What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about losing weight or staying healthy?
We bet it’s spending hours in the gym sweating out pounds and starving yourself. But, it doesn’t have to be that way!
While working out is important for losing weight and staying healthy, eating right is the key to a healthy, balanced life. The food choices that you make contribute 80% to your health and weight, whereas exercise only makes a 20% contribution. According to healthcare experts, skipping meals and starving yourself is as bad (if not more) for your body as eating unhealthy foods.
What should you do then? Make the right food choices – eat foods that are packed with healthy nutrients and are also filling, so you don’t feel like snacking after every couple of hours. In other words, this means filling up your plate with foods that are nutrient-dense and also keep you full for a good amount of time, but do not contain unhealthy or empty calories.
20 Best Foods to Lose Weight without Starving Yourself
Although there is no one magic food that guarantees weight loss and improved health, there are certain foods that together can help you achieve your health-related goals.
To help you begin your journey of health, here we are highlighting some of the world’s best foods for weight loss and staying healthy. Packed with a wide range of powerful nutrients, these nature’s gifts promote satiety, prevent cravings, and offer the nutrition your body needs to stay healthy, active, fit, and strong. Hence, they should make a major portion of your diet.
It is no secret that vegetables are a key component of a healthy diet. According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, every person should consume 1 to 3 cups of different veggies in a day; with children requiring the lowest amount and adult men needing the most.
While they all are packed with a huge variety of vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients, here are some of the healthiest ones:
Packed with fiber, vitamin K, and carotene antioxidants, this crunchy root vegetable contains a high amount of water and is low in calories.
The high fiber content promotes satiety and keeps you full for longer, whereas the beta carotenes improve eyesight and strengthen the immune system.
According to research, the roasting of carrots increases the amount of antioxidants present in them and hence, makes them more beneficial for health.
Whether you are looking for a healthy snack or want to make your morning smoothie more nutritious, celery is your best bet.
Packed with vitamins A, C, and K, a wide range of minerals, like folate and potassium, powerful antioxidants, like beta carotene, and flavonoids, a variety of antiinflammatory compounds, and fiber, celery offers a host of health benefits. Celery’s high water content and low glycemic index further enhances its benefits.
So, the next time you want to snack on something, ditch your potato chips and grab a cup of celery instead – it only contains 14 calories. Pair it with natural or homemade hummus for a quick, delicious, healthy, and filling snack.
3. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are not only loaded with iron and fiber, but are also low in carbs and calories. They are also good sources of a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. All these properties make these vegetables perfect for increasing the volume of your meals without causing a significant increase in their calorie count as well as for weight loss.
Spinach, kale, collard, and Swiss chard are some of the most popular and widely consumed leafy green vegetables.
While all cruciferous vegetables are low in calories and offer a wide range of health-beneficial nutrients, broccoli tops the list. Rich in fiber, vitamins C and K, calcium, folate, potassium, phytonutrients, and antioxidants along with a decent amount of protein, broccoli supplies the body with a wide range of essential nutrients without increasing the calorie count of meals.
Along with providing a good amount of essential nutrients, broccoli also has antiinflammatory properties as well as helps reduce the risk of developing certain diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer.
Fruits, along with vegetables, make the second largest group in the food pyramid. In general, adult individuals are recommended to consume about 1.5 to 2 cups of fruits per day. While all fruits are good for health, they are not equal in terms of calories. Therefore, it is important to be careful of what fruits you are consuming, especially when you are trying to lose weight. To help you make the right choices, here we are listing some of the highly nutritious, but low-calorie fruits that will aid you in your weight loss journey:
While avocado is generally considered a vegetable, it is essentially a fruit (just like tomato) and a unique one. Unlike most other fruits, avocado is not high in carbohydrates, but is packed with healthy fats. In particular, it contains a good amount of monounsaturated oleic acid, which is the same type of healthy fat that is found in olive oil. The fruit also contains a good amount of water, which balances out all its fat content and makes it perfect for daily consumption.
In addition to good fats and rich, creamy taste, this wonderful fruit also provides a good supply of vitamins B, C, E, and K, potassium, folate, magnesium beta carotene, riboflavin, niacin, and fiber. Incorporating avocados into your regular diet can help lower your blood cholesterol levels, manage diabetes and high blood pressures, improve your heart health, prevent osteoporosis, and improve digestion.
We all have grown up listening to the old adage – an apple a day keeps the doctor away! Along with significantly improving overall health, apples can also help keep the extra pounds at bay.
Since apples are high in fiber, they are filling. This makes them a perfect snack to munch on, between meals.
Apples are also rich in antioxidants, which means they help prevent or reduce the free radical damage. They are also high in vitamin C and certain phytochemicals that have antiinflammatory effects as well as help lower the levels of LDL cholesterol. Pectin, a type of soluble fiber found in apple, may also help prevent some chronic diseases, such as bowel disorders.
All in all, this wonderful fruit suppresses appetite, cravings, and overall calorie intake by promoting the feeling of fullness. The best part about eating an apple is that it doesn’t make you feel deprived.
Berries are packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and many other beneficial nutrients, but are low in carbs and calories. On top of that, they taste delicious. What else do you want a food to offer when you are watching weight?
Add them to your smoothies, oats, or simply grab a pack to munch on, between meals, berries are one of the best food choices you can make.
Seafood, fish in particular, is considered one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Several research studies have found that consuming 2 to 3 servings of fish per week improves health by reducing the risk of certain diseases, including depression, dementia, and heart disease.
Fish is also a great source of low-fat protein, which makes it a great food choice for weight loss and maintenance. Here are some of the best types of fish to consume to shed those extra pounds and keep them from coming back:
A type of oily fish, salmon not only tastes great, but is also packed with omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and a wide range of other nutrients.
For those who do not know, omega-3 fatty acids have been known to help reduce inflammation in the body, which contributes to metabolic disease and obesity. Salmon also contains a good amount of iodine, which plays a key role in regulating thyroid functions. Thyroid glands play an important role in maintaining a healthy metabolism.
While all these powerful properties make salmon a super healthy food, what makes it a great choice for those on weight loss journey is the fact that it is filling and keeps you full for many hours, but is not calorie-dense.
Tuna is a popular choice of athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness models who are almost always on low-calorie diet, but do not want to miss out on essential nutrients. Tuna is not only high in protein and low in calories, but is also low in fat, which makes it a great choice for those who are watching their fat intake due to any reason.
Balance and Moderation Is the Key
Whether you plan your diet around the foods mentioned above or incorporate other healthy foods in it too, remember that a balanced diet is essential to lose weight and stay healthy. To ensure that your diet is balanced, eat everything in moderation, no matter how healthy it is. Just remember the old adage excess of everything is bad and apply it to your everyday diet and you will be sorted.