Most people will admit that they love food, but what can you eat to lose weight? There are foods that can help promote weight loss and there are foods that can deter your goals and cause weight gain. Keep reading to find out what to eat to lose weight.
What you should eat to lose weight
There are many food you can eat to lose weight, many of which you may already know are vegetables and fruits, but let’s take a moment to lose at some other options you may not have considered.
It used to be that “fat caused fat”, meaning foods high in fat caused fat gain on the body. Luckily, this myth has been debunked and we now realize monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are good fats, which can be found in nuts. While foods high in good fats can also be high in calories, the fat will help to keep you full and the nutrition, fiber, protein, and antioxidants found in nuts will keep your body feeling and looking great. Nuts make a great and easy snack, they are nice to top a salad with or add to a dessert. Aim for one ounce or a handful of nuts a day.
- Dark Chocolate
Flavonoids found in rich, dark chocolate help to prevent blood sugar spikes, preventing the body from overeating, and are filled with antioxidants. The higher percentage of cacao, the higher the flavonoids. I love this one and can often find it at my local Target. You want to keep your consumption low, so I will throw in a square to enjoy after my lunch. It helps to improve your metabolism, control your appetite, and of course, boost your mood. It’s also another way to show your body that you aren’t restricting or depriving it. If you can’t do as high as 92%, stick to anything above 70%.
Protein can be found in animal products including chicken, beef, turkey, and eggs, as well as tofu, yogurt, peanut butter, and more. Diets high in protein are found to regulate hormones, help you to feel fuller longer, eat fewer calories in the longer run, and burn more calories in order to digest and metabolize the food. I like to organize my meals with half of them consisting of veggies, three-quarters protein, and a quarter of them fats. My carbs typically come in as my vegetables.
- Complex Carbs
Yes, you can eat carbs and lose weight too.Just choose the right ones. 🙂 You have your fruits and vegetables, oats, brown rice and quinoa. The most important thing is to measure and weight your carbs to be sure your portion sizes are appropriate to your goals. Carbs are going to provide you with energy, but they will also keep you full. Okay, so far all of these foods keep you fuller longer so create your plate based on that.
The reason I threw watermelon in here is because it is 92% water. Yes, 6% of it is sugar but one cup contains less than 10 grams of sugar and under 50 calories. It’s sweet, refreshing, delicious, and is basically a “dessert” that you can eat guilt-free, and still reach your weight loss goals. So enjoy!
- Green Tea
We know that green tea contains caffeine and that is a stimulant to burning fat. Too, green tea contains ECGC which can boost metabolism and break down fat cells, moving them into the bloodstream for elimination. While it makes a minute difference, and you have to drink 5-6 cups a day, every little bit helps.
What you shouldn’t eat to lose weight
There are foods that can promote your weight loss and there are foods that can hinder it. I recommend staying away from the foods below.
- Refined Sugars
Refined sugars can be found in anything from cakes and candy, to white rice and pasta. My main focus when thinking about these foods and staying away from them is if they are white and/or soft and fluffy then they probably contain some refined sugars. These do very little, if anything, for your body and are more or less empty calories.
The Devil’s drink of choice I have no doubt about it. 😀 Sodas are full of sugar and they offer nothing good in return. But be aware of other drinks such as fruit juices, which can also be loaded with sugars. I recommend sticking with water, black coffee, and green tea.
By now, just about everyone knows that alcohol hinders your weight loss progress. Unfortunately, drinking alcohol deters the body from burning stored energy because it recognizes alcohol as “toxic” and tries to burn those empty calories first. While you can enjoy a drink occasionally, regular consumption just adds unnecessary calories making my advice: drink water.
- Frozen Foods
Yes, even those Lean Cuisine meals can hinder your weight loss. The thing about much of the frozen food is that there has to be a way to store it and try to keep it “fresher” for longer, the way to do this? Sodium. And lots of it. This isn’t good for you and it adds calories to food that is lacking in nutrition. Next time you think about buying a frozen meal, check how much sodium is in there.
It isn’t just the fast-food chains that can slow or prevent your weight loss. Often people will assume that eating at a nice restaurant means lower calories, or to always order a salad, but you would be surprised at how false this can be. For one thing, you never know how much salt, butter, or oil restaurants use to cook their food. Take a good look at their menu and don’t be afraid to ask questions. I usually notice that plain grilled chicken or shrimp and a side of steamed broccoli is way fewer calories than a salad. Surprising?
My favorite things to eat to lose weight
I suggest eating a salad at least one time a day because they are easy, versatile, delicious, and full of nutrients. No, I am not talking about iceberg lettuce, I am talking about real greens like spinach, romaine and kale. Add some proteins, nuts, and a little bit of fruit and ditch the dressing.
Berries are an everyday snack for me, usually as a pre-workout food. They are sweet, refreshing, and full of vitamins and antioxidants, plus, they are low in calories.
My favorite apple is the Honey Crisp. They are sweet and crunchy and filled with fiber. If I have a big one, I will usually eat it as my lunch and save my salad as my pre-workout meal.
Though high in calories, this full-fat food is perfect to top my salad with or sprinkle over a dessert. Almonds will keep you fuller longer, just watch you portion size!
- Green Tea
Green tea is soothing to me and a great pick-me-up in the afternoon when I begin to feel sluggish. I usually have a cup mid-morning and another cup when I get back to the office, after lunch, so around 2 or 3. It is natural, has caffeine, and as we mentioned earlier, aids in burning fat. 🙂
- 92% Cacao Dark Chocolate
We already talked about my favorite 92% cacao dark chocolate from Ghiradelli. I always treat myself to a square after lunch, so yes, you can eat chocolate and still look great. I eat it everyday!
What’s your go-to weight loss food?
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Love Ya’ll A Latte,