In this fast-moving world, we do not take enough time for self-care. As a result, we are prone to unhealthy lifestyles. Wake up late in the morning, skip breakfast, rush to work, drink huge mugs of coffee periodically with fast food burger and fries in between, work fast to complete within deadlines, and to finally cool off the day, hit a bar to eat greasy food and wash them all down with couple cans of chilled beer.
Best Foods for Healthy Weight Loss!
Unhealthy much? Yes, that is pretty much people’s routine these days. This detrimental work routine and food habits will undoubtedly be the reason for growing obesity-related issues. It also leads to further complications and impacts overall health. We have to make a conscious effort to watch what we put in our mouths. Choosing the right food is one of the most important steps. In this blog, I will list out 12 best foods for healthy weight loss.
Green Tea: It is almost common knowledge nowadays that green tea helps in weight loss. And, I can’t complain as it is not overrated. As I said earlier, we have a regular habit of drinking several mugs of coffee with milk and sugar. It might be difficult to switch from your regular beverage to green tea. But in due time, having green tea with honey instead of sugar will be beneficial. Cutting down sugar and cream multiple times a day will make a huge difference to prevent us from consuming excess calories. More importantly, green tea has myriad health benefits. It improves our metabolic response and paves the way for faster fat burning. Kindly check the article titled “Why Many People Drink Green Tea Than Normal Tea?”.
Avocado: Avocado toast was not a popular breakfast food a decade back. Yes, it was available. But in this last decade, it became more popular among the millennials and Gen Z. Why the sudden health trend? I am not quite sure. One thing I know is that avocados are awesome. It is rich in fiber which plays an important role in regulating bowel movements. It helps in the efficient absorption of nutrients by the body. Avocado oil is another product that, when used regularly, helps reduce belly fat because of monounsaturated fat. Its high smoke point means it is suitable for high-temperature cooking without the bad oxidation process. Avocado can be consumed raw or added to salads or mashed to make a tasty guacamole. It is comparatively costly, but I would say it is worthy of the benefits it provides.
Fish: Fish is one of the most nutritious foods available to man. We know it is rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and a wide variety of minerals. So, when we plan to shed some weight, it is important to eat nutritional food with low calories. Of course, the method of preparation also matters. Boiled fish or baked fish would be amazing food for your cause. Do not think of bland-tasting fish when I say this. You can season your dish or add gravy according to your requirement to satisfy your cravings. The proteins will keep your appetite under check. Omega-3 fatty acids improve the metabolism of your body, reduce blood pressure, and increase HDL levels. This combined function enhances your body’s capacity to burn fat efficiently and thus results in healthy weight reduction. Populations with fish in their regular diet tend to live longer healthily – for example, Japanese people. Tuna, salmon, sardines, cod are available all around the world. Do not go for processed fish tins, as they will contain excess salt for preservation and might prove to be unhealthy. Always go for fresh fish that is locally available.
Lean Meat: Animal meat with low-fat content is called lean meat. Chicken or turkey without skin is a perfect example of lean meat. Even red meats like pork or beef can be considered lean meat when their fat layers are removed. But why do we need to consume meat when trying to lose weight? Isn’t it better if we skip it altogether? The answer is no. Contrary to popular belief, just a fiber-rich diet will not result in weight loss. Rather it needs to be complemented with proper protein. Deskinned chicken or turkey meat is rich in proteins and other nutrients. The meat nourishes our body and provides the necessary energy to work out. It takes time for our stomach enzymes to break down and digest meat. So, having a turkey salad or grilled chicken will leave you content for a while. You will not be distracted and break your diet routine. I would’ve explained about the health benefits of turkey meat in this blog: Why Do We Eat Turkey On Thanksgiving? (+ Health Benefits!). Now coming to red meats, it is important to exercise caution on the quantity. Regular consumption of red meats like beef, lamb, etc., is unhealthy in the long term. But occasional indulgence to satisfy our carnivorous cravings is absolutely fine.
Vegetable Oil: Oil is an important aspect of cooking food. Apart from acting as an effective medium to transfer heat, it has several health benefits as well. But we have come across the terms “avoid oily foods”, “contains less oil”, etc. To be fair, oils have been villainized by the nutrition industry. Yes, vegetable oil adds flavor to our food. It is needed in excess for deep-fried junk food. We are not talking about that aspect. If used properly, vegetable oils can be used effectively to combat obesity. Oils like olive oil (prefer extra virgin olive oil), canola oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, etc., will prove to be useful for weight loss if used moderately. Research also reveals that using different types of oil interchangeably is beneficial. I prefer oils with more unsaturated fat. Olive oil is an excellent choice as it is filled with unsaturated fat, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and other antioxidants, which are crucial to the healthy functioning of the human body. Check my blog on the health benefits of olive oil here: The Awesome Health Benefits of Olive Oil.
Fruits: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” I know, I am sorry for the cliched phrase. But it is so simple yet profound. In this day and age, we fill ourselves with sugar-filled cereals to soft, tempting ice creams for breakfast. And it is ok to have it once in a blue moon. For a regular diet, consider adding any fruit to your menu. It will not only keep your urge for a sugar rush in the bay but also fills your stomach well. One banana can be filling and, at the same time, provide the necessary energy for quite a while. Citrus fruits like orange, grapefruit (different from grapes), and lemon have amazing weight loss effects. Lemon juice without sugar has been consumed for weight loss as a home remedial measure. Papaya is another fruit that is rich in fiber. It fills your stomach easily but has a low-calorie count. Most fruits work this way. Even though fruits have low calories, nutritionally speaking, they have a lot to offer.
Vegetables: “Eat your veggies”, says every mom to their children. And kids have the habit of avoiding them. But vegetables are wonderful sources of energy with low calories. Green vegetables like broccoli, cucumber, asparagus, bitter gourd, etc., are filled with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Kids might not like broccoli, but it is a balanced nutritional food apart from burning your excess belly fat. The same applies to leaf vegetables like spinach, kale, lettuce, etc., and root vegetables like beetroot, turnip, carrot, and radish. Mix and match these vegetables to prepare a sumptuous salad bowl, add some seasoning of your taste to get maximum benefits. The antioxidants present in these vegetables play a crucial role in our body’s metabolism rate and also help in recovery. Another fact to take note of is that these vegetables do not contain saturated fat. So, do not forget to add green vegetables to your meal plan.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple juice is fermented in multiple steps to produce apple cider vinegar. It has numerous health benefits associated with it. Weight loss is one of the most widely known advantages of consuming apple cider vinegar. Acetic acid is an active component present in it. This active component enhances the gene expression enzymes and insulin. This leads to better metabolism and the fat-burning capacity of our cells. Since insulin is also regulated, consuming apple cider vinegar regularly will reduce blood sugar levels. Taking a few spoons of apple cider vinegar along with your diet would do a host of benefits like a decrease in body fat percent, triglycerides, etc. It is important to purchase quality apple cider vinegar as cheaper ones might be diluted and might not prove to be effective.
Mushrooms: Mushrooms are an amazing source of nutrients and minerals. There are several types of mushrooms. I have explained in detail about its health benefits and its use as an effective meat substitute in this article: “Why Mushroom Is A Healthy & Satisfying Meat Substitute?”. But it is very important to note that mushrooms are an excellent choice for weight loss diets. They are rich in dietary fibers like beta-glucan. I do not have to stress the importance of having fiber in our diet. Excess sugar needs to be processed and excreted by the body. If the excess blood sugar is not processed, it will be stored as fat for future usage in our bodies. But this beta-glucan play an active role in controlling and processing blood sugar. Plus, mushrooms almost do not have any fat. As per the above-quoted article on mushrooms, it can be used as a meat substitute. So, for people who are trying to avoid red meats, use mushrooms instead.
Whole Grains: Grains like rice, wheat, and corn are grown and consumed in enormous quantities by almost all contemporary cultures. Since the industrial age, mass production has been the need of the hour to feed the population. And as more nuanced societies emerged, agro/food companies started to cater more attractive products. As a result, companies started to process whole grains. What is the difference? Whole grains contain all the components/layers that form them, namely – endosperm, germ, and bran.
On the contrary, processed or refined grains exclude the outer layers, and just the endosperm is packaged as the grains that we all like. Now coming to the topic at hand, consuming whole grains offer myriad health advantages, and weight loss is one of them. Whole grains contain rich fiber, which will be eliminated along with the germ and bran when refined. Fiber-rich whole grains like whole oats, quinoa, rye, barley, whole wheat, brown rice, and so on will make you satiated with fewer calories as compared to its counterparts. When consuming refined grains like white rice, we end up consuming more carbs. This ends up as sugar after digestion, and when available in excess than required, it gets deposited as fat in our body. If your goal is to have healthy food that facilitates weight loss, reduce refined/processed grains, and consume whole grains.
Chili Peppers: Many would be surprised to see chili peppers on this list. There are thousands of chili varieties grown and consumed. Chilis have been used as an ingredient in dishes to add extra heat and spice. When thinking about spicy food, Indian and Mexican food comes to our mind instantly. These two cuisines employ many variants of chilis in their dishes. There is an active component called capsaicin which produces a burning sensation on contact. So, when we consume chili peppers, we feel the heat when we chew the food. Eating spicy food with chili peppers will make us eat less. Added to that, it improves the metabolism of the body. The heat generated will help in burning fat more efficiently.
Yogurt: Well, after eating everything spicy, it is necessary to cool down our tongue, right? Yogurt would be a perfect food to finish your meal. But that’s not what we are discussing here. It is an amazing product that will facilitate our weight loss. When milk is allowed to ferment with the help of bacteria, we get yogurt. In this consumer market, there are several types and flavors of yogurt. Most of it has good health benefits. For weight loss, I would suggest considering low-fat yogurt. The normal one also would be fine. Eating it as a snack would control our hunger and keep us content. It contains protein, calcium, and other minerals, which complements and makes it a compelling snack. Since yogurt contains healthy gut bacteria, it regulates our digestion and controls appetite. The amino acids and calcium in it support enzymes in our body to process excess fat. Be it Greek yogurt or Indian curd, make sure to add it to your diet.
Conclusion: I presented some of the well-known foods that promote healthy weight loss. Have these foods as a regular part of your diet. And by diet, some people think that skipping a meal or fasting would be fine. But, in reality, we do not have to follow a completely arduous diet program or fast to eliminate those extra pounds. Have a balanced diet by including the food listed here, and at the same time, make sure you are exercising. This combination of a balanced diet and focused exercise will definitely result in a favorable result. Remember, weight loss is not the goal. “Healthy weight loss” is the goal!