Foods for Weight Loss & Good Health
CHOOSING THE RIGHT FOOD GROUPS
If you've taken a look at the types of foods to avoid when trying to lose weight the next step is to look into which foods are going to do just the opposite; promote health and bring you to an ideal body weight. Remember that not incorporating enough good foods is the step that makes most people unsuccessful when trying to lose weight. Creating a good diet also is all about the TYPES of food groups you're choosing more than the individual foods themselves. The benefit with this is that it allows you flexibility to rely on foods you like most, from the right types and groups.
How to choose the right foods for health and weight loss:
- Choose foods that are Health Promoting & Detoxifying
- Choose foods that are The Most Filling
- Choose foods that will Boost Metabolism
The first area isn't just important for those looking to lose weight, it's vital that every person choose detoxifying foods which promote good health. Regardless of a person's lifestyle, everyone's body is exposed to toxins through air we breathe, water we drink and especially the food we eat. The body is constantly working to remove harmful elements for better functioning and it's vital that a diet support this.
Foods can be detoxifying in a variety of different ways too. Firstly, try incorporating high fiber foods such as nuts, seeds, leafy greens, berries, beans, legumes and lentils. Fiber is important for promoting a healthy blend of stomach bacteria. For example, when researchers look at Flax seeds, they find that eating flax seeds has a radical impact on the blend of bacteria in a person’s stomach and that a healthy culture of this bacteria can actually work as a powerful detoxifying element (1). This is because the bacteria in your stomach consumes toxins and collectively has more cleansing ability than what your liver provides over an entire day.
A couple other types of food to be added to this list are herbs and spices. These small additions to our meals are not just important for flavors in dishes. They also have some of the most powerful abilities to boost our body's defense against harmful free radicals AND can help with losing weight too! Turmeric for example has been shown to boost the protection our cells have against several types of inflammation and the same has been shown for ginger, paprika, rosemary and several others(2). These are some of the most powerful, but use your own favorites as frequently as you can.
The Most Filling Foods
The average adult’s stomach size can hold about 1 liter of food when totally distended. To fulfill hunger and stop cravings, the stomach must be filled through one way or another. No one can simply persist through hunger and expect to lose weight. The easiest way to do this is to find foods that have very low amounts of calories per volume.
1 cup of Broccoli for example has just 30 calories. Now compare this to 1 cup of French fries which has around 365 calories. Both take up the same amount of space in the stomach, yet broccoli will provide 10x less calories and stay in the stomach longer for digestion, satisfying hunger much longer.
|Cup of French Fries||365|
Broccoli is just 1 example, but it’s an important lesson to reinforce that foods that will be the most filling are going to greatly help a person lose weight successfully. The most filling types of foods are firstly Vegetables, but also high protein foods like lentils, lean meats and fish (chicken, turkey, cod, tilapia). Protein, similar to fiber will take longer to digest and therefore satisfy hunger for hours at a time.
A quick word on meats and fish – Since toxins tend to accumulate up the food chain, it’s vitally important to get all meat and fish from very pure sources. Fish should be wild caught, not farm raised. Meats should be organic and grass fed whenever possible. Furthermore, it’s still important for meals to be *Plant Based as much as possible to promote good health.
Metabolism Boosting Foods
In the article Increasing Metabolism To Boost Weight Loss we shared how a plant based diet which emphasized more fruits and vegetables resulted in an 11% increase in a person’s resting metabolism. We also talked about how fiber is the number one deficiency among most adults with 97% not meeting the low standards for fiber needs. These are the first two lessons when it comes to increasing metabolism through one’s food: Consume enough fiber and have abundant fruits and vegetables - at least 5 per day if not more. When eating fruits and veggies is just too hard or takes up too much time you can always get your daily intake from alternative sources such as drinks, juices and smoothies - take a look at this article to find out more.
Another common metabolism boosting food is nuts. Nuts are extremely high in fat and overall calories, yet they don’t seem to make people gain weight. There was one study which had people eat an extra 320 calories of nuts (almonds) per day for 6 months and instead of gaining weight, subjects actually had no significant change in weight (3)! The extra eating from nuts was completely cancelled out due to their ability to boost metabolism! There are countless other studies just like this one which have shown over and over that nuts do NOT lead to weight gain and instead actually boost a person’s metabolism. Almonds, walnuts, cashews and pecans are some of the best, but again, just about the entire food group of nuts is beneficial for health and will boost one’s metabolism. Make sure to make these a part of your weight loss strategy by snacking on nuts daily.
1. Possemiers, Sam, et al. "The intestinal microbiome: a separate organ inside the body with the metabolic potential to influence the bioactivity of botanicals."Fitoterapia 82.1 (2011): 53-66.
2. Percival, Susan S., et al. "Bioavailability of herbs and spices in humans as determined by ex vivo inflammatory suppression and DNA strand breaks."Journal of the American College of Nutrition 31.4 (2012): 288-294.
3. Fraser, Gary E., et al. "Effect on body weight of a free 76 kilojoule (320 calorie) daily supplement of almonds for six months." Journal of the American College of Nutrition 21.3 (2002): 275-283.
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