10 Best Foods for Weight Loss
This article was first published on Active8me.
Spoiler alert – there is NO one food (or food group) that will MAKE you lose weight. The simple truth about losing weight is you need to burn more calories than you eat. BUT that doesn’t mean there aren’t tips and tricks to making weight loss as easy as possible. Certain foods have properties that lend themselves to improving your chances of weight loss. Whether it be increased fibre, filling fats or simply suppressing your appetite so you don’t overeat, we have you covered. Include these foods into a diet balanced with carbs, proteins and fats and watch your weight loss goals become reality. Here are our 10 best foods for weight loss:
This superfruit is a favourite amongst many. Avocado is packed with monounsaturated fats, potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamins C and E and has been linked to improved vision and good heart health. While it is high in calories, avocado still comes under our best foods for weight loss because its fat and fibre content keeps you feeling fuller for longer. A recent study suggests that eating avocado as part of a meal leaves you feeling less hungry after six hours, compared to those who had eaten a low-fat, high carb meal.
Spread it smooth: Replace butter and margarine with avocado as a spread or add it to your smoothie for a creamy consistency.
Whether you like them poached, hard boiled or sunny side up, eggs have had their fair share of a bad rap. The once feared cholesterol issue has been debunked and their health benefits can now be celebrated by including them as part of a nutritious diet plan. Eggs are high in protein, vitamins and minerals (mainly found in the yolk) and can make you feel full, without overloading your calories. We think they are one of the best foods for weight loss because there is evidence to suggest adding eggs to your breakfast could help with shedding more weight. A study in the International Journal of Obesity reported an egg breakfast (as part of a calorie-controlled diet) saw a 65% greater weight loss compared to a bagel breakfast across a 12-week period.
Easy egg snacks: Hard boil several eggs at the beginning of the week to take to work or leave in the office fridge. They can be enjoyed sliced onto crackers, added to a salad or just eaten on their own!
3. Lean red meat
Red meat is a versatile source of protein, iron and essential vitamins. It provides vitamin B12, which is vital for nerve and red blood cell health. More importantly, B12 deficiency makes you feel tired and weak, which makes exercise and eating healthy feel like a chore. Consuming protein can help with weight loss and achieving a toned body. Jaclyn Reutens, Active8me expert dietician and owner of Aptima Nutrition and Sports Consultants says eating lean red meat as part of a diet plan will “help you feel fuller for longer, and it complements your carbohydrate and high fibre foods well to make a balanced meal. This combination makes fat-burning a no-brainer in your body.”
Quick and easy red meat recipe: Try the Active8me Lean Beef Pad Thai (and loads of other easy, yummy recipes in the FREE Active8me app).
4. Wholegrain bread
Low carb fanatics go to town on beating down bread, but it’s not all bad. Breads bad reputation comes from the high calorie and low nutrient content of the overly processed carbs like white bread, white rice, cakes and biscuits. But breads that contain whole grains retain their beneficial nutrients and release their energy more slowly into the bloodstream. This, combined with their fibre content, makes them good for your digestive health, also making you feel fuller for longer which leads to better weight management habits.
Including wholegrains into your nutrition plan may also be the answer to the major diabetes problem plaguing many in Asia today. Research published in the Annals of Epidemiology found that women who consumed wholegrains significantly reduced their risk of diabetes, compared to those who consumed refined grains.
A grainy alternative: Try using a wholegrain wrap filled with curried egg and salad as a pre-prepared lunch or to eat for breakfast while on the go!
These low fat, high fibre, vitamin-rich little morsels are from the nutritionally important legume family. Chickpeas could be your answer to improving weight loss by cutting out the cravings for processed snacks! An Australian study found those who incorporated chickpeas into their regular diet over 12 weeks felt fuller, ate less from all of the food groups and improved their bowel health. Interestingly, when stopping the regular chickpea consumption, participants in the study had a spike in eating processed snacks.
Chickpea snack attack: Try roasting chickpeas with some salt and paprika for a crunchy snack or blend them with lime, chilli, garlic, olive oil and sesame seeds to make a spicy hummus dip.
Yogurt is a protein-packed, probiotic powerhouse. Probiotics are important for your gut health, which can impact your weight loss efforts. A large analysis of studies by Australia’s CSIRO found a correlation between obesity and poor gut health. Eating a diet high in fibre and including foods with probiotics, such as Greek yoghurt can improve gut health and aid in weight loss when consuming a balanced diet.
Yoghurt tip: Be wary of flavoured yoghurts, they usually contain a lot of added sugar! Sweeten your natural Greek yoghurt with fresh fruit and a splash of honey for a guilt free dessert.
Salmon and other oily fish contain heart-friendly omega-3, which has a myriad of other health benefits including controlling your weight. Like other high-protein foods, salmon can help regulate the hormones that control appetite and make you feel full. Salmon is also considered a good-mood food, making sticking to a balanced diet and active lifestyle a lot easier.
Serve of salmon: Jaclyn Reutens recommends 100g of fatty fish, three times per week.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away AND your hunger at bay. Apples, especially the skin, are a great source of antioxidants, vitamin C and fibre. They contain pectin, a starch that acts as a natural appetite suppressant. They make the list of best foods for weight loss because eating an apple with your meal can help you consume fewer calories without feeling restricted or deprived of food.
Sweeten your salad: Shred a whole apple into your green salad or into homemade burger patties.
Nuts are a great source of ‘good’ fats. Almonds tend to be lower in calories than other nuts and have been shown to have a better effect on weight loss when used as a snack alternative to crackers. These versatile nuts can be eaten raw or roasted as a snack, made into milk or butter and tossed through salads and pasta for extra crunch.
Almond fact: A handful of almonds (approximately 23) has 162 calories – an ideal snack for health and calorie controlled diets.
Ok, while it technically isn’t a food, ie. providing you with energy, it still deserves a spot on the best foods for weight loss list if you are currently drinking your calories in the forms of sodas and shakes. Water is a shifty character when it comes to your body. You lose it in sweat, bodily waste and during many cellular functions. Importantly, lacking water or being slightly dehydrated often tricks you into mistaking hunger for thirst, so you reach for a snack when it really isn’t required. And this can get in the way of you maintaining your weight loss.
Apart from being a better (calorie-free) alternative to sodas and juices, it also physically fills you up. In a 12-week study, researchers found that people who drank 500ml of water half an hour prior to each daily, low-calorie meal had 2kg weight loss greater than those who didn’t. They also showed a 44% greater decrease in weight over the study.
Get zesty: If you struggle to drink enough water, try adding some cucumber, mint leaves and lime to give some extra tasty zing! Use the Active8me app to track your water intake.
There you have it… our 10 best foods for weight loss!
If you’re left wondering how you could possibly incorporate these foods into your daily meals and snacks, then check out the Active8me app today. It has daily recipes and weekly meal plans that have been expertly designed to keep calories controlled, hunger satisfies and create healthy eating habits. Plus, there are workouts and mindset lessons to maximise your weight loss goals. It’s like having a dietitian, personal trainer and life coach in your pocket.