It can be a little deflating to find out you’re still overweight despite your best attempts at a diet. It has involved starving yourself for long periods during the day and reducing the portions you eat, yet those sneaky few extra pounds have refused to budge.
Sometimes, you’re carrying more than a few extra pounds and the additional weight can have a huge impact on your physical & mental well-being. There is the occasional struggle with your self-image as well as the increased risk for a number of serious diseases including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancer types. It’s a situation that can affect your work, relationships, and other day-to-day activities – even raising your stress levels.
In order to enjoy a full and healthy life, you’ve got to make sure that you manage your weight properly. Devising an effective weight loss program begins with understanding the foundation for any good diet; What you eat is just as important as how much you eat. Different foods pass through various metabolic pathways in the body and can have widely varied effects on hunger, hormones and how many calories we burn.
Losing all that weight that’s become a real bother may seem like a daunting task but knowing which foods are the best for weight loss makes it so much easier. Even if your weight loss program is going well, the right food choices can give you an extra boost and help you achieve your goals quicker. They also reduce the amount of time you need to put in the gym, making your path to fitness easier.
These 16 foods are sure to help you drop those unwanted pounds in no time.
A simple breakfast of oatmeal can be more than enough not only to satisfy you but to help prevent hunger and keep you full for longer. Besides preventing you from overeating, it’s chuck full of fibre that’s great for regular bowel movement and reducing water retention.
The grains also contain high resistance starch that helps fat burning (and reduces fat storing) by keeping insulin levels low since it does not significantly cause an increase in blood sugar (unlike refined carbohydrates).
2. Brown Rice
Rice is such a big part of our everyday diet that it’s nearly impossible to avoid it completely when we’re dieting. This makes brown rice a very excellent alternative to the more common, high-calorie white rice. It is a heartier, fibre-filled, low-energy-density food which means that it’s heavy and filling but low in calories.
It contains a rich supply of energizing vitamins that boost metabolism and helps you burn calories faster. It’s also full of muscle-strengthening proteins that are great for flattening and toning your belly.
They’re fresh, juicy and are very good for anyone. They contain natural sugars – which are much better than processed sugars. They also have a low energy density and take a while to chew – meaning you feel fuller for longer with less caloric intake.
There’s a host of fruits to choose from and different fruits contribute in different ways to maximizing the effects of your weight loss plan. You can also combine them into a fruit salad for greater variety and increased impact.
Apples are very rich in fibre and keep you satisfied for long periods of time. Pectin, a type of fibre in apple, also keeps cells from absorbing fats and encourages water absorption which helps remove fat deposits from the body.
Avocados are amazing for curbing hunger and contain healthy fats called monounsaturated fat that improves metabolism. They also boost the removal of unwanted belly fat and contain other nutrients that aid digestion. They are a very healthy option for your salad dressings and spreads.
Bananas (Especially the unripe ones) are good examples of foods high in resistant starch which have been shown to have several beneficial effects that may contribute to weight loss. Its presence leads to decreased appetite and decreased fat storage in fat cells. They also have high levels of potassium that provide energy boosts and relieve water retention.
Conversely, you can opt for plantains (preferably unripe) – boiled not fried – since they have the same effect.
Cucumber and Water melon are both members of the melon family and have great slimming properties. Both the whole and extracts of cucumber are excellent diuretics which are very beneficial in the treatment of fluid retention in any part of the body. These fruits have reduced number of calories.
Berries are incredibly delicious but they’re also very healthy and can improve the effects of a weight loss diet. They’re rich in antioxidants that make it harder to pack on any extra pounds and are a great snack that can help keep unhealthy food cravings at bay – all while being low calorie. Enjoy blueberries or raspberries in moderation to get the best results.
Grapefruits are very effective at producing a filling effect that means you eat less calories. It also enhances your body’s efforts at burning all that extra fat. In addition, it’s great for the heart with tons of vitamins and minerals that contribute to protecting the heart from damage.
Guavas, Lemons and Oranges contain Vitamin C that helps to boosts the efforts of exercise while lowering stress that may potentially cause weight gain. They also contain lots of fibre and have low calories.
Other weight-loss boosting fruits include Pawpaw, Peaches, and Pear.
It’s relatively cheap, readily available and can be cooked in more than a number of ways. Packed to the brim with nutrients, low in calories and high in fibre, beans may serve as a readily available option while trying to achieve your weight loss objectives.
It’s great for firming up muscles and keeping your body toned. It can also lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels in the blood that are associated with high blood pressure. It also contains some resistant starch that helps with weight loss.
5. Low-Fat Yogurt
Tasty, low-fat yogurt is a great choice of food if you want to lose weight. It is stacked with probiotics – helpful bacteria – that help decrease the amount of fat your body absorbs. This makes your effort to burn the excess weight with activity and exercise even that much more effective.
It doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners or preservatives and also aids in digestion – reducing bloating and stomach discomfort. More so, low-fat yogurt is low-calorie and full of protein that’s great for muscle building.
You can learn how to make homemade yogurt that’s a cheap and easy alternative to buying from a store right here.
A lot of people already drink a cup of coffee every morning to wake them up and give them the jolt they need to get going but did you know that coffee can help you lose weight?
The caffeine in coffee not only improves your alertness, it is effective in stimulating increased lipase – an enzyme that helps the breakdown of fat either during digestion or activity – that boosts weight loss. Coffee also reduces the amount of fat your body absorbs and contains antioxidants that help to boost metabolism.
Furthermore, since caffeine is a diuretic, it helps your body to get rid of excess fluids and waste products. A healthy bowel movement is necessary for effective weight loss.
However, care must be taken whenever you decide to take coffee, as its consumption has been associated with dehydration, hypertension, diabetes, negative interactions with some medication, etc.
7. Low-fat Milk
Low-fat milk is highly rich in calcium and protein making it a powerhouse food for those looking to lose weight fast. Calcium is very effective at speeding up the process of weight loss and will greatly boost your personal efforts in the gym.
“The more calcium there is in a fat cell, the more fat the cell will burn — and the greater the weight loss,” says Michael Zemel, PhD, director of The Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, is actually the hero of this tale.
It also helps to reduce appetite, meaning you feel the need to eat less. In a study by the American Society for Nutrition, six scientist concluded that “the addition of calcium, [with or without protein], suppresses appetite and produces overcompensation of subsequent energy intake”
The protein content is also a good source of low-calorie, slow-release energy that ensures you feel fuller with less portions, without adding unwanted calories. Drink a glass of milk with meals or work milk into your cooking with excellent milk-based recipes, and watch all that fat disappear.
Oily fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel are very rich sources of healthy fats, protein and other important nutrients that enrich your body without adding any unnecessary calories. They also regulate the amount of Leptin – a fat burning hormone – thereby accelerating your weight loss.
The omega-3 fatty acids in the fish are great for lowering blood pressure and improve heart function. It also helps prevent inflammation in your body, improving recovery after a killer workout – that leads to building more metabolism-boosting muscles in the long term.
In addition, the iodine content aids in maintaining high metabolism as it contributes to the regular functioning of the thyroid.
9. Whole Eggs
Eggs are already a major part of our breakfast plans, and the protein-filled food is an incredible option for those looking to lose weight fast. You can eat less and feel fuller for longer and the nutrients in the yolk are a mini-meal. It also improves fat-burning and keep belly fat at bay.
Worried about the cholesterol level? There’s really nothing to be scared of. It has similar cholesterol levels with most proteins and does not increase the risk of heart disease. Excessive consumption may be detrimental though and an average of 2-3 per week may just be safe for an adult. Boil until the yoke is a golden yellow and enjoy maximum nourishment while achieving your goals.
10. Boiled Potatoes
It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of sweet potatoes or prefer Irish potatoes, both contain resistant starch that’s great for losing weight quickly. They’re full of carbs but they’re also high in fibre allowing you feel satiated – and not craving snacks – for a longer period of time with less quantity than your regular carbs.
It’s a good idea not to overindulge though. Even the most-calorie friendly meals can start to add up once you eat them a bit too much. Also, avoid frying them and eat the boiled ones with the skin which is very rich in fibre.
11. Apple Cider Vinegar
This may not be the most popular ingredient in your kitchen but it’s a good second option in salad dressing and unlike cream and butter, it helps you lose those pesky extra pounds you’ve been looking to shake off.
It’s very useful for detoxing, acting as a digestive tonic that aids in flushing out toxin, seeing off harmful bacteria in the intestines and reduces water retention in the stomach. It also helps to reduce fat absorption in the blood, as well as feel satiated for extended periods, ensuring you eat less.
Vegetables are the ultimate weight loss food. They contain low calories – even lower carbs or sugars – zero fats, and a high amount of nutritious vitamins as well as minerals that not only help you lose weight but improve your overall health.
They also have a very high fibre content that allows you eat less and feel fuller without worrying about any unwanted calories.
The abundance of different vegetables that are available leaves you spoilt for choice and you should embrace the variety. What’s more, they’re incredibly versatile and can be cooked in more than a number of ways. Whether it’s spinach, beets, cabbage, lettuce, waterleaf, bitterleaf, or pumpkin (ugwu), vegetables should be at the core of any proper weight loss diet.
The enriching vitamins & minerals boost immunity, aid detoxification, reduce bloating & stomach discomfort all while accelerating the burning of fat in the body.
A natural substitute for refined sugar, honey is a very nice alternative as a sweetener for anyone on a weight loss program. Without all the extra calories in refined sugar, honey helps boost weight loss and reduces weight gain.
It is also good treatment for cough, catarrh as well as cold and has a wide-range of antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Care must be taken in its consumption if there are other medical conditions that is being managed other than obesity.
14. Green Tea
Green tea is a popular choice among people trying to lose weight and rightly so. Providing the same hydrating and refreshing effects as water, it’s an easy occasional substitute that you can pack in a flask. It aids in burning of fat by boosting metabolism and can significantly enhance the effects of a workout.
It also contains antioxidants that hinder the accumulation of belly fat reducing the time it takes to lose most of the weight. What’s more, it’s helps the removal of excess fluid from the body that may cause bloating and discomfort.
A lot of people often try to use Green tea as a quick fix and although it may provide energy boosts that extend workout sessions for even greater effect, it needs to be part of a healthy diet – not a solution to an unhealthy one.
They’re pretty common but yet most people are unaware that they are a very good for losing weight quickly. No matter which you choose to use – green, red or chilli peppers – they all boost metabolism and contain a lot of water that refreshes, aids digestion and helps you feel satiated.
They’re rich in antioxidants that inhibit the storing of belly fat, and can help reduce appetite as well as increase the burning of fat. Peppers also contain Vitamin C that is useful for keeping sweet cravings at bay. Quantities to add to meals should be as body can tolerate or based on specific nutrient needs.
If you’re looking for a quick snack between meals that can help you eat less, nuts are a perfect choice. They’re an easy distraction from cravings and trigger hormones that can curb appetite. In addition, you feel fuller for longer by chewing more – something that’s a natural part of eating nuts. Enjoy them in moderation and watch the fat drop away.
Bite-sized, low calorie and containing balanced amounts of protein, healthy fats as well as fibre, nuts are nature’s weight-loss pills. You also have a wide range of options including almonds, pistachios, Brazil nuts, raw peanuts, and pine nuts.
Almonds are especially good for weight loss, providing an energy boost, maintaining high metabolism and contributing to burning of fat in the body. They’re rich in antioxidants, magnesium, and Vitamin B2, which are very helpful for combating stress – that could potentially cause weight gain. For the best results, eat them just before a workout to improve the effects of the exercises.
On a final note…
Drink lots of water and make sure to avoid sodas or sugary drinks. Water is great for filling you up so you eat less and contains no calories or artificial sugars.
Don’t forget to stick to your diet and exercise regularly to maximize the effect of these superfoods. In no time, you’ll be trim as well as healthy and fit.