Healthiest Foods For Weight Loss

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If you are aching to lose weight, it’s important to understand what the healthiest foods for weight loss are. While there’s nothing wrong with indulging in a deliciously rich, fudgey brownie every now and then, most dieters know that some foods just shouldn’t be eaten on a regular basis.

It’s not uncommon for people to go on a diet and lose between 5 – 10 pounds in the first week. It’s also a nightmare. Your metabolism slows down, hunger becomes a problem, your brain goes into starvation mode, and it just isn’t fun. If you lose large amounts of weight quickly (more than 2 pounds) your body goes into shock and your system starts to break down. This means that you could actually gain weight after you’ve started on a diet instead of losing it! This article will give you some healthy ways to lose weight slowly while maintaining your health and energy level.

Healthiest Foods For Weight Loss

This video will help you find healthy foods to include on a weight loss diet

Healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes. While weight loss is not a magic bullet for health, and not everyone needs to pursue weight loss, it might be something you want to work toward to feel your healthiest.

Coupled with regular movement, your diet can affect your health outcomes. (Just make sure to talk with a healthcare professional before making drastic changes!)

If losing weight is your goal, these 18 foods may help support a healthy weight loss journey, according to science.

1. Whole eggs

Once feared for being high in cholesterol, whole eggs have been making a comeback.

These fears were rooted in misconceptions that overlooked how your body regulates cholesterol levels. Your body sources it, as needed, from your diet or your liver to maintain its baseline levels

While people with elevated baseline levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol should be more conscious of how much cholesterol they get in their diet, moderate egg consumption — between 7–12 eggs a week — has been proven safe for many people

Although a higher intake of eggs may raise the levels of LDL cholesterol in some people, eggs are one of the best foods to eat if you’re looking to reach or maintain a healthier weight.

Eggs are incredibly nutrient-dense. Interestingly, almost all its nutrients are found in the yolks — like choline and vitamin D — though egg whites deliver 4–6 grams of protein each

Because they’re high in protein and fat, they help you feel full

That’s key, because responding to your body’s internal fullness and hunger cues can help you reach or maintain a healthy weight. In other words, getting in the habit of eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full can help your weight loss goals

A study including 50 healthy people with more weight showed that eating eggs and buttered toast for breakfast — instead of cereal, milk, and orange juice — increased feelings of satiety (fullness) for the next 4 hours

Similarly, another study among 48 healthy adults found that those who ate an egg-based breakfast, either high or moderate in both protein and fiber, reported higher satiety than those who ate low fiber cereal and milk

Since feeling satiated can help combat overeating driven by feeling overly hungry, eating eggs may support your weight loss goals while also packing a ton of healthful nutrients into your day.

2. Leafy greens

Leafy greens include kale, spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard, and a few others.

They have several properties that make them perfect for reaching or maintaining a healthy weight. For example, they pack fiber and nutrients that keep you satiated and hydrated.

What’s more, leafy greens contain thylakoids, plant compounds that have been linked with increased satiety and better appetite management in at least two human studies

It’s worth noting, however, that both studies are small, and participants took a 5-gram thylakoid supplement — the amount found in about 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of raw spinach

Those receiving even a single dose of the supplement reported better appetite management, resulting in weight loss

However, more research in humans is needed to understand the effect of thylakoids from food sources as a tool for achieving a healthy weight — as well as their long-term effects in supplement form.

In the meantime, leafy greens boast an assortment of fiber and micronutrients and are almost always a great addition to your diet.

Adding leafy greens to your diet can help you feel satiated and reduce cravings for less nutritious foods. Learning to respond to your body’s internal cues of hunger and fullness can aid your larger healthy weight loss goals

If you’re taking medications, such as blood thinners like warfarin (Coumadin), speak with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian about how many leafy greens you should eat daily to find the right balance.

Leafy greens are high in vitamin K, which may interact with your medication. Consistent vitamin K intake is key

3. Salmon

Fatty fish like salmon are incredibly nutritious and very satisfying.

Salmon is loaded with high quality protein, healthy fats, and various important nutrients. That combination keeps you satiated and can help you reach a healthier weight

Salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce inflammation. Inflammation plays a major role in obesity and metabolic disease

What’s more, fish — and seafood, in general — may also supply a significant amount of iodine.

The nutrient is necessary for proper thyroid function, which is important to keep your metabolism running optimally

But studies show that a significant number of people don’t fill their iodine needs. Adding fatty fish to your diet can help you consume enough iodine

Mackerel, trout, sardines, herring, tuna, and other types of fatty fish are also excellent for your health.

4. Cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.

Like other vegetables, they’re high in fiber and tend to be incredibly filling.

What’s more, these types of veggies contain decent amounts of protein. They’re not nearly as high in protein as animal foods or legumes, but still high for vegetables

A combination of protein, fiber, and low energy density (low calorie content) makes cruciferous vegetables the perfect foods to include in your meals if you want to lose weight

They’re also highly nutritious and contain compounds that may lower your risk of developing cancer. Keep in mind, though, that no amount of cruciferous vegetables can replace recommended cancer screenings or proper cancer treatment

5. Chicken breast and some lean meats

Meat remains a controversial food group for many people.

Beyond issues of sustainability and ethics, we’re still not sure whether and how red meat raises the risk of heart disease or diabetes.

Research on meat consumption and health outcomes has yielded low evidence of causation.

That language can be confusing, and it’s often misinterpreted as a ringing endorsement to eat more meat, but it simply means that there isn’t enough evidence to say whether it causes unfavorable health outcomes

However, a high intake of red and processed meats is associated with a higher risk of cancer, diabetes, premature death, and heart disease

Eating unprocessed meat in moderation (i.e., 2–3 servings a week) alongside fruits, vegetables, and whole grains may mitigate some of the cancer risks associated with meat consumption

Nutritionally, chicken and red meat are both high in protein and iron.

Skinless chicken breast and lean red meat like tenderloin or flank steak pack protein and iron and have less saturated fat than other cuts. Opt for these most of the time to better support weight management and heart health.

Saturated fat has been thought to drive inflammation, which is associated with chronic illness. However, research on this, too, has so far yielded mixed results

How you prepare meat can also affect health outcomes.

Red meat that is cooked at high temperatures for a long duration, by smoking or grilling, for instance, renders fat drippings. Against hot cooking surfaces, these form a toxic by-product called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that may cause cancer

Minimize this risk by limiting smoke, wiping away drippings, and eating lean meat in moderation. This means no more than a few 3-ounce (85-gram) servings per week. A serving is about the size of the palm of your hand

6. Potatoes and other root vegetables

White potatoes seem to have fallen out of favor — possibly, at least in part, due to the rise of lower carb diets.

For what it’s worth, potatoes and other root vegetables have several properties that make them wonderful foods for weight loss and optimal health.

They contain an incredibly diverse range of nutrients — a little bit of almost everything you need.

They’re particularly high in potassium, a nutrient that most people don’t get enough of. Potassium plays an important role in blood pressure management

On a scale called the Satiety Index, which measures how filling different foods are, boiled white potatoes scored the highest of all the foods tested

What this means is that by eating boiled white or sweet potatoes, you’re more likely to naturally feel full. You’ll also be providing your body with essential nutrients.

If you allow potatoes to cool for a while after boiling, they will form high amounts of resistant starch, a fiber-like substance that has been shown to have various health benefits, including weight loss

Sweet potatoes, turnips, and other root vegetables are also excellent choices.

7. Tuna

Tuna is another satiating high protein food.

It’s a lean fish, meaning it has protein, which helps keep you full, as well as healthy fats. Among these healthy fats is docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a form of omega-3 fatty acid, which may benefit your heart

Eating fish like salmon and tuna can be a great way to increase your protein intake, with nutritious fish fats to support your eyes and brain

If you’re eating tuna canned, choose varieties canned in water if you’re aiming to eat fewer calories. Tuna packed in oil ups the calories, fat, and sodium, but could be more filling. It depends on what your needs are that day

8. Beans and legumes

Beans and other legumes can be beneficial for weight loss. These include lentils, black beans, kidney beans, and some others.

Those foods tend to be high in protein and fiber, which are two nutrients that promote satiety. They also tend to contain some resistant starch

Due to their high fiber content, beans can cause gas and bloating in some people. Preparing them properly can help mitigate these side effects, though. Try buying your beans dry and soaking them for several hours before preparing.

20 Weight Loss Meals That Actually Taste Amazing

weightloss-recipes

Losing weight—and keeping the pounds off—isn’t a quick or easy process, but a few simple diet tricks can be a big help along the way. Our favorite? Eating lots of protein, fiber, and healthy carbs, which keeps you feeling energized and satisfied and may even boost your metabolism.

If you’re not sure how to work these calorie-burning ingredients into your daily menu, start with these recipes. They all include at least one weight-loss superfood, and, best of all, they can be made in 30 minutes or less!

1. BBQ turkey burgers

bbq-turkey-burger

This spin on burgers is a delicious way to cut back on beef and eat more turkey, an excellent source of lean protein and a favorite weight-loss food of Jillian Michaels. “Lean protein helps you stay fuller for longer,” Michaels told Health. “It has the amino acids that are the building blocks for muscle.”

2. Energy-revving quinoa

energy-revving-quinoa

Quinoa is one of the trendiest foods around, and for good reason: This earthy whole grain, which hails from South America, is packed with protein and fiber—a perfect combination for those who are looking to stay energized and keep their metabolism humming.

Black beans (another excellent source of fiber), fresh veggies, and fragrant spices round out this satisfying dish. Make it as a main meal for lunch or as a side dish with dinner.

3. Spinach-quinoa breakfast salad with berries and granola

breakfast-salads , salad, salad-recipe, health-mag-april-2020

Looking for a healthy start to your day but tired of oatmeal? Try a breakfast salad! If you struggle to get your greens in, adding them to your breakfast is the best way to get all of those nutritious vitamins and minerals you’re looking for, plus quinoa that provides about one-third of your daily recommended protein intake.

Trust us, all the makings of your morning parfait help create an unexpected dish with pleasing crunch and pretty pops of color.

4. Steakhouse salad

health-mag-march-2020 food recipe

A juicy steak might be last on your list of weight loss meals, but when portioned properly in a salad, you can have a delicious satisfying meal with less than 350 calories for serving.

This recipe is all the best parts of a steakhouse meal—succulent beef, fresh spinach, and crispy potatoes in salad form. Go ahead, indulge—without breaking your weight loss meal plan.

5. Salmon noodle bowl

salmon-noodle-bowl

This 30-minute weight loss meal offers a bounty of nutritious and metabolism-boosting ingredients in a single bowl. The salmon and avocado are loaded with healthy fats, and the noodles and veggies are high in fiber.

Asparagus is the unsung hero of this dish, providing a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and C, folate, and iron.

6. Cauliflower and mushroom tacos

Cauliflower and Mushroom Tacos

Craving your favorite tacos, but don’t want to break your weight loss plan? Give these cauliflower tacos a try. Packed with flavor, you won’t miss the meat.

Taking only 25 minutes to make, these cauliflower-based tacos are less than 300 calories per serving and give you the boost of crunchy veggies we all could use.

7. Black bean and chicken chilaquiles

chilaquiles-beans

This traditional Mexican breakfast food requires only eight ingredients, including chicken, queso blanco, and corn tortillas. It may look sinful, but because it’s baked (rather than fried), it comes in under 300 calories and 2 grams of saturated fat per serving.

The key ingredient for weight-conscious eaters? Black beans. Their high protein and fiber content make them another weight-loss superfood.

8. Cioppinno

fish-recipes-health-mag-may-2020

At only 275 calories per serving, this shellfish-laden Italian stew will keep you feeling full for long after you’ve eaten. Providing more than half your daily recommended protein intake, the shellfish in this stew makes for the perfect pescatarian-friendly weight loss food.

The flavor in this stew is so rich, you wouldn’t believe you’d be eating such a healthy, weight loss-friendly meal.

9. Harissa shakshuka with spinach & chickpeas

shakshuka-brunch-recipes-health-mag-december-2019

Eggs are a popular weight loss-food. High in protein and low and fat, they’re perfect for a breakfast for dinner style meal like this Mediterranean shakshuka.

The Mediterranean diet is shown to be great for your gut, reducing inflammation, and promoting heart health—a perfect combination for losing weight and boosting longevity.

10. Italian garbanzo salad

italian-garbanzo-salad

This vegetarian salad features some of the Mediterranean diet’s key pillars: low-fat dairy (represented here by feta cheese), fresh vegetables (tomato, onion), healthy fats (olive oil), and lean protein (chickpeas). Best of all, one serving (1 cup) is only 159 calories!

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