What if losing weight was as easy as eating certain foods and not stressing about the rest? Sadly, many dieters focus on cutting back on calories or wearing themselves thin with hours of exercise. Although you can reach your weight loss goals this way, these habits don’t exactly focus on healthy weight loss. Instead, you should make small changes and establish new habits day by day, and they will add up over time. Thankfully, you can easily support your weight loss by adding these top 10 foods to your meals.
1. Lean Meat
In the last few years, you may have heard a lot about high protein (or ketogenic) diets. How do these diets work?
First, eating protein decreases the hunger hormones in your body and increases the satiety hormones at the same time. In addition, protein has a higher thermic effect than other nutrients, meaning that your body burns more of its energy during digestion than carbohydrates or fats. Since you’re consuming less and burning more, you can imagine the effects protein has on weight loss.
As a caveat, you should still eat a variety of food groups. Some ketogenic diets focus only on protein, and this unbalanced eating can cause nutritional deficiencies.
2. Leafy Greens
Consuming more vegetables overall will help you attain your weight loss goals, especially if you’re using them as a replacement. In particular, leafy greens have many antioxidants, vitamins and fiber all packed into fewer calories. When you add greens to your meal, you’ll be filling your stomach with a superfood of nutrients and getting full faster because of the added fiber.
3. Olive Oil
Another food made popular recently is olive oil. Olive oil has many wonderful disease-fighting antioxidants and provides a healthy source of fat.
In addition, according to a new study published in the journal Biochemistry, researchers found another reason that olive oil promotes weight loss. They found that a compound called oleuropein helps the body produce more insulin, and therefore better regulate your metabolism. Along with weight loss, this increased insulin wards off type 2 diabetes.
This fruit provides vital nutrients to your diet, including vitamins K, C and E, folate, potassium and magnesium. At the same time, one serving of avocado contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and 7 grams of fiber.
In one small study of overweight individuals, participants ate avocadoes for breakfast and lunch. They then rated their feelings of satiety and hunger. Overall, the study showed that avocadoes helped people feel over 20 percent more satisfied and also reduced their urge to eat for up to 5 hours afterward.
Again, eggs provide a great source of protein in one small serving of only 80 calories. That serving also gives you vitamins D, B-12 and B-6 and contains potassium, magnesium and iron.
According to a 2010 study, researchers found that men who ate eggs for breakfast felt far more satisfied in the hours afterward than when they ate a bagel. In addition, participants consumed fewer calories throughout the day when eating eggs for breakfast.
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Next, nuts are a great food to add to your meals to lose weight. They contain vital protein, including omega-3s, monounsaturated fat and fiber—all essential parts of a well-balanced diet.
This combination will help you feel full while boosting your metabolism and balancing your blood sugar. Be sure to consume nuts in small quantities, though, since they are high in calories.
While technically not a food, water does play a huge role in weight loss. According to Women’s Health Magazine, water not only fills up your stomach, but it may actually be the object of your hunger in the first place. Registered dietician Jaime Mass attests that many people confuse their body’s thirst cues for hunger because the two are similar.
Research also shows water’s benefits for weight loss. In one 2015 study of overweight individuals, participants who drank a 16-ounce glass of water before meals lost more weight than their non-hydrating counterparts.
Some health enthusiasts stake large claims on the weight loss effects of apple cider vinegar, but are these claims true? Carol Johnston, a professor at Arizona State University, states that the weight loss effects actually come from vinegar in general. In Johnston’s estimation, the real benefit is in vinegar’s acetic acid, which helps to control the body’s blood sugar levels.
Salmon provides an excellent source of omega-rich protein as well as an amazing amount of potassium and several B vitamins. Salmon also contains iron and magnesium. This combination of nutrient-packed protein makes salmon an ideal addition to your weight loss efforts.
While other carbohydrates may have a bad reputation among dieters, one grain that most agree on is oats. Oatmeal contains high amounts of fiber and protein as well as an excellent amount of potassium, magnesium and iron.
Although you shouldn’t use sugar with it all the time, the fiber does offset the effects of the added sugar while lowering your cholesterol and improving digestion. Oats also have a small number of calories per serving.
While your main weight loss program will need to focus on a variety of habits, you can easily support your efforts with these 10 superfoods.
By adding the above recommendations to your regular meals, you’ll be increasing lean protein, essential vitamins and minerals as well as hunger-curbing fiber. Combine these foods with dedication and consistency, and you will succeed in achieving your weight goals.