Finding the Best Diet
The popularity of diet culture has been prevalent for many years now, and while some diets may be effective short-term, most people have gradually come to terms with the idea that a good diet should be sustainable. Moreover, pairing nourishing foods with regular exercise is key to losing and maintaining weight.
The amount of information on nutrition that one can find online may often be overwhelming and hard to digest. This can further make it difficult to evaluate and tell the difference between ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ food choices. When it comes to losing weight, it is important to understand one of the key issues concerning nutrition, and that is telling the difference between the quantity and quality of the food we consume.
Quality vs Calories
Studies have shown that an energy deficit is required for dietary weight loss, which means that in order to lose weight, you must consume fewer calories than you typically do, burn off more calories through exercise, or a combination of both. This concept has been interpreted as “a calorie is a calorie”, meaning that no matter what type of food you consume, as long as it has the same amount of energy as another food, it will affect your weight the same way.
Calorie counting has thus become one of the most popular methods of restricting food intake and losing weight, but many tend to neglect the importance of consuming nutrient-rich and healthy foods. While it is important to watch out on the number of calories we consume in order to lose weight, many studies have found that eating qualitative foods and restricting or eating unhealthy foods in moderation remains key to weight loss.
What is considered ‘healthy’ food?
On the note of making healthier food choices, one may wonder what exactly is considered healthy food? The best diet for losing weight while working out is one that includes high-quality foods that are unrefined and minimally processed. A balanced diet should include plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy (unsaturated) fats, and healthy protein sources. Foods that are high in fibre, protein, and good fats promote feeling satiation, making you less prone to overeating and indulging in those late-night snacks.
Nutritious Foods for Weight Loss
To help you shed those extra kilos, we have listed some of the best weight-loss friendly foods that you should consider adding to your diet:
Eggs are a high-quality source of protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, Folate, B5, B12, B2, Phosphorus, and Selenium. While naturally high in cholesterol, eating them in moderation will only raise high-density lipoprotein levels, otherwise known as the “good” cholesterol, high levels of which are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. This food will keep you full for longer due to its protein content, and its versatility makes the ideal breakfast food; you can eat them poached, benedict, boiled, scrambled, fried, you name it.
Leafy greens such as microgreens, kale, spinach, collards, swiss chards, etc., are part of a nutritious and vitamin-loaded food group that is great for weight loss. They contain very few calories and carbohydrates, yet are high in fibre, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals such as calcium. This food group is additionally great for losing weight since it can help to add more volume to your meals without adding a crazy amount of calories to them.
Cruciferous vegetables such as bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower have a high fibre content, they are low in calories, and contain a decent amount of protein, making them a filling food that is perfect for weight loss.
Fatty fish, salmon especially, are an excellent source of lean protein-a main macronutrient which helps to build muscle when combined with exercise. They are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which the body doesn’t naturally produce, therefore we must get it from food. These are shown to play a role in preventing heart diseases and reducing inflammation, which can also contribute to weight loss.
Lean beef and chicken breast
Meat in general has a bad rep when it comes to a healthy diet, however lean meat cuts that are lower in fat content are a great source of protein and contain a lower and healthier number of calories. In comparison to red meat, chicken breast has less fat and more protein, but red meat is richer in zinc, iron, B vitamins, and selenium, therefore if you prefer meat in your diet, these two are a great weight loss-friendly option.
Oatmeal is known in and outside fitness communities as a fibre-rich food that is amazing for your health. Its fibre content aids the digestive system and makes you feel full longer. Moreover, oats help to lower inflammation and bad cholesterol (LDL), prevent high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and weight gain. You can combine them with berries, bananas, and nut butter for the perfect breakfast meal.
Fibre-rich whole grains besides oats such as brown rice, quinoa, barley, and buckwheat are a fantastic food group that can help with weight loss. Besides fibre, they are high in protein, antioxidants, B vitamins, and trace minerals, which makes them highly nutritious food that is worth adding to your daily meals.
Plain Greek yogurt
Plain Greek yogurt is another nutritious superfood and a delicious dessert substitute when paired with some fruit, a dash of honey, or maple syrup. It is a healthy snack option that is high in protein and low in sugar, as well as it is full of probiotics that promote good digestion.
Nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios are a great source of protein, fibre, and healthy fats. They are yummy food to snack on when you need some extra energy, but remember to eat in moderation as they are quite high in calories.
Berries are a delicious and nutritious food to snack on. They are rich in dietary fibre, potassium, and vitamin C, as well as they are low in calories, therefore they make for an amazing addition to your diet when looking to lose weight.
While relatively high in calories, when consumed in moderation and at the recommended portion (a quarter to half an avocado), avocados are a healthy source of vitamins such as vitamin K, C, and E, folate, healthy fats, and other nutrients that complement a healthy lifestyle.
Chia seeds are high in fibre and protein content, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and other healthy micronutrients. Its soluble fiber will absorb water easily, making you feel fuller, slowing digestion, and keeping your cravings satisfied for longer.
These were some of the best foods to add to your grocery list and into your diet if you are working out and looking to lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way. Ensuring you are eating well and getting the right nutrients goes a long way when it comes to weight loss.