8 of the Best Weight Loss Foods

junkpic2

 

Everyone knows by now that ‘You Are What You Eat’, right?

We all know this.  We’ve heard it a hundred times before.

One of the biggest components to losing weight (or even just maintaining a healthy lifestyle) really does start with WHICH foods you choose to eat.

Did you know that certain foods actually HELP you lose weight because they help you feel fuller LONGER?  Wouldn’t you RATHER eat things that leave you full and able to concentrate on your job or the kids and not be hungry every hour of the day?

Certain foods have what’s called a high thermogenic effect, which is like adding fuel to an already burning fire.  Other (processed, fast, junk) foods can squash that fire and put it out.

When you first start to unprocess your kitchen, it’s hard to know which foods help you and which foods hurt you.  I always like to look at the glass half full and so I like to focus on the foods I CAN eat rather then what I can’t.

And here are 8 to get you started:

SOUP

minestrone4edited

Several studies have found that eating soup before a meal can decrease hunger, increase fullness and reduce the amount of calories consumed at a meal {source}.  This is partially due to the water content, so a simple broth would work, but if you want to take it a step further, adding a few vegetables, like in a Minestrone soup, would satiate you longer.

Try starting your meals with a small cup of a simple broth based soup and see if it helps you feel fuller longer and consume less calories at the dinner table.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

SALADS

spinach salad

Now this one can be tricky.  Salads can be NOTORIOUS for hidden fat and calories, but if you use these simple tricks you can add a small salad to your dinner at night, and like the soup, get fuller with fewer calories.

First stay AWAY from the creamy salad dressings, not only are they using cheap processed canola and soybean oils, but they have TONS of fat.  Even worse are FAT FREE dressings.  Use a basic oil and vinegar dressing, like this Greek one.  It comes together in minutes.

Second mix up your greens.  Iceberg lettuce may have the most water content, but it’s the least nutritious. Try a small spinach salad or mixed greens instead.

And last add a few veggies like shredded carrot or cherry tomatoes. This doesn’t have to be a BIG salad, as a matter of fact, you’re more likely to continue it if it’s simply made and takes little time to prepare.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

BEANS

southwestern black beans and rice

Beans, beans and more beans.  I CANNOT say enough about them.  They are so inexpensive, filling and versatile.  And even better is they can easily become a staple pantry item.  Meaning, when you don’t know what to have for lunch or dinner, you can simply turn to the pantry, grab some beans and make something in little time like one of my all time favorite recipes, Southwest Black Beans and Rice.                                                                                      …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

ALMONDS

almonds

Many people avoid nuts, like almonds, when they want to lose weight, thinking they are high in unwanted calories and fat.  But a handful of nuts may be exactly what your body needs.  You see, the fat in nuts is a HEALTHY fat that provides us with a feeling of fullness.  But more importantly, nuts provide us with a slow burning energy instead of the high rush and fall that simple carbs give us.

Try a handful at times of the day you feel hunger will strike, like I know 10:00 am and between 3:00-4:00 is the witching hour for a lot of people.  One of my most frequent go to snacks is a handful of nuts combined with 1 or 2 ounces of cheese and a few grapes.  And 4:00 is definitely when my hunger comes out like a lion so this keeps me going until dinner is ready!
………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

WHOLE GRAINS

steel cut oatmeal

I just love that picture … because that’s EXACTLY what my breakfast looks like when I make oatmeal!  It’s just so warm and comforting … and it’s just the best after HAVING to get out of bed at 5:45 in the dead of winter!

Whole grains contain all edible parts of the grain, including the bran, germ, and endosperm.  Great examples of that are steel cut oatmeal, organic popcorn, quinoa, brown rice and whole grain barley.

FACT!  Did you know your body burns twice as many calories breaking down whole foods vs processed foods?
                                      ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

LEAN MEATS

slow roasted chicken

Chicken breast is an excellent example of a lean protein.  It is very low in calories and fat and can be cooked any way imaginable.  Be sure to purchase organic chicken as factory farms not only have inhumane living conditions but the chickens are injected with antibiotics to ward off the sea of infections that run rampant in those farms.

If you avoid factory farms and purchase local, organic meats from someone you know and trust then eating lean meats is a great way to get protein and stay healthy.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

GREEN TEAgreentea

Did you know that an ingredient found in Green Tea is also found in many diet supplements?  You can thank the compound, EGCG.  It temporarily speeds metabolism after drinking it.  But don’t waste your money (or risk your health) on diet supplements.  A cup of two of Green Tea each day will get your metabolism revving in no time!

I was introduced to an Organic green tea from Matcha.  I have no affiliation with them and do not receive any compensation whatsoever, but I have to say I absolutely LOVE this tea.   According to their mission statement “Many farms are still exposed to industrial pollution because of their geographic location. Polluted rain water, toxic runoff in the soil, and noxious gasses from nearby plants are just a few of the ways that an organic tea farm could still be exposed to unsafe levels of toxins. The only way to ensure that you’re getting the safest product available is to choose a vendor who has lab-tested their leaves.   We tested tea samples from several organic farms to ensure that we’re bringing you the purest tea products”.

I buy mine here.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

QUINOA

dr oz

 

Quinoa has long been known as a superfood in the vegetarian world, but now thanks to shows like Dr. Oz, quinoa is finally making it’s mainstream debut.  I am brand new to it myself and very intrigued with all the health benefits.   I have NO quinoa recipes to share with you, but I am dying to make these almond butter quinoa balls that he had on his show the other day.

Now TELL me these don’t look amazing as a 3:00 pick me up?  You can get that recipe HERE!

CONCLUSION

You shouldn’t rely on any one of these foods to independently have a huge effect on your metabolism.  They are meant to work together along with a moderate amount of exercise each week.  Making drastic changes in your diet isn’t recommended as they usually don’t last.

Start by making small changes like having a bowl of steel cut oats and fruit for breakfast this week.  Or bringing a big salad to work for lunch.  Incorporate a few almonds and cheese as a snack.

Pretty soon you will see a boost in energy or better yet, a few pounds come off the scale.  🙂

RESOURCES:

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9573453/

www.doctoroz.com/

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments

  1. I have NO quinoa recipes to share with you, but I am dying to make these almond butter quinoa balls that he had on his show the other day.

error: Content is protected !!