Eating nutritiously can help you be healthy and reach your goal weight, and it is also important for preparing for and recovering from surgery. A healthy body is able to efficiently perform life-sustaining metabolic processes, from digestion and harvesting energy from foods to using that energy to effectively grow, protect, and heal the body. Individuals in good health are more likely to have a successful surgery with a faster recovery and excellent results because their bodies respond to change better. To reap the benefits of a healthy body and/or to lose weight in a healthy way, it’s important to adhere to certain nutrition basics.
While the general rule for weight loss is to expend more calories than you consume, the type of calories you eat plays a vital role in your overall health. Choosing the right types of food can help you feel fuller longer, which will aid in eating fewer calories in general, and nutritious foods will provide the nourishment you need to be healthy and happy.
The recommended percentages of calories from carbohydrates, fat, and protein in a healthy meal are:
- 30 to 50 percent carbohydrates
- 20 to 35 percent fat
- 25 to 35 percent protein
*These amounts will vary depending on your body size and daily amount of energy expended.
Adhere to the following general nutrition rules to distinguish the healthiest types of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to make the most of your calories.
Stay Away From Added Sugars
Naturally-occurring sugar (such as the fructose in fruit and lactose in milk) is healthier than sweeteners added by manufacturers (such as high fructose corn syrup, molasses, cane sugar, corn sweetener, raw sugar, syrup, honey or fruit juice concentrates). If the ingredients on the nutrition label of your food list any of these added sweeteners, it is best to avoid eating it. Added sugar decreases the nutrients in foods, and it is linked to heart disease.
Not All Carbs Are the Enemy
Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose in our bodies, which is vital to our health and used to provide mental and physical energy. Unused glucose is stored for energy in muscles or to maintain stable blood glucose levels. Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grain bread and pasta, brown rice, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds, are high in fiber and nutrients. These carbohydrates are good for you compared to the harmful simple sugars from refined grains, processed foods, fruit juices, and sweets.
Send Trans Fats Packing
Trans fat (such as partially hydrogenated oil) can lead to heart disease and obesity, while healthy fats (like mono and polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3s) can help lower cholesterol. Eat nuts and nut butters, seeds, and avocados, and cook with oils (flaxseed, grapeseed, or olive) rather than butter to add healthy fats to your diet. However, remember that while there are healthy fats, all types of fat contain about twice the amount of calories that carbohydrates or proteins have, so be aware of how much you consume.
Lean Toward Lean Proteins
Proteins are used in our bodies to build muscle and burn calories. Beans, peas, quinoa, lentils, tofu, and Greek yogurt are great lean protein options for vegetarians. For the carnivores, rather than grabbing a cheeseburger, choose fish, chicken and turkey breast, and meats with round, chuck, or loin in the name to get your lean protein.
For more information, check out this Nutrition 101 infographic by MyFitnessPal, a calorie-counter app.
A healthy diet is the first step to a healthy body, which has numerous benefits. If you’ve followed a healthy diet but still have areas of stubborn fat and/or excess skin, Dr. Roussalis can help you achieve a slender appearance with liposuction or a tummy tuck. In addition, Dr. Roussalis also offers non-surgical procedures to treat stubborn fat, including VelaShape and Vanquish.
Dr. John L. Roussalis is a board-certified plastic surgeon who combines art and science to achieve beautiful results. To schedule your consultation with Dr. Roussalis, please call (307) 234-4585 or fill out our convenient online contact form.