We are always told that weight is not lost in the gym but in the kitchen, and that what we eat is the most important part of losing weight. Well, yes food can get you rid of a few extra pounds, but only if you are eating the right type of food. Here are 7 food habits you can develop to help you lose weight naturally.

1. Eat less sugar.

This is a big one. Sugar is one of the main causes of fat building up in our bodies. Try replacing sugar with complex carbohydrates which your body can then convert into useful sugar for you without the negative effects.

2. Eat right kind of snacks

Snacks are a major hindrance to weight loss. chips, burgers, pizza, french fries. All that oily yummy goodness is not food for your body. Consuming less fatty and oily snacks, sodas and processed food in general will keep you on the right track to weight loss. Also watch out for foods that tout low calories, low fat or sugar free, as they too can hinder your weight loss. These foods contain artificial sweeteners which can also make your body to store fat. Avoid these snacks and stick to healthy  snacks, like fruits, nuts, etc.

3. Eat more good food

Eat more foods that provide good nutrients for your body. Like protein, whole grains and nuts, vegetables, raw fruits, etc. Be careful of canned fruits and vegetables and they can add on pounds instead of helping you lose weight.

4. Have more of good fat

Omega 3 fats help lose belly fat. So have more of foods having this good fat such as salmon. Low glycemic-index foods such as beans too are beneficial when it comes to losing belly fat.

5. Consume more vitamin C

Vitamin C isn’t just for immunity. Vitamin C and glucose have a similar chemical structure. When both are high they compete with one another to enter the cells. If there’s more glucose around, less vitamin C will be allowed into the cells, creating a deficiency. Not only is it important to keep your C levels up, it’s just as crucial to keep your blood sugar levels stable. Make sure you get a healthy dose of vitamin C from natural sources like lemon, orange, kiwi fruit etc.

6. Don’t skip meals

When you starve your body, it gets into survival mode and starts storing foods in the form of fat. So, have your breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Keep your meals small and snack on healthy foods in between these main meals.

7. Eat fruits; don’t drink ’em

Skip juice and eat the whole fruit, instead. You’ll not only get more heart-healthy fiber in your diet (3.5 g for a small apple versus .5 g in a glass of juice), you’ll also stay satisfied, longer. “When you chew a food, you generate more saliva, which in turn carries a message to the brain that your gut needs to get ready for digestion,” explains Koff. “Drinking doesn’t require such digestion, so the body doesn’t register that it’s full as quickly.” Plus there are the extra calories—48% more if you’re drinking that juice rather than eating the whole apple. (Do that daily and you may gain up to 4 pounds by year’s end.)

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