Less Calorie and Weight Loss-Friendly Fare
If you’ve embarked on the journey of losing weight safely for some time now but find that the weighing scale isn’t budging, it’s perhaps time to look into your eating habits. After all, losing weight is predominantly attributed to what we eat or consume. Different food carries varying calories and can have different effects on your hunger, hormones and the number of calories you burn. To help you on your weight loss journey, we have listed weight loss-friendly fare that are science-backed.
While eggs were feared to be ‘bad’ LDL-cholesterol-rich, some research indicates that they are low in calories and rich in other nutrition like protein, which can help with weight loss over time. A study focusing on 30 overweight women who ate eggs for breakfast instead of bagels, showed increased satiety which resulted in them eating less for the next 36 hours. Don’t underestimate the power of eggs because it’s nutrient dense and can help you get all the nutrients (especially in the yolk) you need on a calorie-restricted diet.
When looking to shed some weight, one of the nutrient-rich and weight loss friendly food are leafy greens. Examples of leafy greens include kale, spinach, collards, Swiss chards and a few others. Often regarded as the powerhouses of nutrition and low in calories, they are loaded with essential vitamins, minerals and fibres to stabilise hunger and lose weight. By loading up on leafy greens, you can increase the intake volume without taking on more calories.
Consuming fatty fish like salmon isn’t only tantalising on the taste buds, it is incredibly satiating too. In addition to being robust in protein which can help maintain muscle mass, salmon is also packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help reduce inflammation, healthy fats and various important nutrients like iodine. Iodine, found in seafood, promotes proper thyroid function which boosts optimal metabolic function. Studies have shown that a significant number of people don’t fill their iodine needs. Besides salmon, other fatty fishes include mackerel, trout, sardine and herring.
Virgin Coconut Oil
The numerous benefits of coconut oil aren’t exactly a secret. Not all fats are created equal. When it comes to weight loss, coconut oil stands in a league of its own compared to other oil, especially with its prevention of fat accumulation, metabolic stimulation and curbing of hunger. Virgin Coconut oil is high in fatty acids of a medium length, called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and these have been shown to create longer satiety compared to other fats and increase the number of calories burned. That said, some research suggests that this oil is less satiating than MCT oil — a highly concentrated source of medium-chain triglycerides. Two studies conducted, one in women and the other in men, showed that coconut oil in moderation reduced belly fat. Coconut oil curbs hunger but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have any calories. Instead of adding it to your diet, you can use coconut oil as a substitute for other cooking oils.
Chia seeds have gained much popularity for its nutrition profile — a staple in ancient Aztec diet. From boosting metabolic rates , digestive health, to adding good fats, chia seeds makes an excellent addition to your weight loss diet. Every 100 grams of chia seeds possess 16.5 grams of protein, 34.4 grams of dietary fibres, 7.7 milligrams of iron and 335 milligrams of Magnesium. It’s also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Simply put, this seed variant is low-carb and one of the best sources of fiber in the world. Its high fibre content allows chia seeds to absorb up to 11–12 times their weight in water, turning gel-like and expanding in your stomach. While research has shown that chia seeds can help reduce appetite, it didn’t reflect a significant effect on weight loss.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been a cult favourite for ages now among the natural health community, having shown powerful results for weight loss. It has been used as condiments like salad dressings or vinaigrettes while some dilute it in water and drink it as is. Several human-based studies conducted propose that apple cider vinegar can be aid in weight loss. To reap ACV’s benefit in weight loss, it’s recommended to drink it before having high-carb meals. It keeps you fuller and prevents overeating. A 12-week study with obese individuals as subjects showed that consuming 15 or 30 ml of vinegar per day caused weight loss of between 2.6–3.7 pounds or 1.2–1.7 kilograms.
Nuts are the ultimate health food. High in protein, rich in healthy fats, and low in simple carbohydrates, nuts prompt your body to burn excess fat and shed extra pounds. They may be high in fat, but not as fattening as you would think. What’s great about nuts is that it’s versatile — a great snack, can be added to a salad and into your favourite smoothie. When eating nuts for weight loss, remember to keep calories in mind and not binge on it. Nuts are energy-dense, which means they pack a lot of nutrients into a relatively small size.
Fruits and its natural sugars are perhaps the best way to quell a sweet tooth. Besides being endowed with a healthy form of sugar, fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and micronutrients. The fibre found in fruits work in favour of those who are on a diet, keeping them full which decreases the likelihood of snacking. Numerous population studies have shown that people who eat the most fruit (and vegetables) tend to be healthier than people who don’t. Fruits contain less than others so get your serving of an apple, antioxidant-full blueberries and strawberries or peaches and lemons.
The debate on whether whole grains are good for the body is a long standing one but generally, it is considered far superior to refined grains. Those good for weight loss include the likes of brown rice, whole oats, unhulled barley and quinoa to name a few. Oats, for example, are inherently enriched with beta-glucans — soluble fibres that keeps you satiated and improves metabolic health. Bear in mind that sometimes, food that are labelled whole grains are highly processed junk food and can be fattening. So, if you’re on a low-carb diet, it’s best to stay away from grains as they’re high in carbs.
Not all yogurts are created equal when it comes to losing weight. While an excellent source of dairy, most flavoured yogurts found in stores are loaded with added sugar. Plain, unsweetened Greek yogurts are the best kind, as a healthy snack or cooking substitute. One of the benefits of yogurt is that it comprises probiotic bacterias that can improve gut function. Having a healthy gut creates an armour against inflammation and leptin resistance, which is one of the main hormonal drivers of obesity. Be sure to opt for yogurt with live, active cultures.