A successful weight process heavily depends on nutrition. Specifically, 80-90 percent of the success or failure is attributed to the foods you consume. Hence, if you are to get rid of the excess pounds and stay healthy at the same time, you need to incorporate healthy and weight-loss promoting foods in your daily diet. While the word diet is often associated with depriving of certain foods items, the truth is that all of them are important and there is a reason why you need them in your diet. Here are the best foods to use to lose weight, blast belly fat, and stay healthy. Check them out!
Avocados have relatively low sugar content, compared to fruits like apples or pears. According to a study done by the Nutrition Journal, those who eat half a fresh avocado daily reduced their appetite and cravings by 40 percent for a few hours.
Being rich in monounsaturated fats which act as energy-boosters, avocado can be used as replacement for store bough pre-workout supplements. Not only it boosts energy, but it keeps the metabolism running optimally even after you are done with the workout.
2. Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes are ideal weight –loss tool, since they are packed with both fiber and protein. These nutrients leave you with a full feeling even a few hours after a meal, but also help regulate blood sugar levels. Consequently, they protect against hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. Optimizing the micro-organisms balance is yet another benefit of these foods.
Eating berries is a good way to satisfy your sweet tooth, without any guilt. They are low in calories and in sugar when compared to other fruits, which makes them good allies in any weight loss process. However, make sure you don’t add any sugars in them and think it is healthy!
4. Pear and Apple
Both pear and apple are low in calories but high in fiber content, which helps them make you full for an extended period of time, without eating too much of them. A small pear contains about 86 calories while a medium-sized apple has around 95 calories, which is 5 percent of the recommended healthy intake.
In one study, 49 women aged 30-50 years were given either apples and pears or oat cookies. At the end of the study it was found that those adding these fruits to their daily diet lost weight while the second group didn’t notice any improvement.
Grapefruit is one of the best foods for losing weight and burning fat, as it acts as hunger suppressant and it is known as negative calorie food. In other words, it takes more calories to digest it than it actually contains, which stimulates the process of burning fat. In addition to this, grapefruit regulates insulin level, which in turn helps prevent accumulation of fat in the critical parts of the body.
6. Whole Grains
Despite the controversies regarding whole grains, it has been scientifically proven that as long as the right kind is eaten in moderation, it does offer a wide array of health benefits. According to researchers at Wake Forrest University, those who eat 2.5 servings daily reduced their risks of cardiovascular disease by up to 21 percent.
The best sources of whole grains include barley, wild rice, whole grain cord, whole oats, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, and sorghum.
Salmon is packed with nutrients that help regulate weight indirectly. Specifically, it is rich in omega-3 fats, (4,023mg per 178 grams of salmon), a nutrient that boosts mood and improves brain function. These fats also improve digestion, promote fluid balance, lower the risk of obesity, and reduce inflammation in the body. It has been scientifically shown that salmon is also loaded in proteins and amino acids that impact insulin, thus affect metabolism and weight.
Grapes contain phytonutrients like popyphenol and phenols, both of which have anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent obesity and metabolic diseases. Polyphenols have been also shown to protect against fructose-induced oxidative stress and improve insulin sensitivity.
As grapes are high in fructose and calories, it is recommended to limit their consumption to a cup of them on a daily basis. As you can see, the portion size is the key!
9. Sweet Potato
In its raw form, sweet potato is high in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients, both of which offer benefits for the heart, digestive system, and the eyesight. Sweet potato has lower glycemic index than the ordinary potato and it helps improve blood sugar levels, despite the fact that it is starchy. Its fiber content improves digestion and gives enough time to the body to convert starches into simple sugars.
10. Green Tea
Did you know that green tea is one of the best weight-loss beverages out there? Given that Japanese and Chinese consume this tea on a regular basis, the fact that there are hardly any obese people in Japan and China doesn’t come as surprise.
Green tea contains caffeine and EGCG or Epigallocatechin gallate, both of which aid weight loss. While green tea contains less caffeine than coffee, the amount is still enough to boost aerobic performance and burn fat.
This tasty and nutritious fruit is packed with vitamins C and K as well as potassium and folate. It is an excellent source of fiber as well, which makes it effective in improving digestion. Those who are physically active and exercise on a regular basis should consider adding it to their pre-workout routine as it boosts athletic performance and improves blood circulation.
Although eggs are relatively high in cholesterol, their cholesterol content doesn’t negatively affect your cholesterol levels whatsoever. As a matter of fact, the liver produces more cholesterol and eating eggs lowers its productions and helps things even out. Eggs are also rich in omega-3 fats and protein, but low in calories and carbohydrates.
A bowl of hot soup is highly nutritious and is far superior to other, conventional meals which are typically loaded with calories. It has been scientifically shown that adding water to food basically lowers the energy density, which in turn promotes satiety and prevents hunger pangs. Needless to say, not all soups are made equal, so it is better to avoid those that are cream or cheese-based.
14. Leafy Greens
A bowl full of leafy greens, cherry tomatoes, and cottage cheese is one of the healthiest and most nutritious meals one can have. Kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, and other leafy greens are known for their high fiber content, but relatively low calorie and carb content.
15. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is far superior to any salad dressing, which makes it ideal for those who are fond of salads. It is low in calories but high in acetic acid, which has been shown to inhibit fat accumulation in multiple animal studies.
Nuts are generally high in omega-3 fats, fiber, and protein. As long as you eat the right kind, they are a great weight-loss food. Almonds, pistachios, and cashews contain the least calories while nuts like macadamia and pecans are quite high in calories. Almonds have been scientifically shown to promote weight loss in a study in which one group was given almond supplement and the other a supplement of complex carbohydrates.
17. Lean Beef
Eating beet is one of the best ways to lose weight due to its high protein content. It has been scientifically shown that adding protein to your diet reduces cravings for up to 60 percent. This is very important as cravings can lead to snacks binges that usually happen at night. In addition to its protein content, beef is also rich in nutrients like zinc, iron, niacin, phosphorus, and vitamins B6 and B12.
18. Chicken Breasts
It is a well-known fact that chicken breast is one of the richest sources of protein, which is one of the reasons why it is a staple of most weight loss diets. Multiple studies have shown that adding protein in your diet helps suppress appetite and boost the metabolism at the same time.
19. Plain Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is superior to traditional yogurt as it contains less sugar, sodium, and carbohydrates. On the other hand, it contains more protein! In general, yogurt is packed with probiotics, which are crucial for the digestive system and its ability to keep bad bacteria under control.
20. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil an excellent source of fatty acids which lower cholesterol levels, improve brain function, and even help reduces seizures in those suffering from epilepsy. Although it is packed with saturated fats, most of them are medium chain triglycerides (MCT), meaning that they are readily absorbed and digested in the body. They are also shown to suppress appetite and to be converted to energy right upon consumption.
21. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds contain calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and protein. As a matter of fact, up to 1 percent of chia seeds` weight is protein content. Although its ability to stimulate weight loss has not be backed up by science, its high protein and fiber content combined with its low fat content is enough to shred the excess pounds. They are highly versatile and can be added to cereals, vegetable dishes, smoothies, juices, and more.
22. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous veggies, such as broccoli, collard greens, kale, watercress, mustard greens, radish, and Bok choy, are some of the most nutritious veggies out there. They are packed with fiber, folic acid, vitamin A, and vitamin C, while very low in fat and calories.
Specifically, 100-gram serving of cruciferous veggies provides 25-40 percent of the daily dietary fiber requirement, which helps both boost digestive health and promote weight loss.
Cinnamon and its medicinal properties have been long known in folk medicine, and modern medicine has now confirmed them. It has been shown that cinnamon and its potent antioxidant properties combat free radicals in the body, reduce inflammation, and positively affect weight.
Regular consumption of cinnamon lowers LDL cholesterol, reduces blood glucose levels, and increases lean muscle mass. In addition to this, it also helps improve digestion as well as it slows down the digestion of carbohydrates and reduces the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream after a meal.
24. Red Pepper
While eating a red pepper virtually burns your mouth, it turns out that it burns your abdominal fat as well! Chilli peppers contain capsaicin, a compound that suppresses appetite and helps burn fat at the same time it has been even scientifically proven that this compound promotes a healthy weight loss process, without any adverse effects.
In brief, capsaicin is responsible for the burning sensation in the mouth when eating chilli as well as for the actual process of burning fat ( thermogenesis) which starts 20 minutes after ingesting it.