Eating for weight loss can sometimes be an obvious task. There are the staple go-to foods like eggs, kale, chicken breast and Greek yogurt, but what about the people who are eager to lose weight but are sick of eating all the same things? The awesome news is that eating to lose weight doesn’t have to be as restrictive or boring as many people think it is. As long as you’re willing to do your research into nutrition factors like how nutrient dense a particular food is, you’ll be able to fill your pantry with a bevy of ingredients that will give you the flavor and diversity in your meals that you crave. Need a place to start? Check out our list of surprising foods to eat for weight loss.
One of the most common misconceptions about losing weight is that carbohydrates must be avoided at all costs. As a matter of fact, carbohydrates can be crucial in helping people get that extra spurt of energy in the gym as long as you know what kind of carbs you should be eating. Farro is one perfect example of grains that you should be eating. As a whole grain, farro is great at giving your stomach the gut-healthy fiber that it needs. It’s great as a substitute to white rice in your burrito and makes a great addition to a salad bowl. Just remember to keep your portions in mind. Keeping your serving size to under a cup is a great idea.
Did we lose you? Come back! Just like other carbohydrates, pasta is an often-misunderstood food that actually has huge potential to be a healthy addition to your diet. Before you go crazy with your pastas and lasagna, maintaining a healthy diet that will promote weight loss will necessitate that your pasta is 100 percent whole grain. Portion sizes are also key. A half cup of pasta is perfect and thanks to its low glycemic index, you won’t have to deal with pesky spikes in blood sugar.
One thing we could all do with is a sweet but healthy snack for a pick-me-up. It’s especially crucial to have this when you’re feeling particularly down or down trodden with your diet. Coconut chips are perfect for this as they are naturally sweet, contain healthy fats, protein and fiber. Just a handful is enough to satisfy whatever hunger pangs or cravings you’re experiencing. Remember to go for the no-sugar added ones though!
We can’t rave enough about watermelons. This summer fruit is a fantastic item to keep your refrigerator all throughout the year. One cup of this magical fruit only has 46 calories and it’s high in water content, which means you’ll stay fuller for much longer. An additional benefit of eating watermelon is its citrulline content. Cirtulline is an amino acid that lowers fatigue in the body and improves the overall blood flow. This means more gas in the tank to power through a particularly difficult work out.
If you’re looking for a fiber filled and naturally sweet snack, dried prunes are the way to go. Many of the older generation are quite familiar with this treat in particular as dried prunes certainly have a reputation of keeping bowel movements very regular. Apart from the great help they are with your digestive system, consuming dried prunes is also a great way to feel full without having to eat tons of unnecessary calories. Chewy, sweet and satisfying, this is definitely one dried treat you’ll want to keep around the pantry.
Grass-Fed Goat Cheese
Addicted to cheese? So are we! But the fact remains that not all cheeses are created equal and some of them are downright bad for you. So, when it comes to dairy goodness, what’s the best kind of food to eat? Go for goat cheese, the grass-fed kind in particular. Goat cheese I much lower in lactose than other cheeses and also has much more omega-3 fats than cow-milk cheese does. An ounce of goat cheese also has 30 ml of conjugated linoleic acid, which can be of great help in reducing body fat and retaining lean muscle mass. Grass-fed goat cheese in particular has quite a high content of conjugated linoleic acid, which is why we recommend eating that when you can find it.
Bean Based Pasta
Not so sold on eating whole grain pasta? No problem. What you can try instead are bean based pastas. As a whole, they’re a better alternative to flour based pastas and can come in many variations including, but not limited to, black beans, mung beans, edamame and lentils. What makes bean based pastas a better option for those trying to lose weight is that they’re chock full of protein at 25 grams per serving. With over 10 grams of fiber and just 17 grams of carbohydrates, it’s a pretty good trade off.
There’s more to this tiny nut than meets the eye. Incredibly, research shows that pine nuts have a polyunsaturated fat that can significantly increase the production of appetite-suppressing hormones in the body. This means that will feel less hungry just half an hour after ingesting pine nut oil when compared to other popular “healthy” oils like olive oil. Obviously, pine nuts are great in pesto, but you can also change it up by adding these tiny treats to your salads or adding them in a pesto like sauce on your favorite proteins.
One of the biggest problems for people trying to lose weight is bloating. If you’re someone that experiences bloating frequently or gets hit with irritable bowel syndrome on a regular basis, adding ginger to your diet could be extremely beneficial. Having been used as a natural and homeopathic cure for stomach issues for centuries, ginger can help soothe your digestive system and reduce bloating which will later on translate to weight loss. You can have it with hot water in the morning, in your favorite stir fry or added to your smoothies in powder form.