At its core, the key to losing weight is to burn off more calories than you consume. This is virtually impossible to do while still staying healthy, so it’s important to choose what you eat more wisely. What you should do is make better choices, opting for foods that make you feel full longer rather than foods that give you a quick fix, leaving you hungry again shortly after.
What you should look for are foods that contain water, foods that are high in fiber, and foods that contain the good kinds of fat. In terms of foods that contain a lot of water, reach for citrus fruits and green vegetables. Fruits that are high in vitamin C, like a grapefruit for instance, will help your body process fat more quickly and help you feel satisfied longer. A grapefruit is a great way to start the day and will help carry you through to your mid-morning snack.
The great thing about green vegetables is that they’re high in fiber, contain a lot of water, and very few calories. Your body will actually burn off most of the calories in kale, spinach, or broccoli simply by digesting the vegetables. They also contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and will help you stay full without adding too many additional calories to your daily intake. Add some to your lunch and dinner while cutting down your portion sizes of other foods.
For snacks, skip over candy and chips no matter how hard it may be. Instead, look for popcorn and nuts. When prepared naturally, popcorn is a great snack because it’s tasty, low in calories and high in fiber. But try to avoid making it unhealthy by adding butter, cheese, or salt as a topping. Nuts like almonds and walnuts are a great snack food as well in their natural form, providing healthy fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Here are a few ideas to help you better plan your meals to help cut calories, reduce fat, and stay full longer:
- cottage cheese (mix with fruit or oatmeal)
- oatmeal (natural, unsweetened preferrably)
- whole grain toast
Lunch and Dinner:
- grilled chicken
- grilled or steamed fish (salmon, tuna)
- soups (avoid creams, look for chicken or vegetable broth-based with lots of vegetables, low in sodium)
- whole grain brown rice
- whole grain pasta
- apple (packed with fiber)
- low-fat cheese
- nuts (almonds, walnuts, peanuts)
- popcorn (natural, unsalted, unbuttered preferably)
- yogurt (low-fat)