Health: 10 Natural Foods for Weight Loss
They're healthy, they're delicious, and – oh yeah – they'll help trim the waistline
Plenty of foods can support your weight-loss efforts when included as part of a healthy diet. Eating these 10 foods for weight loss regularly is a simple way to make the most of your meals.
1. Chia seeds
Fiber slows digestion and keeps us feeling fuller longer. This is super important when we’re cutting back on calories, a common approach to weight loss. A 2-tablespoon serving of chia seeds satisfies a whopping 40% of daily fiber needs.
2. Fatty fish
The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like salmon, sardines and tuna may help to reduce body fat. Fatty fish is also high in protein to help curb hunger, keeping us full for hours. Consider canned seafood to whip up easy salmon patties or a classic niçoise salad.
3. Cruciferous vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and dark leafy greens. They’re low in calories and carbohydrates, making them the perfect non-starchy addition to any weight-loss plan. Use them as the hearty base for meal-prep salads or as a low-carb swap for grains or blend them into smoothies.
4. Whole grains
You don’t need to give up starches like pasta, bread and rice when you’re trying to shed pounds. Just choose whole grains most of the time. In addition to vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, whole grains like whole-wheat pasta, brown rice and quinoa contain fiber to keep us feeling satisfied.
Like vegetables, fruits are a smart addition to any healthy weight-loss plan. Apples are especially good to have on hand throughout the week because they’re inexpensive, keep for weeks in the fridge and make for super-portable snacks. Because of their high water content and fiber (be sure to eat the skin), apples are low in calories and filling.
6. Fermented foods
A healthy balance of good bacteria in the intestinal tract may help to promote fat burning. Aim to include a few bites or sips of probiotic-rich foods most days. (Think kefir and yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, and tempeh.)
Nuts are satiating and satisfying thanks to their healthy fat, fiber and protein content. The key is portion control, as a serving of nuts (about 1/4 cup) can pack 160 to 200 calories. Try pistachios in shells — shelling them as you snack is a simple way to promote mindful eating!
The egg really is the perfect protein, especially when it comes to weight loss. Eaten at breakfast, eggs have been shown to enhance weight loss as part of a reduced-calorie diet. Plus, incorporating enough protein-rich foods like eggs at breakfast may keep evening snack cravings at bay.
Avocados deliver a one-two punch of healthy fats and fiber, plus a buttery texture that adds richness to meals and snacks. While they’re higher in calories than other fruits and vegetables, research suggests avocado eaters — those who consume about half an avocado a day along with a healthy diet — have lower body weights and waist measurements.
10. Dark chocolate
Yep, chocolate, and here’s why: A healthy weight-loss diet is more likely to be effective if it’s sustainable. Including foods you enjoy but initially perceive to be off-limits, like chocolate, may help you stick with a weight-loss plan. Including an ounce of dark chocolate (aim for 70% cacao content or higher) might be just the indulgence you need to stay on track.
EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at www.eatingwell.com.
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