So, you want to lose weight. But you also want to eat real food. Those chalky miracle shakes or freezer-burnt frozen meals aren’t cutting it and you want to eat whole foods that are satisfying, delicious, and will also support your weight loss goals.
While there are many factors that contribute to body weight, such as age, gender, genetics, and exercise, food choice is one aspect that you have complete control over to help achieve weight goals.
You don’t have to give into the next trendy detox that you see on social media or meal delivery service that guarantees a bikini-body in seven days to lose weight. Often times, these “solutions” are temporary fixes that will not offer long-term results. Simple lifestyle choices can make a big impact when it comes to health goals. Exercise, stress management, and food choices are all important factors to tackle when fighting the bulge.
If you are trying to lose weight, here are 11 no-fuss foods that you can sneak into your diet every day that may help support your weight loss goals.
When hunger strikes, grabbing some walnuts instead of your go-to bag of chips can help you support your weight goals. Data has suggested that consuming walnuts may curb hunger by literally activating an area in the brain associated with controlling hunger and cravings.
Eat This! Tip: Walnuts don’t have to be eaten just at snack time. Sprinkle them on salads, oatmeal, or in pasta dishes for a boost of healthy fats, fiber, and plant-based proteins that are satisfying and delicious.
As delicious as avocados are, they are equally versatile and healthy. Avocados are a great fresh-fruit option to help boost fiber intake. Dietary fiber adds bulk to the diet and slows the speed of digestion, which makes you feel full and may help keep you satisfied longer. Just one-third of an avocado contains 3 grams of dietary fiber.
Eat This! Tip: Use mashed avocado in sandwiches in place of creamy sauces or mayonnaise. This swap provides a similar consistency to traditional sandwich toppings with a nutrition boost that can help your waistline.
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Potatoes have gotten a bad rap over the years. While fried potatoes like chips and fries can actually make you gain weight, baked or boiled potatoes can be part of a weight loss plan. That’s especially the case when you chose them over other common sides like pasta and rice, as potatoes may be a better choice to stave off hunger in comparison.
Since eating dietary fiber has been shown to increase satiety – which may help with weight loss goals – choosing to eat potatoes with the skin still on is a wise choice when trying to lose a few. The potato skin contains natural fiber and gives the potato some bulk.
Eat This! Tip: When preparing potatoes, don’t remove the skin. If the recipe calls for a peeled potato, try only taking off half of the skin to preserve the fiber content. Try potatoes in everything from breakfast hash, sweet potato toast, cubed and added to salads and soups, roasted as a dinner side, or as a boat stuffed with meaty fillings.
Being served soup may conjure visions of your mother force-feeding you when you were sick (only me?). Soups can do much more than help you feel better when you feel under the weather; one role that may come as a surprise is that they may help people lose weight. Eating low-calorie soups before meals may result in eating fewer calories at mealtime, which can result in weight loss over time.
Wondering if you should lean toward a puree, chunky, or a broth-and-veggie variety? According to data, consuming a low-calorie soup before a meal leads to a 20% reduction in total energy intake (calories) compared to consuming no soup, regardless of the type of soup consumed. So, as long as the soup is low-calorie, the consistency doesn’t seem to matter.
Eat This! Tip: Stick with low-calorie soups like broth-based or purees made with yogurt. Creamy soups like New England Clam Chowder, while delicious, are not considered low-calorie and will likely not help you eat less in the long run. During the summer months, try a chilled soup like a gazpacho before your meal to help cut your calorie intake over the long run.
These yellow, tropical-sweet kiwifruits are relatively low in calories and are useful to support weight loss, especially when you are craving a healthy sweet treat. Just one serving (two kiwifruit) per day can support the immune system, digestion, and energy levels—thanks to a healthy amount of vitamin C, fiber, and a low glycemic index. In fact, SunGold Kiwifruit naturally contains 20 vitamins and minerals. The low glycemic index of kiwifruit provides natural, clean energy. This makes kiwifruit the perfect snack for those managing weight to help get through an afternoon slump.
Kiwifruit also contain soluble and insoluble fiber to support digestive health and the natural enzyme actinidin, which helps to break down protein and improve feelings of heaviness after meals.
Eat This! Tip!: Toss two SunGold Kiwis in your desk at the beginning of the day. When that afternoon sugar craving hits, indulge in these sweet treats instead of the sugary gummy worms you may typically nosh on.
Like some heat in your food? Adding chili pepper to your dishes may help your body burn around 50 extra calories a day. Thank capsaicin, a chemical found in chili peppers, that may play this role in your body. This chemical may be responsible for this positive metabolic effect.
Eat This! Tip: Use chili pepper as a seasoning instead of highly-caloric flavorings like butter on seafood dishes to save yourself some calories.
Sometimes it isn’t what we eat, but what we drink that contributes to our weight challenges. While sipping certain beverages like soft drinks has been linked to weight gain, choosing drinks like green tea may support a healthy metabolism, and in turn, support weight loss goals.
Eat This! Tip: Swap out your afternoon soda with an iced glass of green tea for an energy boost that can help your waistline at the same time.
Nuts are known to have a high-fat content, which scares some people away from eating them. Fat does not make you fat. In fact, eating certain fats have been shown to help control hunger.
Pistachios naturally contain healthy fats, plant-based proteins, and fiber: three nutrients that can help support weight loss goals.
If you normally have an afternoon nosh of pretzels, you may want to consider swapping them out. Data suggests that people who ate a pistachio snack daily for 12 weeks had two times the reduction in body mass index than those who ate a similar amount of pretzels daily.
Eat This! Tip: Choose pistachios in the shell instead of pre-shelled for extra weight loss support. Taking the time to shell the nuts slows the rate of eating. In fact, one study suggests that those who ate in-shell pistachios ate 41% fewer calories compared to those who chose the shelled variety.
Munching on mushrooms can be an excellent practice when trying to lose weight. Low in calories and fat, these fungi are a perfect salad topping or substitute for a hamburger.
Mushrooms also naturally contain fiber which can help people feel fuller and satisfied.
Eat This! Tip: When enjoying a dish that calls for ground meat, use half of the usual amount you use in your recipe and sub the other half with chopped mushrooms for a blended dish that everybody will enjoy.
The refreshingly crisp and sweet watermelon is not only delicious but eating it may support a healthy weight if eaten every day. In fact, in one study, eating 2 cups of watermelon daily for 4 weeks resulted in increased feelings of satiety, decreased body weight, and lower body mass index when compared with those who snacked on low-fat cookies daily.
One weight gain trap some people may fall into is eating when they are actually thirsty. Since watermelon is over 90% water, eating it takes care of hydration and hunger at the same time, which may help support satiety.
Eat This! Tip: For a summer treat, freeze cubed watermelon and enjoy it instead of a frozen pop. Or try your hand at a chilled watermelon gazpacho for a yummy and unique appetizer.
When people try to lose weight, they tend to stay away from fruit out of fear of consuming natural sugars. While grapefruit does contain natural sweetness, consuming half of this ruby beauty before meals has been linked to weight loss in some cases.
Eat This! Tip: Start each morning with a half of a grapefruit instead of a glass of juice to give your body a boost of nutrition and start your day on the right foot. You can also try any of these 37 Best Healthy Breakfast Foods for Weight Loss.