As I’m sure many of you keen dieters know, trying to eat healthily and keep the extra kilos at bay is not always easy. To start with, there are so many different food philosophies out there; every second nutritionist has a something completely new to say. As a result, we often find ourselves with crossed wires, so to speak, and following a bizarre amalgamation of eating regimes that in no way constitutes a balanced diet. It’s so important to remember that weight loss isn’t about calorie counting alone; it’s a matter of tailoring a well-structured, nutritious eating plan so that it helps you to achieve your goals. I’ve done some research in this vein and put together a list of 7 healthy foods for losing weight.
1. Rice Cakes
Participating in a weight loss routine does not mean that you should ditch the carbs altogether. In fact, part of your healthy lifestyle should include a substantial and regular work out, and for this, you’ll certainly need energy to burn. Rice cakes really are the dieter’s friend: eat them instead of bread, paired with salad and a low fat topping. They’re wheat-free (to help combat water retention), they’re calorific value is very low, and, made with brown, whole-grain rice, they’re packed with three B vitamins, phosphorous and iron.
Grapefruit is tasty and low in calories, and half of one eaten in the morning will turn your slimmer’s cereal into a really balanced breakfast. Alternatively, grapefruit makes a great, between-meal snack; it’s packed with vitamin C and potassium, and it’s also loaded with cancer-fighting compounds.
These little fish don’t really have the greatest reputation: they usually come in cans, and, packaged like that, they smell pretty, well, fishy. It is possible to buy them fresh though, and if you’re keen to give them a try, you’ll find that, in fact, they’re quite tasty and something of a healthy dieter’s superfood. Sardines are protein rich which helps to kick the metabolism into action and keeps blood sugar consistent – this also means they’re satisfying, leaving you feeling that you’ve actually eaten something. In addition, they’re packed with Omega 3 and, unlike other fish, they’re free from poisonous contaminates like mercury.
4. Berries and Apples
Fresh, these fruits are a great source of a whole variety of vitamins and phytochemicals, and these help to keep the body processing foods in an efficient, effective way. In addition, both apples and berries contain pectin, which is a complex carbohydrate that limits the amount of fat our cells can absorb.
5. Calcium Rich Veg
Many dieters cut dairy from their eating plan, and this, studies have recently shown, is not the smartest of moves. Restricting your calcium intake can lead to a calcium deficiency.The brain responds to this lack by urging the body to eat more, in the hopes that something you choose to put in your mouth will give it the nutrient it needs. Obviously, this isn’t great news for anyone attempting to limit their calorie intake. The answer is simply to make sure you include diet-friendly, calcium rich foods in your meal routine. Veg like broccoli and cabbage are good options here, and so it low fat yoghurt.
I know; you’re probably looking sceptically at this one. Oatmeal seems way to much like a comfort food to belong on a healthy weight-loss list. Remember, however, that dieting properly is not simply a matter of calorie counting and avoiding carbs. It’s also about giving your body the nutrients it needs to manage the foods you eat efficiently. Oatmeal is a fantastic source of fibre and, additionally, stabilizes blood sugar levels, helping to avoid the infamous ‘spike and crash’ effect. It makes for a satisfying breakfast as well: after a bowl of oats, you’ll feel full and energized at least until lunch time.
7. Lean Meats
Protein is an important part of any healthy eating plan, and its long digestion time and thermic effect (your body burns energy while processing it) make it a useful diet food as well. Ensure your protein isn’t coming to you bundled up with excess fats by opting for naturally lean meats; choose turkey, ostrich or chicken, for example, over slabs of beef and pork.
Weight loss can only be effectively achieved through a well-structured, intelligent eating plan and a consistent exercise routine. Remember that every food group has something important to offer our bodies, so cutting out anything completely can only result in trouble in the long term: instead of pathologically avoiding carbs and putting a veto on sugary fruits, simply eat these things in moderation. That concludes my list of 7 healthy foods for losing weight: do you have any suggestions to add to it?
Top Photo Credit: Muffet