I bet when you first decided to lose weight you spent a lot of time worrying about the foods that you’d need to eliminate from your diet. But did you ever consider which foods you should add to help you on your journey?
While some diet and weight loss programs talk about eating less, others emphasize adding certain foods to your diet. There are several foods considered to have some real benefits for anyone trying to lose weight.
Here are a few foods that are right at the top of that list:
Oatmeal and oat bran are loaded with fiber and can expand to almost 30 times their volume when eaten. The combination of these two effects decreases your appetite while making you feel fuller longer. In order to increase the effectiveness of your weight loss program, eat oatmeal about two hours before doing your workout. Steel-cut oats, rolled oats, and plain or natural oatmeal are your best options. Avoid the instant flavored oatmeal in packets as they contain lots of sugar and other additives, and they are much more processed, meaning the fiber content is decreased.
Raw Fruits and Vegetables
On average, your body burns 15% more calories when your meals contain mostly raw fruits and veggies then when eating a meal with no fruits or vegetables. It just makes sense, then, to eat meals consisting of mostly raw ingredients when you are trying to lose weight. Since these ingredients still have all of their nutrients, your body gets what it needs while you feel satisfied. Also, fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C, like lemons, oranges, and pineapple help your body to mobilize and flush out extra body fat.
For years, people have claimed that adding spices to your diet can help with weight loss. Recently, a professor at Oxford University found that eating just 3 grams of chili peppers in a meal can increase your fat-burning metabolism from 8% to 20%, for up to three hours after eating the peppers. Also, the addition of spicy mustard to your sandwich may burn an extra 45 to 75 calories over the same three hour time span. And, just by adding fresh ginger to your diet, you get a strong diuretic. Fresh ginger also increases growth hormone production, thereby increasing the amount of fat released from your body’s fat stores for burning as fuel.
While eating raw fruits in general is typically considered a great way to lose weight, apples are especially important to single out. Apples contain pectin, which prevents your body from over-absorbing fat, as well as causing your body to release some of the stored fat. A study done in Brazil found that people who ate an apple before each meal lost 33% more weight than a group of people who didn’t eat an apple. Pectin also acts as an appetite suppressant, so apples are definitely a great snack to tide you over between meals.
Not only are most fish loaded with tons of omega-3s, but fish like tuna, sardines, and salmon trigger the hormone leptin. Leptin is a fat-burning hormone that suppresses your appetite and determines whether you store the calories you eat as fat, or if you burn those calories for energy.
Eating certain foods to lose weight is not a new theory. We’ve often heard about diet fads that include one or two foods that dominate the program. The idea of eating specific foods that have been scientifically studied is a much more recent development in the weight loss world. When you look at the reasons why certain foods actually help you burn fat and calories, it just makes sense to add those foods to your diet plan.