10 Best Superfoods for Weight Loss
Think weight loss is all about sacrifice? These super healthy, super tasty foods can help you shed the pounds.
What to look for
– Low calorie density. Your body doesn’t count calories – instead, it responds to the volume of food in your stomach. Fool your brain into satiety by choosing foods that have a lot of bulk but few calories like fruits, vegetables and popcorn.
This principle doesn’t just apply to snacks – a piece of fruit, a leafy green salad or a cup of soup before a meal will help you eat less during that meal too.
– Fibre. In addition to keeping you regular, dietary fibre also curbs your appetite. Fibre helps slow the absorption of sugar into the blood stream and prevents blood sugar spikes — plus it keeps you feeling fuller longer, like that bowl of porridge that “sticks with you”. In addition, high fibre foods typically require lots of chewing, which also helps the brain recognize you’re getting nourishment.
– Protein. It’s an important component of muscles, but skimp on this nutrient and you’ll lose muscle, not fat. Protein takes a lot energy to use up, and it tends to stick around the digestive tract for a while – also helping you feel satisfied longer.
10 foods to boost your diet
They’re good for your heart and your waistline. In addition to disease-preventing antioxidants, apples contain pectin — a form of soluble fibre that helps keep you feeling fuller longer and prevents blood sugar spikes. In a recent study examining the heart healthy benefits of this fruit, participants lost weight despite the extra calories in their diet. (Read An apple a day for your heart for more information.)
Is an apple a day too repetitive? Feel free to swap in this sweet fruit – it’s got more fibre per serving than an apple but many of the same nutritional benefits. Like apples, pears offer quercetin and other antioxidants that fight inflammation and cell damage. Enjoy them skin-on for the most benefits or try them in salads, baked goods and savoury dishes.
Whole grains in general are part of a healthy diet, it’s full of fibre that “sticks to your ribs”, making it an ideal breakfast food to stave off mid-morning snacking.
While other choices like black beans also get the nod for aiding weight loss, lentils are quicker to prepare because they don’t require pre-soaking. They offer plenty of fibre and protein, not to mention other benefits like folate, iron and magnesium. Pair them with rice for a complete protein, or add them to stews, soups, pilafs, stir fries and salads.
True, they’re high in fat – but it’s the healthy kind of fat our body needs. Combined with protein and even a little fibre, nuts also keep you feeling full and defeat cravings. Different types of nuts are favoured for different reasons. For instance, walnuts are best for their omega-3 fatty acids, while almonds have fewer calories.
Egg-perts recommend protein-rich eggs as part of a healthy diet, weight loss or not. Studies have found that people who eat eggs for breakfast eat less overall during the next day and a half. (You can’t say the same about a bagel.)
4. Cottage cheese
While many dieters turn to low-fat yoghurt, this low-fat choice packs a double punch with plenty of protein and calcium. Not only will the calcium help you burn fat, it will help you maintain and build muscle tone along with the protein. Cottage cheese has more protein than yoghurt, and dodges the added sugars found in many products.
2. Green tea
Tired of plain water? Experts are not quite sure why it works, but some studies show green tea is the beverage to choose for weight loss. It could be because its caffeine and catechins, a type of antioxidant, help boost the metabolism or it simply helps fill you up. However, the benefits won’t last all day – experts recommend enjoying a cup two or three times a day.
Studies have shown that soups satisfy. While the meat and vegetables offer some modest benefits like fibre and protein, the broth is key. The liquid will fill you up and make you think you’re consuming more.
However, stay away from rich or creamy soups that load up fat and calories. Simple is better — like a clear broth with some vegetables and chicken.