Many people turn to unhealthy diets and extreme exercise routines when they want to lose weight. But while these techniques can lead to quick results, they are likely to be unsustainable in the long term. The key to losing weight safely and keeping it off permanently is maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine that you can stick with for the rest of your life. Here are 10 healthy foods that can help you lose weight as part of this approach.
This delicious breakfast cereal is much more than just a quick breakfast; it also gives you sustained energy to get through your morning. If that’s not enough, oatmeal also keeps you fuller longer—something that will prevent cravings and mindless snacking later in the day. In fact, a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that people who ate oatmeal for breakfast consumed four times fewer calories at lunch than those who had cereal with equal calories but no fiber.
Apples are rich in pectin, a type of soluble fiber that slows digestion and promotes a feeling of fullness. They’re also high in water content, which means they add bulk to your meals without adding a lot of calories or fat. For weight loss, eat whole apples instead of drinking apple juice; apples are more satisfying and contain more fiber per serving.
Watermelon is a high-fiber, low-calorie fruit. In addition to being tasty, it helps fill you up. The nutrients and fiber in watermelon also can help you shed pounds. Watermelons are packed with vitamins A and C, as well as potassium (which helps manage blood pressure). Additionally, watermelon has vitamin B6—an essential nutrient for your body’s natural energy production. A one-cup serving of watermelon contains approximately 50 calories.
Oranges are rich in vitamin C, a nutrient your body uses to synthesize collagen. Collagen is responsible for keeping your skin smooth and elastic and is essential for slowing down wrinkles. Oranges also contain citric acid, which helps dissolve uric acid crystals that are created by excess amounts of protein or salt. These crystals cause joint pain if they build up in joints like your knees or ankles. Eating oranges can reduce pain caused by uric acid buildup.
5) Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are most famous for their omega-3 content, but they’re actually high in protein, too. Add them to smoothies or sprinkle on top of yogurt for a quick, protein-packed snack. A tablespoon of chia seeds contains four grams of fiber and eight grams of plant-based protein. They’re not gluten-free, but because they’re so absorbent you can add them to just about anything.
Research has shown that almonds can help curb hunger, control calorie intake and facilitate weight loss. An ounce of almonds contains 160 calories but 7 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and 6 grams of filling unsaturated fats. Almonds are a good source of vitamin E, magnesium and riboflavin – nutrients that keep you feeling fuller longer. They’re also rich in calcium, which is good for bone health.
7) Coconut Oil
It’s easy to understand why coconut oil has taken off in recent years. Not only is it high in fat, which makes you feel fuller longer, but it also boasts other health benefits, including stress reduction and increased immunity. Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are different from those found in long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) that most commonly come from other types of oils.
Salmon is high in protein and healthy fats, which keep you fuller for longer. It’s also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help protect against heart disease and reduce inflammation. Choose wild salmon over farmed varieties—farmed fish contains higher levels of carcinogens. Eat at least once a week; more if you can afford it.
Yogurt helps us feel full, which is great news for your weight-loss goals. Studies have shown that eating a high-protein yogurt snack can boost satiety and help cut back on cravings later in the day. Choose plain Greek yogurt and add fresh fruit to keep calories in check—the blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry varieties are all good options.
Quinoa is a complex carbohydrate, meaning it contains two sugars: glucose and fructose. This combination of simple and complex carbs makes quinoa more filling than a simple carbohydrate like white rice. Plus, quinoa’s high fiber content helps you feel full for longer than with other grains, making it an ideal food to help you lose weight. A cup of cooked quinoa contains 8 grams of fiber, or about 15 percent of your daily needs.