When you’re trying to lose weight, food can seem like the enemy. But according to nutrition and health research, some foods are actually your allies in the weight-loss battle. Whether they’re helping curb cravings or giving you an extra energy boost in the middle of the afternoon, these five foods should be always on hand in your kitchen.
Berries. Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are naturally sweet without being high in calories, making them an ideal substitute for sugary treats that drive your calorie count up. They’re also high in fiber, which helps keep you fuller longer.
Eggs. Starting the morning off with a hearty, protein-filled breakfast will give your body the fuel it needs to keep you energetic and nutritionally satisfied all day. Protein feeds your muscles and can make your workouts more productive if eaten a few hours before you hit the gym, so you’re likely to burn more calories while exercising. Scramble a few eggs for a quick meal, or add your favorite veggies to an omelet. You can pre-prepare eggs in a frittata or even bake mini quiches in a muffin pan.
Beans. The high fiber and water content in this superfood help you feel fuller longer. Beans are also a vegetarian or vegan’s best friend when it comes to satisfying sources of protein. The National Nutrition and Health Examination Survey has indicated that people who eat beans consume more calories on a daily basis, but weigh less than non-bean eaters. Add a serving of your favorite type of beans to a soup or chili for added nutrition.
Soup. Broth-based soups are low-calorie, easy to prepare and surprisingly filling. Grabbing a can of soup at the supermarket or creating your own soup combinations from the produce and lean meat aisles allows you to create a well-balanced meal without a lot of fuss. Eating a small cup of soup before going out to eat is a good way to manage your appetite before you sit down at a restaurant.
Nuts. Almonds, walnuts, pistachios and pecans are great choices for a quick snack that will give you energy and curb cravings throughout the day. Full of good fats, a handful of nuts packs a ton of omega-3 fats, which help satisfy hunger. Grab a handful of nuts between meals or sprinkle some roughly chopped nuts on a salad or bowl of sliced fruit. Finely chopped nuts can also be used to coat meats in lieu of bread crumbs.