Top 10 foods to include in a healthy weight loss diet
Not all foods are created equal. In fact, what we eat can impact our hormones, hunger, and the rate at which we burn calories. This means that including the right foods in your diet can boost your weight loss regime and help support your efforts to lose weight in an efficient, healthy way. As a general guideline, guilty culprits such as saturated fats and processed foods should be replaced by healthy foods high in fibre and protein as they keep us fuller for longer and help boost our metabolisms. Some of the best foods to eat to supercharge your weight loss plan include:
Eggs are highly beneficial to support calorie-reduced diets as they are very rich in nutrients, which means you can reach the number of nutrients your body needs more easily. They are high in protein, which helps boost your metabolism and build muscles. Research has also shown that eating eggs for breakfast increases satiety and help prevent snack cravings during the day. Therefore, this versatile and economical ingredient constitutes a great element to include in a weight-loss plan.
You can’t go wrong including avocados with any type of diet. This nutritious fruit is rich in healthy fats and fibre, as opposed to other fruits which are loaded with carbs. The type of fat contained in avocados is called monounsaturated oleic acid (also found in olive oil) and is known to help promote calory burn. Easy to consume, you can add avocados to any salad, have them as a side dish, or simply eat them as a quick snack. For a healthy boost, make sure you eat avocados alongside vegetables as they have been shown to significantly increase the absorption of carotenoid antioxidant due to their fat content.
Whole grains such as brown rice, oats, quinoa and whole-wheat pasta are high in fibre in addition to containing a multitude of minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients. Not only do they keep us feel satiated for longer, but they also provide us with a great energy boost from their carb content. Refined grains do not contain the same amount of healthy nutrients, and are also more difficult to digest. It is worth noting that foods marked as ‘whole-wheat’ are not always healthy or fully whole-grain, therefore it is recommended to check the detailed label.
Legumes and beans
Beans and legumes such as black beans, chickpeas, lentils and kidney beans are high in protein and fibre. This combination of nutrients is highly beneficial to losing weight as they increase satiety as well as help stimulate fat burn.
Fish is a great healthy food option as it is full of healthy fats, high-quality protein, and various other important nutrients which are difficult to find in other foods (such as iodine). Fatty fish – such as salmon, tuna and sardines – is particularly beneficial to weight-loss diets as they contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce body fat as well as support our brain and heart health. Seafood also helps us stay satiated by providing us with a decent amount of protein.
Known as one of the ‘superfoods’, chia seeds are very nutrient-dense and provide a high amount of fibre. They help us stay full by absorbing up to 12 times their weight in water and expanding in the stomach.
Leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables
Leafy greens – such as kale, spinach, arugula swiss chard and collards – and cruciferous vegetables – including cauliflower, brussels sprouts and broccoli – have plenty of health benefits such as reducing inflammation, lowering cancer risk and providing a wide array of vitamins and minerals to the body. They constitute a key element to weight loss as they help us feel full while being low in calories and carbohydrates. This means you can eat a greater quantity of these foods while keeping your calory intake low.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a popular ingredient when it comes to boosting your health and supporting weight loss. Taking it alongside a meal high in carbohydrates helps increase the feeling of fullness and reduces later cravings. It also helps reduce blood sugar spikes after eating. You can take apple cider vinegar by diluting it in water, or as a condiment or dressing.
Unprocessed lean meats
Unprocessed lean meats – particularly white meats such as chicken and turkey –constitute a great healthy source of protein. The high amount of protein combined with low fat helps the body burn more calories in the day. It also helps us remain satiated longer and keep cravings at bay.
Choose yoghurts that contain probiotic bacteria, as the content of live, active cultures maintains our gut health – which supports healthy and effective digestion. You can also tie in other health benefits by choosing yoghurts that are known to reduce cholesterol or are fortified in certain vitamins. It is recommended to choose full-fat yoghurts as their low-fat counterparts tend to have a higher sugar content.