Eating a diet that will help you with your weight loss goals is one of the key steps for successful weight loss. Diet has a large role on impacting weight and other health parameters. While there is no set in stone specific diet that will destine you for weight loss success, focusing on the food quality you are eating may promote or hinder weight loss.
Eating a balance of protein, fiber and healthy fats at meals will also help promote weight loss and help you feel satisfied.
In general, fresh foods are promoted for weight loss. Packaged foods and heavily processed foods are usually full of sugar and void of nutrients the body needs.
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables top the list of foods that promote weight loss. Whether you are following the Mediterranean, Paleo, vegetarian or Weight Watchers® diet, fruits and vegetables should make up a majority of your food intake.
What makes fruits and vegetables so great? They are full of a variety of nutrients and antioxidants, high in water and fiber content making them foods that fill you up without packing on a lot of calories.
Health professionals recommend eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables for the greatest nutritional benefit.
Eating a high amount of fruits and vegetables means you can fill up on these foods and eat a high volume of food instead of feeling like you are barely eating and feeling hungry all the time.
A 2007 study found when obese women ate a low calorie diet higher in fruits and vegetables, they had significantly less hunger than the group of obese women who were eating a low calorie diet.
Make at least half your plate at meal times filled with fruits and vegetables. Paring fruits and vegetables with protein and fat can further add satiety to a meal or snack.
Legumes are very high in fiber and water content, which like fruits and vegetables, can help keep you full for a long time. You can also eat a large portion without getting a high calorie content.
In fact, one research study suggests people who eat beans may weigh less than people who don’t even if people who eat beans eat slightly more calories per day.
Legumes are a plant source of protein, and protein is associated with being a high satiety macronutrient.
Therefore, beans have two positive aspects for weight loss: fiber and protein source. Be careful when drastically increasing your bean consumption: it may have a drastic effect on your digestion system.
If you increase your legume intake, do so gradually and with adequate fluid intake.
Vitamin D rich foods
Some studies, but not all, suggest that eating dairy or calcium rich foods may have a benefit for weight loss. What may also play a factor for weight loss is vitamin D status, according to a 2010 study.
A higher intake of dairy and higher levels of vitamin D in the blood were associated with greater diet induced weight loss.
Not many foods are natural sources of vitamin D, but some seafood, eggs and enriched juices, cereals and dairy are sources of vitamin D. Sunlight is another source of vitamin D.
Even though nuts can be considered high in calories and fat, they may actually be beneficial for weight loss when eaten in moderation.
In fact, epidemiological studies show an inverse association between nut consumption and body mass index (BMI). Nuts are high in satiety, so even though they are relatively high in calories and fat, they can help make you feel full longer.
A serving of nuts is about an ounce or a small handful. Eating nuts as a snack or paired with some fruit can offer a satisfying snack.
Whether the protein is coming from plant or animals, protein can help keep you feeling full. Feeling full after eating can help promote weight loss.
Eating meals mixed with protein, fiber and healthy fats can help ensure you are helping your blood sugar to stay stable after eating. Besides meat, other sources of protein include: eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes, soy, grains and seeds.
Take away message
Foods that promote weight loss are foods that are rich in nutrients, high in fiber and/or protein and low in energy density. Nuts, even though they are higher in calories, can be beneficial for weight loss because they also promote satiety.
Fruits and vegetables are an important part of any diet, but they can be especially beneficial during weight loss. You can eat a high volume of them and feel full. Legumes are also low in energy density and rich in both fiber and protein making them beneficial for weight loss.
Dairy and vitamin D sources can also promote weight loss, as some research suggests dairy may offer an additional benefit for weight loss. Adequate vitamin D levels may also be helpful for weight loss.
References used in this article