Now that we're deep into fall and the holidays are rapidly approaching, the possibility of gaining weight feels so much more real. Shorter days, heartier meals, holiday foods and desserts, and colder weather all contribute to holiday weight gain.
It's something that many of us struggle with year after year, and it can be frustrating to not have a foolproof method for avoiding the extra hibernation weight.
Luckily, we have a simple strategy to change that: Weight-loss-friendly foods.
Sure, 1 calorie is 1 calorie, but not all calories are created equal. Different types of food travel through a variety of metabolic pathways during digestion.
The foods you eat, and the way your body processes them, can result in differences in hormones, calories burned, and even your hunger.
If you’re looking to make a change in the coming months, make sure to get to know these nine foods especially well:
1. Leafy Greens
We talk about leafy greens all the time, and for good reason! Greens such as spinach, kale, collards, and swiss chards are all low in calories and carbs while being full of fiber. This combination makes them perfect for any weight loss diet.
You can easily add leafy greens to any meal to increase its volume without also increasing the calories of the meal. That means you can feel fuller without any of the guilt and ALL of the nutrition.
Leafy greens also have science on their side: These food items typically have a high water content, making them low energy density foods. Variousstudies have proven that diets featuring low energy density foods help people eat fewer calories.
But leafy greens aren't just about being low in calories; they're also very nutritious! Vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals your body needs and loves can always be found in leafy greens. If you don’t get enough greens in your diet, you can also drink them in ourOrganic Pressed Greens Juice.
2. Cruciferous Veggies
Cruciferous is a weird word, but you know these vegetables: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. They're perfect for any diet because of their high fiber content, which makes them quite filling. Some of the most powerful antioxidants in nature have been found in cruciferous veggies, so not only are they filling, they are potent protectors that we want to get daily.
Even better - cruciferous vegetables typically contain solid amounts of protein. They don't contain nearly as much protein as meats or legumes, but they're the best you'll get from veggies.
Much like the aforementioned leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables have low energy density. Combine this with the fiber and protein they offer, and these veggies are fantastic for losing some extra weight. You can get some great cruciferous veggies such as kale, broccoli and cabbage in ourOrganic Pressed Greens juice daily.
Salmon is a fatty fish, which doesn't sound healthy but actually is. Salmon is not only very healthy but also very satisfying. You'll feel full for hours after eating salmon despite the relatively low calorie count.
This is because salmon is packed with healthy fats, high-quality protein, and a bevy of other essential nutrients.
One of those nutrients is iodine, which is important for thyroid function and metabolism. As we covered in a recentblog post, up to 33% of people don't get enough iodine in their diet.
Iodine deficiency can lead to an increased heart rate, shortness of breath, and even weight gain. If you want your diet to succeed, make sure you're getting enough iodine.
4. Legumes and Beans
Lentils, kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, and other types of beans are weight-loss-friendly foods as well. Since legumes and beans are known for their high fiber and protein contents, you'll be sure to feel fuller for a longer period of time when you include them in your meals.
One of the best things about beans is the many (tasty) ways you can incorporate them into dishes. If you’re in need of some inspiration, look no further:
Avocados aren't your average fruit. Most fruits you probably eat are high in carbs, but avocados are known for being loaded with healthy fats. In particular, avocados are full of the same fat you'll find in olive oil - monounsaturated oleic acid.
It's easy to overlook avocados because they are mostly fat, but they're also full of fiber and water. This gives them a low energy density, which is exactly what you're looking for.
If you're looking for an easy way to add avocados to your diet, consider pairing them with vegetable salads. The fat content from avocadoshelps your body absorb the antioxidants from the veggies in the salad at a much higher rate.
If you're sensing a trend with this list, it's because there is one: Low-calorie, high-protein foods are great for losing weight and tuna is no different. Since tuna is lean fish, it's low in fat.
The effectiveness of tuna can be seen in its popularity among fitness models and bodybuilders who are in the middle of a cut. This is because it helps them maintain or increase their protein intake without also boosting fat and calories.
Just one caveat: Do not exceed tuna consumption more than once a week and make sure you're buying tuna canned in water and not oil.
7. Whole Eggs
Eggs have made a bit of a comeback in recent years. While eggs can raise "bad" cholesterol levels for people in certain health categories, they can be effective for weight loss for those that do eat them. Not only are they full of protein and good fat, but they leave you feeling full and satisfied.
One study showed that eating eggs instead of bagels for breakfast increased feelings of fullness and helped participants consume fewer calories throughout the day. Asimilar study found that regularly eating eggs for breakfast - while on a calorie-restricted diet - promoted better weight loss.
Additionally, eggs are very nutrient-dense (particularly the yolk) and help ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs even if you're on a restrictive diet. If you’re trying to lose a little extra weight and you do eat eggs, they can be a good option in moderation.
Nuts are known for being high in fat, but they're not actually as fattening as you might think.
The tough part with eating nuts is portion control; make sure you measure out a serving so you know how much you've eaten. Nuts are best when reserved as a snack because they contain solid amounts of fiber, protein, and healthy fats.
Studies have actually shown that those who regularly eat nuts are not only leaner but also healthier than those who do not. This is probably becausenuts are proven to boost metabolic health and kickstart weight loss.
9. Chia Seeds
We like to talk up chia seeds quite a bit because they truly are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. Much of this is because chia seeds are one of the best sources of fiber you can find.
This extremely high fiber content allows chia seeds to absorb over 10 times their weight in water. When this happens, they turn into a gel-like substance that expands in your stomach. So it should come as no surprise thatchia seeds are proven to reduce your appetite.
Any food that helps you feel full for longer and also reduces your appetite is perfect for helping with weight loss.
That’s why we heavily feature chia seeds in ourPineapple Chia Cleanse! This unique blend of chia seeds and 14 other superfood fibers acts as a daily cleanse that combats bloating and keeps cravings under control, so you can meet your weight loss goals.
Not to mention, ourPineapple Chia Cleanse features gut-balancing prebiotics, probiotics, and pineapple enzymes. The activated fibers gently remove any waste from unhealthy slipups and also support the healthy elimination of toxins.
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