Losing weight has been a never-ending battle for some. It can be very frustrating when you have already given everything up but still it’s not enough. And there’s always that constant temptation lurking in every corner or hidden in your fridge.
Perfecting the art of losing weight while you eat is the best strategy for a victorious battle.
Here are 20 of the most weight loss-friendly foods, all supported by science. So here it goes, bon appétit.
1. Leafy Greens
Green and leafy vegetables are low in calories and carbohydrates, but loaded with fibre. These potherbs include kale, spinach, chards and many more. When eating greens, you can increase the volume of your meal without the fear of increasing your calories. Studies showed that low energy density diets make people eat fewer calories. Leafy vegetables also provide high amount of vitamins and minerals, which includes calcium – shown to aid in fat burning according to certain studies.
2. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts. They are also high in fibre and tend to contain decent amounts of protein, compared to other vegetables. Aside from being highly nutritious, they also contain cancer-fighting substances.
3. Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes include lentils, black beans, kidney beans, and others. Like other vegetables, they are also high in protein and fibre, which lead to satiety faster. They also contain some resistant starch – a fibre-like substance shown to have all sorts of health benefits, including weight loss.
4. Boiled Potatoes
Potatoes, when boiled and eaten, give you a particularly high amount of potassium – a nutrient that plays an important role in controlling blood pressure. According to the Satiety Index, boiled potatoes scored the highest when it comes to measuring how fulfilling different foods are. This is caused by a large amount of resistant starch that you can get when eating boiled potatoes.
Many health experts agree that fruits contain various vitamins that help maintain a healthy body. Fruits may contain sugar but they have low energy density and fibre that helps prevent its fructose content from being released too quickly to your bloodstream.
According to a study conducted on 91 obese individuals, eating half of fresh grapefruit before meals caused weight loss of 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg) over a period of 12 weeks. Grapefruit also helps reduce insulin resistance, a metabolic abnormality that is implicated in certain chronic diseases.
Avocados are loaded with healthy fatty content, fibre, and potassium. They are high in monounsaturated oleic acid, a type of fat, which is also found in olive oil. Although it’s fatty, it also contain lots of water, which gives it a low energy density. Mostly added to salads because its fat content increases nutrient intake from vegetables, 2.6 to 15-fold.
8. Whole Eggs
New studies conducted show that whole eggs do not adversely affect your blood cholesterol and don’t necessarily cause heart attacks. Whole eggs, mostly from the yolks, are high in protein, healthy fats, and can make you feel full with a very low amount of calories. One a study conducted to 30 overweight women, it showed that eating eggs for breakfast, instead of bagels, increased satiety and made them eat less for the next 36 hours.
Salmon is packed with high quality protein, healthy fats and keeps you full for hours with relatively few calories. Fish and seafood in general, supplies a significant amount of iodine, which is necessary for proper function of the thyroid and is important to keep the metabolism running optimally. It’s also loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help reduce inflammation – a major role in obesity and metabolic diseases.
Tuna contains low calorie but high protein. It is a lean fish, which makes it a perfect choice for health and body-conscious individuals because it keeps protein high, with low calories and fat. Choose canned tuna in water rather than oil to highlight protein intake.
11. Lean Beef and Chicken Breast
Meat is high in protein. Eating a high protein diet can make you burn up to 80 to 100 more calories per day. Studies show that unprocessed red meat does not raise the risk of heart disease or even diabetes. Increasing your protein intake to 25-30% of calories can cut cravings by 60%, reduce desire for late night snacks by half, and cause weight loss of almost a pound per week only by adding protein to the diet
Most foods with low energy density contain lots of water, like vegetables and fruits. When you make a soup, you add water to your food, which makes it a low energy density-diet. Certain studies showed that eating the same amount of food made into a soup instead of as solid food, makes people feel more satiated and eat significantly fewer calories.
13. Cottage Cheese
Dairy products are mostly high in protein and calcium. Cottage cheese contains protein with very little carbohydrate and fat. Eating plenty of cottage cheese boosts your protein intake. It is a very fulfilling food with a relatively low amount of calories.
14. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is more popular as condiment, such as dressings or vinaigrettes. However, it can also aid in weight loss. Studies showed that by taking vinegar at the same time with a high-carb meal could increase feelings of fullness and make people eat 200-275 fewer calories for the rest of the day.
Nuts are high in fat but do not necessarily cause someone to get fat. It contains balanced amounts of protein, fibre, and healthy fats. Studies have shown that eating nuts can improve metabolic health and even cause weight loss.
16. Some Whole Grains
This includes gluten-free grains – whole grains that are loaded with fibre and contain a decent amount of protein. It includes oats, brown rice, and quinoa. Oats are loaded with beta-glucans and soluble fibres shown to increase satiety and improve metabolic health. Brown rice also contains significant amounts of resistant starch.
17. Chili Pepper
Chili peppers contain capsaicin, a substance shown to help reduce appetite and increase fat burning according to some studies. Casaicin is even sold in supplement form and is a common ingredient in many commercial weight loss products. However, if you are accustomed to eating spicy food, chilli peppers may have no effect due to tolerance build up.
18. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds contain 12 grams of carbohydrate per ounce; however, 11 of those grams are fibre. This makes chia seeds a low-carb food and one of the best sources of fibre in the world. Given their nutrient composition, chia seeds are considered as a useful part of a weight loss diet.
19. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is high in Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), fatty acids of a medium length that help boost satiety compared to other fats, as well as increase the amount of calories burned. It also showed to reduce amounts of belly fat in separate studies done on women and men, respectively. However, this is about replacing your cooking fats with coconut oil NOT adding coconut oil to your diet. Extra virgin olive oil is also probably the healthiest fat on the planet.
20. Full-fat Yoghurt
Yoghurt contains probiotic bacteria that can improve the function of your gut. A healthy insides help protect yourself against inflammation and leptin resistance – a hormonal driver of obesity. Full-fat yoghurt is associated in certain studies to a reduced risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes over time.