No single food can melt the pounds, but there are many healthy options that can aid your weight loss efforts if they are part of a healthy diet. In addition to being delicious additions to meals and snacks, nearly all 10 of these foods contain either fiber or protein (or both!) Introducing them regularly throughout the week is an easy way to get the most out of your meals.
When it comes to weight loss, fiber is king. It is satiating because it slows digestion and keeps us feeling fuller longer. This is especially important when we are cutting back on calories, a common approach to weight loss. 40% of daily fiber needs are met by eating chia seeds, about 2 tablespoons. And they are easy to incorporate into meals, especially breakfast and snacks, with foods like breakfast pudding, berry jam and energy balls. Bonus – chia seeds are one of the best foods to help you
Dietary guidelines for Americans recommend eating two servings of seafood each week because it contains essential fatty acids that we can only get through our diet. In addition to supporting heart and brain health, omega-3 fatty acids found in fish such as salmon, sardines and tuna can help reduce body fat. Seafood is also high in protein, which helps reduce hunger, keeping our stomachs full for hours on end. Fresh fish is great, but buying it every week can be expensive. Consider frozen fish fillets or shrimp, which are less expensive, and don’t overlook canned seafood to make light salmon meatballs, quick toast with sardines, or a classic Nicoise salad.
Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and dark green leafy greens such as kale and arugula. Their health benefits are enormous, and a growing body of research links regular consumption of these vegetables to a lower risk of cancer and reduced inflammation. They are also low in calories and carbohydrates, making them the perfect starch-free addition to any weight loss plan. It’s easy to incorporate these vegetables during the week. Use them as a base for salads or as a low-carb exchange for grains, or mix them into smoothies.
Many people think that they should give up starches such as pasta, bread and rice when trying to lose weight. Fortunately, this is not the case if we choose whole grains most of the time. In addition to vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, whole grains such as whole wheat pasta, brown rice and quinoa contain fiber that keeps us happy. In addition, our body and brain prefer energy from carbohydrates, so consuming these foods along with healthy protein and fat can reduce the craving for refined carbohydrates and sugar, which sometimes sabotages weight loss efforts.