Losing weight can actually be a lot of fun! What you need to do is choose the right foods. Starving yourself to shed those extra pounds is now passe. As a rule, foods that are high in protein and fiber (build muscle and provide satiety), that are packed with nutrients (increase immunity and prevent ailments) and that have low fat and high water content (to detoxify and hydrate the body) are the best options for you. So read on, and get yourself started on these natural wonder foods!
Eggs: Eggs have the best quality proteins, and low in calories and are one of the best foods for losing weight. Egg whites are preferred over whole eggs, as the yolk is high in fat and cholesterol. Scrambled egg whites along with mushrooms and greens are a good way to start your day!
Oats: Rich in fiber, oats have a very high satiety value and are digested slowly. Oatmeal, rolled oats and even instant porridge oats will keep you full and healthy. Have oats with skim milk, or substitute breadcrumbs in meatloaf with oats.
Lentils: Lentils are one of your best friends for losing weight! They are high in soluble fiber and protein, and come in many varieties. Lentil protein regulates blood glucose and prevents build up of fat. You can make lentil soup, lightly spiced lentil curry or add cooked lentils to salads and pasta.
Blueberries: These are packed with antioxidants which help in fighting free radicals responsible for ageing and disease. Blueberries are also rich in fiber. Add half a cup of blueberries to low fat yoghurt and some cereal for a tasty snack or dessert.
Skim milk: We all know that milk is a good source of protein, vitamins, calcium and other minerals. Skim milk (<0.1% fat) gives you all these benefits minus the fat! Use skim milk with cereal, for milk shakes and smoothies.
Tomatoes: This red juicy vegetable is full of goodness. Tomatoes contain phosphorus, licopene and have high water content. They are thus, good for your heart, keep you full and their tangy flavor makes them a versatile ingredient in almost all your cooking!
Sprouts: Bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts and sprouted pulses are extremely nutritious and tasty foods to add to your weight loss diet program. Lightly steam these, and use in salads, stir fry, soups, or with some tomatoes and spices as a snack.
Yoghurt: An ideal alternative to desserts, fruit with yoghurt/flavored yoghurt is a complete food rich in carbohydrates and protein. Opt for the sugarless variety and aim for about 2 cups a day.
Wild Salmon/Sardines: These are high in protein and omega 3 fatty acids, while being low in mercury. They help to maintain muscle and keep you heart healthy. Have them broiled or steamed.
Green tea: Green tea is a natural antioxidant and contains theanine which is a stress buster. This refreshing drink also promotes heart health and digestion. It can help to increase fat oxidation, and is a good alternative to traditional teas and coffee.
Apples: A healthy on-the-go fruit, apples are rich in soluble fiber and antioxidants.
Buckwheat: Unlike most cereals, buckwheat is high in fiber as well as protein. Include buckwheat pasta in your diet instead of normal pasta with lots of vegetables.
Pomegranates: These are rich in polyphenols, antioxidants, folate and isoflavones. Opt for the seeds rather than the juice. This way you benefit from the fiber too! Eat the seeds as a snack or sprinkle on salads.
Avocados: The creamy taste of this fruit makes it a great summer food and salad ingredient. It is high in fat, but of the monounsaturated kind which is healthy.
Dried/frozen fruit: Apples, bananas, prunes, mango, papaya can be a good munching option when dried or frozen. They need to be chewed, thus increasing satiety and are a good substitute for chips/crisps.
Parmesan: One serving of this flavorful cheese is good enough to satisfy your craving for cheese. It is also high in calcium and conjugated linoleic acid which can help to burn more fat.
Steak: Organic beef is a good protein source which helps to retain muscle during weight loss. Have small portions which are grilled or broiled.
Soy: Soybean is a known health food due to its fiber, omega 3 fats and isoflavone content. It can be had in the form of soy soups, soy milk, soy nuggets and in salads.
Olive oil: Olive oil has the highest monounsaturated fat content and also has anti inflammatory properties. Substitute butter and margarine with olive oil for salads and cooking. Keep total intake less than 3 tablespoons per day.
Pumpkins: This versatile vegetable is high in fiber and low in calories. You can cook it any way you want and sweeten it with honey or a low cal sweetener.
Spinach: Spinach provides you with iron, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin A, water and fiber. Baby spinach can be used in a lot of salad combinations, and also in sandwiches.