Whether you’re looking to lose weight for health reasons or you just want to feel a little more comfortable in your own skin, we've rounded up the best foods for weight loss.
Sadly, there aren’t any magic foods that will automatically make you lose weight as such, the most important thing is to be eating in a calorie deficit. But according to Caroline Hind, a registered nutritionist at Vitaminology, there are certain foods we can eat that will help us to feel fuller for longer. This will help you to consume less calories and ultimately lose weight. Although we do recommend doing some light, easy exercises too.
Here, we’ve compiled a list of the best foods for weight loss that will help curb your cravings and aid you in your weight loss journey. Read on to find out what foods you should be buying when you're next at the supermarket.
1. Protein is one of the best foods for weight loss
This is Caroline’s best food for weight loss and she recommends including some in every meal as it helps us stay fuller for longer. “It doesn’t raise our blood glucose in the way that starchy or sugary foods (carbohydrates) do, so we release less of the fat-storage hormone insulin,” says Caroline. “This supports the burning of our own body fat, while also preventing the cravings and mood swings that come from sugar-fuelled blood glucose highs and lows.”
Protein-rich foods include meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs and cheese. If you’re, vegan options include tofu, quinoa, beans and nuts.
2. Leafy green and colourful vegetables
Caroline suggests filling your plate with lots of leafy green and colourful veg. The NHS recommends this too, as vegetables are naturally low in fat, calories and have a high fibre content. Not to mention they’re packed with lots of good for you nutrients.
3. Fibre is one of the best foods for weight loss
Again, just like protein, fibre can help you feeling fuller for longer as it takes your body more time to digest it. Good sources of fibre include: wholemeal bread, fruit, vegetables, brown rice and wholewheat pasta.
Not only is salmon another great source of protein (a 100g serving has around 20g of protein), but it’s also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. It can help promote fat burning as it can increase your metabolism by lowering the hormone ‘leptin’. The higher this hormone, the slower your metabolism and the rate at which your body burns fat.
5. Drink plenty of water
Sometimes when you’re hungry you’re not actually hungry, you’re thirsty. Thirst often gets mistaken for hunger, which can cause you to consume extra calories you may not need. It’s recommended to drink six to eight glasses of water per day (which equates to roughly 1.2 litres). If you’re also someone who likes their sugary drinks then water, which contains no calories, is a good option to switch to.b
6. Full-fat Greek yogurt
Again, high in protein, but it also contains probiotics, which is key to supporting a healthy gut. A healthy gut is essential for weight loss and it can also protect against leptin resistance, which can cause you to eat more, despite not being hungry.
Not only is soup a great way to increase your vegetable intake, but they can help you feel fuller as they take longer to eat. Avoid soups packed with cream, as this will have a high saturated fat content, homemade is best. Also, while soups are packed full of good nutrients, make sure you consume whole foods too, not just liquids when trying to lose weight.
8. Snack on nuts
Nuts make the perfect snack for weight loss. They contain a balanced amount of protein, fibre and healthy fat and keep your tummy feeling full. However, don’t be tempted to over eat them, as they are also high in calories. Opt for plain roasted or raw nuts and avoid flavoured options, as these are often high in added sugar.
9. Beans and legumes
Beans and legumes — including black beans, lentils and kidney beans — are some of the best foods for weight loss. This is because of their protein and fibre content, which are two key nutrients for promoting fullness.
10. Cottage cheese is one of the best foods for weight loss
Believe it or not, cottage cheese is one of the highest protein dairy products. Low-fat cottage cheese varieties are also low in calories, which makes it a great food to support your weight loss journey.