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Published on October 12, 2018

15 Most Effective and Nutritious Healthy Foods to Lose Weight

15 Most Effective and Nutritious Healthy Foods to Lose Weight

The food we eat has a clear influence on our health and, of course, on our weight. If we feed our bodies with junk, we can only expect weight gain as a result. On the other hand, by pursuing a healthy diet, we can keep our metabolism active and get rid of excess pounds.

In this article, you will discover some of the most effective and nutritious healthy foods to lose weight. By integrating these in your daily diet, you will be able to lose weight and return to a healthy figure. Among the recommended choices, you will find eggs, fatty fish, leafy greens and lean meat.

1. Eggs

For a long time, we were told that eggs can endanger our cholesterol levels and that we should consume them in moderation. Today, thanks to modern research, it is known that eggs contain healthy fats and are quite recommended to those who want to lose weight.

The big benefit that eggs have to offer is that they guarantee a prolonged satiety sensation, without containing too many calories. When planning the best diet plan, be sure to add them to the list. They can be prepared in a wide range of ways, being dense in nutrients and rich to taste.

2. Avocados

Avocados are not only delicious to taste but they contain a lot of beneficial substances, and especially healthy fats. For someone who is interested in losing weight, avocados should be part of the daily diet. Did you know that these fruits are rich in oleic acid, which is also found in olive oil?

Apart from containing fats, avocados contain fiber and water, which makes them ideal for those looking to cut back a few pounds. They can be easily integrated into varied meals, including salads and spreads.

Moreover, they facilitate the absorption of antioxidants derived from veggies and they are rich in potassium.

3. Fatty fish

If you are looking to lose weight, fatty fish can be quite helpful. An excellent source of healthy fats, it can satisfy your appetite and prevent you from overeating.

It does not contain too many calories, so you can consume it without worrying about gaining weight.

One of the most recommended choices is salmon but you can also consume tuna, mackerel, herring or sardines. All of these options are rich in nutrients, including iodine, which is essential for the healthy functioning of the thyroid gland (thyroid dysfunctions are almost always associated with weight gain).

4. Leafy greens

When it comes to weight loss foods, leafy greens stand at the top of the list.[1] This is because they are low in calories and high in fiber, allowing one to feel fuller for a longer period of time. Leafy greens do not contain too many carbs, which is another reason why they should be considered.

It is a known fact that leafy greens – Swiss chard, kale, spinach, collard – are rich in nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

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They contain calcium, which is essential for the fat-burning process. Moreover, they can be easily integrated into various meals, in generous portions.

5. Lean meat

Just because you are trying to lose weight, this does not mean you should give up meat altogether.

Today, we know that lean meat is an excellent source of healthy proteins and that it does not increase the risk of heart disease or diabetes. So you see, it should be part of your daily meals.

The idea is to choose meat of high quality, paying attention to the way you prepare it.

Lean meat is high in proteins, which contribute to the fat-burning process (you will thus consume more calories, despite eating meat). It is also worth mentioning that the consumption of meat reduces the risk of late-night cravings.

6. Nut butters

Speaking about sources of proteins, nut butters are definitely on the “yes” list. They contain high-quality proteins and plenty of fiber, representing the perfect choice for a satisfying snack.

As you will eat peanut butter, for example, you feel less tempted to give into unhealthy cravings.

From another perspective, it has been established that nut butters contain specific amino acids, such as L-arginine. This can improve the blood and lymph circulation, reducing the risk of water retention. Thus, you can finally get rid of that water weight and look fantastic again.

Not to mention, nut butters are quite delicious, especially when paired with fruits.

7. Pumpkin

With the fall season in full bloom, pumpkins are definitely everywhere.

But did you know that pumpkins contain a lot of fiber? They are also rich in potassium, defeating the banana in this competition. You can use them to make a lot of things, including mouth-watering snacks and whole dishes.

The regular consumption of pumpkin has been associated with a reduced risk of obesity. Pumpkin contains antioxidants as well, which can provide protection against oxidative damage.

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Imagine a healthy dessert prepared with pumpkin puree, cinnamon, yoghurt and chopped nuts. Or a delicious slice of baked pumpkin. There is truly nothing better to be enjoyed, without feeling guilty about the intake of calories.

8. Potatoes

The first thing to remember is that fries are not healthy. However, this does mean you should say no to potatoes altogether.

On the contrary, baked potatoes can help those who are interested in quick weight loss.[2] They contain plenty of potassium, preventing bloating and water retention (sodium-related).

When you cook potatoes in this manner, you are also getting a lot of fiber, which means that you will fill fuller for longer.

Always remember that potatoes are dense in nutrients but their caloric intake changes when cooked differently. And French fries are the worst, rich in calories and high in unhealthy fats (increased risk of weight gain and heart disease).

9. Seeds of various sorts

No one would think about seeds as being worth introducing in a diet plan. However, these are rich in healthy fats and minerals, being more than recommended to those who are trying to lose weight. Did you know that seeds are rich in zinc and guarantee a prolonged satiety sensation?

You can consume sunflower, pumpkin, flax, quinoa, chia and sesame seeds. Take into account that some of these seeds, such as quinoa and chia require hydration.

Another piece of good news is that you can integrate these seeds into different dishes. Or if you want, you can consume them as such, enjoying your satisfying snack.

10. Fermented foods

Fermented foods are part of various cultures; for example, Koreans eat kimchi and other fermented foods as part of their daily diet.

If you are looking to get back to a healthy figure, you might benefit tremendously from such foods. Not to mention, they have the most amazing flavors to offer.

You can consume yoghurt, kefir, tempeh, miso or sauerkraut, as each of these fermented foods is rich in probiotics. These regulate the gut flora, which in turn works to keep you healthy and lean.

When your gut flora is healthy, your metabolism is active and bloating is not a problem.

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11. Nuts

We have mentioned that nut butters are healthy, so it makes sense that nuts are just as healthy.

The most satisfying snacks in the world, nuts can definitely be consumed by those looking to lose a few pounds. One can eat almonds, pecan nuts, walnuts and pistachios, but only in moderate quantities (as these are rich in calories).

It is important to know that regular consumption of nuts has been associated with a reduced abdominal circumference (as opposed to the consumption of carbs, which does exactly the opposite).

Nuts are rich in healthy fats, monounsaturated, keeping the heart healthy as well.

12. Fruits of the forest (Berries)

While most of the fruits are rich in sugar and not recommended to those interested in losing weight, berries represent the exception from the rule.

The fruits of the forest are rich in fiber, allowing one to experience a prolonged satiety sensation.

Whether you prefer blueberries, raspberries or strawberries, it is worth knowing that all of these small fruits are rich in antioxidants. They provide protection against the damage done by free radicals and, bonus, they do not contain a lot of sugar.

You can snack on berries or integrate them into healthy meals, as you wish.

13. Legumes

Legumes, including beans and lentils, can be turned into the most satisfying meals.

For someone concerned about weight loss, they are excellent. On the one hand, they are rich in fiber and, thus, offer a prolonged satiety sensation. On the other hand, they represent a source of healthy proteins, which are necessary for an active metabolism.

Beans of various sorts, as well as lentils, are rich in minerals and vitamins (especially the ones from the B group). They can prevent you from becoming bloated, plus they contribute to the development of lean muscle mass. How about a delicious lentil soup for lunch today?

14. Whole grains

For a long time now, we have heard that whole grains are not recommended, as they can cause all sort of problems. Today, it is known that such problems are only caused by refined grains – these are often found in processed foods, increasing the risk of abdominal weight.

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Whole grains, on the contrary, can contribute to the weight loss process. You can integrate quinoa, amaranth, barley, millet and brown rice in your diet, mixing them with yogurt for a delicious treat.

Rich in minerals and satisfying, they will keep you full for quite a long period of time.

15. Bananas

Perhaps one of the most popular fruit in the world, the common banana is actually a superstar. Rich in potassium and magnesium, it represents the ideal choice for those who are overweight and plan on going on a diet.

Bananas counteract the effect of processed foods, helping with the elimination of water weight (salt-associated retention – water weight).

It has also been proven that bananas contribute to the health of the gut flora, replenishing the good bacteria.

You can eat bananas as such, enjoying their delicious taste; or, if you want, you can eat them with nut butters, cereals or fresh berries. Frozen bananas can be turned into mouth-watering ice cream, a healthy version to the store-bought alternative.

Conclusion

These are some of the most effective and nutritious healthy foods you can consider for weight loss. As you have seen, these are easy to integrate into the daily diet and offer a prolonged satiety sensation.

Do not hesitate to have fun while preparing your meals and remember to drink plenty of water, as this can help with the weight loss process as well.

And remember, it is never too late to start a new diet and change your lifestyle, enjoying your new figure.

Featured photo credit: Jamie Street via unsplash.com

Reference

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Evlin Symon

Evlin Symon is a health and wellness expert specialized in fitness, weight loss, pregnancy, nutrition and beauty.

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

1. The Inner Critic

This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

2. The Worrier

This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

4. The Sleep Depriver

This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

How can you control these squatters?

How to Master Your Mind

You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

There are two ways to control your thoughts:

  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

For the Inner Critic

When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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“Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

  • They rile up the Worrier.
  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
  • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
  • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
  • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

For the Worrier

Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tense

Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

“Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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For example:

If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

“I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

“Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tension

I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

Breathe in through your nose:

  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
  • Focus on your belly rising.

Breathe out through your nose:

  • Feel your lungs emptying.
  • Focus on your belly falling.
  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

For the Sleep Depriver

(They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

You can also use this technique any time you want to:

  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
  • Shut down your thinking.
  • Calm your feelings.
  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

The Bottom Line

Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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