10 Superfoods for Weight Loss
Weight loss doesn’t have to be complicated or depriving. Here are some simple and delicious rules:
Eat often throughout the day, make meal and snack combinations from healthy carbs, healthy proteins, and healthy fats like the foods listed below, and you’ll fuel your body the way nature intended, with foods chock full of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants needed to achieve and maintain a healthful weight.
When you eat high nutrient foods and listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues, you will self-regulate to the right portion of food for weight loss. If you don’t trust yourself and have more than 10 pounds to lose, reduce your current portions by ¼ and you’ll ensure success.
- Vegetables. Any vegetable. By adding more veggies to your diet, you increase the volume of foods eaten while reducing calorie intake. Add pureed cauliflower or zucchini to mac and cheese – you’ll eat about 300 fewer calories and a tablespoon less unhealthy fat.
- Apples. The crunch in apples signal our brain that we’re satisfied and the natural sugars in fruit come loaded with fiber and antioxidants that make a perfect swap for processed sweets. Eat your fruit at the start of your meal to shed extra pounds.
- Nuts. Nuts are healthy protein, healthy fat and nutrient-packed to assist in eating less throughout the day. Keep to a 2-4 tablespoon portion, as nuts are caloric.
- Beans. A great source of healthy carb and protein, they’re high in fiber and slow down digestion, helping us stay full longer. Make up a hearty bean or lentil soup, add kidney or garbanzo beans to salads, and serve beans as the healthy carb in your balanced meal.
- Eggs. Healthy protein helps us feel full and regulates hunger and fullness signals. Limit to 7 whole eggs in a week to stay heart fit. Pair eggs with healthy carbs like oats and vegetable soups for the protein balance we’re going for.
- Yogurt. Protein-packed, full of probiotics that promote gut health and weight loss, high in calcium, and a source of healthy carbs, go Traditional, Greek, Icelandic, or Australian. Make choices that limit added sugars.
- Salmon. All forms of fish offer healthy protein, and fatty fishes like salmon provide healthy fats as well. Serve smoked salmon with a whole-grain bagel or scrambled into eggs for breakfast, on salads at lunch or roasted with Brussels sprouts and quinoa for dinner.
- Whole grains. While fad diets are giving all grains a bad rap, whole grains provide an important source of fiber, B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folate) and many minerals (phosphorus, zinc, copper, iron, magnesium and selenium), thus making them healthy carbs. They’re also shown to reduce the risk of obesity, so include modest portions multiple times daily. Choices include whole-grain bread products, oats, quinoa, brown/black/red/wild rice, barley, and wheat berries.
- Chia and ground flax seeds. A great source of healthy fat and fiber, these seeds help ensure our stable energy and mood. Add to most any meal for a nutritious boost.
- Soybeans. Also known as edamame (ay-duh-MAH-may), science shows soybeans and foods made from them, including tofu and tempeh, to be a wholesome source of protein, fiber, antioxidants and plant sterol, a compound that naturally lowers cholesterol. Ready-to-eat choices include soymilk, shelled edamame, and seasoned tempeh.
Karen Fisher, MS, RDN, CDE is a dietitian in Reno, Nevada, happily promoting the benefits of healthy foods at her nutrition consulting firm, Nutrition Connection. Find her website at www.NutritionConnectionNV.com