Do you want to start a new diet and you're not sure which one it's going to be? The good news is you don’t have to make drastic changes in your routine, as long as you find out which are the best weight loss foods and you include them in your diet in a smart way.
Different foods can have various effects on hunger, hormones, and the number of calories you burn every day. If you want to lose a few pounds, then you should probably consider making some changes in your diet. But before considering a strict one, try to make some small changes first. For example, you can give up on high-calorie cheese and eat cottage cheese and full-fat yogurt instead. Or you can eat half of a grapefruit about a half hour before your daily meals. But let's see which are the best weight loss foods!
10 weight loss foods to always have in the kitchen
1. Leafy greens
Leafy greens like kale, spinach, collards, Swiss chards, arugula, romaine lettuce, and a few others are low in calories and carbohydrates but loaded with fiber; and that makes them perfect for a weight loss diet.
Are you wondering why they’re good as weight loss foods? It's because you can use them to increase the volume of your meals without piling on calories. Just fill a large bowl with leafy greens and make a salad by adding some other ingredients that you like (try to avoid fatty foods). Just make sure you have plenty of leafy greens and fewer carbs on your plate.
Leafy greens are also high in all sorts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This includes calcium, which burns fats, according to some studies.
2. Cruciferous vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. This class of weight loss foods is high in fiber and incredibly fulfilling. They are low-calorie items, but they’re highly nutritious, and, as an extra advantage, they contain cancer-fighting chemicals.
Fruits have plenty of properties that make them weight loss-friendly foods. Yes, they contain sugar and have a low energy density, but the fiber helps prevent the sugar from being released too quickly into the bloodstream. Fruits can be quite effective as weight loss foods, especially if you eat them during the first part of the day.
A fruit that's greater than others is grapefruit. Its effects on weight control have been studied directly. In a study of 91 obese individuals, eating half a fresh grapefruit before meals lead to the weight loss of 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg) over a period of 12 weeks. So you can eat half a grapefruit about a half hour before your meal, and you’ll feel more satiated and eat fewer overall calories.
Avocado is a special type of fruit. Most of them are high in carbs, but avocado is loaded with healthy fats. Add half of an avocado in your salad, because studies show that the fats in it can increase the nutrient uptake from other vegetables you pair it with.
Salmon is a very satisfying oily fish, keeping you full for many hours with relatively few calories. If you want to lose some pounds, you should eat fish more often. Salmon is loaded with high-quality protein, healthy fats (Omega-3 fatty acids), and all sorts of important nutrients.
Tuna is a lean fish, low in calories, but high in protein. If you're trying to lose weight, then make sure to choose tuna canned in water, not oil!
Mackerel, trout, sardines, herring, and other types of oily fish are also excellent.
6. Lean meat
When we say lean meat we usually think of lean beef and chicken breast. If you’re not a vegetarian, meat is a weight loss-friendly food, because it's high in protein. If you want to lose weight, choosing lean meat is excellent.
Protein is the most fulfilling nutrient and having a high protein diet can make you burn up to 80 to 100 more calories per day. Studies have shown that increasing your protein intake to 25-30 percent of calories consumed daily can cut cravings by 60 percent, reduce the desire for late-night snacking by half, and cause a weight loss of almost a pound per week.
Despite what we've known until recently, recent studies have shown that whole eggs don't affect blood cholesterol that much and they don't cause heart attacks. Eggs are weight loss foods, so you'd better have them in the kitchen as much as possible if you're thinking about starting a new diet. They're high in protein, healthy fats, and can make you feel full with a very low amount of calories.
One study of 30 overweight women showed that eating eggs for breakfast, instead of bagels, increased their satiety and made them eat less for the next 36 hours. Eggs are also high in nutrients and can help you stay healthy while you keep a calorie restricted diet. Oh, and don’t eat just the egg whites, because almost all the nutrients are found in the yolks.
8. Cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is mostly protein with very little carbohydrate and fat. It is also very satiating, making you feel full with a relatively low amount of calories. The calcium in dairy products also helps the fat burning process.
Another excellent dairy food is yogurt. Yogurt contains probiotic bacteria that can improve the function of your gut. Having a healthy gut may help you lose weight. Studies show that full-fat dairy, but not low-fat, is associated with a reduced risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes over time, so choose the full-fat versions.
9. Some whole grains
Oats, brown rice, and quinoa are a good idea when it comes to grains. They’re loaded with fiber and contain a decent amount of protein as well. For example, the soluble fibers in oats increase satiety and improve metabolic health.
If you're on a very low-carb diet then you'll want to avoid grains, because they are high in carbohydrates. Anyway, the refined grains are harmful and fattening. Read the labels on the food packages carefully, because some of them are not what you think they are at first sight.
10. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. They do have carbs (12 grams per ounce), but 11 of those grams are fiber. Because of all the fiber, chia seeds can absorb up to 11-12 times their weight in water, transforming into a gel and, then, expanding in your stomach. Chia seeds can reduce your appetite, and you may want to eat less after you fill your stomach with them.