Losing weight is not always about reducing the amount of food you eat, but finding the right balance in eating healthy foods that help you lose weight. The best foods to eat to lose weight are low-calorie and low-fat foods that are high in water content, high in fiber, rich in protein, and rich in Calcium and Vitamin D.
There are so many diet plans out there that give menu suggestions on what to eat when trying to lose weight. While these are convenient to follow if you have a busy lifestyle, you can actually just choose and find balance in the right foods that make you lose weight. So what are the best foods to lose weight?
Foods high in water content
Studies say that water is great for weight loss, since it has zero calories compared to other sweet and sugary drinks that are high in calories. Taking at least two cups of water before meals also makes your tummy full, thus prompting you to eat less. Finally, water is also observed to help your body burn calories faster.
Aside from consuming water before meals and more during the rest of the day, you can incorporate the following healthy water-rich foods in your weight loss diet:
1. Zucchinis and cucumbers
Zucchinis and Cucumbers both have high water content. Zucchini is 95 percent water while cucumber is 96 percent water. Both can make great weight loss foods that you can include for salads and sandwiches.
Aside from being low in calories, zucchinis and cucumbers are also very low in sodium, saturated fats, and cholesterol. They are also great sources of Vitamins A, C, and K, as well as Magnesium, Manganese, and Potassium.
Tomato is a superfood that is 94 percent water and contains loads of vitamins and minerals. Aside from its high water content, tomato aids in weight loss by reducing water retention. It also fights the resistance of a protein called leptin that stops the body from losing weight.
Tomato is a very good source of Vitamins C, A, and K and the minerals Potassium and Manganese. It is also rich in antioxidants that are known to help prevent cancer. They make really additions to your salads and sandwiches being low in calories and containing zero fat.
Watermelon is 91 percent water and is low in sodium, saturated fats, and cholesterol. It is a great source of arginine, a type of amino acid that helps burn fat. Watermelon is very rich in Vitamin C, giving you 21 percent of your required daily intake per cup of serving. It is also a great source of Vitamin A and is rich in Potassium and Magnesium, as well.
The best food for weight loss is one that is rich in water, fiber, and protein content in one package. Broccoli is one of the foods that offer them all. Broccoli is 91 percent water and is a very rich source of fiber and protein. Plus, it has zero cholesterol and is very low in saturated fats.
Broccoli is also packed with whopping amounts of Vitamins K, C, and A, and are great sources of Folate, Vitamin B 6, Riboflavin, Vitamin E, Thiamin, and Pantothenic Acid. It is also rich in many different minerals, such as Manganese, Potassium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Iron, and Calcium.
5. Brown rice
If you are a rice-eater, brown rice would make a great choice to help you lose weight. It contains fewer calories than white rice and contains good amounts of fiber and protein. It is also a great source of Manganese and Magnesium.
Because of its water and fiber content, brown rice is known as a low energy-density food, which keeps you easily full without giving you high amount of calories.
Other good foods to eat to lose weight, which are high in water content include cantaloupe, grapefruit, strawberries, green and red cabbages, cauliflower, celery, iceberg lettuce, radish, and spinach.
Fiber is type of carbohydrate that does not really have fat-burning properties. But because it is not easily digested in your body, it helps you stay full longer without causing an increase in your blood sugar.
Fiber does not add calories to your body. It also helps remove harmful toxins from your body that will make your body work efficiently.
Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are great sources of fiber that could aid in weight loss. The following are the best fiber-rich, healthy foods to lose weight:
Flaxseeds, otherwise known as linseed, are very rich in fiber. A half-cup serving can already give you over 90 percent of your required dietary fiber intake. It is also a great source of Manganese, Thiamine, and Magnesium, as well as Phosphorus, Copper, and Iron. It is low in calories and sodium.
Aside from its weight loss benefits, flaxseeds are also studied to help prevent many diseases, being the richest plant source of omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats are healthy fats that are known help prevent heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, hormonal mood swings, and depression.
Berries, such as raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries, are rich sources of fiber. One cup of raspberries gives you 8 grams of dietary fiber. They also contain pectin that helps lower cholesterol levels. The same serving of strawberries gives you 3 grams of fiber, while a cup of blackberries provides 8 gram of fiber.
All these berries are also very rich sources of Vitamin C, Manganese, Folate, and Potassium.
Oatmeal is a very popular weight loss breakfast or snack because of its high fiber content. It keeps you fuller longer and provides you with added nutrients, such as protein, Thiamine, Niacin, Vitamin A and B6, Folate, and Riboflavin.
Oatmeal is also a rich source of Iron and Manganese. It does not contain cholesterol and is low in sodium and saturated fats.
Spinach is a powerhouse food that gives you 4grams of dietary fiber per one cup serving. It also contains high levels of Vitamins A and K and is a great source of protein, Folate, Vitamin C, Manganese, Magnesium, and Iron.
Another powerhouse food that is great for weight loss is grapefruit. It is a rich source of dietary fiber and is high in water content that keeps you satiated. It contains no fat, cholesterol, and sodium, while giving you high levels of Vitamins C and A and other important nutrients.
While not very low in calories, banana is a great source of fiber, as well as Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, and Manganese. It contains resistant start, a type of carbohydrate that produces fewer calories compared to most types of carbohydrates, thus helping you in your weight loss goals.
Banana is also low in energy density, which means it provides more nourishment while giving you lesser calories. This is because of its water content, which is calorie-free, and its high fiber content.
It takes more calories to digest protein than carbohydrates. Because of this, consuming protein-rich rich foods keeps you feeling full longer, helping you reduce further calorie intake and helping you lose weight.
High-protein foods that are great for your weight loss program include the following:
Chicken is a protein-rich food that will help you lose weight effectively. A 3-ounce serving of chicken breast gives you 19 grams of protein. Aside from its protein content, chicken is also fairly low in calories, providing you 102 calories for the same serving.
Make sure you choose the lean breast part of the chicken that is grilled without skin or any breading. The chicken skin is high in cholesterol, while breading and frying increase the amount of calories and saturated fats in your chicken meal.
Salmon is another protein-rich meat that gives you 22 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving. This delicious fish is also rich in Monounsaturated fatty acids that have been studied to have better effect on weight loss than eating low-fat diet, because it keeps you satiated longer than saturated fats do.
14. Black beans
One cup of unsalted boiled black beans gives you 15 grams of protein, which is about 30 percent of the daily required protein intake. It also a very good source of fiber, giving you 60 percent of the daily requirement per one cup serving.
Black beans are also very low in saturated fats and sodium and do not contain cholesterol. So if you want a good protein-rich substitute for meat, then black beans is a great choice.
Apart from their weight loss benefits, black beans are also rich in Iron, Folate, Thiamine, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Manganese that all play an important role in keeping your body healthy.
Calcium and Vitamin D-rich foods
Foods rich in Calcium and Vitamin D can also aid in weight loss. Calcium resists the increase of fatty acid synthase that is responsible for turning calories into fats. This means that those who consume more calcium have more advantage in losing weight as there are lesser fats to shed off.
Vitamin D, on the other hand, helps in calcium absorption. It has also been studied to aid in weight loss among the overweight and obese individuals with Vitamin D deficiency.
15. Plain, Low-fat Yogurt
Although all yogurts are great sources of calcium, not all varieties are recommended for weight loss. Flavors in yogurts add more sugar and calories to your diet, while plain whole milk yogurts are high in saturated fats and cholesterol. For weight loss to be more effective, choose plain, low-fat yogurt.
An 8-ounce serving of plain, low-fat yogurt gives you 415 milligrams of calcium, which is about 42 percent of the daily value recommended by the US Food and Drug Administration. It is also a great source of Protein, Phosphorus, Vitamin B12, Riboflavin, and Potassium.
16. Reduced Fat Milk
Milk is a great source of calcium. Many milk varieties today are also fortified with Vitamin D to aid in calcium absorption. Choosing reduced fat milk over whole milk is best for losing weight, because you still get a good amount of calcium content minus the high calories and saturated fats in whole milk.
Aside from calcium and Vitamin D, milk is also a rich source of protein that keeps you satiated longer.
17. Broccoli Rabe
Broccoli Rabe or Rapini is a very healthy green cruciferous vegetable that contains a lot of nutrients. It is one of the best weight loss foods to incorporate in your diet being high in calcium, fiber, and protein.
A bunch of cooked broccoli rabe gives you 52 percent of your daily calcium needs, 49 percent of your daily fiber needs, and 33 percent of your daily protein needs. It is also very low in saturated fats and high in essential vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin A, C, E, and B-6, as well as Iron, Potassium, and Manganese.
A handful of almonds, which is rich in fats, is not that bad after all. In fact, studies show that almonds included in diet may help you lose weight. It keeps you satiated with its high protein, fiber, and fat content, all of which are important food factors that keep you full.
While almonds are rich in fat, majority of these fats are the healthy monounsaturated fats that are known to lower risks of heart disease and stroke. Still, it is important to eat almonds in moderation so as not to increase your saturated fat intake and not to exceed the daily limit for fat intake.
Almonds are also very rich sources of Vitamin E, Riboflavin, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Manganese.
Other good sources of calcium and other nutrients include turnip greens, collards, kale, broccoli, spinach, white beans, oranges, and salmon.
So if you ask yourself “What should I eat to lose weight?,” just remember to prefer the foods that are mentioned above. Always choose foods that are low in calories and saturated fats. Stay away from sugary foods. Pick foods that provide you with the most nutrients, so you do not have to eat other food sources that eventually add to your calorie intake.
By choosing these healthy weight loss foods in your diet over other foods, you are on your way to leaner, healthier you.
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