7 Foods to Include in a Weight Loss Diet
Don't waste your money on secret potions and potentially dangerous supplements to lose weight. Including these real foods in your diet is a safer way to lose weight.
The truth is, there's no secret formula for weight loss. Everyone's body is different and each person will respond differently to various foods. Plus, several factors including sleep, exercise and stress can affect how easy it is for a person to lose weight (and keep it off). However, there are some nutrition guidelines most dietitians will agree with in respect to a weight loss diet. Here are seven foods to consider including in your weight loss diet regimen.
Did you know popcorn is a whole grain? One cup of air-popped popcorn has between 30 to 55 calories and 5% of your recommended daily dose of hunger shielding fiber. Snack on 2 cups with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese or 1 tablespoon of whipped butter with 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. You can also make your own in the microwave in a flash.
Recipe: Protein Popcorn (While this popcorn isn't a high-protein snack, the combination of popcorn, oil and nutritional yeast is a healthy one.)
With more protein than traditional yogurt per ounce, nonfat plain Greek yogurt can fill you up so you'll be less likely to mindlessly snack.
These crustaceans pack a protein punch for very few calories. One ounce (4 large shrimp) has 30 calories, 6 grams of protein and minimal fat. Shrimp is also a good source of vitamin D and selenium and even contains several energy-boosting B-vitamins. If you're allergic to shellfish or just don't care for shrimp, choose skinless, boneless chicken breast which has 46 calories, 9 grams of protein and 1 gram of fat per ounce.
Recipe: Robin's Coconut Shrimp
This whole grain is packed with both hunger fighting fiber AND protein—a winning combination for weight loss. One cup of cooked quinoa has 223 calories, 5 grams of fat and 8 grams of protein. It's also packed with nutrients like B-vitamins, potassium, zinc, iron and selenium. Use for salads and grain bowls and add to soups, stews and chili.
Recipe: Quinoa Tabbouleh with Feta
A medium pear has 100 calories and is an excellent source of hunger-satisfying fiber. Make a waistline-friendly snack using 1 sliced pear with 1 ounce of low-fat cheddar cheese. The combo of fat, protein and fiber help stave off hunger and keep you satisfied longer.
Recipe: Pear Chutney
One medium sweet potato has 105 calories, 4 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein. Sweet potatoes are not only filling, they're also packed with 400% of your daily recommended amount of the antioxidant vitamin A. Make a sweet potato mash, add chunks to chili or stews, roast with a touch of cinnamon, or serve up a tray of sweet potato skins topped with cheese and veggies.
Recipe: Sweet Potato Skins
Look for natural peanut butter made from only nuts and salt. It contains a nice amount of both healthy fats and protein. One tablespoon has about 90 to 100 calories, so portion it out carefully. Use one tablespoon as a snack to dip with apples or celery and 2 tablespoons for your PB&J sandwich at lunch.
*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.