Toning up and tightening skin after a significant weight loss is extremely challenging. Losing weight alone won't ensure you the body you've always wanted; however achieving a tight, toned body is possible by following a few simple diet tips. Of course for best results you'll need to incorporate cardiovascular and resistance exercises into your routine in addition to maintaining a healthy diet. Below are a few simple guidelines that if followed long term will help you stay slim, tight and toned.
1. Eat Fat in Moderation
We all need some fat in our diet; however eating too much fat will prevent you from tightening extra flab and skin. Dietary fat should be less than 30 percent of your total calories. Fat contains 9 calories per gram (protein and carbohydrate contain 4 calories per gram); so if you're eating 1800 calories per day try to limit fat to 66 grams or less. Some fats are healthier for you than others; try to eat mainly unsaturated fats such as avocados, nuts, and olive and canola oils. Stay away from saturated fats as much as possible (ice cream, high fat meats, butter, cream, etc.) since these can lead to high cholesterol and heart disease.
2. Eat Enough Lean Protein
Making sure you get enough protein in your diet is important for weight maintenance and staying lean. Most Americans eat more than enough protein, but foods high in protein can also be high in fat. High-fat meats and some dairy products tend to be high in saturated fat. Instead, try to choose lean protein sources such as chicken, fish, skim milk, low-fat yogurt and low-fat cottage cheese.
3. Eat High-Fiber Foods
A high-fiber diet will help you maintain that new healthy weight you've just achieved and help prevent you from overeating. High fiber foods tend to be low in fat and calories and high in nutrients (nutrient dense). Eating high-fiber foods will also help you stay fuller longer. Try to eat 21-38 g of fiber per day. High-fiber foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals, legumes, nuts and seeds.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
Making sure you're well-hydrated is important for your health but will also help prevent you from overeating. Sometimes you may think that you're hungry when in fact what you really need is to drink more liquids. Water is a calorie-free way to make you feel full so you don't crave junk food.
5. Limit Sugar
Sugary foods will add unwanted calories (and pounds), so try to limit sugar in your diet as much as possible. Sweets tend to be high in calories and low in nutrients (empty calories). Ways to reduce sugar cravings include: drink plenty of water, eat a well-balanced diet, exercise regularly, chew gum, and reach for fruits when sugar cravings hit.
6. Limit Alcohol
Alcohol is high in calories (7 calories per gram) and pretty much void of any other nutrients. Alcohol is typically metabolized in your body as fat; so if you're trying to tone up and tighten skin, limit your alcohol intake as much as possible.