While there are many products out there to try to help you lose weight, the bottom line is you can’t lose weight without consuming fewer calories than you burn. There are some products that will suppress your appetite so you’ll eat less food. But, once you stop using them, then what? Ideally, we change our habits and lifestyle to consume fewer calories. Today, I’m sharing 5 foods that can help you lose weight not because it’s doing anything “magical” such as suppressing your appetite but simply helping you consume fewer calories.
When we watch a movie at home or at the theater, I loooove munching on popcorn! But, it’s one of those things you can mindlessly eat a lot of just because it’s habitual and addicting. During my recent success of losing my last 20 pounds, I searched for different popcorn options.
First, let’s look at something like Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop Sea Salt Microwave Popcorn. it’s non-GMO, has no preservatives, is gluten-free, and is whole-grain so not so bad. However, if there are 170 calories per serving and 2 1/2 servings per bag, you can easily pack in 250 calories within the first 10-15 minutes of a movie if you’re not careful. If you’re sharing a bag, it might not be so bad as a cheat meal.
So, for popcorn, I like popping one bag of Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop! Butter Popcorn (and there are other flavors). It’s also non-GMO and the entire bag is only 100 calories (I tend to finish the bag!). However, if you are sensitive to additives or prefer cleaner popcorn, Skinny Pop is another good choice. I personally don’t like the taste as much but to each their own.
Not that eating popcorn itself helps you lose weight but we have to be realistic that there will be times when you feel like a snack or treat. Therefore, we need practical ways to eat what we want without gaining weight or hurting our efforts at being healthy!
Peanut Butter (and other calorie-dense foods)
I really love peanut butter for some reason but it is very calorie-dense so we should be careful about how much we eat. And, if you eat a typical name-brand version, it’s not as healthy. Let’s just look at Jif Creamy Peanut Butter. According to fooducate.com, it gets a C+ in nutrition.
Compare this to Santa Cruz Organic Creamy Peanut Butter, my preferred brand, with an A-. Jif has 3 grams of added sugar and 6 grams of net carbs compared to 0 grams of added sugar and 2 grams of net carbs for Santa Cruz. Jif is highly processed, has more sodium, less protein, less fiber, less calcium, and less iron Eating more protein, more fiber, and less sugar will all help you lose weight!
Again, eating peanut butter itself won’t help you lose weight. If you don’t like it, certainly don’t eat it anyway! However, the point here is to find lower-calorie, healthier versions of the foods you like.
Salads and Veggies
One of the hardest things about diets is feeling hungry a lot. People often complain about how it feels like they are starving themselves. So, one of the easiest ways to eat healthier AND lose weight is by eating more vegetables. Vegetables are not only packed with vitamins and minerals which can stave off disease but they are very low in calories. If you are careful about your dressing and sauces, you can practically eat all the vegetables you want while losing weight. There are hundreds of vegetables so if you currently get bored of veggies, branch out and try something new! Eating veggies is one of the easiest ways to start eating healthy though admittedly not always the most exciting.
If you read our e-book, 10 Practical Ways to Lose Weight Without Counting Calories, you know that having more lean muscle will increase your metabolism and help you burn more calories. To build muscle, you need protein. Health-wise, it is best to eat lean protein such as fish, chicken breast, or any other protein source with fewer than 10 grams of fat. When you eat more protein, this keeps you satisfied longer reducing your appetite naturally.
One BIG thing to keep in mind with protein, though, is portion size. Even if something is good for you, you can pack in way too many calories. Consider using MyPlate to determine how big your portion size is but the general rule of thumb is the size of your palm.
Eggs Plus Fiber
Although eggs used to get a bad rep that it increases your cholesterol, moderate consumption of eggs (approximately one per day or 7 per week) is considered good for you!
Eggs are packed with protein (mostly in the egg whites) and nutrients (mostly in the yolks). Because they are high in protein and fat, they keep you feeling satisfied for a longer period of time. Eat 1-2 eggs with high-fiber foods and that can help you lose weight. One of my favorite breakfasts is two scrambled eggs with sauteed onions, peppers, and spinach plus an apple. Check out my Ultimate Vegetable Scrambled Eggs for a recipe. Eating protein, fat, and fiber keeps you content for 3-4 hours, at least.
I hope this post helps you find foods you love to eat but that can also help you lose weight!