If you are carrying extra weight, know that losing even just a few pounds can take a significant amount of stress and strain off your body. Industry experts assert that losing even 5% of your body weight can make measurable improvements in chronic pain, like arthritis, in your joints, knees, hips, and more.
shakeIf you are trying to take off a few pounds, it can help to have weight loss friendly foods in your kitchen- and your arsenal- for the journey to come.
Food and Weight Loss
Did you know that the hormones’ response to certain foods is what primarily makes you gain or lose weight? It’s true; plus, consider how protein satiates the hunger hormones- so you feel full, longer. It also takes more energy in the body to digest and process protein- so this helps increase metabolism. The result? You can burn fat and build lean muscle mass more effectively.
Remember, too, that dietary fiber is key in losing pounds. It maintains glucose levels so that they do not cause spikes in insulin- and they give you feelings of being full which may prevent snacking.
Safe Weight Loss Tips
Want to lose weight safely? Consider integrating the following food tips into your daily lifestyle and routine:
- Pay less attention to calorie restriction- it simply doesn’t work. Pay more attention to buying foods that fuel you for your workouts- or everyday life. Many medical experts agree that calorie restriction is ill-effective, at best.
- Many endorse eating whole, unprocessed foods for safe, sustainable weight loss. Food is fuel and medicine for the body, so eat high-quality, organic, when possible, food. These foods naturally curb hunger and speed up metabolism rates.
- Avoid processed and packaged foods, deep-fried foods, and refined sugars for best results. You may notice a positive improvement in the way your skin looks, too.
- Watch your portions, too. Eat enough to become satisfied, but don’t binge. Try filling the plate with half vegetables, and then a quarter of carbs and a quarter of lean protein for a well-balanced meal.
- Eat foods that support digestive and gut health. Eating probiotics helps to clean out the gut, while also building immunity. It will also help reduce inflammation and swelling so you may feel less bloated, especially around the midsection. Probiotics are fantastic!
The right food can fuel the body, boost health, and facilitate weight loss, too. Don’t forget: the right foods also make you feel more satisfied and satiated- so there is less chance of binging or making poor food choices.
Here are “Weight Loss Friendly Foods” that everyone should be familiar with:
If you want to build lean muscle and burn fat, lean protein, including things like chicken, grass-fed beef, and tofu, can help get you there. These types of proteins keep you feeling satisfied, which can decrease cravings by keeping your blood sugar level stable.
If you don’t eat meat, or if you want to expand on protein sources, consider plant-based proteins like lentils, beans, and legumes- but more on this food group later! Plus, they are an inexpensive and shelf-stable option to keep in the kitchen, cupboard, or pantry.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein, low in fat, with very few calories. Eggs are a great weight loss food that makes our list! You will find nearly every essential vitamin- except Vitamin C- in an egg, including minerals like potassium and calcium.
Eggs are so versatile that they are an item you need in the fridge. Choose cage-free and free-range eggs when available. At about 70 calories per large egg, they are a source of complete protein, dietary fiber, and beneficial fat, too.
Did you know that eggs are the primary food allergy among children? Many outgrow this sensitivity by adulthood. It is estimated that a single egg contains about the same protein as an ounce of red meat- and it is a lot cheaper too! Eggs also only contain trace carbs, so they are a keto-friendly food source, too. For tissue repair and strength building, you can’t go wrong with fresh eggs.
Sure, everyone knows that a healthy diet is supposed to contain a lot of veggies- but what are the best ones for weight loss? Choose cruciferous vegetables, green ones, if you want to shed pounds. That includes things like brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower- anything that is crunchy and requires some chewing.
Dark leafy vegetables like kale and celery are also good for weight loss, as they are high in fiber and rich in vitamins that you need. Try these veggies for snacks and light lunches when watching what you eat!
Avocados are a source of healthy fat, so it makes you feel satiated but won’t contribute to weight gain. Avocados are high in fiber, too, but they do contain calories so pay attention to the size of your portion. Try layering a slice of whole-grain toast with a bit of mashed avocado, sprinkle with coarse salt, top with seeds, like sesame seeds, for a tasty and satisfying meal.
Avocados are a keto-friendly food, too, for those that are tracking their macros and watching carbs.
We have all heard the motto regarding an apple a day, but it is true- apples are an excellent food for health and weight loss. The reason is that they are high in fiber and rich in antioxidants- this helps reduce inflammation and could alleviate joint pain due to swelling, too.
The vitamins alone make apples an excellent option for snacking- if you want a quick and sweet bite before hitting the gym or walking path.
You might not think of berries when considering their role in weight loss, but some types of berries are rich in antioxidants and high in vitamin C. Plus, berries have a lot of fiber, so they help make you feel full. When choosing berries, dark berries like blueberries, cranberries, and blackberries are especially rich in nutrients and antioxidants.
Seeds and Nuts
There are so many health benefits of nuts and seeds- depending on the types that you eat. You should know that not everyone tolerates nuts and seeds the same, as some may struggle with issues like diverticulitis that makes eating these foods difficult and uncomfortable.
Nuts are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, especially macadamia nuts and almonds. As for seeds, you can expect high amounts of fiber, minerals, and healthy fats, particularly in seeds like sunflower seeds and chia seeds.
Speaking of chia seeds, these are very high in fiber and are endorsed as a food that makes you feel fuller, longer. Chia seeds will soak up water in your stomach, so they expand and will make you feel more satiated. Remember that nuts and seeds are not necessarily low in calories, and about a quarter cup is equal to a single serving.
Fish is high in protein and an excellent option when watching what you eat. Salmon, for instance, contains those all-important omega-3 fatty acids that can be vital in weight loss. Salmon and other oil fish like mackerel, herring, and even sardines, can make you feel satisfied with high amounts of protein- much like red meats or eggs do.
How do you feel about shellfish? Shrimp are a good food for weight loss- as this specific shellfish promotes increased feelings of satiety. Consumption of shrimp can decrease your appetite overall by stimulating the production of hormones that make you feel full. It is a win-win situation!
Shrimp and other shellfish also contain selenium and zinc, both vital minerals for energy and immunity.
Bananas are an excellent supplement to add to your shake or protein powder, but did you know that unripe bananas might be the healthier choice? Unripe bananas are high in prebiotic-resistant starch, so you can reduce fat that is stored around the midriff. It works well when combined with a protein in keeping you full and energized, too.
Raw oats are another food that is weight loss friendly. Oats are starchy so they resist digestion- which helps you lose pounds. They help with the body’s response to insulin- so they can melt away fat around the midriff.
Dietary experts recommend eating oat groats, as they are the least processed and perhaps healthiest approach to eating oats. You do have other options, however. Steel cut oats, rolled oats, and quick oats are also good for you, containing fiber and starch, but are more processed. This makes them easier and faster to cook or prepare than oat groats.
If you are in a hurry, instant oats can save the day- and are tasty, too. All oat varieties will contribute to feelings of fullness and satisfaction- plus, oats stick to your ribs so you will feel refueled and ready for what lies ahead. All oats are whole grains, so they are a good source of plant-based protein and fiber for anyone looking to lose weight.
When it comes to oats, put more focus on integrating them into your day than the specific type you have on-hand. Better yet, try different cuts of oats to see what suits you best- and how they help with your weight loss goals. Be wary of what you top your oats and oatmeal with; consider using plant-based milk, stevia, or a tiny bit of pure maple syrup for a breakfast that will keep you sustained all morning. Also, if you are in a hurry, consider making oats in the slow-cooker or crock-pot to save time; check out the recipes online for this easy dish.
Sauerkraut and Kimchi
Fermented cabbage is called Sauerkraut, and it is excellent for good gut health. This is both a prebiotic and probiotic- so it helps the intestinal tract and feeds healthy bacteria. Sauerkraut has plenty of fiber, so it also is good for weight loss and appetite control.
A newer trend emerging is kimchi, a Korean spin on fermented cabbage. Kimchi is often seen as a side dish in Korean culture but is finding a new market here in the US. Some use vegetables, spices, and seasonings with the cabbage so no two kimchi variations are alike. The flavor profile is salty, sweet, sour, and spicy- so it is very satisfying too. Kimchi is as good for digestion, immunity, and inflammation as sauerkraut- in some instances, better!
Beans and Legumes
Legumes are a superfood. When it comes to feeling full, beans rule. Beans are so full of nutrients that people who do not eat meat, find protein from legumes. Beans are great for gut health and the fiber helps to keep your colon and intestines clean.
Have you heard of Lupini beans? This is a particular type of bean that feeds the good bacteria in the gut, while also burning fat. Lupini beans are especially effective at slimming down the waistline- or anywhere in that region of the body that stores fat. Some cultures have used Lupini beans regularly and many find them to be a tasty and healthy snack when pickled. These beans can be bitter, which is why pickling is a favored preparation for them.
Did we save the best for last? Yes- while water isn’t technically a food, per sei, it is a weight loss friendly essential that everybody needs. Water helps flush fat and toxins from the body- but it also keeps the organs and systems working efficiently. Dehydration will cause a lot of unpleasant side-effects, including headache, joint pain, inflammation, fatigue, dizziness- all which can derail your fitness routine.
Also, many pre workout products and protein supplements are best when mixed with water. Consider investing in a water filter system for your water- or at least, a filtering pitcher that will save you money weekly on what you might spend to stay hydrated.
Are you looking to lose weight? Make sure that your kitchen or pantry is well-stocked with the right foods for your healthy lifestyle. Consider these foods when grocery shopping- and eat as many whole foods as possible for optimal results. Fuel your body right for working out- but also for lifelong health and wellness.
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