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Published on January 8, 2021

13 Best Food To Eat For Weight Loss And Energy

13 Best Food To Eat For Weight Loss And Energy

We all dream of having the perfect body, but the process of weight loss is super hard. You’re constantly hungry. Your energy levels are depleting. You feel irritated. But it’s mostly hard because you’re not providing your body with the right nutrients.

Healthy weight loss requires a complete lifestyle transformation and diet changes, and the only way you’re going to stick to it is by eating foods that you actually enjoy and that give you energy.

So, are you feeling lost searching for the best food to eat for weight loss that will put the sparkle back into your eyes? We’ve got you covered!

We have prepared a list of foods that are not only excellent for weight loss but also easy to prepare and combine. All you have to do is amp up your grocery list with these overachievers now, and thank us later.

1. Whole Eggs

Let me guess, you already knew eggs were going to make the cut, right? Well, eggs may be a weight-loss classic, but they will keep both your belly and batteries full!

After years of being labeled as a food that can cause bad LDL cholesterol, eggs are making a big comeback on the weight-loss scene. They are one of the best weight-loss-friendly foods that are available, cheap, and easy to prepare.

A high-protein breakfast or brunch—including a delicious veggie omelet or a poached egg on a toast—can be very satiating during a busy day. Even a hard-boiled egg atop a delicious salad can keep you full until dinner time.

2. Leafy Greens

If you are looking to shed those extra pounds, one of the dietary changes you can make is to include more leafy greens in your meals.

Spinach, kale, lettuce, cabbage, microgreens, just to name a few, are superfoods loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are perfect for adding in salads or as a side dish.[1]

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Eating leafy greens will add volume to your meals without breaking the calorie count. You will feel full throughout the day, but you won’t feel guilty about eating a big lunch.

3. Fatty Fish

When it comes to indulging in some healthy protein, you can’t go wrong with a nice fillet of fatty fish. Tuna, salmon, and sardines are always great choices because they are rich in omega-3s and lean protein. The unsaturated fatty acids and minerals found in salmon make it an excellent dinner choice.

Salmon is also rich in vitamin D, which, according to research, can help with weight loss and weight control.[2] A portion of salmon also contains 25% of your daily vitamin B6, which is great for mood and stress regulation.

A nice fatty fish meal will keep your hunger at bay and help you avoid unwanted cravings later in the day or night. It is the best food to eat for weight loss if you ask me!

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

It’s true: The healthy lifestyle community swears by the powers of apple cider vinegar.

This health tonic comes with a long list of benefits. Several studies suggest that it helps maintain blood sugar balance, controls the appetite, and improves metabolism.[3]

The recommended amount of this ‘elixir’ is 1 to 2 tablespoons per day. Toss it on a boring salad or mix it with some water and take it before a meal. You will feel the hunger subsiding with every passing minute.

5. Nuts

With such a big variety, you probably have trouble figuring out the best way to incorporate nuts into your diet. Well, they make a great heart-healthy snack full of monosaturated fats. If you used to reach for the chips or pretzels, nuts can be your guilt-free pleasure from now on.

But if you want to avoid snacking in between meals at any cost, you can toss a few into your morning shake, and you are good to go. Human-based studies suggest that people who consume nuts regularly are fitter and healthier than those who don’t, mostly due to the nuts’ effect on supercharging metabolisms.[4]

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6. Quinoa

Quinoa is a household name in the health food department. It’s gluten-free, high in fiber and protein, and rich in vitamins B and E. Most importantly, it’s one of the rare plant foods that contain ample amounts of all nine essential amino acids.

These properties of the quinoa seeds will make you feel fuller for longer and stop you from reaching for unhealthy snacks. It’s also low on the glycemic index, which is great as it doesn’t totally disrupt blood sugar levels.

7. Avocado

Trendy, popular, and packing a ton of health benefits, avocado is like a gold medalist at the healthy fats Olympics. The reasons why avocado is considered a weight management champion are many. Unlike most fruits that are loaded with carbs, avocados are rich in healthy fats, fibers, and water. These characteristics make them less energy-dense and one of the best weight loss foods.

Your salad feels kinda boring? Adding a ripe avocado will make all the difference. Just keep it moderate, and you’ve found yourself another superfood that can help you fight the pounds.

8. Citrus Fruits

Do you feel drained and unwilling to exercise? Would a little bit of sunshine in your life improve your mood? If your answer is ‘Yes,’ we’ve got just the right food to give you back your energy.

Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruits, and a few others are loaded with vitamins, fiber, and water, so they fill you up easily. They also contain a sufficient amount of potassium to reduce bloating and antioxidants that fight inflammation.

9. Peanut Butter

Surprised to find peanut butter on this list?

Don’t be, and here’s why: Whether you prefer it creamy or chunky, peanut butter will keep you feeling full and satisfied during a busy day.

It may not be the first food that comes to mind when trying to shed some pounds, but it packs unbelievable 8 grams of protein and up to 4 grams of fiber per serving.

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If you are still wondering how peanut butter supports weight loss, it’s because it kills hunger, controls your appetite, and keeps your blood sugar in check.

10. Full-Fat Greek Yogurt

Greek Yogurt is one of the most popular dairy products at the moment, and rightly so!

Wonder why?

Well, it may sound hard to believe, but studies indicate that full-fat yogurt works a lot better for weight loss than low-fat dairy products.[5] Unsweetened full-fat yogurt carries strong probiotic features that help boost immunity, regulate gut function, and banish bloat.

A healthy gut lowers the risk of inflammation and resistance to leptin (the hormone that regulates appetite, body weight, and metabolism). Always choose full-fat yogurt with five or more active cultures. Other forms of yogurt have plenty of added sugars and virtually no probiotics.

11. Berries

Barries rank quite high among the fiber-rich fruits. Blueberries and raspberries are many people’s fruit of choice. A cup of berries contains around 6 to 8 grams of fiber, and as you probably know, fiber has been linked with energy levels and weight management.

They are extremely healthy, contain less sugar than most fruits, and make a great snack or dessert. Add powerful antioxidant traits to the mixture, and you got yourself healthy and refreshing addition to a well-balanced breakfast.

If you are still not convinced, throw a few barriers together with some Greek yogurt in the morning. It will feel like a treat for body and soul. We promise!

12. Herbs and Spices

Are you tired of eating plain and boring food while working on your figure? Are all healthy choices also tasteless? Let me tell you a different story!

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Taking care of your health doesn’t mean you should sentence your taste buds to death. The moment you throw some extra seasoning in the pan, your hate for dieting will sizzle away. Avoid the salt shaker (sodium adds to water-retentions and makes you bloated) and reach for the herbs and spices shelf.

My favorite seasonings to use are:

  • basil
  • cilantro
  • cinnamon
  • rosemary
  • curry
  • cumin
  • oregano
  • ginger
  • black pepper

13. Dark chocolate

I left the best for last! Studies show that dark chocolate may be one of the best foods to eat for weight loss. It reduces cravings and promotes feelings of fullness, which may help you win the battle with the pounds.[6]

As an up-and-coming member of the superfoods club, it confirms its status by improving insulin sensitivity, lifting mood, and boosting your energy. If you have a sweet tooth, dark chocolate will make the perfect snack for you as long as you are careful not to go overboard on it.

The Bottom Line

There is an abundant variety when it comes to choosing the best foods to eat for weight loss. Fill your shopping cart with lots of lean protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and whole grains, and you won’t have to worry about taking your healthy fats and proteins, fibers, antioxidants, vitamins, or minerals. All of these nutrients produce energy within the cells, boost your immune system, and help you lose weight.

When it comes to losing weight, switching to a healthier lifestyle is more important than simply focusing on specific foods. So, are you ready to finally beat the pounds?

More Great Food to Eat for Weight Loss

Featured photo credit: Jasmin Schreiber via unsplash.com

Reference

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Maxime Saar

Healthy Lifestyle Blogger & Positive Thinker

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss for Beginners (A How-to Guide)

Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss for Beginners (A How-to Guide)

Intermittent fasting weight loss is a type of diet that’s rapidly growing in popularity and becoming the way to lose weight. Scientists and nutrition experts like it, too. New books and articles on the topic are being published daily. Intermittent fasting is also popular with followers of the Paleo diet since our ancestors appear to have eaten this way for thousands of years.

I’ve been following this type of diet myself for 2 years. Doing so helped me lose and keep off 70 pounds without ever having to count calories, limit carbohydrates, or eat 6 to 7 meals a day.

This article teaches you all about intermittent fasting weight loss and details why it is one of the best weight loss diet hacks around. Once you finish, you will be able to implement it into your diet and experience the benefits it offers almost immediately.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

As you may have figured from its name, intermittent fasting weight loss is a diet plan where you set fasting periods during the day. This is usually between 16-20 consecutive hours, but it can be as little as 12 hours or as much as 24 hours (or even 36 hours).

While fasting you can eat and drink low calorie or calorie-free foods. Think coffee, tea, water, and vegetables.

The more time you spend fasting every day, the better your results. You can do these fasts as often as you like. Again, the more often you do so, the better[1].

Getting Started With Intermittent Fasting

Following this diet plan is super simple. All you have to do is choose a period of time during the day that you will fast. This should be between 16-20 hours.

The longer you fast each day, the better. Don’t worry about calorie restriction or measuring carbohydrates. Just focus on going about your day until it’s time to eat.

It’s best to choose a set period of time to conduct your fast. I like to fast from 8 PM to 4 PM the following afternoon. I’ll then have my first meal of the day and a snack or two a few hours later. Once 8 o’clock rolls around, it’s back to fasting.

My experience with intermittent fasting is that it’s best to start with a 16 hour fast (i.e. 8 PM one evening to 12 PM the next day) for the first 1-2 weeks. Once you are comfortable with this schedule, you can increase the amount of time you spend fasting. Do this by adding 30 minutes to each fast until you get to where you are fasting for 20 hours at a time.

You don’t have to fast every day in the beginning either. You may be more comfortable breaking in slowly with 2 or 3 days per week, or trying alternate day fasting. Add additional days of intermittent fasting as you become more comfortable with this style of eating.

Intermittent Fasting Schedules

There are several different fasting schedules you can choose from when you start an intermittent fasting diet. Here are some of the most popular.

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The 16/8 Method

This method of fasting involves fasting every day for 14-16 hours and eating during an 8-10 hour window. Many people who are getting started with intermittent fasting will find this the easiest schedule to keep. You can eat your last meal around 8 PM and not eat again until noon the next day, for example. This sounds simple, as you’re really only skipping breakfast, but you’re actually fasting for 16 hours in this case![2]

16/8 Method of Intermittent Fasting

    The 5:2 Method

    This fasting method involves eating normally five days each week and restricting calorie intake to 500-600 calories for two (non-consecutive) days. On fasting days, women should eat around 500 calories, and men should eat around 600 calories.

    5:2 Diet for Intermittent Fasting

      Alternate-Day Fasting

      As its name suggests, this type of intermittent fasting involves fasting every other day. As with the 5:2 method, some people find it easier to eat 500-600 calories instead of going on a full fast each fasting day.

      Alternate Day Fasting
        The Warrior Diet

        This type of fasting is considered by many to be the most difficult and follows a 20/4 eating schedule. For most of the day, you limit your food intake to small amounts of fruits and vegetables (low-calorie foods). For four hours each day, you eat large-portioned meals to get in your day’s calories.

        Because of the intense nature of this method, it’s only recommended for those who have been on an intermittent fasting diet for a while and feel comfortable with it.

        The Warrior Diet

          Tips to Make Intermittent Fasting Easier

          1. Drink Plenty of Water

          Squeeze a little lemon or lime juice into your water to help get rid of any cravings you experience. You can also drink coffee, tea, or other calorie-free beverages. After a few weeks, you will find that intermittent fasting keeps you from craving sugar entirely.

          2. Take in Caffeine in the Morning and Early Afternoon

          The caffeine in coffee and tea may actually make intermittent fasting weight loss a little easier since it’s good for curbing your appetite. Be careful not to overindulge, as this may lead to you feeling a little too wired. I also recommend these natural energy boosting tips to keep you going during the day.

          3. Avoid Artificially Flavored Drinks

          One type of calorie-free drink that should be avoided are diet sodas and other beverages that use artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Sweet & Low. Studies show that the can actually stimulate your appetite[3] like a drink that contains sugar and causes you to overeat.

          4. Don’t Gorge at Your First Meal

          The first meal after your fast should be the amount of food you typically eat. Binging will only make you feel awful and diminish the benefits you get from the fast.

          To avoid this, try creating meal plans, at least for the first few weeks. This will help you get into the rhythm of eating regularly portioned meals during your eating window.

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          5. Minimize Processed Carbohydrates and Sugars

          While intermittent fasting does make it possible to eat a little looser than normal, you should still eat as little bread, pasta, rice, etc. as possible.

          Focus instead on eating protein from beef, fish, or pork, carbohydrates from vegetables, fruit, and sweet potatoes, and healthy fats from foods like almonds, avocados, fish, and olive oil.

          You can find some carb sources that will aid your weight loss journey here.

          How Intermittent Fasting Helps You Lose Weight

          Eating this way has many benefits with regard to weight loss. The first is that when you’re fasting, your body will be forced to use its stored body fat for energy. After several hours of not eating, your body will use up its sugar stores, which will cause it to start burning fat for energy, a process known as metabolic switching. 

          Mark Mattson, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins explains this effect in simple terms:

          “Intermittent fasting contrasts with the normal eating pattern for most Americans, who eat throughout their waking hours…If someone is eating three meals a day, plus snacks, and they’re not exercising, then every time they eat, they’re running on those calories and not burning their fat stores.”[4]

          Burning calories this way, instead of from the food you’re eating throughout the day, will help you experience significant weight loss, but specifically lose weight from any excess body fat you’re carrying.

          This means that you won’t just be thinner, but you will also look better and be much healthier than if you lose weight the old-fashioned way[5].

          Intermittent fasting can help optimize the release of the key fat-burning hormones in your body. This is especially true for the two most important hormones: human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin.

          Human growth hormone plays a key role in turning on your body’s fat-burning furnace so that it gets the calories you need to work and play from stored body fat. Studies show that fasting can significantly increase the production of HGH[6].

          The influence intermittent fasting has on insulin is just as impressive and possibly more important. Keeping your insulin levels low and steady is key to losing excess fat and keeping it off.

          Diets that are rich in processed carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice) and simple sugars (candy, cookies, and soda) have the opposite effect. They cause your insulin levels to rapidly spike and then crash every time you eat one of these foods. The net result of this phenomenon is that your body will store more of what you eat as excess body fat instead of burning it off as energy.

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          Chronically elevating your insulin levels like this can also lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, obesity, and other chronic health problems. Intermittent fasting easily solves this problem.

          One study found that men who participated in intermittent fasting had “dramatically lower insulin levels and significantly improved insulin sensitivity”[7].

          This happens because you’re not giving your body food, so it will not produce insulin, allowing insulin levels to balance out until you eat again. This helps your body stay in a calorie and fat-burning state. You’ll also find that it gives you more energy throughout the day.

          Another great weight loss benefit of intermittent fasting is that hunger pangs and cravings that may normally plague you throughout the day will be reduced, if not altogether eliminated. This is probably due to its ability to balance your insulin and blood sugar levels and, in turn, help correct other hormonal imbalances.

          Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss FAQs

          Now that you know what intermittent fasting is and how to get started, it’s time to answer your other questions.

          Below are answers to the questions frequently asked about intermittent fasting. These answers should help you and make getting started a lot easier.

          How Much Weight Will I Lose?

          The amount of weight you lose with fasting is determined by how often and long your fasts are, what you eat afterward, and other factors.

          One study published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that average weight loss on an intermittent fasting diet was around 9lbs after 12 months, and weight loss was most successful in those who strictly adhered to their chosen diet[8].

          Can I Work out While Fasting?

          Yes, you can. In fact, doing the right type of workout while fasting will help you lose weight faster and even build muscle.

          If you are a hardcore athlete who often exercises for an hour or more each day, intermittent fasting may not be the best choice for you as this amount of exercise requires fuel to keep you moving and build muscle. However, light to moderate intensity workouts 2 to 4 times a week should work with intermittent fasting.

          The best workouts to do while fasting for weight loss are strength training workouts. This means anything from standard strength training to kettlebell or body weight workouts. Combine these with lighter forms of exercise like walking, jogging, or yoga.

          You could also try this 30-Day Resistance Band Workout Challenge alongside your intermittent fasting diet. It will help you get into an exercise routine while easing into your new eating routine.

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          Focus on doing 3-4 total body exercises per workout with as little rest as possible between sets. Doing this will help you burn more calories during and after your workout. You’ll also build muscle, which will help you look and feel better as the weight comes off.

          Remember, exercising can increase hunger, so try working out in the hour or two right before you are scheduled to break your fast[9]. Your body will be primed for a meal, and your hunger won’t get the best of you.

          Won’t I Lose Muscle When I Fast?

          First of all, you aren’t fasting long enough for your body to start breaking down muscle for energy. You have, perhaps, hundreds of thousands of calories from your stored body fat to use before that will begin to happen.

          If you’re trying to build muscle while fasting, you’ll need to ensure you’re getting enough calories, especially through protein, at each meal between fasts.

          Is Fasting Safe?

          As long as you are healthy, not pregnant, and aren’t taking medications, fasting is safe. Like all diets, you should discuss it with your doctor before beginning an intermittent fasting diet.

          I also feel that it may not be smart to follow this type of diet when you’re especially stressed. Since this diet can be a little stress-inducing at first, doing so when you aren’t able to be relatively stress-free and rested probably isn’t a good idea.

          Are There Any Supplements I Can Take to Make Fasting Easier?

          As with any other weight loss plan, it’s a good idea to take a few nutritional supplements to make sure your daily requirements are met. This includes a once or twice daily multi-vitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D.I’ve also found taking 10 grams of branched-chain amino acids before and after my workouts really helps, too. They’re great for giving you more energy during your workout and decreasing post-workout muscle soreness.

          For supplements to specifically help with digestion, check out this article.

          The Bottom Line

          Now you know what intermittent fasting is and how it can help you lose weight quickly and safely. If you want to give it a try, find a fasting schedule that fits with your lifestyle, and give it a go.

          More About Intermittent Fasting

          Featured photo credit: Toa Heftiba via unsplash.com

          Reference

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