When it comes to losing or even maintaining weight, or simply trying to be healthy, there are many factors in play. Obviously the amount of food you eat is a big contributor, as the calories you take in directly affect your weight management. But another important thing to consider is the quality of your food.
What you use as fuel can have profound effects on your body. If you use cheap fuel, such as fast food or processed foods, you get cheap results. In the long term, these types of foods actually have detrimental effects on your health. Highly processed foods and foods with artificial ingredients can lead to inflammation, a leaky gut, and weight gain, amongst other possible side effects.
The goal is to eat unprocessed or minimally processed foods. Eating more natural foods leads to higher intake of macronutrients, antioxidants, fiber, and other important vitamins and minerals. High-quality foods lead to higher quality health. This is a direct relationship. If a food contains a bunch of ingredients that have long chemical names or are things you can't normally buy and fix for yourself, then stay away from them! For example, fake meat products are not really that much healthier than actual meat, if at all, due to their highly processed nature. Just read the ingredients on these products - there is nothing really natural about them.
My suggestion is to stick to a healthy, simple diet. Not a diet plan, per se, but just eat healthy things. That means buying vegetables and fruits yourself and preparing meals at home. Occasionally having meats and seafood is fine, as long as they are of high quality. Avoid eating out a lot, as restaurants typically prepare foods in unhealthy ways. And definitely avoid fast food as much as possible. Similarly, stay away from frozen meals and processed foods (such as white bread/pasta, commercial baked goods, candy, and diet/low-calorie packaged foods and drinks), as these are not usually the best calories for you.
I recommend the Mediterranean diet as it gives lots of fantastic options to satisfy most appetites and palettes. It is a healthy diet that is also anti-inflammatory, thus leading to many health benefits. And you can find many, many appetizing recipes - look online or buy a cookbook. And since it is simply a diet from a region of the world and not a fad diet, this way of eating is sustainable over time.
To summarize, make sure the quality of your food matches your health goals. This is important if you are trying to simply stay healthy, or get fit, or lose weight, or trying to deal with a medical issue such as diabetes or heart disease. Quality of calories definitely matters, not just quantity!
If you need help learning more about what foods to eat and what to avoid, please reach out and let's work together to help you achieve a quality, healthy diet that is in line with your specific health goals and needs.