Looking for ways to get your body bikini-ready? Summer is around the corner and, in addition to daily exercise, shaping up your diet can help you lose the winter weight and sport a beach-worthy bod before summer even arrives. Nutritionist for ZoneDeliveryUSA.com, a home delivery service for Zone Diet foods, John Erickson recommends a healthy balanced diet and the following 10 foods every woman should eat.
Follow a diet that keeps you satisfied
One of the downfalls of many diets is that they restrict foods to the point you are always hungry or tired — or both – which nearly always results in ditching the diet and falling back into poor eating habits. The key to making a diet part of your lifestyle — rather than a weight loss quick fix — is to eat a healthy balance of foods that keep you full and energized. (Tips to break unhealthy eating patterns)Erickson, who is also the author of The USA Diet Plans Manual, says “Most diet programs make you lose weight by decreasing your [body] fat as well as your lean muscle simultaneously. This will eventually cause someone to fall into a metabolic hole where the weight loss stops. At this point the person gets frustrated and falls off the plan.” Diets like The Zone, which promote balanced meals are the most effective way to lose weight and maintain muscle mass (and metabolism). “A goal of anyone looking to fit into their low-rise jeans and bathing suits this summer,” adds Erickson.
Top 10 foods every woman should eat
1. Pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplement or wild salmon
According to Erickson, the omega-3s in fish and quality fish oil help your body burn fat more efficiently, make your mind more focused and spiritually inclined, and improve your mood. The nutritionist says, “Fish oil raises serotonin levels which is especially important for women because women have half the level of serotonin in their brains as compared to men. This explains why women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression.” As a bonus, fish oil also makes your hair and skin healthy.
2. Old fashioned or steel cut oatmeal
In addition to being inexpensive, oats have a low glycemic index, are high in fiber, and contain GLA. Erickson says GLA in the right amounts helps regulate female hormone levels.
Blueberries contain many antioxidants and have a very low glycemic index. Erickson recommends buying large bags of frozen blueberries from Costco, since blueberries tend to be pricey. You can always enjoy fresh blueberries in season but buy them in small quantities because they are very perishable compared to frozen.
4. Organic sweet potatoes
The deep orange color of an organic sweet potato shouts vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The average commercial sweet potato grown in depleted soil are not so vibrant. Erickson says, “I believe the best multivitamin is to have a sweet potato three to four times per week. Sweet potatoes are also low glycemic.”
Cashews are a great source of monounsaturated fat and they are a nutrient-packed super food because they are grown in warm and humid environments close to the equator.
These luscious green fruits are high in monounsaturated fat, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which are good for your metabolism and for promoting vibrant skin.
7. Farm raised eggs
Erickson says few foods can match the nutritional power of an egg yolk. The modern philosophy of balanced eating has overturned the fear of cholesterol because balanced insulin and blood sugar decreases cholesterol production in the body. People feed yolks to make their dogs coat healthy: eggs can do the same for human skin and hair. Plus, egg whites are an excellent source of protein.
8. Stem, stalk and leafy vegetables
Greens, such as broccoli, kale, spinach and other leafy greens offer roughage, water, and many essential phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals.
9. Raw cacao
According to Erickson, women usually crave chocolate during the menstrual cycle to escape the hormonal storm. Raw cacao contains anandamide, a substance that mimics marijuana, thus giving women a sensation of bliss. (10 tips to prevent PMS – naturally)
10. Organic yogurt
Yogurt has probiotics for good digestive health and calcium for strong bones. It is also quite versatile and can be eaten for any meal of the day.
Bonus: 11. Olive oil and sesame oil
These delicious unsaturated fats are heart-healthy and can reduce your cholesterol levels as well as reduce inflammation. Rich in antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamin E and other nutrients, these healthy oils can be used in many cooking applications. Visit ZoneDiet.com,the official website for Dr Barry Sears’ Zone Diet, to learn more about the benefits of Dr Sears Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Dr Sears Zone Toasted Sesame Oil or purchase them at your local super market or health food store.