A few months ago, I finally took a proactive step on my journey to physical fitness. Like a lot of women who struggle with keeping to a regular exercise regime and predominantly healthy diet, I hit a plateau in the last few weeks. I had a change of schedule in my week and all the old bad habits (and all their associated excuses), just started creeping back: Stopped going to the gym (no time to exercise), eating junk and unhealthy food (too much stress in preparing healthy alternatives),….
(Source: This article was written by Mae Chan and was originally published on the website myscienceacademy.org on Dec 25th, 2012).
The tendency to eat one or two large meals per day of all the wrong foods is what eventually leads us to tip the scales. You need to consume more meals, and of the right foods to weigh less. If you make one weight loss resolution in 2013 (in addition to exercise), make it to include and frequently consume the following 25 foods above all else.
* Signifies sources should be organic to minimize pesticide load and maximize nutrient content.
Walnuts serve as a delicious-tasting weight loss food. To fully enjoy the benefits of walnuts for weight loss, it is important to remember that these nuts are a high-calorie food that should be eaten in moderation. Make sure to add only 1.5 ounces (about 20 walnut halves) for maximum benefit to your daily menu. Eat them on their own or add them to your salads. This is probably the best way to include them. Don’t make your own salads? Just take them out of your bag and sprinkle them over the salad at work or restaurant. You’ll feel fuller for longer and the salad will have a far more interesting texture.
When losing weight, it’s important to favor chlorophyll-rich foods, including asparagus. Asparagus is a nutrient-rich vegetable packed with folate, vitamins A, C, and K, and fiber. Asparagus also contains a carbohydrate known as inulin (not to be confused with insulin) that promotes healthy bacteria in the large intestine – which in turn promotes a healthier digestive function which ultimately results in better assimilation of nutrients and weight loss.
3. Almonds *
Loaded with important nutrients like mono-saturated fats, vitamin E, folic acid, protein and dietary fibre, almonds are your answer for dipping energy levels and quick healthy snacks. These filling, snack-able bites can help keep your blood sugar steady.
A study from the University of Toronto found that people who ate almonds with white bread didn’t experience the same blood sugar surges as those who ate just the slice. And the higher blood sugar levels rise, the lower they fall; that dip leads to hunger, causing people to overeat. Plus, blood sugar changes cause the body to make insulin, which can increase abdominal fat.
Regarded as a sacred food by the Incas, quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) provides a wide range of vitamins and minerals. A complete protein, it has all the essential amino acids needed to build metabolism-revving muscle. Swapping refined grains for whole proteins such as quinoa is not only more nutritious, it can help you lose belly fat. How? Quinoa contain fiber, which makes you feel fuller on less food. One study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, found that reduced-calorie dieters eating about 115 g of protein daily lost 22 percent more fat after four months than those who ate 70 g per day. Quinoa is higher in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc, and lower in sodium compared with wheat, barley and corn. It the most nutritious gluten-free grain known.
5. Apples *
Apple is one of the best weight loss foods. Apples are a sweet and crunchy snack full of all sorts of nutritional goodness, and they taste good on their own and in salads, desserts, and savory dishes, too.
A study from Penn State University at University Park revealed that people who ate an apple before a pasta meal ate fewer calories overall than those who had a different snack.
Research shows that just two apples a day could help protect women against heart disease lowering blood fat levels by almost 25 percent, a claim unattainable by cardiovascular prescription medications.
6. Black beans
Beans have always been the undervalued protein that could work best when used as a substitute for meat. They stay in your digestive system longer and add to the feeling of fullness and a satisfied feeling, aiding weight management. They contain soluble and insoluble fiber, protein, and a type of fat-burning carb called resistant starch. Black beans are really one of the greatest weight loss foods.
According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, bean eaters weigh less and have slimmer middles.
7. Coconut Oil
One of the healthiest cooking oils in the world, coconut oil enjoys one of the highest stabilities of all oils when heated. 50 percent of the fat content in coconut oil is a fat rarely found in nature called lauric acid. Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties. Lauric acid is a powerful virus and gram-negative bacteria destroyer, and coconut oil contains the most lauric acid of any substance on earth! Coconut oil is about 2/3 medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs. These types of fatty acids produce a whole host of health benefits. It’s nature’s richest source of these healthy MCFAs.
Researchers at McGill University, in Quebec, Canada are now advocating the use of a MCT treat and prevent obesity. The reason most people are overweight is because they simply don’t eat enough good fats.
The simplest way to prepare cauliflower is to boil it and add pepper and salt. But this flowery vegetable is an enemy for toxic compounds in your body. The cauliflower is rich is indoles, glucosinolates and thiocyanates that bumps off all the toxic waste in your body.
Cauliflower is low in calories while still offering filling fiber. This veggie is also super versatile and can make a great replacement for heavier foods. It is a member of the Cruciferous family of vegetables; other members of this phytonutrient-rich family include broccoli, Bok choy, cabbage, and kale. Eating cauliflower and other Cruciferous vegetables at least three times a week may significantly reduce your risk of developing all types of cancer. Eating cauliflower may also give your immune system and healing mechanisms a natural boost, as cauliflower is naturally rich in real Vitamin C.
9. Cinnamon *
Everything is nice about this spice. Just 1/2 teaspoon each day can help control your blood sugar and prevent the post-meal insulin spike that can trigger your body to store fat rather than burn it. You can also use cinnamon to bring out the natural sweetness in foods, rather than adding calories from sugar. All spices help you trim down when used to add flavor to foods instead of oil, butter and calorie-laden condiments.
Valued in ancient times as currency and once considered more precious than gold, cinnamon — one of the world’s oldest known spices — has one of the highest antioxidant values of all foods and its use in medicine treats everything from nausea to menstruation and energy to diabetes.
10. Coffee *
Raise your mug to higher metabolism! The caffeine in coffee can raise your resting metabolic rate by about 15 percent, and the effect can last up to four hours, that adds up to 30 to 50 calories burned per day. Plus, people who sip 3 to 4 cups of regular or decaf coffee per day are 30 percent less prone to type 2 diabetes. Chlorogenic acid, found in coffee, may help prevent insulin resistance, which can lead to obesity and diabetes.
11. Eggs *
Eggs are a good source of vitamins, proteins and minerals. As said by nutrition experts, eggs are not only a great source of nutrition, but also very useful to help lose weight. When combining eggs with other dishes you will limit the consumption of complex carbohydrates in the body. Your hunger and food cravings will occur less frequent. Egg itself is sufficient in helping in weight loss.
The breakfast staple is loaded with choline, a compound known to help block fat absorption. Eating protein-rich eggs for breakfast reduces hunger and decreases calorie consumption at lunch and throughout the day. After eight weeks, dieters who ate two eggs, toast and jelly for breakfast five days a week lost 65 percent more weight than those who had a same-calorie bagel breakfast without eggs, according to a study in the International Journal of Obesity.
Like other types of vegetables, cooked raddish contains approximately 3 grams of fiber per half cup to help you stay full and satisfied. Raddish are considered as starchy vegetables, so it is recommended to be eaten in place of rice, bread or other starchy foods.
Garlic help prevent various cancers, fight cardiovascular diseases and diabetes and respiratory problems. Garlic also helps fight various infections.
Overweight people who sprinkled their food with the zero-calorie spice lost an average of 30 pounds in six months, compared to only a 2-pound loss in the control group. Strong flavors like garlic may make food more enjoyable so you feel fuller faster.
Many people are shocked when they first learn that avocados are one of the best foods for weight loss. Avocado is high in monounsaturated fat. Research indicates diets high in monounsaturated fat are more beneficial for weight control because monounsaturated fat exerts beneficial effects on how blood lipid profiles, insulin function and directly affects how the body utilizes blood glucose.
Avocado contains a unique weight loss friendly carbohydrate called mannoheptulose. Mannoheptulose is a rare form of sugar which has been found to lower insulin secretion. Avocados help to reverse the problems that we see with insulin resistance, by virtue of the presence of mannoheptulose and its high content of good fats. Could Guacamole Be The Ultimate Cancer Fighting Food?
These legumes are rich in resistant starch (RS), a carbohydrate that may encourage fat burning and shrink fat cells. One cup serving of cooked split peas or lentils provides up to twice as much fibre as other fibre-rich foods. When study participants enjoyed a meal with 5 g of RS-about what you get from 3/4 cup cooked lentils-they burned 23 percent more fat over 24 hours than when they had a meal without the starch, researchers at the University of Colorado in Denver say.
People who consume lentils at least three times a week reduce their risk of developing polyps — small growths in the lining of the bowel which can become cancerous — by a third, researchers say.
16. Olive oil (advisory)
Like avocados, olive oil has healthy fat that increases satiety, taming your appetite. But that’s hardly its only slimming feature. Research shows it has anti-inflammatory properties, and chronic inflammation in the body is linked to metabolic syndrome. Drizzle your salad with olive oil and you’ll increase the antioxidant power of your veggies, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition notes. Healthful monounsaturated fats found in olive oil could potentially switch on genes related to fat burning and storage. The only deficiency with olive oil is its lack of polyunsaturated fats, which contains Essential Fatty Acids (EFA). While ounce for ounce, all oils have the same calories, olive oil has a fuller flavor so less is needed for tantalizing taste.
17. Sweet Potato
Sweet potato yams are packed with antioxidants (like carotenoids), vitamins and minerals. They are quite low on the glycemic scale, meaning you’ll digest them slower and stay full longer. Moreover, nutritionally dense yams in your diet can trigger the satiety center in the brain quickly, make you feel full faster. If you want to lose some pounds, sweet potato yams may be one food to include in your diet next year.
These spuds have RS, the same carbohydrates found in lentils that may turn up the body’s fat-scorching furnace. RS may also increase production of peptide hormone compounds that signal the brain to stop eating. After a breakfast and a lunch containing RS, subjects ate about 10 percent fewer calories over the next 24 hours compared with when they had similar meals with a placebo, research from the University of Surrey indicates.
A green algae that contains 18 amino-acids, magnesium, zinc and other nutrients; over 4,000 studies published in Japan and Taiwan show chlorella helps cut blood pressure and cholesterol numbers down to size, boosts metabolism, and clobbers abnormal cell growth. It’s like a tiny green magician with the power to make you feel and look 20 years younger and help many of your medical concerns simply vanish.
19. Pears *
Pears deliver a dose of fiber (about 5.5 grams per medium-sized fruit), which helps keep you satisfied long after you eat them. But that’s not where their fat-fighting power ends.
A Brazilian research team found that a group of women who included pears in their diet each day lost more weight than the group who included oat cookies even though the pears and the oat cookies had the same number of calories.
They look like rubies and we believe that they are as precious as them too. Pomegranates reduces arthritis, increase your immunity, and improve fertility. Long known for its antioxidant properties, the humble pomegranate is a heart patient’s best friend. Scientists believe that the super-food has the power to reduce the fat stored round the stomach — the ‘spare tyre’ in men, or ‘muffin top’ in women. While the benefits of drinking pomegranate juice have gained a lot of attention recently, you will be more likely to lose weight by eating the fruit fresh to increase your fiber intake and keep the calories down.
Using pomegranate seeds instead of nuts on salad, or eating on their own, prove to be incredible.
21. Red bell peppers *
This vegetable adds flavour whether it is baked, roasted, cooked or stuffed. Capsicums help to break down waste that is in the blood, hence a prefect veggie for those suffering with kidney disease.
These are sources of vitamin C, and adequate intake of the nutrient has been associated with having a smaller waist. Plus, vitamin C has been shown to bolster immunity and prevent cell damage.
Hemp foods are expanding onto the shelves of grocery and natural food stores across North America. By definition, these are foods containing whole hemp seeds or the oil, nut (hulled seed) and/or flour (ground seed cake) derived from the seeds. Overall, hemp’s main nutritional advantage over other seeds lies in the composition of its oil, i.e. its fatty acid profile, and in its protein which contains all of the essential amino acids in nutritionally significant amounts and in a desirable ratio. This has a significant effect on metabolism allowing the body to shed fat 10% faster than those who don’t consume hemp daily.
23. Tomatoes *
Whenever you munch, your body releases a hormone called cholecystokinin, which tightens the valve between your stomach and your intestine. As a result, CCK boosts feelings of fullness making you less apt to overeat.
Tomatoes contain oligofructose, a fiber that helps sustain the effects of CCK in your stomach. Bonus: Lycopene, a compound found in tomatoes, has been shown to protect you against sunburns and may help reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Millet is a beneficial and delicious staple of any whole grain diet. This non-glutinous grain is over 10-percent protein, has high amounts of fiber and B-complex vitamins, and because it isn’t an acid forming food, is easy to digest. A research team led by Charles S. Brennan at Lincoln University, New Zealand found that replacing traditional wheat and maize flours in extruded cereals with flours such as millet could lower carbohydrate digestibility, which is linked to the glycemic impact.
Millet and other whole grains are a rich source of magnesium, a mineral that acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes, including enzymes involved in the body’s use of glucose and insulin secretion.
25. Blueberries *
Researchers found that blueberries can break down existing fat cells and prevent new ones from forming, making them a potentially powerful weapon in the fight against rising obesity. Essentially, blueberry polyphenols fight adipogenesis, which is the development of fat cells, and induce lipolysis, which is the breakdown of lipids/fat.
Blueberries also have a low concentration of glycemic carbohydrates that mildly and gradually change into sugar. This sugar does not occur in an amount that is high enough to raise insulin levels.
*Signifies sources should be organic to minimize pesticide load and maximize nutrient content.
About the Blogger
Mae Chan holds degrees in both physiology and nutritional sciences. She is also blogger and and technology enthusiast with a passion for disseminating information about health.
Read more at: Prevent Disease
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