There is only one way to lose weight and burn fat. That is, to stick to an effective diet plan to lose weight and burn those calories through effective weight loss exercises.

What to eat and what not to eat is uppermost in our minds because we want to lose the additional weight we carry, fast.

Whether man or woman, having the right foods in your diet is essential for a weight loss program to succeed.

And, there are only two ways to do that:

  1. The right diet with an eye on the calories, and
  2. Calorie burning exercises

There is a third thing though to lose those pounds! Staying motivated always.

How to motivate yourself when on a weight loss program?

Though motivation has no direct bearing on losing weight, it plays a significant role by curbing your temptations on eating more and keeping you off the lazy rack, when you have to exercise!

Staying motivated and committed to sticking to the diet is important in preventing you from giving in to the temptations of eating the wrong foods, which is the major cause of failure in achieving your goals.

  • Read articles on how to motivate yourself. Quora has a good post on this motivation issue.
  • Have a friend who is also on the weight loss plan and compete amongst yourselves on who loses more weight every week.
  • Fix a reward for the winner every week.

Remember, this can spell the difference between success and failure and will keep you consistent in adhering to your planned weight loss routine.

Always weigh yourself on the same scale and ensure that the scale shows a reading of zero before you stand on it.

You should also read:

What are the foods to include in your weight loss diet?

To lose weight does not mean you have to starve or diet. You have to control your calories, though. We all come from different continents and have our own traditional foods. Therefore, I will mention what healthy foods you can eat and what foods you must avoid, in a broad sense and not in a targeted fashion.

For example, I will not say what particular burger you can eat at MacDonald’s or at Subway but my do’s and don’ts in the broader sense will help you to choose the appropriate foods wherever you eat. You can make your diet plans by following the guidelines below.

This diet stands in good stead for men and for women during and after menopause, during pregnancy, and lactation.

Knowing the best way to cook food is important to make your weight loss diet effective. Eat grilled, baked, or roasted. If you want to fry, use minimal oils, which are recommended below.

Broadly, what are the foods we eat?

  • Grains
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Meats
  • Poultry
  • Seafood
  • Oils
  • Dairy products and
  • The derivatives of these foods

You, as an overweight person, will continue eating these foods, but with a difference. We come across various weight-loss diets, but following the suggestions, which are given below will help you formulate the best diet for your liking.

Firstly, the tea and the coffee issue:

You can drink your daily cup of tea or coffee without adding milk or sugar. Tea and coffee without milk and sugar contain almost zero calories while one mug of tea with milk and sugar contains 40 calories and a mug of coffee with milk and sugar contains 30 calories. Therefore, have your tea or coffee black and get used to this change in your daily cuppa.

Whole grains and cereals

You should eat only whole grains and products made from whole grains such as whole-wheat bread and whole wheat cereals. Whatever wheat products you eat should be made from whole wheat flour.

Before buying any off-the-shelf grain product, check its contents’ label to see if it is made from whole grains.

Check out this post to know how to identify whole grain products.

How do whole grains help you to lose weight?

  • Firstly, whole grains contain more protein, vitamins, and minerals than refined wheat, because the refining process removes these nutrients from the wheat. The main reason for this is that the bran and the germ of the wheat are lost during the refining process.
  • Secondly, whole wheat is rich in fiber, and studies by the Harvard Medical School showed that those people who ate whole wheat weighed less compared to those on refined wheat.
  • Thirdly, whole grains contain complex carbohydrates, which are digested slowly, and their conversion into glucose and energy is gradual. They, therefore, provide you with energy, steadily throughout the day. Simple carbohydrates found in processed wheat are devoid of nutrients and therefore, there are greater chances that the energy derived from simple carbohydrates is converted to fats and stored in your body.

You should prefer brown rice over white rice for the same reasons mentioned above.

Fruits and vegetables – a must in your diet plan to lose weight

Fruits and vegetables form the most important part of your diet to control your weight. They are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients that help to keep good health.

Most fruits and vegetables are low in fats and calories and though they fill you, they aid in weight loss.

Some recommended vegetables to help in losing weight include cucumber, asparagus, green beans, lettuce, spinach, bell peppers, onions, radishes, cauliflower, broccoli, and mushrooms.

You can eat all fruits, but some of the recommended ones include apples, peaches, kiwi fruit, grapefruit, nectarines, cantaloupe, and berries such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.

How do fruits and vegetables help to lose weight?

  • Fruits and vegetables are low in calorie content, thereby helping you to reduce weight.
  • Because of their potassium content, they help to control blood sugar and regulate fluid content.
  • They are high in fiber and water content, thereby helping to keep the bowels clean.
  • High fiber content also gives a feeling of fullness, thereby preventing you from eating more and putting on weight.

Milk and dairy products

  • If you drink milk, make sure that you drink skim milk.
  • You can eat dairy products but choose low-fat cheese and low-fat yogurt.

Why skim milk?

The table below is self-explanatory and will tell you why you should stick to skim milk and its products.

Here is a comparison chart of the nutrients and calories in whole milk and skim milk in one cup (8 ounces).

Nutrients and calories Whole milk Skim milk
Fats 7.93 0.44 gm
Calcium 290 mg 316 mg
Proteins 7.86 gm 8.4 gm
Carbohydrates 11.03 gm 11.98 gm
Calories 146 86

How does milk help in weight loss?

A study published in the International Journal of Obesity, claims that eating three to four servings of dairy products a day will help you in losing more weight.

Research indicates that calcium, vitamin D, and the protein present in dairy products promote the deposition of calories in muscle rather than in fat tissues.

Calcium promotes weight loss by increasing the breakdown of fats in the fat cells. Taking in calcium through dairy products may actually potentiate these properties of calcium.

Obesity Research published a recent study, which mentions that calcium promotes the breakdown of fat in the fat cells by decreasing the level of 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D3, which is a vitamin that is responsible for spurring the growth of fat cells in the body

However, dairy has a stronger effect on fat loss especially around the midriff than taking in calcium alone. Experts are unable to explain the reason for this.

According to experts, the phosphorous and magnesium present in the dairy products could possibly enhance calcium’s action of breaking down fat within the fat cells.

Additionally, the protein in dairy promotes muscle-building and metabolism.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a glass of skim milk taken at breakfast provides fewer calories than a fruit drink and makes you feel fuller making you eat less during the day.

Best Oils for weight loss

Certain studies conducted about 6 years ago have dispelled myths about oil consumption in weight-reducing diets.

Oils recommended for weight loss 

  • Coconut oil,
  • Olive oil and
  • Canola oil.

1) The oils mentioned above belong to the medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) variety. These are smaller than other fats. They are easily digested and metabolized.

They are, therefore, immediately converted into energy rather than being stored in fat cells. These are the ones that are converted to HDL (the good cholesterol), which is transported to the liver for use and then to the intestines, via the bile duct for excretion.

2) After eating foods made from coconut oil, you tend to eat less, as it is filling and you feel full for a longer time. If you have breakfast cooked in coconut oil, you will eat a smaller lunch than if you had a breakfast cooked in vegetable oil.

3) These oils promote thermogenesis and help in burning calories to produce heat.

Avoid hydrogenated oils and foods such as

  • Soya bean oil
  • Palm oil
  • Peanut oil

The hydrogenated oils mentioned above belong to the long-chain triglycerides (LCT) and get deposited in the fat cells.

Avoid fast foods and processed foods when on a diet regimen, as they usually use such oils.

If you are buying food off the shelf, avoid oils that have the sign of “Hydrogenated oil” on the label.

Meat, Fish, and Poultry

It is not necessary to avoid meat, fish, and poultry if you are burning calories through physical activity. However, it is necessary to choose and cook in a way conducive to losing weight.

The advantage of eating meat is that it is high in protein content and very low in carbohydrates. The body uses more energy to digest proteins than carbohydrates and fats, leading to more calories being burnt in the process.

You can eat

  • Chicken and turkey without the skin
  • Very lean pork without lard (visible fat)
  • Very lean meat without lard
  • One egg per day or two eggs without the yolk
  • Fish is rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals. It has the good fats and is low in calories
  • Have coconut water every day. It has no calories and is 99% fat-free. It helps to lose weight by maintaining metabolism at an optimum level.

Foods to avoid and never eat for weight loss

One way to lose weight is to not just eat a more healthy diet but also know which foods to avoid. In general, it is best to avoid foods that are calorie-dense.

Avoid the following foods to lose weight and stay healthy. Your diet plan to lose weight will not succeed if you include these foods.

  • Burgers, salami, and sausages
  • Fatty roasts, minced beef, and chops
  • Frankfurters, regular bacon, roast beef, and lamb
  • Fried meat and meat with lard
  • Chicken skin
  • French fries and potato chips
  • Sugary beverages
  • White bread
  • Candy bars
  • Pastries and cakes
  • Fruit juices
  • Ice cream
  • Pizza
  • Alcohol and beer