Calories: Calories are what the body utilizes as energy from everything we eat. Our bodies require a certain amount of calories to maintain weight and simply put as long as you get less than that amount you are guaranteed to lose weight. Vice-Versa if you consume more calories than your body burns in a day you are guaranteed to gain weight. Calories can be broken down into more specific categories these are known as macro-nutrients.
Macro-nutrients: The 3 macro-nutrients are protein, fats, and carbohydrates. They contain different amounts of calories per gram. For example protein and carbs contain 4 calories per gram while fat contains 9 calories per gram.
Protein: Used as main building block for muscle, I recommend getting a minimum of 1 gram of protein per lb of your body-weight. I personally aim for 250 grams of protein weighing 175lbs. This helps ensure I’m getting more than enough amino acids to build muscle.
Carbs: Your body will utilize these as its preferred energy source so if you’re trying to lose weight its important you lower your carbs so your body will look elsewhere for an energy source. There are 2 kinds of carbs complex and simple. You want your diet to consist mostly of complex carbs like whole grains and pastas that will provide long-term consistent energy. While simple carbs, like sugar, are quickly digested spiking your blood sugar and increasing your appetite in a shorter time frame.
Fats: Fats gets a bad rep due to their constant blame for obesity. While it is true your body stores fat easier than carbs or protein and has over double the calories per gram. A high fat diet is normally not the cause of obesity its the large surplus of carbs in combination with fats. Your body needs lipids to digest fat soluble vitamins and minerals. There are few types of fats – Saturated, Trans, and Unsaturated. Saturated fat is solid at room temperature such as animal fat and is associated with heart disease. Unsaturated fat is liquid at room temperature and tends to be plant based with a variety of health benefits. Trans fat is by far the worst type of fat which is made by turning unsaturated fats into solid form and found in fast foods.
What to Avoid?
So to keep it simple and based off the information above.
*Stay away from simple carbs like pasteries, candy, soda, and chips.
*Stay away from trans fat which is fast food particularly and processed foods.
What to be weary of?
I would do my best to avoid diary and breads if your attempting to lose weight due to their high concentration of calories even though they are seemingly healthy.
Best Sources of Protein?
Eggs (Egg Whites)
Best Sources of Carbs?
White Rice & Brown Rice
Best Sources of Fat?