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Losing weight through dieting can be a daunting and complicated task.
On the one hand, there are many products on the market that seem healthy, but are not really.
On the other hand, a good part of the diets that we can find on the Internet are based on consuming foods that are very low in calories, but also very low in flavor…
And in the end, this ends up boring our palate or leaving us dissatisfied, which can often lead us to cheat for unhealthy food and in the worst case, to stop the diet.
With that in mind, we decided to make this list with 15 friendly foods to help lose weight without the cravings. You can be sure that the foods that you’ll find here, in addition to being very healthy and satisfying, are also very tasty. Bon appétit!
Estimated reading time: 12 minutes
Table of contents
- Some Scientific Facts Before Starting
- 15 Friendly Foods to Help Lose Weight
- Snacking Strategies for Weight Loss: Nourishing vs. Empty Calories
- Frequently asked questions
Disclaimer: the following article is not a medical or nutritional guide. To find an appropriate diet and exercise regimen for you, we recommend that that you consult a trusted specialist doctor.
Some Scientific Facts Before Starting
The theory of energy balance says that we get fat because we consume more calories than we burn.
However, today many experts agree that this conception is very limited and imprecise since, just as not all foods are the same, calories are not the same either.
According to scientific evidence, each food goes through different metabolic processes in the body, producing very different effects both in the sensation of hunger, as in our hormones and in the amount of calories we burn. In this way, the fat in margarine doesn’t work the same or have the same effect on the body as the fatty acids in salmon.
On the other hand, it has been shown that the combination of protein and fiber from some foods such as nuts or legumes, contributes greatly to weight loss in some diets.
This is especially true in the case of proteins, which are considered the most satisfying food. In fact, following a high-protein diet can help you burn more calories per week, as well as reduce hunger pangs by up to 60%.
In this way, if we are based on scientific evidence, the consumption of foods with these properties, combined with an appropriate weekly exercise regimen, will help you lose weight more easily and without so much pain.
15 Friendly Foods to Help Lose Weight
A good diet for weight loss should include eggs as a high-quality protein source. Eggs have few calories, since each unit only provides 80 kcal, also having as an added benefit, a satiating power difficult to overcome by other foods, being ideal for breakfast.
On top of that, eggs are very versatile, easy to prepare, and inexpensive.
In recent years, avocado has become very popular in developed countries for its many health benefits. This is a fruit that stands out mainly for its high content of healthy fats, as well as having a good amount of fiber and water.
Although it’s a food with a high percentage of calories, it has a combination of nutrients that make it one of the fruits with the greatest power of satiety.
The aforementioned combination of nutrients is precisely what prevents avocado from generating a rapid increase or decrease in blood glucose, which is what helps control the urge to eat.
In general, seafood is one of the healthiest foods you can eat – not to mention how delicious it is – but many specialists agree that salmon is the king of healthy fish. In addition to being rich in healthy fats and providing high-quality proteins, it also provides additional nutrients such as iodine, key in the proper functioning of the thyroid and phosphorus, essential for the brain.
On top of that, its fatty acids help reduce inflammation in general and fight metabolic diseases, helping to keep you feeling full for many hours.
In short, it feeds a lot and gives little fat.
While it’s true that fruit in general contains sugar, this is totally natural. This makes fruits the perfect food to consume as a snack or dessert, without abusing calories, but also enjoying their additional contribution of water, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Not surprisingly, there are many studies that have shown that people who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables on a regular basis, are much healthier than those who eat fewer foods of this type.
In general terms, yogurt consumption is related to a lower risk of obesity and type-2 diabetes. In addition, this food contains probiotic bacteria that help improve the functioning of your intestine, which translates into lower levels of inflammation and resistance to leptin, the main hormonal component that makes you gain weight.
However, among the different varieties of yogurt available, Greek yogurt has proven to be a better ally for those who want to lose weight. This is because a serving of Greek yogurt provides twice as much protein as the same serving of normal yogurt – and you already know the benefits of protein.
Many people who want to lose weight shy away from nuts because they’re high in calories, but perhaps it’s because they don’t know that these foods also have a good amount of protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
Many studies have shown that those who consume nuts with a certain frequency tend to be healthier and leaner than those who run away from them.
In this sense, walnuts are probably the most recommended option, since their moderate consumption contributes greatly to accelerating the metabolism. Just remember, a handful a day is enough.
Tuna is one of those lean, low-calorie, high-protein, low-fat fish, making it perfect for those who want to lose weight easier.
Although it’s preferable to consume it natural, canned tuna has the same benefits, only with an additional sodium content, so you should be careful with that. In addition, it’s better to consume the one that comes with water and not with oil.
Nowadays, the benefits that moderate consumption of wine can bring to our cardiovascular health are more than proven. However, there are also studies that indicate that it can even aid in weight loss.
Studies carried out in Germany suggest that resveratrol – the antioxidant present in the skin of grapes – inhibits the production of fat cells.
This could be correlated with other studies that indicate that women who drink one or two glasses of wine a day, have a 30% lower tendency to gain weight than other women.
9. Chicken and lean beef
Although the general belief is that meat contains a lot of fat and makes you gain weight, the reality is that cuts with less fat from lean beef are ideal to achieve the opposite effect. The same goes for chicken.
Chicken and lean beef are pure protein, so they’re necessary in any diet to lose weight, in addition to helping reduce our cravings by 60%.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should eat and eat the processed versions of these meats, such as inlay and sausages.
Although potatoes aren’t usually a common food in weight loss diets, this food has several properties that must be considered.
Potatoes are a very complete food that has a wide variety of nutrients, but also provides a great feeling of satiety. In fact, they’re the number one food in this category.
However, it won’t help you to lose weight if you eat them fried, so the best option is to consume them boiled.
Legumes are foods rich in protein and fiber, which produce great satiety and also make you little fat. The most consumed for their nutritional value are usually lentils and colored beans – with the highest fiber content.
The problem is that many people don’t tolerate them well and in many countries, they prepare them with too much fat. Then, the best strategy is to learn to cook them with only vegetables to achieve the perfect fat-burning effect.
Aah! Coffee! Who’d say! The perfect complement for any occasion. Although there is a lot of conflicting information about it, most studies agree that the benefits of coffee far outweigh its cons.
Coffee is a powerful stimulant with a vasodilator effect that can help prevent diseases such as diabetes and even some types of cancer, such as prostate cancer. In addition to this, caffeine helps speed up the metabolism. In fact, many athletes consume it before competing, as caffeine increases adrenaline levels.
Did you know that adrenaline makes our body break down fat, transforming it into free fatty acids that we use as fuel when training?
Many people think that bananas are fattening, but you already know the benefits of fruits, besides that each food is different from the others.
The secret to bananas’ success is that they provide a type of starch that, in addition to being digested more slowly than other types of carbohydrates – thus reducing the feeling of hunger – also stimulates the liver to burn our body’s fats more efficiently.
14. Whole oats
Oatmeal is another one of those healthy super foods. In this case, whole oats are just what you need on your weight loss adventure; it’s low in calories, high in fiber, and helps control blood glucose levels, making you eat less often. What you should avoid is eating it every day, as it can cause inflammation in your digestive system.
On the other hand, oatmeal is a very versatile food, since it’s also used for breakfast, ground as a substitute for breadcrumbs, to consume it as a drink and also to prepare some cookies.
15. Brown rice
If you need a carbohydrate to be the base of your meals without making you fat, brown rice comes in handy. As with bananas, brown rice has a type of starch that, when combined with the fiber it contains, makes its digestion slower, producing fewer peaks in blood sugar, preventing you from wanting to eat so much frequently.
In addition, this food provides a great feeling of satiety and contributes very few calories to the diet.
Snacking Strategies for Weight Loss: Nourishing vs. Empty Calories
Snacking can play a pivotal role in your weight loss journey, but making informed choices is key to achieving your goals. When it comes to snacking, it’s not just about satisfying your hunger—it’s about nourishing your body while avoiding empty calories. Let’s explore effective snacking strategies that prioritize nutrients over indulgence.
- Prioritize Nutrient-Dense Snacks
Opt for snacks that provide essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. Choose whole foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and lean protein sources like yogurt or hummus.
- Mindful Portion Control
Portion control is crucial to prevent overeating. Pre-portion snacks into appropriate servings to avoid mindless grazing, helping you stay within your calorie goals.
- Incorporate Protein-Rich Options
Protein-rich snacks can promote feelings of fullness and stabilize blood sugar levels. Consider options like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, boiled eggs, or turkey slices.
- Add Fiber for Satiety
Fiber-rich snacks can help you feel satisfied and curb cravings. Choose snacks like raw vegetables, whole fruits, whole-grain crackers, or popcorn.
- Choose Whole Grains Wisely
When opting for grain-based snacks, choose whole grains to boost fiber content. Whole-grain crackers, rice cakes, or oat-based snacks are better choices than refined options.
- Healthy Fats for Sustained Energy
Incorporate healthy fats from sources like nuts, seeds, avocados, or nut butters. These fats can provide sustained energy and contribute to feelings of fullness.
- Minimize Added Sugars
Avoid snacks high in added sugars, as they can lead to energy crashes and cravings. Opt for natural sweetness from fruits or choose snacks with minimal added sugars.
- Hydrate Alongside Snacks
Stay hydrated by sipping water while snacking. Sometimes, thirst can be mistaken for hunger. Drinking water can help control appetite.
- Plan Snacks Ahead of Time
Prepare snacks in advance to avoid reaching for unhealthy options out of convenience. Having nutritious choices readily available makes healthy snacking easier.
- Distract from Emotional Snacking
When cravings strike, engage in an activity to distract from emotional eating. Take a short walk, practice deep breathing, or engage in a hobby to redirect your focus.
- Mindful Eating: Savor Every Bite
Practice mindful eating by savoring each bite and paying attention to the flavors and textures. Eating slowly can prevent overeating and enhance satisfaction.
- Keep Indulgent Treats in Check
It’s okay to enjoy occasional treats, but practice moderation. Instead of depriving yourself, savor small portions mindfully.
By adopting these snacking strategies, you can nourish your body with nutrient-dense choices that fuel your weight loss journey while minimizing the intake of empty calories. Remember that balanced and mindful snacking can contribute to your overall success in achieving and maintaining a healthier lifestyle.
Frequently asked questions
Among the most recommended fruits to help lose weight, either because they are low in calories or reduce the need to eat so frequently, we have:
Fatty fish. Specifically, salmon, sardines, and mackerel are among foods to help lose weight with greater effectiveness, due to their content in protein and polyunsaturated fatty acids that help burn the fat accumulated in your body.
Of course. Although it’s 100% recommended to follow some type of exercise routine to maintain a good state of health in general – even if it’s only walking – it’s also true that you can burn fat and lose weight by consuming only the correct foods, in the correct proportion.
- “The Snacking Diet: The Ultimate Guide to Losing Weight and Feeling Great” by Oz Garcia and Natalie Jill: This book provides insights into creating a sustainable snacking approach that supports weight loss goals.
- “The Joy of Half a Cookie: Using Mindfulness to Lose Weight and End the Struggle with Food” by Jean Kristeller and Alisa Bowman: Learn about mindful eating strategies and how they can influence your snacking choices and overall eating habits.
- “Nutrition Diva’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Eating Well and Feeling Fabulous” hosted by Monica Reinagel: This podcast episode delves into effective snacking strategies, offering practical advice for making better snack choices. https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/healthy-eating/what-are-the-best-snacks-for-weight-loss
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