Foods to help lose weight
Low-calorie options for best results
OFTEN we talk about the foods that are closely linked to weight gain. Far less frequently do we discuss the foods that will help to keep us full and our calorie intake controlled.
Here are 10 of the best foods for weight control and the reasons why they are so good in helping to prevent unwanted weight gain.
A wholegrain, not only do oats have a low glycaemic index, which means they help to keep glucose levels tightly controlled and help to leave you full for several hours after eating them, but a single serve of oats each day provides you with a substantial amount of soluble fibre. Soluble fibre is the type of fibre known to help reduce blood cholesterol levels, keep our arteries healthy and support optimal metabolic function long term.
Avocados are a rich source of vitamin B for energy and vitamin E for skin and heart health, and are often described as “a healthy alternative to butter”, as they are a rich source of mono-unsaturated fat, the type of fat shown to enhance heart health. Recently new research has also shown the potential benefits of eating an avocado when it comes to weight loss – dieters who consumed ½ an avocado at lunch reported feeling more satiated later in the day than non-avocado eaters.
Another nutrient rich, low-calorie vegetable choice, red capsicum is a rich source of carotenoids, the group of antioxidants known to play a powerful role in helping to down regulate a number of inflammatory pathways in the body. Red capsicum is packed full of vitamin C, folate and fibre and with just 45 calories per cup, you can enjoy an entire red capsicum as a filling snack and for a major nutritional hit. A flavoursome base to sauces, added to salads or teamed with hommus or Greek yogurt, forget an apple a day to keep you in optimal health, a red capsicum a day is the way to go.
Soups, particularly vegetablebased soups, are a great option nutritionally as they combine a high nutrient density with a low energy density – this means that we get lots of key nutrients including vitamins and minerals for relatively few calories. And this benefit is proven when it comes to weight loss. Studies have repeatedly shown that when diners consume a low-calorie vegetable-based soup before their main meal they consume up to 20% fewer calories at a meal. The reason is not complex; basically the bulk of the soup helps to fill us up so we eat less.
Any berries are a great choice nutritionally but blueberries in particular are packed full of antioxidants, vitamin C and fibre while also being relatively low in calories and carbohydrates. It is also thought that the antioxidants catechins found in blueberries help to activate the genes within our abdominal fat cells that stimulate the fat burning cycle.
If weight loss is your goal, white fish is your superfood. Exceptionally high in protein, low in fat and calories, any type of white fish ranging from dory, perch, barramundi, sole, flounder and whiting served with plenty of vegetables equates to an extremely low-calorie meal rich in filling protein and key nutrients.
You will be hard pressed to find a more nutritionally complete, useful food than the humble egg. Packed with protein, key nutrients including zinc as well as 20 other vitamins and minerals, eggs can easily be incorporated into any meal and prepared in minutes. Specifically it is the amino acid leucine found in a serve of eggs that is thought to help bind insulin receptors in the body, helping to keep us fuller for longer after eating them and supporting weight loss.
Greek yogurt not only contains much less sugar than the average serve of store-bought yogurt but it is much higher in protein which helps to keep your blood glucose levels regulated throughout the day.
An added benefit will come if you choose a variety of Greek yogurt which also contains probiotics, the live bacteria that will help to feed the good bacteria in the gut and is thought to have a powerful role in optimal immune functioning and even weight control long term.
Often forgotten, humble cottage cheese is one of the most nutrient dense foods you can enjoy, with minimal calories especially on a low-calorie weight loss eating regimen. With a serve giving more than 16g of protein per ½ cup along with calcium, magnesium and vitamin B12, adding a serve of cottage cheese into your day is a great way to bump your intake of essential nutrients for very few calories.
If you are looking for a fatburning boost, adding in a couple of cups of green tea to your day is the way to go. Not only is green tea a rich source of powerful antioxidants that help to prevent cell-related damage but there is also some evidence to show that green tea may increase fat metabolism. Any variety is a good choice, but matcha is even better.
NUTRIENT RICH: Vegetable-based soups are a great option when trying to lose weight.