If you’ve been counting calories hoping to shed some unwanted pounds, you may have discovered that losing weight using that method alone isn’t as straightforward as it seems.
The reason? Not all calories are created equal. Moreover, our bodies process different foods in different ways, which can help or hinder your weight loss efforts.
The guessing game stops now. Here are the top 10 most weight-loss friendly foods on the planet.
Forget everything you’ve heard in the past about eggs leading to high cholesterol. New studies reveal that eggs have no adverse effect on cholesterol levels, nor do they cause heart attacks. Eggs are excellent sources of protein (one large egg contains 6 grams of protein) as well as healthy fats — including omega-3s. These substances help you feel full while delivering fewer calories.
Kale, spinach, collards, Swiss chard and other leafy greens are low in carbs and calories and high in fiber to keep you feeling full. If you want to eat more without the added calories, add leafy greens to your meal. Leafy greens are also nutrient-dense, containing vitamins, antioxidants and minerals that benefit your body and help you reach your weight loss goals.
Salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines, herring and other types of fatty fish are high in protein and omega-3s to support a healthy weight. Fatty fish (and most seafood) also contains iodine, which is necessary for healthy thyroid function. A healthy thyroid keeps your metabolism running.
Chicken breast and lean beef is rich in protein, and eating protein-rich foods is essential if you want to drop the weight and keep it off. A high-protein diet helps you burn more calories per day while decreasing your craving for foods that don’t help you achieve your weight loss goals. Like eggs, red meat has earned a bad reputation over the years, but research suggests eating unprocessed red meat does not increase your risk of heart disease or diabetes.
Unlike most fruits which are high in carbohydrates, avocados are packed with healthy fats, mainly monounsaturated oleic acid, which is the same fat found in olive oil. Moreover, avocados contain other essential nutrients such as fiber and potassium. If you’re looking for healthy fats to include in your diet, made avocados one of your go-to menu (and recipe) items.
Also high in healthy fats, a handful of nuts makes a great choice for a snack between meals. The healthiest nuts include walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, pistachios and cashews. However, due to their high fat content, only consume nuts in moderation. Also, whenever possible, skip the salted varieties.
While most fruit is considered healthy, research shows that grapefruit can have a direct effect on weight loss. Eating half a grapefruit before meals can reduce insulin resistance. That can help you feel more satisfied and ingest fewer calories.
Eating yogurt that contains probiotics can improve your digestive functions, helping to protect against the intestinal inflammation that can lead to weight gain. Choose yogurt with live, active cultures and consider full-fat yogurt. Studies show that full-fat dairy may reduce your risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes over time.
While they are high in carbohydrates, the majority of carbs in chia seeds come from fiber, making them one of the best sources of fiber available. Chia seeds absorb high amounts of water, expanding in your stomach to help reduce appetite and boost weight loss.
Not all grains are considered healthy, but whole grains such as oats, brown rice and quinoa are high in fiber and protein to increase satiety. Avoid refined grains and beware of processed foods claiming to contain “whole grains.” It’s also important to note that grains are high in carbs, so if you’re watching your carb intake, you’ll want to limit the amount of whole grains in your diet.
It isn’t hard to find healthy foods that can help you lose weight, provided you’re committed to making changes in your current diet. Along with regular exercise, a healthy diet can help you reach your non-surgical weight loss goals. If you have questions about what foods you should eat for weight loss, consider scheduling an appointment for non-surgical services with your First Baptist Medical Center weight loss doctor.