Losing weight can be difficult, but you can make it easier by eating foods that may help to promote weight loss. Opt for foods that keep your appetite and blood sugar under control while providing you with the energy and nutrients you need. Consult your physician or a registered dietician before starting any diet.
Eat plenty of lean proteins while dieting and afterward, to help maintain your weight. Protein gives you two weight-loss advantages, according to the International Food Information Council Foundation. First, it keeps you feeling full longer so you eat less. Second, it results in greater fat loss by helping your body preserve lean muscle tissue during calorie restriction. Normally, a pound of weight loss is made up of 75 percent fat and 25 percent muscle. Since protein preserves muscle tissue, your body will burn more fat instead. Include a lean protein, such as skinless chicken, fish, egg whites, tofu or low-fat dairy, with every meal and snack.
Don't sabotage your weight-loss efforts with quickly digested foods that increase hunger by causing your blood sugar to spike and then crash, according to David Ludwig of Boston Children's Hospital. Stay away from refined and highly processed foods, such as white rice, white bread and ready-to-eat breakfast cereals. Instead, choose foods with slowly digested carbohydrates that help promote weight loss by keeping your blood sugar stable. Opt for vegetables, fruit and foods made from whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, brown rice, whole-grain pasta and steel-cut oats. Ludwig says these foods can decrease hunger and increase metabolic rate, but he concedes that long-term study is needed.
Foods High in Volume and Low in Calories
Eat foods that contain a small number of calories in a large volume to promote weight loss, according to MayoClinic.com. For just about the same amount of calories as a small doughnut, you can feast on a breakfast of bran cereal with skim milk and blueberries plus a slice of whole-grain toast with peanut butter. This choice also provides nutrients like fiber the doughnut lacks. An easy way to eat high-volume, low-calorie foods is to fill half your plate with vegetables, one-quarter with lean protein and one-quarter with whole grains.
The Harvard School of Public Health recommends specific foods that may help you control your weight. Nuts, long considered a high-calorie forbidden food for dieters, may actually promote weight loss because they're rich in protein and fiber, which help control your appetite. Eating yogurt may control weight, too, but other dairy products don't share the same distinction. Yogurt's effect may be due to the probiotics it contains, HSPH says. In general, whole foods and minimally processed foods, such as poultry, fish, beans, nuts, whole grains, vegetables and fruits, are best for weight control.
- MayoClinic.com: Slide Show: Low-Calorie Foods for Weight Control
- International Food Information Council Foundation: A Food Insight Series on the Power of Protein: A Peek at Protein and Weight Management
- NPR: Low And Slow May Be The Way To Go When It Comes To Dieting
- Harvard School of Public Health: Beyond Willpower: Diet Quality and Quantity Matter
Gianna Rose is a registered nurse certified in hospice and palliative care, as well as a certified wellness coach. She completed Duke Integrative Medicine's Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course in 2009. Rose also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Savannah College of Art and Design.