My weight has fluctuated for most of my adult life. After the birth of both children, I was about forty pounds heavier than where I should have been. I tried just about all the diet and exercise plans out there from low-carb to no-carb … low-fat to Atkins. Everyone has their own idea of what is and is not healthy and what will and will not help you lose weight.

What Should You Eat to Lose Weight?

While I’m far from an expert on weight loss and haven ever claimed to be a nutritionist, I wanted to share what has worked for me in my weight loss journey.  I currently, at 47, am at my goal weight and have managed to stay here for quite a while. I do not exercise a lot since I tend to work ten to twelve hour days, so what I eat and don’t eat has a lot to do with what I weigh.

Looking at the food in the grocery store can be overwhelming. The options are endless, and confusing. Low fat. High fiber. No sugar. Reduced sodium. Full sugar or diet soda. Flavored water. Protein drink or an energy drink. Vegetable juice or fruit juice.

The easiest way to make a choice is to look at how your body works. You eat. Your body processes the food and turns it into energy. What energy you don’t burn off is stored as fat for another day. Some foods are turned into energy faster than others. [Tweet “The more work your body has to do to process the food, the less calories there are left to store.”]

As an example, when you eat a bowl of chocolate pudding, your body really doesn’t have to work that hard to transform that into energy. It’s almost straight sugar and carbs. On the other hand, when you eat raw carrot sticks or raw broccoli, your body has to work much harder to convert that to energy. It’s very unlikely you will gain any weight at all from eating a huge bowl of raw vegetables every day – unlike eating a huge bowl of pudding every day.

So, what’s the secret? Stick to eating food in its most basic, unprocessed form. A large part of your diet should be lean meats, vegetables and fruits with a smaller part being nuts and seeds. It really does work. I read an article this morning that LeBron James did the same thing and lost a ton of weight by just eating meat, fruits and vegetables. It really does work!