Are you trying to lose weight? It’s not very easy to shed the pounds. Whether you’re active or more sedentary, it’s difficult to lose weight. One of the best ways to lose, other than exercise and portion control, is by eating foods that encourage weight loss.
Not all calories are created equal. Different foods go through different metabolic pathways in your body. They can have vastly different effects on your hunger, hormones and the number of calories you burn. Here are some of the most weight-loss-friendly foods on earth that are supported by science.
Remember, the only person for whom you should lose weight is yourself. Don’t try to live up to someone else’s expectations of what you should look like. If you feel like losing weight and eating healthy is right for you, great! However, if you’re on the heavier side but eat healthy and feel good, don’t stress. Everyone’s body is different.
Foods to Help you Lose Weight
Avocados are a unique fruit. While most fruits are high in carbs, avocados are loaded with healthy fats. They’re particularly high in monounsaturated oleic acid, the same type of fat found in olive oil. Despite being mostly fat, avocados also contain a lot of water and fiber, making them less energy-dense than you may think.
What’s more, they’re a perfect addition to vegetable salads, as studies show that their fat content can increase carotenoid antioxidant absorption from the vegetables 2.6- to 15-fold. They also contain many important nutrients, including fiber and potassium. Avocadoes also taste fantastic and go well with tons of types of food, from sushi to avocado toast. There’s a reason they’ve become so popular recently!
Fatty fish like salmon is incredibly healthy and very satisfying, keeping you full for many hours with relatively few calories. Salmon is loaded with high-quality protein, healthy fats and various important nutrients. Fish — and seafood in general — may also supply a significant amount of iodine.
This nutrient is necessary for proper thyroid function, which is important to keep your metabolism running optimally. Studies show that a significant number of people don’t fill their iodine needs. Salmon is also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help reduce inflammation, which is known to play a major role in obesity and metabolic disease. Mackerel, trout, sardines, herring and other types of fatty fish are also excellent.
Fish, in general, can be a great replacement in most meals for steak or pork. By substituting in a nice fish steak, you leave a lot of the fat and negative contents of other types of meat off of your plate. This is great for people looking to eat healthier and lose weight.
Leafy greens include kale, spinach, collards, swiss chards and a few others. They have several properties that make them perfect for a weight loss diet, such as being low in calories and carbohydrates and loaded with fiber. Essentially, you need to be eating more greens than you already are, even if you’re a habitual greens-eater. They’re just that good for you.
Eating leafy greens is a great way to increase the volume of your meals, without increasing the calories. Numerous studies show that meals and diets with a low energy density make people eat fewer calories overall. Leafy greens are also incredibly nutritious and very high in many vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, including calcium, which has been shown to aid fat burning in some studies.
Fibrous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts. Like other vegetables, they’re high in fiber and tend to be incredibly filling. What’s more, these types of veggies generally contain decent amounts of protein. A common misconception about plant-based diets is that they’re low in protein, though this is entirely unfounded. Many plant-based diets can include as much protein as meat-based ones.
They’re not nearly as high in protein as animal foods or legumes but still high compared to most vegetables. A combination of protein, fiber and low energy density makes cruciferous vegetables the perfect foods to include in your meals if you need to lose weight. They’re also highly nutritious and contain cancer-fighting substances.
Once feared for being high in cholesterol, whole eggs have been making a comeback. New studies show that they neither adversely affect blood cholesterol nor cause heart attacks. What’s more, they’re one of the best foods to eat if you need to lose weight, as they’re high in protein, healthy fats and can make you feel full with a very low amount of calories.
One study in 30 overweight women showed that eating eggs for breakfast, instead of bagels, increased feelings of fullness (satiety) and made participants eat less for the next 36 hours. Another eight-week study found that eggs for breakfast increased weight loss on a calorie restricted diet, compared to bagels. Eggs are also incredibly nutrient dense and can help you get all the nutrients you need on a calorie-restricted diet. Interestingly, almost all the nutrients are found in the yolks.