For every dieter who wants to shed some pounds, knowing what foods to eat to lose weight is a constant quest. Some might tell you that you should avoid carbohydrates, and other will tell you that calorie control is the only way. So we decided that we will put together an article, that answered all your questions related to what foods to eat to lose weight and which ones to avoid.
First things first, all food has some calories. So don’t think that you will find a list of no calorie food anywhere. What you might find is a guide of low calorie foods, but then, just consuming low calories is not a healthy way to lose weight. Your body needs certain amount of calories to sustain itself, and these calories come from food. Whatever extra calories your body accumulates must be expended in the form of exercise and physical activity. There are a few foods that can help you burn calories. And then there are a few foods that not only don’t help in burning calories, they also convert instantly in to fat. So knowing what to eat and what not to eat is almost as important as knowing which exercises work for you and which don’t.
What foods to eat to lose weight?
Here is an extensive list of what foods to eat to lose weight, which will answer all your questions. No longer do you need to worry whether what your friend recommend sis healthy or not! If it isn’t on this list, you need to do some more research!
1. Nuts –
When talking about foods that help to lose weight, nuts feature right at the top. They offer you everything that you need to lose weight – right from healthy fats, dietary fiber, vital vitamins and minerals to even protein and carbs. You can say that nuts are a complete food in themselves, and they help slim your tummy too! Even a study done at Purdue University revealed that people who ate a handful of nuts daily tend to be slimmer than people who don’t! So why wait; go nuts!
Expert advice: Stay away from nuts that have been salted or sweetened. Eat no more than 24 nuts a day to keep the calories in check.
2. Oatmeal –
There is nothing as good as a big bowl of oatmeal in the morning for those looking to lose weight. Oatmeal regulates your blood sugar levels because it is high in insoluble fiber, which means it will digest a lot more slowly, giving your body ready amounts of energy over a period of time (right until your next meal).
Expert advice: Steer clear of all pre-packed oatmeal as they have a lot of sugar added in them to make them more palatable. Choose the normal plain stuff, cook it yourself, and sweeten with berries or honey.
3. Protein powder –
Protein raises your metabolism and the result is that you lose more weight. Don’t think that protein powders are only for gym buffs, anyone with an active lifestyle can benefit greatly by having a large protein shake every day. As your body builds muscle, thanks to the protein, it burns more calories and reduces fat deposits!
Expert advice: When using protein powder, make sure you make a smoothie with yogurt or use skimmed milk. Don’t add extra sugar or chocolate; that removes the ‘healthy’ quotient.
4. Olive oil-
Who ever told you that fats are not good for you; do not really know what they are talking about. Our body needs a minimum dose of healthy fats because fats are the main structure that forms body cells and also many vitamins and minerals are only fat soluble. Also, fats satisfy cravings for starchy foods, and hence monounsaturated oils are great for you.
Expert advice: Stay away from hydrogenated vegetable oils as they have trans fats which are very unhealthy. You can substitute olive oil with canola oil, if you want.
5. Berries –
High in antioxidants and fiber, berries are one of the best things you can eat to lose weight. Load up on blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries and see how great they are!
6. Eggs –
Eggs are fortified with the goodness of Vitamin B12 to make your fat cells burn. Researchers at Louisiana State University stated after an extensive research that people who eat eggs for breakfast lose weight much faster than those who eat bagels. Eggs are high in proteins, which means they keep you fuller for longer too.
Expert advice: Egg yolk is high in cholesterol. If you have high cholesterol levels, it is best to avoid the yolk of the egg and eat egg white omelets.
7. Dairy –
Heard that milk contains too much fat, and is not good for your waistline? Now forget that! Recent researches show that calcium is very important for weight loss as it breaks down fat. Make sure you get enough calcium a day by drinking skimmed milk, having yogurts and low fat cheese. Calcium gives you healthy bones and a healthy waistline too!
Expert advice: Don’t indulge in full fat dairy since you are trying to lose weight. Pick low fat or reduced fat versions of milk, cheese and yogurt.
8. Beans and Legumes –
Low in calories and high in fiber and proteins, beans are the ideal foods for those who want to lose weight. They contain no saturated fats and make your body work a lot harder just to digest a big bean dish like burritos. Cannellini beans are especially good, because their high fiber content resists digestion, making your body work extra hard to break this down.
Expert advice: Don’t eat refried beans as they contain saturated fats. Stick to pinto, red beans or black beans.
Thinking what foods to eat to lose weight? Don’t think anymore; make your bigger meals like lunch and dinner revolve around lean meats rather than breads and other carbs. Fact is that though 1 gram of carbs and 1 gram of protein gives you equal amounts of calories; your body burns more calories when digesting proteins as compared to carbs or even fats. Choose fish that are high in omega 3 fatty acids like salmon and tuna, or indulge in a lean chicken dish that is grilled and not friend.
Expert advice: Eat meat the right way. Don’t fry or cook in oil; broil the meats, poach them or grill them. Also, processed meats like sausages are high in saturated fats, so avoid them.
10. Whole grains –
We said your body burns more calories when digesting proteins, but it needs energy from carbs to do that, right? So choose whole grains as they are high in fiber and are complex carbohydrates. They digest slowly, giving you a time release formula for energy. White breads and rice digest readily; giving you a whole lot of energy instantly, which when not used converts in to fats. So choose whole grains – they maintain your blood sugar levels and are healthier on the whole.
Expert advice: Some cheap bakeries will sell you ‘wheat’ bread that doesn’t contain any fiber and nutrients. Stick to whole grain or multi grain breads instead.
11. Green tea –
Swizz researchers have found that those who drink green tea every day bur 266 calories a day more than those who probably drink coffee or other beverages. It comes as no surprise that green tea features on our list of ‘what foods to eat to lose weight’. The antioxidant property of green tea and the catechins in this tea make it a wonder food when it comes to speeding up your metabolism.
Expert advice: Don’t indulge in bottled green teas or iced teas as they are high in sugar. Brew your own pot and sweeten with honey and lime.
12. Peanut butter –
You might not know this, but this kid friendly food is also waist friendly! Peanut butter can help you lose weight, because it contains Niacin, which prevents belly fat from accumulating and also keeps the digestive system working in order.
Expert advice: Keep a close eye on portion size because peanut butter is high in fats. 2 tablespoons a day are more than enough
13. Green vegetables –
Now we all know that veggies are healthy because they are packed with vitamins and minerals. But they are also great for you if you want to lose weight, because they have fewer calories and are packed with fiber. Include a salad before every meal and feel the difference!
Expert advice: Iceberg Lettuce may look leafy but has no fiber. Instead choose spinach, regular lettuce and arugula for your salad.
14. Avocados –
With monounsaturated fats that are heart healthy, fiber and vitamins, Avocados have won their spot on our list of what foods to eat to lose weight because of their healthy traits. They are great for your skin, your hair and your shapely figure!
15. Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese –
Are you wondering what cheese is doing on this list? This cheese is low in calories and high in calcium, making it one of the best ways to flavor your dishes without adding extra unwanted calories! It also contains more protein than any other dairy product, making it an excellent choice for your pasta and soups.
Expert advice: For best results, grate no more than an ounce on your pasta, bread or soup and make sure the past/soup dish in itself isn’t too high in calories.
16. Citrus Fruits –
All fruits are good, but citrus fruits are especially good when you want to lose weight. Their high Vitamin C content helps break down fats. Enjoy oranges, kiwis and grapefruits to lose more weight. Vitamin C dilutes our fat cells, making them easier to flush out.
So, there you have it- An extensive list on what foods to eat to lose weight. We hope this guide will help you gain a better understanding of what food is healthy for you, and what is not. In the end, know that eating in moderation is the key to losing weight, and that goes for even these healthy foods.