When it comes to weight loss, it’s not just all about counting calories. It’s equally important to consider food types as these will help you achieve weight loss whilst ensuring the best dietary and nutritional balance that suits your lifestyle. The effect of food type will help you achieve your own individual weight loss goals more quickly whilst giving support to your wellbeing.
Whilst WW (formely Weight Watchers) might have their version of free foods, whenever I want to lose a few pounds I revert to a diet based my specific set of foods for a period of 3-4 weeks. Now, I’m going to share these foods with you, all of which have been the backbone of my success in weight loss.
Not only will these foods aid weight loss, but they also provide proper nutrition because they are all-natural and unrefined whole foods. This means they have no hidden calories or chemicals but do leave you feeling satiated rather than hungry and deprived of food.
Not only have I personally achieved great results with the foods I’m about to share with you, but members of my family and many friends have done the same. So here they are...
Red Kidney Beans
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
DAIRY & ALTERNATIVES
Organic Cow’s Milk
Probiotic Yogurt (cow’s milk, almond milk, coconut milk)
FRUIT & VEGETABLES
OILS & SPICES
Apple Cider Vinegar
This is a generous variety of amazing foods. As you might expect, I do have some favorites. Below, I’ve highlighted the foods that I generally base my diet on, simply because they are not only delicious; I believe they provide the best all-round benefits.
Beans and lentils are highly versatile and come in various forms; use them in stews, curries, pasta, salads and more. Both are rich in protein and fibre with the added benefit of being nutrients that lead to the feeling of fullness. As far as calories and fat content are concerned, both fall on the low side. Adding beans and lentils to your meals, even if using them to replace meat, can lead to increased satiety, which usually means eating fewer calories overall.
Lean chicken is a weight-loss friendly food because it is high in protein, contains no carbs and very little fat. Adding lean chicken to your meals can be a great way to boost the satiety of the meal.
Whole eggs are very nutrient-dense and filling, making them a great food to incorporate into your diet. Eggs provide protein and fat, making them very satiating. You can use eggs as a snack, make omelets, or combine them with lots of vegetables to make a satisfying meal.
Probiotic yogurt can be made from cow’s milk or plant-based milks such as coconut, soy or almond. Probiotic yogurt tastes just like regular yogurt but contains healthy types of bacteria, which generally helps with digestion and the immune system.
Yogurt contains protein and calcium (usually plant-based milks will be fortified with calcium), both of which have been shown to aid weight loss. Some strains of bacteria in probiotic yogurts, specifically the lactobacillus family, have been shown to reduce weight and belly fat.
I usually enjoy probiotic yogurt at breakfast time or during the day as a snack with some fruit.
Whole-grains contain all parts of the seed, bran, germ, and endosperm; meaning they contain a lot more fibre, vitamins, and minerals than refined grains. The wholegrain I would most encourage people to eat is oats. Oats are rich in a type of fibre called beta-glucan, which is known for its ability to absorb water; this means that it swells in the stomach, creating a feeling of fullness (satiety). Other great wholegrains include brown rice and quinoa.
It's worth remembering that grains do generally contain high levels of carbohydrates and calories so they should be eaten in moderation when your main goal is to lose weight.
Coconut oil is different from most fats due to the fact it is high in a type of fatty acid known as medium-chain triglycerides. These fatty acids have been shown to be less effectively stored by the body; they are used for energy and may also boost metabolism and supress appetite.
I personally use coconut oil occasionally as cooking oil as a replacement for other fats and oils for stir-fries or low-temperature vegetable roasts.
Leafy greens are plant leaves eaten as vegetables and include broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, collard greens and others. They are nutritional powerhouses containing antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, K, iron and calcium. Leafy greens are low in calories and carbohydrates, and high in fibre. They are ideal for adding volume to your meals, allowing you to feel more satiated without increasing the calories; there really is no limit to how much leafy greens you can eat.
Personally, I have a pretty large sweet tooth, so it is important for me to have some sweetness in my diet; I find the best way to do this is by eating a wide variety of fruit.
Fruit has a high-water content, it’s nutritious and packed with fibre; this means that you can generally eat a generous quantity and feel full without taking on a huge number of calories. Fruit makes a great snack; it can also curb cravings and stop that ‘hungry’ feeling between meals. My favorite is pineapple with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Cayenne pepper is used in small amounts to add spice to meals such as curries and stews. It contains a substance called capsaicin, which has been shown to increase fat burning and reduce appetite. For anyone who isn’t a fan of spicy food, the thought of introducing cayenne pepper into their diet might see this as a ‘no, no’. However, the benefits of introducing only a small amount of cayenne pepper into their diet could make the challenge worthwhile.
Try to base your diet around these foods and get creative! By using these foods, you can make many simple nutritious meals including porridge, salads, curries and soups that will benefit your wellbeing and weight loss program.
One of my top tips is to experiment with herbs and spices to make your meals more tasty and exciting; dieting doesn’t have to be boring.
Not only can these foods promote weight loss (I lost 20lbs in 6 weeks!), from personal experience I can confidently say that I have seen my digestion improve, I experience less bloating, my energy level has increased and my skin now glows.
It is essential to remember the importance of keeping hydrated whilst dieting. The drinks I would recommend are black coffee, green tea, water, fruit infused water (no added sugar). No added sugar drinks and sodas are ok but bear in mind these could cause some bloating/digestive issues and aren’t typically ‘healthy’. I find infusing water with lemon and lime makes a refreshing drink and is a lot more interesting for those who find water boring!
Also, for optimal results always include some regular, light exercise into your weekly routine.