Tasty foods that help you lose weight? It sounds too good to be true.
You already know that you need to eat fewer calories than you burn in order to lose weight. But some foods are advantageous to weight loss in that they fill you up, curb cravings, and boost your metabolism. Fill up your cart with the following foods the next time you go to the supermarket.
1. Full-Fat Milk
You might believe that opting for skim milk instead of whole milk will help you keep your weight in check. So you resist the temptation to snack on full-fat yogurt or pour creamy milk on your morning cereal.
There are reasons diet programs advise against dairy fat: the extra calories sabotage your weight loss and extend your waistline. But dairy fat is not a dietary demon as it’s been made out to be, especially when compared to its substitute.
Two recent studies have linked whole-fat dairy to reduced body fat. According to the findings, this might be due to the satiety factor associated with fat and the bioactive substances that alter the metabolism and improve your body’s fat burning efficiency.
Apart from the benefits of whole milk, consider that the substitutes might impede your weight loss. Whenever a natural food has had fat removed from it, though, something must be put in its place in order to retain the food’s flavor.
Unfortunately, when you choose dairy products made with skim milk, that “something” is usually sugar or at least one sugar substitute.
Opting for full-fat milk will not only help you avoid unnecessary sugar and potentially dangerous sugar substitutes; it will also help you feel full longer. Try a glass of full-fat milk between meals to reduce your temptation to reach for unhealthy snacks.
2. Coconut Oil
Many popular diets advocate the elimination of saturated fats; however, it is vital to understand that not all saturated fats are the same.
Although coconut oil is a saturated fat, it won’t affect your weight loss goals. Coconut oil is considered a medium-chain triglyceride, unlike the long-chain triglycerides in animal fats.
Medium-chain fats are associated with a boost in metabolism and improved ability to sustain long-term weight loss. These fatty acids are metabolized differently from longer chain fats.
Instead of entering your bloodstream, they’re sent directly to your liver where they are used for energy or converted to ketone bodies.
Also, several animal studies revealed that the body stores medium chain fats less efficiently than other fats. So adding coconut oil to your diet will improve your fat loss, especially the dangerous visceral fat on your waistline.
Coconut oil curbs appetite, which means you’ll consume fewer calories without thinking about it. The combined effect of improving your metabolism and your daily caloric intake provides a one-two punch in your battle for weight loss.
As an added benefit, the fats found in coconut oil do not pose the same heart-damaging risks of animal fats. Try frying shrimp or sweet potato fries in coconut oil for a unique, slightly sweet flavor.
Of course, many kinds of cheese contain a significant amount of saturated fats. But you can get a lot of nutrients from your cheese as well if you make the right choice.
It’s crucial that you include dairy products like cheese, milk and yogurt in your diet as they provide essential nutrients for superior health.
Apart from supplying proteins, B vitamins and zinc, dairy products are a rich source of calcium – necessary for maintaining strong and healthy bones.
Obviously, dairy fat will increase your calorie and fat intake, but studies suggest that these fats can promote weight loss if you use the right kinds and limit your portions. A small serving of the right cheese will provide the nutrients you need without affecting your diet.
Rich and delicious, Parmigiano Reggiano is a hard, aged cheese that packs 10 grams of protein in a one-ounce serving – this helps the body metabolize fat. It’s ideal for weight management and packs more calcium than any other cheese. Parmesan is a low-lactose food, so you’ll have no problems including it in your diet if you’re sensitive to dairy.
So, grate this baby over your pasta or just eat a chunk of it with some fruit or wine. As with milk, you should avoid low-fat versions that contain sugar and other additives.
Like coconut oil, nuts have a lot of misunderstood fat. In the case of tree nuts, that fat is unsaturated, which generally means it is healthier for you.
And nuts have even more benefits, such as adding protein and fiber to your diet. These are key ingredients for weight loss. Certain kinds of tree nuts, such as walnuts and almonds, can help you lower your cholesterol.
The Omega-6 fatty acids in these nuts may lower low-density lipoproteins (LDL) in your bloodstream.
LDL is the type of cholesterol that contributes to the formation of platelet clumps that can cause the hardening of the arteries and the progression of heart disease.
Munch on a dozen walnuts or almonds after meals and you’ll improve digestion, lose weight, and lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Nuts are a healthy snack, but you can also sprinkle them on your salads, yogurts, and include them in your baked recipes. They’re filling so you won’t have to worry about empty calories that will sabotage your diet.
Keep in mind that all nuts are not suitable for weight loss. Avoid salted and cooked nuts, so supermarket brands are out of the question. Two ounces of almonds, cashews, pistachios, and walnuts are sufficient for weight loss without loading your diet with extra calories.
If you are slathering your whole-wheat toast with margarine, thinking that you are helping to maintain your weight, you might be doing more harm than good.
Margarine is made from partially hydrogenated oils and trans fats. These fats can contribute to blocked arteries and promote heart disease by making your heart muscles work harder.
Butter is richer in flavor than margarine. If you use the real thing, you will eat less during each meal.
There has been much debate about the feasibility of high fat diets for weight loss. However, new studies recommend high-fat diets, including full-fat milk, butter, and cream for promoting weight loss and maintaining a lean figure.
A Swedish study discovered that middle-aged men were less likely to become obese if they consumed high-fat foods. Later studies discovered that a high dairy fat diet is also beneficial for warding off obesity in children. According to one study, children who drink low-fat milk are more likely to gain weight.
So go ahead and slather on butter on your whole grain breads; it will help you feel fuller and boost your metabolism. Over the course of time, using butter to eat less can help you shed unwanted pounds and gain the figure that you have always dreamed of.
Eggs are rich in protein. Because they are also significant sources of saturated fat and cholesterol, though, eggs were once forbidden for the diet-conscious.
But now, experts believe that eating cholesterol-laden foods does not necessary increase your cholesterol levels. Instead, eggs can help fill you up and give you energy for your workout regimen.
They are also rich in B vitamins, which are necessary for proper skin, nail, and blood vessel health. Vitamin B-12, which is found in eggs in abundance, can improve the levels of energy.
Eggs contain about 80 calories each (about the same as a small banana), so they will set you right for the day. Studies reveal that having two eggs for breakfast on a slice of whole wheat toast will reduce your daily caloric intake by up to 450. High quality eggs increase satiety, so you won’t have your usual mid-morning craving.
If you want to cut calories and saturated fats, try using egg whites in omelets and other recipes – most of the cholesterol in eggs is found in the yolks.
Remember that eggs are not a magical food that will wipe away fat, but they’re a good addition to a low-calorie diet. If you don’t want to eat them with toast, try chopping hard-boiled eggs on your salad or eating them with fruit for breakfast.
7. Fried Chicken
By itself, chicken is actually fairly low in calories and fat. Dip it in batter and deep-fry it, and you may think you’ve got a diet disaster. That’s not necessarily true.
Fried chicken might actually be perfectly acceptable to eat, as long as you consider what oil you are using for frying.
If you choose your diet friendly coconut oil, you can enjoy both while you lose weight. You can reduce calories and saturated fats by removing the skin from chicken before frying.
Pat the chicken dry before breading and sprinkle on a little lemon juice to make the batter stick. For another healthy spin on the traditional fried chicken recipe, try oven fried chicken.
It’s so good that you won’t recognize it’s not fried in volumes of unhealthy fat. And with just 317 calories and 8 grams of fat, you’ll enjoy the wholesome taste without the guilt. Once again, remove the skin before cooking.
The take away here is that you can enjoy your favorite foods if you experiment in the kitchen and create a healthy version. So use your favorite ingredients to make flavorful batters for your healthy fried chicken recipes. Of course, you won’t have it every day, but it’s a great way to enjoy a tasty dish on those special occasions.
8. Red Meat
For several decades, many health professionals have recommended limiting or eliminating consumption of red meat such as pork and beef.
Some research indicates that consuming a lot of red meat increases your likelihood of developing certain cancers.
Red meat is also high in saturated fat, which is thought to contribute to narrowing of arterial passages and the onset of heart disease.
When it comes to weight loss, though, you can safely indulge in this protein-rich, energy-boosting food. Red meat is particularly filling and digests slowly, which means that you will be less likely to reach for a snack between meals.
Make no mistake that a high red meat intake will sabotage your loss, but small portions of red meat can be safely incorporated into your weight loss diet. So a huge steak on your dinner plate is not going to promote weight loss, but the high protein content in a small, lean cut once or twice a week will support weight loss.
Don’t rely on red meat as your sole source of protein; white meat, fish, eggs, cheese, and plant proteins should be included as a part of your healthy weight loss diet. Make sure you’re consuming fewer calories than you’re burning. Controlling your calorie in-calorie out balance is the only way to ensure weight loss.
These days, bacon is king. There are cookbooks, television shows, and even restaurants dedicated to this salty treat.
Some creative restaurateurs have even found way to incorporate bacon into milkshakes, cocktails and a variety of other surprising foods and drinks.
Like jerky, bacon is a food that is difficult to replace – although turkey bacon is widely available, it doesn’t offer the same taste and consistency.
Loading up on bacon is like having a coronary episode on a plate, but there’s much to be said for this food if you manage your portions. Like red meat and eggs, bacon is packed with nutritious protein, which will manage your energy levels for your morning workout.
Bacon also lowers your blood pressure and sugar, improves your intelligence and memory, and elevates your mood.
Bacon is a rich source of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B1, B3, B12, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron. Some fat is essential in a balanced diet, and bacon could provide the dietary fat you need – just don’t consume too many carbs when you have a few slices.
So fortunately, you don’t have to eliminate bacon from your diet in order to maintain your figure. Although you can’t get away with eating a pound a day, eating a slice or two every now and then is just fine.
10. Dark Chocolate
You were waiting for this one, weren’t you? If you want a treat that can help satisfy your hunger without packing on the pounds, dark chocolate is an excellent choice.
Dark chocolate, as opposed to milk chocolate, can lower your blood pressure and raise your antioxidant levels. The antioxidants in this treat can help starve free radicals in your bloodstream, which may help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
Free radicals are also partly responsible for aging, so a bite of chocolate once or twice a week will slow down the signs of aging. Dark chocolate keeps your blood vessels in tip-top shape and supports circulation to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.
It contains flavonoids to improve cell function and reduce insulin resistance. Surprisingly, dark chocolate is one of those foods with a low glycemic index, so you won’t have to worry about spikes in your blood sugar levels after you have a bite.
Finally, dark chocolate contains high concentrations of iron, potassium, magnesium, and copper, all essential for sustaining good health.
The rich, slightly bitter flavor of dark chocolate pairs perfectly with a tablespoon of almond butter or a bowl of fresh strawberries. Also, a little healthy splurge helps you to stick to your diet.