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Many foods in the grocery store are labeled ‘diet’ or ‘light’ because they’ve been processed to be low in fat or low in calories. However, lots of times these so-called diet foods are swapping one unhealthy ingredient for another.
For example, when food companies make low fat foods, they have to add extra sugar for flavor. Likewise many low calorie foods are loaded with sugar and are given smaller portion sizes to give the impression that they’re low calorie when they really aren’t! What all this means is that processed ‘diet’ foods aren’t really all they’re cracked up to be.
Instead, let’s consider some REAL weight loss foods. These are natural whole foods that have special metabolism boosting effects and the ability to keep us satiated for longer.
Here are 10 incredible weight loss foods that deserve their place in your diet. Not only will each of these help your waistline, they’re also packed with vitamins, minerals and healthy fats!
Avocados are full of healthy fats that can actually help you shed the fat! These MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids) naturally boost basal metabolic rate helping you to burn calories faster. These healthy fats also help keep you feeling full after your meal. Avocados also contain several vitamins and minerals including potassium, vitamin E, vitamin C, B-vitamins, magnesium and folate.
If you’re not including salmon in your diet about once per week, it’s time to make the change. Salmon is a great source of lean protein, which will help keep you satiated and support muscle growth. Salmon is among the best sources of natural omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3s help increase your metabolism by increasing insulin sensitivity. They also help fight inflammation from workouts and help with muscle recovery. This article explains why omega 3s are so important for weight loss and fitness.
Coconut oil is one of the world’s most abundant sources of MCTs, or medium chain triglycerides, one of the easiest types of fatty acids for our bodies to metabolize. Several studies have shown that MCTs can help in the process of burning excess calories and promote the burning of body fat. It also seems that replacing other cooking oils with coconut oil can help with satiety, thereby decreasing overall food intake throughout the day.
4) Green Tea
Green tea helps with weight loss in a couple of key ways. First, it can help you to feel full, especially if you drink it warm. Second, green tea contains a special compound called EGCG which can help speed up metabolism by up to 10%! Third, antioxidants called catechins found in green tea may help to increase fat burn and reduce hunger. That’s a lot of great reasons to drink this healthy tea every day.
Blueberries make one of the best snacks nature has to offer. They’re low in calories and full of fiber so they help to keep you feel full. Blueberries are great for those of us with sugar cravings because they’re sweet and bite-sized, but much healthier than candy! They’re also packed with anti-oxidants which help fight cancer and signs of aging. Blueberries also contain vitamin C, vitamin E and manganese.
Fiber is key for satiety, and that’s why oats win out as one of our favorite breakfast foods. This carb burns much slower than the white flour in your average grocery store cereal, bread or muffin, so it will help keep you full and keep energy levels high throughout the morning. Opt for steel cut oats rather than the processed ‘instant’ variety since steel cut contains more fiber per serving. Oats are a good source of B-vitamins like thiamine and folate as well as selenium and niacin.
Seems like the experts have been touting grapefruit for weight loss since the 80s! Grapefruit contains a special compound that lowers insulin, thereby helping with weight loss. This fruit also contains some protein and tons of water, which will help you stay satiated. If you need to sweeten it top with stevia instead of granulated sugar! Grapefruits are packed with vitamin C, and also contain vitamin A, several B vitamins and vitamin E.
Don’t forget to include this excellent source of protein in your breakfasts! Eating protein in the a.m. can help keep you full and your metabolism humming along smoothly throughout the day. A recent study showed that a protein-packed breakfast helped women to snack less and eat a smaller dinner. If you’re worried about eggs raising your cholesterol, check out this article busting the eggs-cholesterol myth. Eggs are an excellent source of riboflavin, vitamin b12, pantothenic acid and folate.
9) Hot Peppers
Spicy peppers including the powdered kind, contain a compound called capsaicin which has a metabolism-boosting thermogenic effect. This means that every time you eat spicy foods, they actually help you burn extra calories! So bring on the fire to turn up the burn! Spicy peppers contain lots of vitamins, too, including vitamin C, A, E, B6 and B2.
Surprised to see this one on the list? If you need a sweet treat every now and then, dark chocolate should be your go-to indulgence. Its richness makes it possible to have just a tiny bit and still feel satisfied, making it perfect for curbing sweets cravings. Dark chocolate is also full of MUFAs which are healthy fats that rev up your metabolism to burn fat and calories!
At Athlean-XX for Women, we’re all about healthy nutrition because it helps us lose weight and have energy for our tough workouts! Our nutrition plan recommends combining proteins and slow-burning carbohydrates at every meal and snack to help keep you feeling full. In fact, the Athlean-XX for Women nutrition plan is anything but a diet – we actually recommend you eat more – 5 – 6 times per day! This type of diet will help turn your metabolism into a fat burning machine – when combined with our killer 30 minute workouts. Yes, with Athlean-XX for Women, eat more, exercise shorter but harder and weigh less! Join us on Team Athlean to start your lifestyle makeover now!
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