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10 Best Foods for Weight Loss
Exercise is an important component of weight loss, but what you eat has an even bigger impact on your progress. Watch the kilos melt away by incorporating the best foods for weight loss into your diet.
While there are plenty of weight loss shakes and supplements on the market that promise a quick fix, nothing is as effective in the long term as a clean, balanced diet. Certain foods contain macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are known to promote weight loss. Here are 10 of the best foods for weight loss to accelerate your transformation!Image by something.from.nancy licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
This sweet, juicy fruit is not only a ridiculously refreshing treat on a hot day, but can also help you to lose weight! Watermelon, along with strawberries, courgette, and celery, has a very high water content.
Often we feel hungry when, in fact, we are simply dehydrated. Eating these foods will help you stay hydrated and keep hunger at bay, ensuring that you don’t overeat.
2. Cruciferous vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, are ideal to include in a weight loss diet. These foods are rich in fibre, which helps keep you fuller longer and promotes healthy digestion.
Cauliflower in particular is a fibre powerhouse, with one cup containing 10% of your required daily intake. Not sure how to prepare it? Try cauliflower “rice.” Simply steam a head of cauliflower, chop it in a food processor, and squeeze out the excess water. You’ll be amazed at how closely the texture and taste resembles rice!
The world’s obsession with avocado seems to grow by the day, and with good reason. This superfood is filled with fibre, protein, and most importantly, monounsaturated fat. It may seem counterintuitive to eat such a rich food when trying to lose weight, but in actuality, these healthy fats help you stay full so you end up eating less.
Add some staying power to your next salad by blending up an avocado dressing. Simply process 1 avocado, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper in a food processor until smooth. If it’s a bit too thick, thin it out with a tablespoon or two of water.Image by duncan c licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
Many people require a cup or two of coffee to function in the morning. But did you know that black coffee could also help you with weight loss? First, it acts as a natural appetite suppressant, so you’re less likely to overindulge at mealtimes. Second, black coffee is a proven metabolism booster. While its effects are relatively short-lived, you can capitalise on them by doing some cardio right after you drink your morning java. The coffee will help you to burn even more calories during your workout.
If you’re following a plant-based diet, getting enough protein is incredibly important. In fact, it’s even more important when you’re trying to lose weight, because protein helps you to maintain lean muscle mass while burning fat.
Chickpeas, as well as other beans and legumes, are an excellent source of protein for both vegetarians and carnivores alike. One half cup of chickpeas contains a whopping 20 grams of protein—not too far off from a similar serving of chicken breast, which contains about 30 grams. In addition to being an awesome source of protein, chickpeas are also high in iron, magnesium, and calcium. Try roasting them with coconut oil and chili powder, or blending them up with tahini, lemon juice, and salt for a tasty homemade hummus.
Looking for a weight loss tip and cost-saving measure rolled into one? Then meet your new best friend, mushrooms. This low-calorie fungus is the perfect substitute in dishes calling for minced meat, making it both wallet- and waist-friendly.
The next time a recipe calls for minced beef, for example, simply swap out half of the meat for mushrooms that have been finely chopped in a food processor. The texture of the mushrooms mimics that of the meat, so that you can hardly taste the difference. Instead, you’ll be significantly reducing the amount of saturated fat you’re consuming, and making your meat go further.Image by bjaglin licensed under CC BY 2.0.
We’ve talked about water-dense fruits being great for weight loss, but fruits rich in fibre are just as effective. Fruits like guava (which contains 9 grams of fibre per cup), mango, and apples, are filled with fibre and make for excellent snacks to keep you full throughout the day.
Cube up a couple of mangos on Sunday night to enjoy throughout the week, or stash a few apples in your desk at work. Make sure when you’re eating an apple, though, to eat the peel as well—that’s where most of the fibre is.
You don’t have to go completely low-carb in order to lose weight. While you’re probably better off ditching pasta, white bread, and other refined wheat products, quinoa is one grain (or seed, actually) that can help you to lose weight.
It’s high in both protein and fibre, as well as minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, and iron. Iron plays a somewhat understated yet significant role in weight loss. People who are deficient in iron are unable to produce enough hemoglobin, which leaves them feeling tired and sluggish. We all know how difficult it can be to prepare nutritious foods and work out when we’re feeling run down, but getting enough iron gives us the energy make healthy choices. Since quinoa is rather plain on its own, try cooking it in vegetable stock or coconut milk to give it more flavour.Image by John Loo licensed under CC BY 2.0
You already know that eggs—even just the whites—are packed with the protein you need to stay lean. But they also contain a vitamin that is essential to weight loss: vitamin D. A lack of vitamin D has been shown to slow down one’s metabolism, and can even lead to depression and heart disease. Getting a daily dose of sunlight certainly helps, but dietary sources of vitamin D are just as crucial. Be sure to eat the whole egg, though, because the yolk is what holds the most vitamins.
Dairy is known as one of the best foods for weight loss, because calcium boosts your metabolism. So why choose yogurt as your main source of calcium over milk or cheese? Yogurt also contains probiotics that promote good gut health, and can help prevent yeast infections in women who are prone to them.
The key to incorporating yogurt into your diet is choosing the right one. Avoid low fat yogurts, which are often filled with tons of sugar. Instead, go for plain, full-fat yogurt and sweeten it naturally with a touch of honey or fruit.
Losing weight is no easy task, but with the right combination of protein, fibre, and essential vitamins and minerals, you can make it happen. Stock your refrigerator and cupboard with some of these best foods for weight loss and you’ll be slimming down in no time.