Time and again we’re told that we need to restrict our food intake if we wish to lose weight. Fasting fads and diets that tell us to cut out entire food groups are doing more harm than good. We restrict our diet and we quickly lose weight, only to put it back on again when we can’t maintain the harsh restrictions we’ve imposed on ourselves.
Rules about when we should be eating are also confusing when mantras such as ‘eat little and often’ that we have all come to know are proven to be ineffective. While it is true, in part, that we need to limit our calorie intake to fit our lifestyle, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the focus should be on restricting what we eat. On the contrary, it means we just have to be more aware of what we’re eating.
The good news for foodies all round is that, if you’re eating the right foods and staying active, you can actually eat MORE. Not all food is created equal and nutritional value trumps all so what’s important is what’s actually on your plate. Knowing what your food is giving you in a nutritional sense will help you to make better decisions about your diet in a healthy and sustainable way. So let’s stop thinking about the foods we have to cut out and start thinking about the foods we should be putting in. Here’s a list of 10 super foods that promote healthy weight loss.
10 Foods to Promote Weight Loss and Health
Before we start thinking about what we should be eating for our meals, let’s think about what we should be eating before. That’s right, snacks! Grapefruits have long been considered nutritional powerhouses. Half a grapefruit before a meal will consist of about only 50 calories, yet will provide you with over half of your daily dose of vitamin C, a hefty dose of vitamin A and a wave of hydration. Nutritionally, grapefruits can help to protect you from diabetes, stroke, heart disease and cancer. To top it off, thanks to a study called the ‘Grapefruit Diet’ by the Scripps Clinic, we know that grapefruit is proven to aid weight loss in obese patients.
It’s true what they say about apples – they really can help keep the doctor away. High in vitamin C and antioxidants as well as crucial dietary fiber, apples are capable of protecting us from a multitude of health issues from dementia to diabetes. If that wasn’t enough, the nutrition found in several types of commonly found apples have been found to such an effect on good gut bacteria that they can aid in weight loss and prevent obesity.
The humble hen’s egg has had a bad reputation lately. Though, thankfully, speculation that they are bad for cholesterol has finally been cleared up and we can now all go back to eating omelettes galore. For a long time we’ve been told to avoid the yolks as they contain too much fat when in reality, most of the nutrients are in this little yellow ball of sunshine. Eating eggs for breakfast makes you feel fuller for longer and can reduce your consumption of foods for up to 36 hours, they also pack a punch when it comes to protein all in approximately 150 calories.
We all know we should be eating more of it, but it’s not always clear why. All fish, whether oily or lean provides us with our main source of iodine which is crucial for healthy thyroid function, which in turn affects how well your metabolism works. So really it’s an obvious choice for weight loss. Oily fish like salmon also provide us with healthy fats like omega-3 which has important, inflammation reducing properties which can improve weight issues. Lean fish like tuna, on the other hand, provide a fantastic amount of protein with very little fat or calories.
It would be easy to gawk at this suggested weight loss food, but potatoes have long been misjudged when it comes to healthy choices. Labelled as carbohydrate dense and low in nutritional value, potatoes of both the white and sweet variety are incredibly nutrient dense and provide us with our main source for micro nutrients such as potassium. Moreover, boiled potatoes create a resistant starch that is proven to aid weight loss. A little amount can make us feel more satisfied than other foods and for a much longer period. The key is to put the fork down once you’re full.
- Cruciferous Vegetables
Yes, you’d be right in thinking that these are generally considered the smelly ones. Sprouts, cabbage and the ever popular broccoli are all examples of cruciferous vegetables. These greens are well-known for providing more protein than most other vegetables as well as being high in fiber and water. This trio makes them incredibly nutritious and filling.
Recently, avocado toast has managed to carve its own place in the world and with good reason. This fruit is surprisingly low in carbohydrates but high in healthy fats and has been compared to other healthy fat sources such as olive oil. Impressively nutrient dense, a 100 gram serving of avocado can host up to 20 different vitamins and minerals as well as a chunk of dietary fiber which is crucial for weight loss.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
More of a condiment than a food, apple cider vinegar has long been heralded as having magical weight loss powers, as well as many other nifty uses. Consuming apple cider vinegar whilst eating a meal can make us feel fuller quicker and for longer and vinegar has shown an ability to reduce blood sugar levels which is beneficial to our general health.
Pulses and legumes generally have a pretty good reputation but consuming lentils can be a fantastic way to aid your weight loss. Low in calories with practically no fat, lentils are a great swap for your traditional staples. They are a fantastic source of protein and fibre, which we know are both essential to healthy weight loss. These nutrients also provide benefits such as lowering cholesterol and stabilizing blood sugar levels.
Another super fruit, pomegranates are nutritious form their jewel coloured flesh to their tiny seeds. The history of the pomegranate goes back for millennia and their health properties have long been known. Studies suggest that pomegranate can have a positive effect on bone strength, cancers and heart health. A high dose of antioxidants such as vitamins A and C as well as that all important fiber makes this fruit a great addition to any meal.
Whether you’re looking to maintain your current physique or drop a couple of pounds, it’s important to remember that although food is essentially fuel for your body, it doesn’t have to be boring. There are vast amounts of health and weight loss promoting ingredients out there waiting to land on your plate.