Eat Fish and Lose Weight
Eat fish and lose weight! No, not the infamous 3 day tuna diet, either. Eating good fish, prepared properly, is an asset to just about any weight loss diet.
But why is fish so good when you're trying to lose weight? And what should you look out for, when adding fish to your menus?
The Power of Protein
Fish in general is loaded with lean protein, which gives you maximum food for minimum calories. And as you well know, you want the most "bang for the calorie buck" when on a weight loss diet.
And much of the good eating fish that isn't so lean (like salmon and trout) is full of the omega fatty acids that are so good for your body.
Protein is a building block for creating new muscle in your body -- body-builders have known this for years.
And as you probably already know, more muscle means a higher metabolism -- great for losing weight!
Eat fish = lose weight!
Kinds of Fish
There are two basic kinds of diet-friendly fish -- cold water fatty fish and warm water lean fish.
The cold water fatty fish, like salmon and trout, are healthy because of the omega 3 fatty acids they contain. These fish are full of antioxidants and the omegas can help raise good cholesterol.
Warm water lean fish are mahi-mahi, grouper, snapper and wahoo, among others. They have a white flesh and a mild taste. If you're not used to eating fish to lose weight, they are a great first choice!
Naturally, there are exceptions to these rules. For example, halibut is a cold water fish that's wonderfully lean and tasty. Definitely a fish to eat on a weight-loss diet.
What About Mercury?
If you're not a child, pregnant or don't eat fish 7 days a week, you likely don't have to worry too much about mercury. But it is something to think about, and worth it to take a few extra steps when buying and eating fish to lose weight.
First, the larger the fish, the older it is and the more likely it has mercury in its flesh. Fish such as swordfish, tuna and shark take several years to grow large and can be ingesting mercury all during that time. So the general rule of thumb is to eat smaller fish, with lower the concentrations of mercury.
Farm Raised or Caught in the Wild?
There are pros and cons either way, when it comes to choosing where your fish came from.
Some say that farm-raised fish are in water that hasn't been recycled enough, which could cause toxins to build up in the fish's flesh. If you're concerned about this, look for farms that use organic methods. They aren't easy to find, and you may have to settle for frozen.
Others say that fish caught in the wild, especially within 3 miles of shore, are also polluted from rivers flushing toxins into the ocean. If you're concerned about that, try to find out where your fish is coming from (near-shore or far out) and stick to the smaller varieties.
(The only real rule I've heard of for eating fish to lose weight is to pass on any farm-raised Atlantic salmon. Apparently they don't give enough good-quality omega fatty acids for the calories they have in a serving. Pacific salmon is great, though.)
Eat Fish and Lose Weight - Tips
Eating fish prepared correctly is a dieter's dream! Did you know that some lean fish is just 100 calories for 3 ounces? It's true, and that makes for a satisfying lunch or dinner. Eat more fish!
Meanwhile, here are some tips for you, for eating fish to lose weight.
Eating fish (fresh or otherwise) prepared incorrectly will only add calories that you don't need if you're trying to lose weight.
In general, eating fish that is baked, grilled or broiled is diet-friendly. If the fish is sauteed in lemon and a tiny bit of butter, it may be ok as well.
Frying or serving fish in heavy sauces do nothing but add on empty calories you don't need.
Breaded fish can go either way, depending on the amount of breading. A light coating of bread crumbs with some lemon is way different than a heavily buttered and battered fish!
Watch out for eating smoked fish, especially if it's been salted as well as smoked. If you just have to eat some, keep it to under two ounces at a time.
Fatty fish tend to have a "fishy" aroma, more than lean fish. But beware of any fish that just plain smells bad!
Make eating fish a natural part of your healthy diet to lose weight -- you body will thank you for it!
What About the Tuna Fish Diet?!
There are two basic versions of the famous 3 day tuna diet. One of them is definitely not recommended, even for just three days!
The 3 day tuna diet that does let you eat fish and lose weight in a healthy way combines tuna with other foods. Along with tuna you should eat plenty of veggies and some other form of protein, like a little dairy.
You may get bored eating tuna fish three times a day, but I have seen a healthy version of this 3-day diet that can work.
What you want to stay away from is what I call the "cat diet". Yep, tuna fish three or more times a day...and nothing else!
Losing Weight Over 40 Copyright 2007