sweat a lot, you may need more than that.
Look on the bright side: Drinking too much water can’t hurt you (assuming your kidneys are in decent shape), but drinking too little water could cause dehydration, which is going to be very, very bad.
Go for the safe path, and try to drink water regularly.
Good news is, water has no calories to speak of, so drinking more certainly can’t hurt you in that fashion either.
Closing the Post on Nutrients
Finally, we’re done discussing nutrients. Now you should have a good idea of what is ‘good’ to eat, and what isn’t. Did you notice that many of the ‘good’ things to eat tie into each other? You should have, we mentioned that fact quite a bit.
That alone is one of the main drives of our discussion about nutrients. Now you should realize that many of the types of food that you so often like to eat are ‘healthy’ foods.
So why should they have to be tasteless?
In fact, as you should see now, the second main point that should be made after discussing nutrients, is that taste really doesn’t come into it so much. Sure, some things, such as non-skimmed milk, are bad, but in the ‘good’ column are pretty much most foods that you could name.
That means that you could eat almost anything you want, in moderation of course!
Right about now, it’s time that we take the next step, and that is going to be the important one as far as this guide is concerned.
Armed with the knowledge that you now have, it’s time to look at taste in particular, and discover the final key to unlocking the secret of how to come up with tasty and yet healthy, meals!
After that, it is all up to you.
Eating Healthy, but Tasty, Meals
Where does the taste in cooking come from? What makes one meal taste better than another? Why are so many ‘healthy’ meals so bland?
Here’s the key: In modern cooking, much of the taste of the meals which we regularly consumes comes from spices that are added to the cooking itself. Some people call them seasoning, but they’re pretty much two names for the same thing.
Some spices have nutrients in them, but very few have the ‘bad’ nutrients that we’ve talked about so far.
And on top of that, spices generally have almost no calories to speak of.
In other words, you have no need to worry about whether or not it is ‘healthy’ to insert spices into your meals, because quite frankly, they have no bearing on the issue. In turn, this means that you could easily have meals that taste great.
So why is there so much griping about healthy meals being bland?
Well, let’s discuss what a balanced diet is first, and then you’ll see why there is some misunderstanding about a ‘healthy’ meal.
Balanced Diets of Tasty Foods
Everything that we discussed about nutrients has equipped you with a very firm knowledge of what you should be eating.
Here’s the thing though: That ‘what you should be eating’ bracket, as you probably noticed, contains a wide variety of foods, ranging from meat, poultry, nuts, and many others. Don’t forget those nutrient-packed green leafy vegetables too!
And the fact of the matter is, you should be eating a diverse fare such as described.
After all, that’s what a balanced diet is about – consuming all the nutrients that your body needs.
Of course, some of these you could mix-and match, such as a dish that combines meat and veggies, and so on. And mind you, you don’t need to eat every type of food in one sitting, in fact, it is better to have several small meals throughout the day than it is to have 3 big meals, as many people do!
So with all the wealth of food types available to you as part of your healthy diet, don’t you think that you could easily find tasty meals that contain them?
Hint: The answer is most assuredly ‘yes’!
Really, that’s all there is too it. A healthy, balanced diet that provides you with all the nutrients necessary, but is tasty at the same time.
With what you know about spices as well, that shouldn’t even be tough to accomplish.
Frankly the only reason why many people end up torturing themselves by eating bland and tasteless meals for ‘health’ reason is because they’re unaware of the facts that lie behind good meals.
Fortunately, you are now aware of everything that you need to know about nutrients, and so you’re definitely not on that boat. Therefore, you’re not going to be misled into thinking that you have to eat bland, otherwise you’re not eating healthy!
Before we leave you to it, let’s wind up on everything that we’ve been talking about so far.
Starting to Eat Healthy, Right Here, Right Now!
To sum up this guide in a nutshell, here’s what you should now be fully conversant with:
1. Calories don’t necessarily mean fat, they’re just a form of energy. Only excess energy is stored as fat.
2. Healthy eating is all about getting all the nutrients that your body needs to survive and be healthy in turn.
3. The main types of nutrients that your body needs include carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, fats, minerals, and water. Each is important.
4. All of these nutrients can be found from a wide range of food.
5. Some types of nutrients are ‘bad’ and should be avoided, but these are pretty simple to isolate and exclude from a healthy diet.
6. Spices, seasonings and other things that make food ‘tasty’ aren’t going to make them unhealthy.
7. A balanced diet is all about eating a diverse range of food throughout the day, so that your body gets all the nutrients it needs.
All that sounds familiar to you? It should – it’s been what we’ve been discussing over the course of the guide, and should illustrate to you, comprehensively, that healthy eating does not have to mean tasteless meals.
So go out there, and find meals that are healthy and yet fit all of the prerequisites that we’ve outlined!
Nutrisystem and Tasty Food
In Nutisystem reviews; after checking with many who chose Nutrisystem as their diet program, we found that in Nutrisystem the participant is provided with variety of tasty foods that encourages any candidate to continue with the diet program with enthusiasm and passion and do not feel that they want to quite the program.