7 Top Weight-Loss Friendly Foods
Not all calories were created equal! The following 7 top weight-loss friendly foods have impressive effects on helping to diminish hunger and increase the rate at which we burn calories, so make sure they’re on your shopping list this week.
1) Whole eggs
Once feared for raising cholesterol, in recent years eggs have made a big comeback as new research has come to light to suggest that they do not impact on cholesterol in the way that we once thought. Packing 6 grams of protein per egg, this is a nutrient-dense powerfood that is excellent before or after a workout. One study, with 30 overweight women showed that eating eggs for breakfast, instead of bagels, increased feelings of satiety and made participants eat less for the next 36 hours.
2) Dairy products such as cheese and milk
We know that these foods tend to be high, not just in protein, but also in calcium, which has recently been proven to help promote fat burning. Cottage cheese and Greek yoghurt are particularly good weight loss foods as they tend to be very low in carbs (and calories), while being quite high in protein – with 10-11 grams of protein per 100 grams of product. The popularity of non-dairy milks has risen significantly in recent years. If you’re drinking a dairy alternative, like soya or almond milk, always choose unsweetened as they have fewer calories, and also try to choose one that is fortified with calcium.
3) Oily fish like salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel
These types of fish provide an excellent, lean source of top quality protein. And, contrary to popular belief, the fact that this type of fish is fatty (packed full of ‘good fats’), doesn’t mean they are calorific; in fact, they are surprisingly low in calories. Add to that the benefits of their high omega-3 content (believed to help the body to become more efficient at burning fat as well as helping to reduce the threat of inflammation associated with being obese or overweight). Last, but not least, the iodine content of this type of fish is good enough reason to include it, particularly because so many of us appear to be low in this mineral – it is a nutrient which contributes to thyroid function and, thereby, aids metabolism.
4) Leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli
These foods are packed full of fibre, which we know helps to keep us full and satisfied (never mind keeping our bowels more regular). Despite our knowledge about fibre, Irish people tend not to consume enough of it. In fact, according to the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute (INDI), almost 80% of Irish adults do not eat enough fibre, despite thinking that they do (many overestimate the fibre content of the foods they eat). As well as being highly nutritious and full of cancer-fighting anti-oxidants, these foods pack volume with very few calories. And we know of numerous studies showing that meals and diets with a low energy density make people eat fewer calories overall.
5) Beans, peas and lentils
Red kidney beans, baked beans, peas, chickpeas, red or green lentils – all of these foods tend to be high in protein and fibre, which are two nutrients that have been shown to lead to satiety (and thereby the reduction, overall, of calories consumed throughout the day). In fact, eating just one serving a day (about three-quarters of a cup) is believed to aid moderate weight loss, with no other change to diet or lifestyle.
6) Nuts like almonds and walnuts
Studies have shown that eating nuts can improve metabolic health and even promote weight loss. And population studies have shown that people who eat nuts tend to be healthier (due to the heart health benefits) and leaner than those who don’t. Nuts are still fairly high in calories so it’s best to eat them in moderation (1-2 tablespoons per day) or, ideally, to opt for the lower calorie ones such as almonds and walnuts.
7) Lean beef, chicken or turkey
Many experts believe that meat has been unfairly demonized and, in fact, that a diet with lean red meat and chicken can be a very healthy one. The type of meat to avoid is processed meat, such as sausages or salami (these have been linked with cancer). Including meat in the diet is a sure way to boost protein intake (seeing as red meat has around 30 grams of protein and chicken has about 20 grams of protein per 100 grams) – research shows that increasing protein intake could increase the number of calories we burn each day by as much as 80-100 calories.
There you have it, our 7 top weight-loss friendly foods. Do check out our recipe section where you’ll find most of the above ingredients listed.