1. Whole Eggs
Once feared for being high in cholesterol, whole eggs have been making a comeback. New studies show that they don’t adversely affect blood cholesterol and don’t cause heart attacks (1, 2). What’s more… they are among the best foods you can eat if you need to lose weight. They’re high in protein, healthy fats, and can make you feel full with a very low amount of calories.
2. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens include kale, spinach, collards, swiss chards and a few others. They have several properties that make them perfect for a weight loss diet. They are low in both calories and carbohydrates, but loaded with fiber.
Eating leafy greens is a great way to increase the volume of your meals, without increasing the calories. Numerous studies show that meals and diets with a low energy density make people eat fewer calories overall (5). Leafy greens are also incredibly nutritious and very high in all sorts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. This includes calcium, which has been shown to aid fat burning in some studies (6).
Oily fish like salmon is incredibly healthy. It is also very satisfying, keeping you full for many hours with relatively few calories.
Salmon is loaded with high quality protein, healthy fats and also contains all sorts of important nutrients. Fish, and seafood in general, supplies a significant amount of iodine. This nutrient is necessary for proper function of the thyroid, which is important to keep the metabolism running optimally (7).
Studies show that a huge number of people in the world aren’t getting all the iodine they need (8). Salmon is also loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help reduce inflammation, which is known to play a major role in obesity and metabolic disease (9, 10). Mackerel, trout, sardines, herring and other types of oily fish are also excellent.
4. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts. Like other vegetables, they are high in fiber and tend to be incredibly fulfilling. What’s more… these types of veggies also tend to contain decent amounts of protein.
They’re not as high in protein as animal foods or legumes, but they’re high compared to most vegetables. A combination of protein, fiber and low energy density makes cruciferous vegetables the perfect foods to include in your meals if you need to lose weight. They are also highly nutritious, and contain cancer fighting substances (11).
5. Lean Beef and Chicken Breast
Meat has been unfairly demonized. It has been blamed for all sorts of health problems, despite no good evidence to back it up. Although processed meat is unhealthy, studies show that unprocessed red meat does NOT raise the risk of heart disease or diabetes (12, 13).
According to two big review studies, red meat has only a very weak correlation with cancer in men, and no correlation at all in women (14, 15). The truth is… meat is a weight loss friendly food, because it’s high in protein. Protein is the most fulfilling nutrient, by far, and eating a high protein diet can make you burn up to 80 to 100 more calories per day (16, 17, 18).
Studies have shown that increasing your protein intake to 25-30% of calories can cut cravings by 60%, reduce desire for late-night snacking by half, and cause weight loss of almost a pound per week… just by adding protein to the diet (19, 20). If you’re on a low-carb diet, then feel free to eat fatty meats. But if you’re on a moderate- to high carbohydrate diet, then choosing lean meats may be more appropriate.
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