All calories are never similar in composition. Various foods undergo diverse metabolic pathways in the body. These pathways possess major effects on hormones, hunger and the amount of calories an individual burns. Below are the most attractive weight loss foods in the whole world with scientific backings.
1. Chicken Breast and Lean Beef
Meat has been unduly bastardized and demonized. Despite the lack of a concrete evidence to support some negative claims, meat has been blamed for many health complications. Studies have shown that unprocessed red meat cannot increase the risk of diabetes or heart disease (12, 13). Two major review studies showed that red meat has no contribution to cancer in women while it only has a little involvement in cancer in men (14, 15). The fact remains that meat is a weight losing food due to its high protein content. Eating protein can make you burn about 80-100 calories on a daily basis (16, 17, 18). Lean meats are the best alternative when you are on a high-moderate carbohydrate meal. Fatty meals on the other hand are best if you are on a food that has less carbohydrate.
Fishes such as Salmon which is rich in fat is very healthy and satisfying. It is sure to keep you filled for many hours with a considerable low calorie. Salmon is endowed with healthy fats, high quality proteins and other important nutrients. Seafood in general are a rich source of iodine (which is important for the proper function of the thyroid gland). Thyroid helps to maintain the rate of metabolism optimally (7). Salmon is also a rich source of omega-3-fatty acids which helps to reduce inflammation. Similar examples like Salmon are trout, herring, sardine and mackerel and they have all been shown to have a significant role in curbing metabolic disease and obesity (9, 10).
Low energy density foods contain much water. Example fruits and vegetables. These foods can make you eat lower calorie. Adding water to your meal can make them soup. Several studies have shown that when you eat the same meal when it is soupy instead as solid, you feel more satiated without a room for more calories (23, 24). Adding much fat to soup e.g., coconut milk and cream can greatly elevate their calorie content. Soups are significant elements of weight loss diet. They can increase satiety due to their high water content. Remember, to always stay away from oily or creamy soups.
4. Whole Eggs
Although whole eggs were once suspected and feared to have high cholesterol content, whole eggs are now a welcomed food. Recent studies have confirmed that whole eggs don’t cause heart attack nor affect the cholesterol level in blood (1, 2). Furthermore, whole eggs are one of the best weight loss foods because they have high protein content and fats which can keep you full for many hours with a small amount of calories. An 8-week study revealed that eating eggs for breakfast can speed up weight loss compared to eating bagels (3, 4). Eggs are nutrient dense and most of these nutrients are embedded in the egg yolk. Eggs are nutrient dense and they are filling. Eggs can enhance weight loss and reduce appetite for many hours compared to refined carbohydrates such as bagels.
5. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are exceptional choice for your weight loss meals. They are rich in fibre content with low calories content. These include spinach, collards, swiss chards, kale and many others. Leafy greens can increase your food volume without increasing its calorie content. Various studies have shown that diets and meals that has a lesser energy density is capable of making people to eat lesser amount of calorie (5). Leafy greens are also a great source of vitamins, minerals including calcium and antioxidant which many studies have shown to enhance fat burning (6).
6. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables are rich in fibre, low in calories and very nutritious. Supplementing your food with them doesn’t only enhance weight loss but your total health. These include: cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprout and broccoli. They are highly rich in fibre and content a moderate amount of quality protein. Although their protein content cannot be compared to animal foods, the combination of low energy density and fibre makes cruciferous vegetables very perfect to include in your weight loss meals. Cruciferous vegetables are known to contain substances that can fight cancer (11). Above all, they are highly nutritious
Tuna is an exceptional source of high quality protein. For calorie cut diet, substituting carbs and fat with protein is an excellent step to weight loss. Tuna is a lean fish which is low in fat, low in calorie and high in protein content. Due to its low calorie and fat content, tuna is mostly popular among fitness lovers, models and bodybuilders who are on a cut. For a higher protein intake, water canned tuna is best compared to oil canned tuna.
8. Cottage Cheese
Lean dairy products likes cottage cheese is a great way to increase protein intake without a reasonable high calorie intake. Dairy products have high protein content. A typical example of this is cottage cheese that all its calories content is mainly protein with a little fat and carbs. Eating cottage cheese can boost your protein intake greatly. Despites its relative low calorie content, it is very satiating. The high calcium content of dairy also makes them good in fat burning (25). Skyr and Greek yoghurt is other dairy product with a high protein content and low fat.
9. Legumes and Beans
To enhance weight loss, legumes and beans are among the perfect foods for you. This is so because they are of low caloric content, high fibre and protein content which leads to satiety. Examples include; black beans, lentils, kidney beans among others. Legumes and beans are of high protein and fibre content which are the basic nutrients that can keep an individual filled. Legumes and beans are also rich in resistant starch For people with legumes intolerance, it is important to be more cautious when preparing them.
10. Boiled Potatoes
Boiled potatoes are very satiable. The fill you up and reduce your appetite for other foods for many hours. For some reason, white potatoes seem to fall of the track. Despite this, potatoes have numerous properties which help them to enhance weight loss. There exist records of people who for many years survived solely on potatoes. Potatoes are rich in potassium which is a nutrient the plays a significant role in the control of blood pressure. On the satiety index which measures the filling potential of various foods, potatoes ranked highest among the various food tested (21). Allowing potatoes to cool after boiling increases the amount of resistant starch in it and this fibre-like component have various benefits to health and weight loss is not an exception (22).
To you amazement, nut are known not be fattening as one would expect especially due to their high fat content. Nuts are perfect snack that has a balanced proportion of protein, healthy fats and fibre. Research confirms that eating nuts can enhance weight loss and metabolic health (31, 32). Also, population findings also revealed that people that eat nuts looks healthier and leaner than people who don’t (31, 32).
12. Chili Pepper
Spicy food with enough chili pepper can increase fat burning and reduction in appetite. For people who eat chili pepper on a regular basis, tolerance tends to build up. Chili per contain capsaicin which is known to reduce appetite and increase the burning of fat as confirmed by some studies (37, 38, 39). Capsaicin is a popular commercial supplement for weight loss. Studies have shown that eating 1g of chili pepper can increase the burning of fat and reduce appetite in people who rarely eat pepper (40).
13. Whole Grains
Most cereals e.g., quinoa, oats and brown rice are still healthy although many have been criticized badly in recent times. Whole grains contain a moderate amount of protein and high fibre content. Oats are rich in fibre and beta-glucans which are known to enhance metabolic health and also increase satiety (34, 35). When cooked and left to cool, white and brown rice can accumulate a high amount of resistant starch (36). Don’t forget, refined grains are well processed junk foods, and they are not healthy and may cause fattening. Grains are high in carbohydrate content. As such, people on low-carb diet should avoid them. But where you can tolerate grains, there is no harm in eating them.
14. Apple Cider Vinegar
Naturally, apple cider vinegar is very popular especially for weight loss. Apple cider vinegar is mostly used as condiments such as vinaigrettes and many people drink it when diluted with water. Drinking vinegar as a substitute for a high carb food can improve satiety. A 12-week research carried out on obese peoples showed that taking about 20-30 ml of vinegar daily can help in losing about 2-6-3.7 pounds of weight 28). Reduction in the sugar level in blood after meal is also another beneficial health importance of vinegar.
Avocados are known to be exceptionally rich in healthy fat such as monounsaturated oleic acid as well as olive oil fat. Irrespective of their fat content, avocados are also rich in fibre and water and this makes avocados less energy dense. Studies show that avocados can be a healthy component of vegetable salad since their high fat composition is capable of increasing the absorption of carotenoid antioxidant the vegetables (25). Avocados also contain other healthy nutrient such as potassium and fibre.
16. Full-Fat Yoghurt
Most yoghurt are rich in probiotic bacteria that helps in the improvement of the gut functioning. Leptin resistance is a major factor in obesity. Healthy gut can enhance leptin resistance and protect you from inflammation. Most yoghurt has no probiotic activity. So, it is best to choose yoghurt with active probiotic bacteria culture in them. Studies have confirmed full-fat dairy to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity (53). For an improved digestive health, probiotic yoghurt is the best. Also, when using it as weight loss diet, avoid yoghurt loaded with sugar.
Several studies have confirmed the effectiveness of grapefruit in weight loss. A 12-week study carried out on 91 obese people shows that taking at least half fresh grapefruit before eating can lead to weight loss of about 3.5 pounds which is equivalent to 1.6kg (43). These individuals were also observed to have a lower resistance to insulin which is a metabolic abnormality involved in different chronic disease. Taking at least half grapefruit 30 minutes before your meals can make you more satisfied to eat more calories. Grapefruit can reduce appetite and calorie intake especially when taken before meals. Do you wish to lose weight? Give this a shot.
Despite the sugar content of fruits, they can still make a part of your weight loss diet. This is because they possess high antioxidant, fibre and other nutrients content slow down the rise of sugar level in the blood immediately after meal. Several studies have confirmed that individuals who eat different vegetable and fruits are healthier compared to those who don’t (41, 42). Fruits have so many properties which makes them good for weight loss. The fibre content of fruits prevents the quick release of sugar in an individual’s bloodstream. Apart from people who have intolerance for fruit or those one low-carb and ketogenic intake. Everyone needs fruits because they are just cool.
Finding healthy foods to include as a part of your weight loss diets isn’t hard. Some examples of such healthy foods include; legumes, nuts, fruit, seeds lean meat and fish. Extra-virgin olive oil, probiotic yoghurt and oatmeal are some good examples of processed foods that can enhance weight loss. A balanced combination of these foods in moderation together with regular exercises is an easy route to live a successful and healthy life.