Just about everyone is looking for a way to lose weight quickly and easily. From the flurry of super foods boasting multiple health benefits to the latest fad diet that promises dramatic results in no time and for no effort, there is no denying that weight loss is a topic of major interest in America. The irony is that some of the best foods for weight loss (and weight maintenance) are already in your pantry or easily accessible in your local grocery store. These underrated foods fill you up and help you stay full, and that can help you lose weight.
Fiber has been receiving a lot of attention lately, and with good reason; fiber helps fill you up (and keeps you feeling full) so that you eat fewer calories over the course of the day. As an added bonus, many high-fiber foods are also low in calories, so they do double duty when it comes to weight loss. Studies suggest that eating as few as 14 additional grams of fiber daily (that’s slightly less than the amount of fiber in one cup of most types of cooked beans) can translate to approximately one pound of weight loss per month.
It's also well known that eating enough protein can help you maintain a healthy body weight. Many studies show that protein works for the same reasons as fiber does; it helps you feel fuller longer so you are less likely to eat high-calorie foods that your body doesn't need.
There are many other ways that healthy foods can help you lose weight; they can speed your metabolism, suppress your appetite, or help stabilize your blood sugar and signal to your body that it should burn (not store) fat. So, before you spring for the latest fad diet snack or spend your weekend searching for an obscure superfood, consider these common foods that can help you lose weight.
Apples are low in calories yet have almost 20 percent of your daily recommended fiber. Eat them plain or spread them with a bit of unsweetened almond butter for added protein. Organic is a better option.
Almonds are high in calories so you have to snack wisely but they’re well worth the splurge; one cup of almonds has almost half of your daily recommended protein and fiber so even a handful can help curb hunger (don’t go for the whole cup at once, though — it contains nearly 530 calories).
Whether you love rice and beans or prefer hummus, eating more beans in one form or another could lead to a healthier body weight; legumes are a good source of fiber and protein.
Capsaicin, the naturally occurring compound in chile peppers that gives them their spicy kick, may help you burn fat. If you like spicy food, try cooking with hot peppers, adding hot pepper sauce to soups and stews, or sprinkling red pepper flakes on food.
Eggs seem to go in and out of fashion as a health food, but the truth is they’re a good source of protein and some healthy fats. That means they can help you feel fuller longer. If you’re worried about cholesterol, simply limit your intake of egg yolks — you’ll still get lots of protein from the egg white.
It looks like there’s more than one reason that mushrooms are a common substitute for beef. In a study conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, people who ate mushroom-based entrées reported the same levels of satiety as those who ate meat-based entrées even though they consumed less fat and fewer calories.
Oatmeal is a great choice for weight control since the energy from its carbohydrates is released slowly (which can encourage your body to burn fat instead of storing it). Just be sure to choose a low-sugar or no sugar added oatmeal.