When we think of weight loss, we pay a lot of attention to eliminating certain foods that put you on the path to obesity. But, not all food is created equal. There are many foods that you should be adding to your diet if you really want to shed those extra pounds.
Don’t worry! Here’s a list of some of the best foods for weight loss that should feature on your menu. Make sure to pair them with your favorite exercises for the best results!
Avocados are packed with fats and are high in calories, but they can actually help you lose weight! It contains healthy fats — mainly monounsaturated oleic acid — and essential nutrients like fiber and potassium.
Avocados are also said to stimulate leptin — the “starvation hormone”, which can keep you full for a long time and help avoid overeating during the day. The buttery fruit might also increase the absorption of carotenoid antioxidants and important fat-soluble vitamins to keep your health in its prime.
However, avocados are energy-dense, so make sure to moderate your portions. You should also be mindful of the other fats and calories you consume alongside it, as it will dictate the success of your weight loss journey.
Beans, particularly cannellini beans, can help you lose inches while also maintaining your blood sugar levels. They’re rich in protein and fiber, the latter of which may cause gas and bloat in some people. However, that’s a risk you can easily mitigate by cooking it right!
Beans act as alpha-amylase inhibitors, which are required to break down dietary starches. It blocks access to the active site of the alpha-amylase — the enzyme associated with digestion and absorption of carbs into absorbable glucose — to reduce body weight gain.
The protein and fiber in beans also promote satiety and eliminate the risk of a spike in blood sugar, making you feel fuller for longer.
3. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds, which are high in carbs, fiber, and protein can be your go-to food in your weight loss journey. When you eat them in their unsoaked form, they can expand and turn gel-like in your stomach. They keep you fuller for longer and suppress your appetite.
In addition to their low-carbohydrate content, chia seeds also contain lots of minerals and vitamins. These nutrients support the conversion of stored body fat into energy, which can be pretty helpful if your diet calls for cutting back on calories.
4. Chicken and Other Lean Meats
Chicken, turkey, and lean red meats are great sources of protein and iron. These foods can help you drop weight by using up more calories for the digestion process. The amino acids found in them also keep you fuller for longer while decreasing your cravings for foods that don’t align with your weight loss goals.
You must, however, cook chicken and lean meats properly to prevent the risk of poisoning and infections. You should also avoid preparing them on high heat to prevent polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from forming. PAHs can be hazardous to human health and increase your risk of obesity, heart disease, and cancer.
Eggs are rich in proteins and healthy fats like omega-3s. They can help boost your metabolic rate, help you build and maintain muscle mass, and keep you feeling full without piling on calories. Eggs are excellent for losing inches from the waist and decreasing overall body fat percentage.
If you’re worried about increasing cholesterol levels, you can remove egg yolks and only eat egg whites. However, you should know that if you’re exercising regularly and have normal lipid levels, egg yolks are not bad for you since diet does not a major role in increasing blood cholesterol levels.
Start your day with nutrient-rich eggs, and you won’t be tempted to sneak as many snack breaks throughout the day. This grab-and-go breakfast option is easily adaptable for different palates, which makes them a top choice for those on a reduced-calorie diet.
6. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens like kale, spinach, collard greens, and Swiss chard are low in carbs and calories as well as on the glycemic index. Their high fiber content makes them the top choice for those with weight loss goals. Leafy greens contain thylakoids, which promote satiety and can aid appetite management.
In addition to helping reduce cravings, leafy greens are also nutrient-dense. They contain key vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants that can help you meet your health goals in a healthy way.
Although, note that leafy greens contain vitamin K, which may reduce the effect of certain medications, such as warfarin, a blood thinner. Talk to your doctor before adding it to your diet to avoid potential side effects.
Nuts, especially almonds, pistachios, pecans, and walnuts are a good source of healthy fats, protein, and magnesium. They use a lot of energy during the digestive process, which can positively impact your metabolism and your weight loss. They’re also a good source of antioxidants, making them perfect for snacking.
Nuts also have a high-fat content and are energy dense, so eat them in moderation. While we’re on the subject, make sure to avoid eating salted nuts. They could lead to temporary water weight gain, further aggravating the issue.
8. Whole Grains
Whole grains like oats, quinoa, brown rice, and bulgur wheat are rich in fiber and protein. They can speed up your metabolism, improve your digestion and blood sugar levels, and increase your satiety. They can also influence your body’s energy consumption and enhance weight loss, both in belly fat and overall body fat.
However, whole grains are high in carbs, so eat them in moderation. You can also supplement your whole-grain diet with refined grains, just make sure to practice mindful eating so you don’t do more harm than good.