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Our Wellness Coaches answer your most popular nutrition questions

Our Wellness Coaches provide our members with a wealth of information. Nutrition is an area in which they receive a lot of questions! In honor of National Nutrition Month, we’ve compiled a few of their most frequently asked questions along with responses from our Coaches. Read on to learn more!

What is the best way to eat healthy for weight loss?

Eating healthy for weight loss requires balanced nutrition. A well-balanced diet includes lean proteins, carbohydrates (while making half your grains whole), fruits and vegetables (they should make up half your plate at each meal!), as well as healthy fats such as those found in nuts, seeds and vegetable oils. At the same time, you’ll need to watch your calorie intake versus expenditure. If you’re eating more calories than you burn through physical activity, you’ll gain weight. Creating a deficit through healthy eating, physical activity, or both will result in weight loss over time. While calories need to be reduced to lose weight, skipping meals or not eating enough isn’t an effective or healthy strategy. Maintaining correct portions is also very important to healthy eating!

Should I avoid fat when trying to lose weight?

Most people think they need to avoid fat to lose weight. However, even low-fat foods can cause weight gain, as manufacturers will often add ingredients to improve the tastes in foods, which in turn adds more calories.  At the same time, fat is actually considered to be a macronutrient and is essential for healthy eating and to your overall health, but it is important to choose the right types of fat and limit unhealthier fats.

Fats to choose: Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids found in nuts, seeds, olive oil, canola oil, avocados, and fish.

Fats to limit: Saturated fat is found in high levels in red meat, butter, cheese, coconut and palm oils, and full fat dairy products. Trans fats that can be found in shortenings, margarines, baked cooks and processed snack foods.

Do I really need to eat fruits and vegetables?

Yes, you do! Maintaining a diet high in fruits and vegetables has numerous health benefits. The easiest way to eat more fruits and vegetables is to have them make up half your plate at each meal. They can also be great healthy snack options. These low-fat, high-fiber foods can help you lose weight and get important vitamins and nutrients to keep you healthy. You can learn more about why you should eat fruits and vegetables here.

How can I make drinking water a habit?

You can try these tips to make drinking water a habit:

  • Drink water first thing in the morning.
  • Alternate water between other beverages
  • Always carry water
  • Drink a glass before each meal
  • Keep a fun cup or water bottle available to make drinking water more enjoyable
  • Try apps like Plant Nanny and Waterlogged to track your daily water intake.

Should I try a low-carb diet to lose weight?

Many people associate “low-carb” with weight loss. However, this is a common misconception. Weight gain is not limited to one food group, but a surplus of calories in all food groups. Your body needs carbohydrates in order to function properly, especially if you are an active person. At the same time, carbohydrates provide many important nutrients like fiber, iron and B vitamins. Choosing the right kind of carbs and limiting unhealthy carbs may help you lose weight. You can do this by switching from refined grain products to whole grains.

For Health Advocate Members

If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to the wellness coaching component of our Wellness Program, connect with a coach today for more nutrition and healthy eating tips!