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Published on January 8, 2021

13 Best Food To Eat For Weight Loss And Energy

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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

More by this author

Maxime Saar

Healthy Lifestyle Blogger & Positive Thinker

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Published on August 24, 2021

What Is a Whole Food Diet And Does It Really Work?

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What Is a Whole Food Diet And Does It Really Work?

I’ve been a dietitian now for a long time (more years than I care to mention), and if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that fad diets are best avoided. This is why I’m so pleased that whole food diets are being talked about more and more.

Rather than a “diet,” I prefer to think of a whole food diet as a way of life. Eating this way is balanced, and it is a great way to support your all-around body health and longevity. Plus, it’s delicious and—in my opinion—not limiting either, which is a massive bonus.

A well-balanced diet follows some fairly basic principles and, in essence, consists of plenty of the following:

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Lean protein
  • Nuts
  • Water

This is essentially all a whole food diet is. Unfortunately, there isn’t an accepted definition of the whole food diet, which means that there are some highly restrictive versions around and some involve principles to frame your diet around rather than strict rules.

Read on to learn more about the whole food diet as a framework for eating rather than a strict rule book of dos and don’ts that restricts your lifestyle.

What Is a Whole Food Diet?

By definition, a whole food diet consists of eating foods that are as close to their natural form as possible. It’s easy to get lost in a quagmire of organic, local, or pesticide-free, but a whole food diet is basically food in its most natural form. Obviously, spices can be ground and grains can be hulled, but you get the idea. You eat the whole food rather than what’s left after being refined or processed.

In other words, it involves a lot of cooking because whole foods do not involve anything processed. That means no premade sauces, dips, or convenience foods like chocolate bars, sweets, or ready-meals. It also includes things like tinned vegetables and white bread.

Why? Processed and convenience foods are often high in salt, saturated fat, and additives in comparison to anything homemade. Because of this, their toll on your overall health is higher.

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Can Other Diets Also Be Whole Food Diets?

Here’s where it gets confusing—yes, other diets can also be whole food diets. Eating a whole food diet is a lifestyle choice, but many other diets can exist within a whole foods construct. So, diets like the MIND Diet and Mediterranean Diet are also whole food diets.

For example, here are the foods involved in the MIND Diet:[1]

  • Green, leafy vegetables five times a week
  • Five or more different colored fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Berries five times a week
  • Five or more servings of nuts a week
  • Olive oil five times a week
  • Whole grains five times a week
  • Oily fish twice a week or take an algae-based omega-3 supplement
  • Legumes and pulses five times a week
  • White meat/mix of plant-based proteins twice a week
  • Vitamin D supplement
  • Minimally processed foods
  • No more than one glass of wine a day
  • One or two coffee or tea a day max
  • Two liters of water a day

That’s pretty much a whole food diet, right? As long as any meat or plant-based proteins are as unprocessed as possible, then it can be a whole food diet.

Other diets, like a vegan diet, for instance, could be whole food diets or not. It really depends if processed foods are included. Some food substitutes are really heavily processed, so it’s important to read labels really carefully. But it’s only some, not all.

And here’s where it gets woolly. If you don’t need to eliminate certain food groups for whatever reason—ethical, health, religion—then a whole food diet can be great. But if you do exclude certain foods, then it could be beneficial to include certain “processed” foods. This is to make sure that you don’t miss out on vital nutrients to keep you healthy.

Processed Foods That Are Okay on a Whole Food Diet

Many brands of cereals are fortified with B vitamins, which can be hard to come by on a plant-based diet.

For example, vitamin B12 (needed for maintaining a healthy nervous system, energy, and mood-regulation), is largely found in animal sources. It is something that those on a plant-based diet need to keep an eye on, as studies show that around 20% of us are deficient. And we also know that 65% of vegans and vegetarians don’t take a B vitamin supplement.[2]

So in that case, choosing a cereal fortified with B vitamins would be a good option, if done wisely. By that I mean use your discretion and check the labels, as many brands of cereals are packed with sugar and additives. But you can strategically choose minimally processed foods using a whole foods mentality.

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As a rule of thumb, if there are any ingredients that you can’t pronounce, don’t understand, or sound artificial, they probably are best avoided.

Benefits of a Whole Food Diet

In a 2014 analysis by Yale University, they concluded that “a diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention.”[3]

A diet rich in fruit and vegetables or other high-fiber foods like whole grains and nuts is really important in maintaining good long-term health and preventing health problems like diabetes and cancers. These kinds of foods also help our bodies to cope and control the effects of inflammation.

In fact, one review from 2019 stated that “diets high in plant foods could potentially prevent several million premature deaths each year if adopted globally.”[4] This is a big endorsement for a whole food diet.

Whole Foods and the Gut

Whole foods are loaded with fibers that are sometimes lost during processing or refinement. Fiber is essential for a healthy gut because aside from its traditional “roughage” reputation, it also feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut, providing a whole host of other benefits.

They also provide a lot of variety, which the gut loves. The more variety, the better. So, even though you might fall in love with certain recipes, it’s important to mix up the kinds of whole foods you eat to maintain a healthy gut. Aim for 30 different whole foods each week. It’s easier than you think!

Whole Foods and the Brain

The brain is a really hungry organ, and it uses 25% of the total energy you consume from your food. Everything it needs to function at its best is—you guessed it—a whole, unprocessed food.

In fact, the best diet recommended for brain health is the MIND Diet. In one study, it was shown that people who follow the MIND diet closely had a 53% reduced rate of developing Alzheimer’s.[5]

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Some of the best whole foods for the brain are:[6]

  • Oily fish
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Berries
  • Broccoli
  • Whole grains

Is It Easy to Follow a Whole Food Diet?

Once you’ve got your head around having “ingredients” rather than “ready-to-eat” things in your kitchen cupboards, it’s actually very easy. The only issue is the lifestyle and habit changes that come along with it.

It is very likely that for many people, following a totally, religiously whole food diet may be unattainable at least some of the time. For example, there are days where you don’t get time to make your lunch or if you want to enjoy social eating. Similarly, people who have young children or who are working more than one job are unlikely to be able to follow a whole food diet all of the time.

Sometimes, we put ourselves under pressure to be as perfect as we can with diets like this, which can lead to an eating disorder called Orthorexia, which is a preoccupation with healthy eating.

This means that following a whole food diet, in principle, can be healthy and accessible for some people but not for everyone. It also means that those with previous disordered eating, as always, need to avoid any form of dietary restriction or rules around their diet.

Is a Whole Food Diet Boring?

Absolutely not! The beauty of this way of eating is that there are barely any recipes that are off-limits. If you can make it yourself using natural ingredients, then it counts. So, dig out your recipe books and get familiar with your spice cupboard.

Here’s my advice if you’re just starting: stock up on coconut milk and canned tomatoes. You’ll use them all the time in sauces.

Best Hacks for Sticking With a Whole Food Diet

Here are some tips to help you stick with a whole food diet and develop this lifestyle.

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1. Practice Batch Cooking

Especially in the beginning, if you’ve been used to eating more convenience-based or packaged foods, you’re likely to feel like you spend the majority of your life in the kitchen. So, I’d suggest getting your cookbooks out and planning around five things to make per week. If you make double, or even triple portions depending on your household, you’ll have enough quantity to last several meals.

For example, his could be homemade granola. Make it once, and that’s breakfast sorted for a week. Whole food diet ingredients like oats, quinoa, buckwheat, nuts, and seeds are all delicious, and great nutritional resources to keep you feeling full until lunchtime.

I also love to make big stews, sauces, and curries that can happily be reheated and added throughout the course of a few days.

2. Make Your Own Convenience Foods

Sticking to a new way of eating can be really difficult, especially for your willpower. So, it’s very important to make it as easy as possible for yourself.

Pre-chop. Pre-chop. Pre-chop.

If you’ve got a container of carrot sticks on hand or can happily munch on a few pieces of melon from the fridge, use those—it’s almost easier than grabbing something from a package. This can extend to your other vegetables, too. If you get your veg delivered or buy it from a market, choose a few things to slice after you wash them. That way, if you need a speedy lunch or a lazy dinner, it’ll be ready in minutes.

Ready to Try a Whole Food Diet?

If you’re looking to maximize your overall health, well-being, and vitality, I’d absolutely suggest a whole food diet. But, as with everything, it’s important to do what works for you and your own lifestyle.

Featured photo credit: Louis Hansel – Restaurant Photographer via unsplash.com

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Reference

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