10 Best Foods To Maintain And Lose Weight. Consistency is key in turning your life around and becoming the best shape of your life!
The hardest journey you will take is the one against yourself. Growing up, I have always struggled with my weight. Either I was too skinny because I was starving myself or I was overweight due to binge eating. There was no in-between. This weight fluctuation was my biggest sense of insecurity for a very long time. The comments from people around me didn’t help either, they just made things worse for my mental health.
I didn’t realize this was happening due to a deeper mental issue but that story is for another day. After years of uncertainty, I started gaining weight at a rapid pace and after a few months, I realized that my body’s metabolism had changed completely. I couldn’t recognize my body as my own and reality hit me – I needed to take care of my body immediately.
How The Right Foods Can Help Lose Weight
I started looking for information everywhere on how to lose and maintain a healthy weight. The internet is a treasure trove when it comes to finding information and after countless hours of research and grueling trial and error in my own life, I found the perfect foods to lose weight that also gave me the strength to carry on through busy days.
One thing I have learned while on my journey to getting the perfect body is that it’s not all about eating insanely small portions and starving yourself. It’s more about finding the right food and learning how to incorporate them into your daily life to create a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
If I have learned anything during my years of struggle, it is not to see weight as the ultimate measure of health. I really can’t emphasize this enough. A diet shouldn’t be the only focus when you are trying to lose weight. Making your body stronger, fitter, and healthier – should be your priority. Trust me, your future self will thank you and you will have a body you are proud of.
From the knowledge I have gained over the years, I have listed below foods that have helped me to lose weight and also maintain my ideal body shape. I hope this list helps you as much as it helped me!
Weight Loss Foods
A balanced diet consisting of eggs can provide lots of health benefits. Eggs are rich in protein and low in calories which is a great combination to boost the metabolism.
A hardboiled egg consists of only 78 calories with important vitamins and antioxidants. But beware, cooking eggs with oils or butter can defeat the purpose of low calories as oil and butter can increase the caloric and fat content significantly.
It’s best to eat eggs in the morning as it can speed up your metabolism throughout the day and help you feel full with less food for lunch and dinner. And that’s not all! Eggs are super versatile and you can prepare an amazing array of healthy dishes.
Baked, boiled, scrambled, poached – no matter how you prepare it – it will be delicious if you follow the right recipes. Some popular way to prepare eggs is with vegetables or salads and you can also opt for a hearty meal by topping it on quinoa salad or sautéed greens. Take your pick!
Where do I start with vegetables? The benefits of adding greens to your diet are immense. Most veggies are low on calories and fiber and an added bonus is the water content of vegetables increases the volume of the food. That means you feel fuller for a longer time, lessening the urge to snack throughout the day.
Some vegetables are superior when it comes to assisting weight loss. Follow a seven veggies diet plan and you might see results very soon. The seven vegetables are spinach, broccoli, squash, Brussels sprouts, green peas, cauliflower, and sweet potato.
There are a variety of healthy recipes that you can try out every day, there’s no way you will get tired of these vegetables soon.
According to the CDC, it is recommended to have 5 portions of vegetables and fruits daily. Packed with vitamins, fiber, and other nutrients, fruits are essential for a healthy diet. Low in calories, fruits have been linked to lower body weight, lower risk of diabetes, higher blood pressure, and lower chances of heart diseases and cancer. But, you need to choose wisely as some fruits might be high in sugar content, such as mangoes.
Just like vegetables, here’s a list of 11 fruits that can keep you healthy, as well as aid your weight management: grapefruit, berries, apples, oranges, drupes, passion fruit, kiwifruit, rhubarb, melons, bananas, and avocados.
It’s more rewarding if you eat fruits whole rather than juiced. And, if you get bored, slice a few types of fruits and make them into a salad. Easy! Trust me, your taste buds will never get tired of that.
Substitute refined grains with whole grains and your body will see a big change in resting metabolic rate. What this means is by substituting refined grains you will reduce your calorie intake by almost 100 calories per day, which is equivalent to a brisk 30-minute walk. The fiber in the whole grains makes all the difference.
Whole grains contain more fiber than refined grains. This is due to the milling process of refined grains and these dietary fibers can be introduced back but it’s rarely done.
Grain food group includes rice, oats, barley, and wheat. Whole grains consist of whole-wheat flour, brown rice, and oatmeal while refined grains consist of white bread, white rice, and white flour.
Beans and Lentils
Beans and lentils can provide you with the recommended source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Because of the high protein and fiber content, beans and lentils contribute to a feeling of fullness and therefore help in lower calorie intake. They also fight food cravings. Lentils especially contain virtually no fat and are known as a superfood for weight loss.
They are also a great replacement for meat as a source of protein if you are a vegetarian or if you want to add more greens to your diet. Some of the healthiest beans are chickpeas, peas, kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, and navy beans.
I ran into a friend the other day and I was pleasantly surprised to see her looking leaner and her body possibly in the best shape I have seen in a long time. Her secret was that she hit the gym religiously and regularly ate chicken breasts for a week.
Chicken breasts are great if you want to lose weight as well as maintain muscle mass and improve recovery after a rigorous session at the gym. But, can it be the ultimate answer to your weight loss plan? The answer is both yes and no.
No one food is the key to losing weight. Chicken breasts can aid you in your weight loss journey but it is not the only answer. It is low in calories, high in protein, and can be cooked in numerous ways.
To give you an idea about the calorie count, 3 ounces of cooked lean chicken breast is only 133 calories, as per USDA. It is also a good source of many essential nutrients. Some recipes you can try are chicken and broccoli stir fry, chicken and veggie soup, or easy chicken tacos.
If you are tired of eating chicken breasts, why don’t you try eating fish fillets? The Mediterranean diet is considered the best diet for weight loss and fish is an essential part of it. By substituting fish for meat, you can also significantly reduce your fat intake. If you are used to eating beef, why not eat fish instead?
Fish is considered a high-quality, lean protein and, as I have mentioned above, protein is very important to help you feel full for longer so you don’t have cravings throughout the day. Insufficient protein will leave you feeling hungry very quickly. They are also low in calories and very rich in omega 3’s, keeping your blood sugar stable.
Here are some fish that will help you lose weight faster: salmon, cod, trout, tuna, sardines, barramundi, tilapia, and haddock.
You must be thinking I am ‘nuts’ for including this in the list. Excuse my pun but let me explain. A lot of people believe that nuts promote weight gain because of their calorie content. Yes, nuts are high in calories because a large part of them is fat and they can be considered as a concentrated source of energy. But, the fat is considered as ‘good fat’ (i.e. unsaturated fat).
Observational studies have shown that regularly eating nuts DOES NOT promote weight gain contrary to popular belief, but rather it boosts weight loss. The science behind it is still unclear but it is believed that some of the fat is absorbed during digestion.
There is also some evidence that suggests that nuts may help increase the rate at which calories are burned during rest. Some nuts you can incorporate into your diet are almonds, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, and hazelnuts.
A soup diet has become a popular way to lose weight in the short term. There are a few soup-based, 7-day diets that have been touted as effective by influencers and fitness fanatics. But, there has yet to be research on it to prove its effectiveness scientifically.
Rather than going on a soup-based, 7-day fad diet, it can be much healthier if you choose to consume soup regularly with your other meals. Clear soups are generally the healthiest and can be a refreshing substitute for other entrees. Make sure you add some proteins to your clear soup and you are set!
If you are trying to lose weight and get in shape, it’s best to avoid eating any kind of cheese, right? Wrong! Just because you are on a diet doesn’t mean you need to give up on cheese. Hence we have an amazing secret for you – cottage cheese.
Cottage cheese is a soft, creamy, fresh cheese that does not undergo any aging or ripening process. It has a very mild flavor and is low in calories, yet it is packed with protein and essential nutrients.
Some creative ways you can have cottage cheese for breakfast, lunch, and dinner are to mix it with pancakes or waffles, add it to your salad, fruits, granola, smoothies, dipping sauce, baked goods, etc. They are also a great substitute for sour cream.
Diet Plan for Weight Loss
The different foods listed above are a great start to any diet plan. But, before anything else you need to understand how diets work. Despite what you read or see on the internet, there is no one magic solution to weight loss.
The first important thing is to count calories in your everyday life or, as it is called, the weight-loss equation. It’s a simple mathematical formula of plus and minus: to lose weight you need to take in fewer calories than the calories you burn, creating a calorie deficit.
If you want to lose one pound of weight in a week, it is generally understood you need to shed 3,500 calories. Swap non-healthy or processed foods for healthier choices and you are already halfway there. Put down that frozen mocha coffee drink and go for a simple Americano without sugar, save calories by drinking water rather than juice or soda, and replace low or non-fat milk for whole milk. These tiny tweaks will give you immense results.
To be truly healthy and to shed unnecessary inches, only dieting is not always enough; you need to move your body regularly. Find an activity you enjoy, which can be anything: walking, running, swimming, yoga, or straight-up training at the gym. A healthy body will promote a healthy mind and also make your weight loss journey easier.
If you have read this far, that means you have taken the decision to step up and change your lifestyle for the better. I can tell you right now, it’s not going to be easy. There are going to be withdrawal symptoms, sweat, aches, sores, and a lot more. But, it’s going to be worth it! Don’t listen to that little voice that tells you that you can’t do it every time it gets hard. That voice is lying and only you can prove it wrong! So, push ahead and good luck
Deborah loves keeping fit and staying so for life. She’s been training for the last 12 years and has a simple goal: making it as simple as possible for women to find out about the best training and dieting methods for their goals (see all posts by Deborah).