Best Foods for Weight Loss
Different foods go through various metabolic pathways in our bodies. They can have very different effects on our hunger, hormones, and how many calories we burn. The great thing about loading up on certain healthy foods is that they can help you start losing weight and reach your goals faster. According to eatthis.com, one Journal of the American Medical Association study discovered that overweight patients who adjusted their diets first and start exercising six months after their diet adjustment will lose the same amount of weight over a course of 12 months as those participants who ate healthier and exercised over the course of the whole year. Eatthis.com provided a science-backed list of the best foods for losing weight. These foods can help jumpstart weight loss and help you reach your fitness goals.
- Who doesn’t love pasta? According to the National Pasta Association, the average American eats around 15 pounds of pasta a year. Unfortunately, it is mostly the refined white stuff, which is usually the type that doesn’t have fiber and micronutrients. Spaghetti squash is a great alternative because it has only about 40 calories per cup, around 75 percent fewer calories than plain pasta. Spaghetti squash is also a great source of vitamin A and potassium.
- Eatthis.com suggests salsa a weight-loss-friendly substitute for ketchup. Ketchup usually has around 19 calories and 4 grams of sugar per tablespoon, while salsa with fresh tomatoes has around 5 calories per tablespoon, no added sugar and is filled with healthy vegetables.
- Oatmeal is a popular breakfast food and a cup of it provides as much protein as an egg. According to a study by the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, scientists found that oatmeal for breakfast results in feeling fuller longer and eating fewer calories at the next meal.
- As far as breakfast foods go, Greek yogurt is another great contender. It is not only a great source of protein, but it also has Probiotics that help good bacteria in the stomach process food better.
- Generally eaten for breakfast as well, eggs can also help make us feel fuller and help us eat less throughout the day. Eatthis.com reports that eggs are high in protein and low in carbs, and are loaded with amino acids, antioxidants, and healthy fats.
- At only around 220 calories per cup, quinoa is one of the best grains to eat for weight loss. It’s packed with protein and fiber. According to the National Institutes of Health, quinoa is one of the only plants consumed by humans that provide enough amino acids to be converted directly into muscle by the body.
- Nuts are not very low in calories, but they have a range of other benefits, specifically a high protein and fiber content, which makes them a perfect snack for weight loss. An American Heart Association journal reported that consuming 1.5 ounces of almonds daily, along with following a heart-healthy diet, assisted in improving cholesterol and lipid profiles in research participants. The same study found that eating almonds helped reduce belly fat. Pistachios also help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- High metabolism can help you in your journey to losing weight. You can boost your metabolism by incorporating spicy foods into your diet. Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which is the active ingredient that gives the pepper its spiciness. It can also help rev up your metabolism, helping with weight loss.
- Although regular white potatoes do contain some potassium and fiber, sweet potatoes are definitely superior in the nutrition department. A large sweet potato contains around 4 grams of filling protein, around 25 percent of daily recommended fiber, and 11 times the suggested daily amount of vitamin A. All these benefits and they are less than 200 calories.
- There are a variety of different teas have been shown to aid weight loss, including green tea and oolong tea. Green tea contains catechins, a type of antioxidant that hinders the storage of belly fat and facilitates rapid weight loss. Oolong tea also has many benefits and contains antioxidants that are thought to be able to remove harmful free radicals and increase bone health.
- Dark chocolate has always been seen as a healthy alternative to the popular milk chocolate. There have been many studies that have shown that eating just two servings of dark chocolate a day can substantially reduce waist size when compared to a cocoa-free meal plan. Its weight loss properties are attributed to flavonoids, heart-healthy compounds in sweet treats that may be able to reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Just reach for something around 70 percent cacao.
- Watermelon contains flavonoids that help with weight loss. These exist in higher concentrations in red fruits, including Pink Lady apples and plums. Eating a diet rich in flavonoid-heavy food can help you gain less weight over time, which could be encouraging since many people pack on the pounds as they age. Watermelon also contains a special flavonoid called anthocyanin, which gives red fruits their color and has been proven to decrease fat-storage genes.
- Though peanut butter is high in calories, it can provide you with stomach-slimming monounsaturated fats, filling fiber, and protein that boosts metabolism. Peanuts also contain genistein, which is a compound that helps reduce the genes for obesity and reduce the body’s ability to store fat.
- Like peanuts, avocados contain monounsaturated fats that enhance metabolism and reduce hunger. Avocados are packed with unsaturated fats, which appear to prevent belly fat storage, as well as satiating fiber and free-radical-killing antioxidants. Avocado oil also contains nutrients and healthy fats that can stimulate weight loss.
- In recent years, there have been several studies that showed the fat we once feared is actually our friend. The fats that are our friends are healthy fats, like the popular olive oil. Like peanuts and avocados, extra virgin olive oil can help get rid of belly fat, mainly due to containing monounsaturated fats.
- Water is probably one of the most important components of losing weight. It is recommended to drink a glass of it prior to a meal to help you eat less. Water can help you blast more fat better than any other beverage choice, like diet soda or fruit juice, which are full of artificial sweeteners that can cause you to gain weight quickly. Adding lemon to your water can also help encourage weight loss. Vitamin C is a nutrient that can reduce the amount of cortisol (stress hormone), which can cause hunger and store fat.
- The Center for Disease Control discovered that on average, an adult consumes around 100 calories worth of alcohol daily. The benefits of this come from choosing a glass of red wine instead of beer or sugary cocktail. Red wine not only has fewer calories compared to other types of alcohol. It is also thought to have heart health benefits, including preventing blood vessel damage and reducing your ‘bad cholesterol.’ Of course, drink in moderation.
- No one loves coffee more than Americans, with around a third of the country’s population drinking coffee daily. Coffee can stimulate your metabolism, lower your risk of Type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression, and also has some antioxidant capacities.
- There have been many studies that have shown that garlic can support blood-sugar metabolism, as well as help control lipid levels in the blood. Eating garlic can help boost your immune system, help protect against heart disease, combat inflammation, improve memory retention, and lower blood pressure levels.
- Salmon has a considerable amount of anti-inflammatory properties because it contains omega-3 fatty acids. It is a great source of protein and also contains fishy fatty acids, which can help signal thyroid cells in the liver to burn more fat.
- Dairy products are high in protein, though cheese isn’t the first thing you think of when you think of something that can help with weight management. Cheese is calcium-rich, especially parmesan. When eaten in moderation, parmesan cheese can help reduce sugar cravings and contains the amino acid tyrosine (one of the building blocks of protein), which encourages the brain to release dopamine without damaging insulin spikes. Cottage cheese is also good and is mainly protein with very little carbs and fat. Consuming lean dairy products is a great way to increase your protein intake without increasing your calorie consumption.
- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that eating one serving a day of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils is a great way to aid in weight loss. The fiber and protein-rich legumes are excellent sources of genistein, which is also found in peanuts and lentils. They help us feel full and eat less overall. Legumes also contain iron, folate, magnesium, potassium, and various B vitamins.
- Drinking apple cider vinegar every day can help with weight loss, reduced belly fat, waist circumference, and lower blood triglycerides (the measure of heart health). Drinking the vinegar while eating a high-carb meal can increase feelings of fullness and help us eat less during the day.
- Blueberries are bursting with antioxidants, filling fiber, potassium, vitamin C and K, and much more. Blueberries have the greatest antioxidant amount compared to many other fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids are the berries’ antioxidant with the most impact.
- Eating half a grapefruit before meals may actually be able to help reduce visceral fat and lower cholesterol levels. Though researchers don’t know what exactly makes grapefruit burn fat, they believe the effects are due to a combination of phytochemicals and vitamin C.
- Kefir is a yogurt-like substance, but it contains less sugar and more protein than traditional yogurt. It does, however, still contain the gut-friendly probiotics most yogurt products have. Similar benefits can also be found in other probiotic-rich foods like kombucha, bone broth, and kimchi.
- Spirulina is a powdered, protein-enriched seaweed supplement. It’s about 60 percent protein. Similar to quinoa, it’s a complete protein and can be converted directly into muscle in the body, making it great for weight loss. Just a tablespoon of this blue-green algae can give you 8 grams of protein and around half a day’s worth of vitamin B12, which is a great source of energy and can boost your metabolism.
Tackling your weight loss journey on top of having to deal with your hectic work and family life can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Simple dietary changes can improve your lifestyle and eating more of the best foods for weight loss is an essential part of getting in shape.