Are you always in a battle to lose weight?
If you're trying to cut calories and starving yourself in the process, you're setting yourself up to fail.
The key to losing weight isn't eliminating food altogether, but rather getting more familiar with weight loss friendly foods.
And we're not talking about scanning the shelves for “low-fat” and “no-fat” versions of everything. These are often loaded with sugar to compensate.
We're talking about simple food choices you can make that will help you more easily lose weight.
What Makes for Weight Loss Friendly Foods?
In a nutshell, you want natural foods that will keep you feeling full for longer amounts of time.
Processed foods and those loaded with carbohydrates will give you a quick kick of fullness, then quickly leave you feeling ravenous again.
Plus, they will disturb your blood sugar and insulin levels.
So we'll take a look at seven foods that fill you up in a healthy way, keep you feeling full, and don't compromise your body's metabolic functions.
Aside from being great for your ticker, starting your day with a bowl of oatmeal is an effective way to stay full through the morning. That means you won't be eager to scarf down a muffin at 10 am.
Fiber is key in weight-loss. That's because it contains an anti-appetite molecule called acetate.
And oatmeal is loaded with a special type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan.
Foods with fiber make you feel full for a lot longer than those without. Even if the calorie count is the same. So a 150-calorie bowl of oatmeal will leave you satisfied for longer than a 150-calorie bowl of cereal.
Plus, having a breakfast rich in fiber means you're likely to consume fewer calories at lunch.
Although not high in fiber, yogurt is another fantastic option when it comes to watching your waistline.
Yogurt contains protein, which is also effective in keeping you feeling full for longer. In addition, yogurt contains probiotics that are good for gut maintenance. And a healthy gut means a healthier body overall.
One caveat with yogurt though is to be sure you're consuming either non-fat or low-fat varieties. And watch the sugar content.
Your best bet is to stick with plain yogurt and add fruit or a little honey or maple syrup if it's sweetness you crave.
Eggs have certainly gotten their fair share of abuse over the last several decades.
But now that we have a much better understanding of cholesterol, eggs are back on top as one of the healthiest foods available.
Much like the yogurt, the secret ingredient in eggs is protein. And for such a small and simple package, eggs really pack a wallop of it.
So when you're considering that bagel with cream cheese, you may want to opt for a couple of eggs instead. They'll keep your blood sugar and insulin levels steady and, as with the oatmeal, you'll eat less at lunch.
Again, preparation is key. If you're weight-conscious, avoid frying your eggs in a lot of butter. And mayonnaise/butter filled devil eggs don't really count either.
4. Fresh Fruit
Back in the 1970s, grapefruit was all the rage among those trying to lose weight. And there does seem to be some connection with eating half of a grapefruit every day and cutting calories.
But once again, it really comes down to fiber. And most fresh fruit is loaded with it.
Among the highest-fiber fruits are berries. They're incredibly versatile. You can easily add them to the aforementioned oatmeal and yogurt to power up your breakfast even more.
Or toss them in a salad.
Then there are avocados – which are in a class by themselves.
Yes, they're a fiber-rich fruit. But they also offer a lot of other nutrients and beneficial fats. So they must be eaten in moderation.
Whatever fruit you choose, you'll get the most fiber if you eat it raw as opposed to drinking it as a juice. Plus, chewing sends signals to your brain that tell it you're eating something. This helps to activate hormones that make you feel full.
Nuts are another amazing food that you can add to your oatmeal. Or toss some in a small container, throw it in your bag, and you're good to go.
With nuts, you get both protein AND fiber. They're also chock full of beneficial nutrients and heart-healthy fats.
But because they do tend to run higher in fat, it is essential that you practice portion control when it comes to nuts. So enjoy them responsibly!
6. Puréed Vegetables
Much like fruit, vegetables are loaded with fiber too.
But unlike fruit, vegetables won't satisfy your sweet tooth. Plus, they're not easy to carry around with you.
So take your favorite vegetables, steam them, then purée them. From there, the possibilities are endless.
You can add your veggie purée to a smoothie. Or make it into a soup. You can even stir it into your favorite pasta dish to lessen the carbs you'll consume and feel full faster.
While most vegetables are high in fiber, the cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage are particularly high. And they purée remarkably well.
7. Beans, Chickpeas, Lentils, and Peas
Beans, chickpeas, lentils, and peas are known collectively as pulses.
Like nuts, the pulses have plenty of protein. But they do not have the fat. Furthermore, pulses are among the most fiber-rich foods on the planet.
Pulses are another good option for puréeing – hence the popularity of hummus.
Similar to oatmeal, the fiber in pulses is soluble. And because they have both protein and fiber, they will fill you up quickly and leave you feeling satisfied.
Get Full and Stay Full
Trying to lose weight is tough. And adapting to new foods you're not used to eating takes some time.
But if you make it a habit to eat a lot more weight loss friendly foods like the ones listed above, you'll feel full longer and eat fewer calories.
Over time, you're bound to see some results. And you'll definitely feel better!
For more great articles on losing weight while staying healthy and motivated, be sure to visit our weight-loss blog regularly.