Are all calories created equal? The answer is NO!
According to many recent studies, different foods go through different metabolic pathways in the body.
Or in other words, different types of foods have different effects on hunger, hormones and how many calories we burn throughout the day.
Below is a list of 20 most weight loss friendly foods that are supported by science.
- Whole Eggs
Not long ago, many people believed that eating whole eggs is not good for the health due to their high levels of cholesterol. But, new studies have shown that they don’t adversely affect blood cholesterol and don’t cause heart attacks.
What’s more, eggs are among the foods that you must eat if you want to lose weight. They are rich in protein and healthy fats, and can make you feel full with low amount of calories.
One study in which the participants were 30 overweight women between the ages of 25 and 60 has found that eating eggs for breakfast (instead of bagels) increases satiety and significantly reduces short-term food intake.
Eggs are also high in many essential nutrients and can help you get all the nutrients you need on a calorie restricted diet. Keep in mind that almost all the nutrients are found in the yolks.
- Leafy Greens
Leafy greens include spinach, kale, Swiss chards, collards, watercress, etc. They are rich in fiber, but low in calories and carbohydrates, which makes them perfect foods for weight loss diet.
Regular consumption of these amazing veggies is a great way to increase the volume of your meals, without increasing the calories. Many studies conducted in recent years have shown that meals and diets with a low energy density make people eat fewer calories overall.
Leafy greens are also full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This includes calcium, which is known for its ability to stimulate weight loss.
Oily fish like salmon is not only healthy, but it also increases satiety. It will keep you full for many hours with a relatively low amount of calories.
Salmon is rich in high-quality protein, healthy fats and a variety of important nutrients that can improve your health in many ways.
One of the nutrients that you will get from salmon is iodine. This nutrient is needed for the proper functioning of the thyroid, which helps keep the metabolism running optimally.
Salmon is also high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for their ability to reduce inflammation – one of the main contributors to obesity and metabolic disease. Other oily fish that are also good for your health include mackerel, trout, sardines, and herring.
- Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous veggies include cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. They are best known for their high fiber content. In addition to this, they are also a good source of protein.
The combination of fiber, protein, and low energy density makes these vegetables the perfect foods for everyone who is trying to lose weight.
- Lean Beef and Chicken Breast
Meat has been unfairly blamed for a variety of health problems, despite the lack of scientific evidence to support this claim.
Although processed meat is unhealthy, some studies have shown that unprocessed red meat doesn’t increase the risk of diabetes or heart disease.
As a matter of fact, meat is a weight loss friendly food due to its high amount of protein. Protein is the most fulfilling nutrient, and eating a diet that is high in protein can help you burn up to 100 more calories daily.
Also, studies have found that increasing your protein intake to 25-30 percent of calories can reduce your cravings by a whopping 60 and will lead to weight loss of a pound per week.
If you are following a low-carb diet, then you should eat fatty meats. But, if you’re on a moderate-to-high carbohydrate diet, then choosing lean meat is better for you.
- Boiled Potatoes
You may find it hard to believe, but white potatoes have several properties that make them a perfect food for weight loss.
They are a good source of a variety of nutrients – a little bit of almost everything we need.
Potatoes are particularly rich in potassium, a mineral that plays an important role in blood sugar control.
On a scale called the Satiety Index (which measures how fulfilling different foods are), boiled potatoes scored the highest of all the foods tested. This means when you eat white, boiled potatoes, you will feel full much longer and eat less throughout the day.
Whenever you boil potatoes, you should allow them to cool for a while in order to form large amounts of resistant starch, which is a fiber-like substance that will help you lose weight more quickly.
Tuna is another low-calorie, high protein food. It has become very popular among bodybuilders and fitness models in recent years, because it’s a great way to keep protein high, with total calories and fat low.
If you’re trying to emphasize protein intake, then make sure to choose tuna that is canned in water, but not oil.
- Beans and Legumes
Some beans and legumes, like lentils, black beans, and kidney beans, can be beneficial for weight loss. These foods are loaded with protein and fiber, two nutrients that are known to increase satiety. They also contain some resistant starch.
As we mentioned above, meals and diets with a low energy density tend to make people eat fewer calories. The foods with a low energy density are those that have plenty of water, like fruits and veggies.
But you can also add some water to your food – to make a soup.
Some recent studies have found that eating the exact same food, except made in a soup instead of as solid food, makes people feel full longer and eat fewer calories.
- Cottage Cheese
Cottage Cheese is one of the best dairy products – it is mostly just protein with very little carbohydrate and fat.
Regular consumption of cottage cheese is a great way to increase your protein intake. It also increases satiety, which will make you feel full much longer with a relatively low amount of calories.
This cheese is also an excellent source of calcium, which has been shown to aid in the fat burning process.
Avocado is not a typical fruit. Whereas most fruits are full of carbs, avocados are loaded with healthy fats. They also contain plenty of water, so they aren’t as energy dense as you may think.
Many studies have shown that the fats in avocados significantly increase the absorption of nutrients from other veggies, which makes them a perfect addition to salads. Other important nutrients found in avocados include potassium and fiber.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has become very popular ingredient among health-conscious individual in recent years. It commonly used in condiments, like dressings or vinaigrettes. There are also many people who dilute it in water and drink it.
Many studies conducted in the last few decades suggest that ACV can be very useful for people who are trying to lose weight.
Consuming vinegar together with a high-carb meal can increase satiety and make people eat 200-275 fewer calories for the rest of the day.
One study has found that obese individuals who consumed 15 or 30 mL of vinegar for 12 weeks lost between 2.6-3.7 pounds (or 1.2-1.7 kilograms).
In addition to this, vinegar also has the ability to reduce blood sugar spikes after meals, which may lead to a variety of beneficial effects on health in the long term
Vinegar has also been shown to reduce blood sugar spikes after meals, which may lead to all sorts of beneficial effects on health in the long term.
Despite being high in fat, nuts are not inherently fattening.
Nuts contain balanced amounts of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, which makes them an excellent snack for any time of the day.
Several studies have found that eating nuts can significantly improve metabolic health and even lead to weight loss.
Population studies also suggest that people who eat nuts tend to be healthier, and leaner, when compared to the people who don’t.
Just make sure not to eat too many nuts, because they are still high in calories.
- Some Whole Grains
Despite gaining some bad publicity in recent years, there are still some types of grains that are incredibly healthy.
This includes some non-gluten, whole grains that contain a high amount of fiber and protein. The best examples include quinoa, oats, and brown rice.
Oats are rich in beta-glucans, soluble fibers that are known for their ability to increase satiety and improve metabolic health.
Brown rice, on the other hand, can also contain huge amounts of resistant starch, especially if cooked and then allowed to cool afterwards.
Keep in mind that all refined grains are bad for your health, and sometimes foods that have “whole grains” on the label are nothing more than highly processed junk foods that are both harmful and fattening
- Chili Pepper
Chili peppers can be very helpful for everyone who is trying to lose weight because they contain a substance called capsaicin, which is known for its ability to reduce appetite and increase fat burning.
This substance can be even sold in supplement form and is commonly added to various commercial weight loss supplements.
One recent study has found that eating just 1 gram of red chili pepper can reduce appetite and increase fat burning in people who didn’t regularly eat peppers. However, there wasn’t any effect on people who regularly ate spicy foods, which may indicate that some sort of tolerance can build up.
Several studies conducted in the last few decades have found that people who eat the most fruit (and veggies) tend to be healthier than people who don’t.
Of course… correlation does not equal causation, so those studies don’t prove anything, but many fruits do have properties that can be useful for people who are trying to get rid of excess weight.
Despite the fact that most fruits are high in sugar, they have a low energy density and take a while to chew. In addition, their fiber content prevents the sugar from being released into the bloodstream too quickly.
The only people who should avoid fruits are those who are following a very low-carb, ketogenic diet, or have an intolerance to fructose. For the rest of us, fruits can serve as a delicious addition to any weight loss diet.
Grapefruit is the one fruit that deserves special attention because its effects have been studied directly. One study has shown that obese individuals who ate just half of a fresh grapefruit before each meal had lost 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg) of weight over a period of 12 weeks. In addition to this, regular consumption of grapefruit has also improved insulin resistance in the participants.
This study is the best proof that you should eat grapefruit more regularly.
- Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are in the category of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. They contain 12 grams of carbohydrate per ounce, which is pretty high, but 11 of those grams are dietary fiber. This makes chia seeds one of the best sources of fiber.
Due to their high fiber content, chia seeds can absorb up to 12 times their weight in water, turning gel-like and expanding in your stomach.
Although numerous studies have shown that chia seeds can reduce appetite, they have not found a statistically significant effect on weight loss.
But, if we take into account the nutrient content, it makes sense that chia seeds could play an important role in a weight loss diet.
- Coconut Oil
As we said above, not all fats are created equal.
Coconut oil is rich in Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), which are well known for their ability to increase satiety.
There are also two studies, one in women and the other in men, which have shown that coconut oil can help reduce belly fat.
Of course…coconut oil is still high in calories, so adding it on top of what you are already eating is not the best idea.
So, this is not about adding coconut oil to your diet, it is about replacing some of your other cooking fats with coconut oil.
- Full-Fat Yogurt
Full-Fat yogurt is rich in probiotic bacteria that can significantly improve your gut health. Having a healthy gut is one of the best ways to protect against and leptin resistance, which is the main hormonal driver of fat gain in humans.
Also, many studies have shown that regular consumption of full-fat yogurt is linked to reduced risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.