Nutrition is always key to weight loss – but the key is to increase your capacity to eat the following foods regularly.
Most of my weight problems resulted after I finished my bodybuilding career. I never had a weight issue until I spent more than a year on the so-called “bodybuilder diet” and exercised like a maniac. Unfortunately, my energy, stamina and drive were to win a plastic trophy.
The process’s time, expense and effort left me quite deflated.
As much as I wouldn’t recommend people taking such a task on (unless they know what will eventuate), I still believe I wouldn’t be writing these posts without walking the talk on weight loss struggles. A real-life scenario like this has helped me discover the ways and means of overcoming the battle of fat loss, longevity, and, of course, my absolute favourite thing — building muscle mass!
Although the journey has had many twists and turns — mainly having to put up with training at home because of the pandemic closures, it’s been a fun but frustrating one. In this post, I’d like to share some of the best fat-loss foods I slot into my eating plan on a day-to-day basis.
There is a lot of research behind these 4 top foods, and they work for me whether I’m trying to lose or maintain weight. I have learnt to love eating them (not that it was hard!). Without a doubt, guys, nutrition is the most fundamental aspect of weight loss and maintenance. You must be disciplined and exercise flexibility to allow for those special treats you love and enjoy occasionally.
I LOVE oats, and yes, oats contain a certain amount of carbohydrates, but they also have several other essential nutrient factors. Take, for instance, this study involving 47 adults. This study compared the differences in appetite, fullness and when these adults had one bowl of oatmeal. It was then compared to oat-based ready-to-eat breakfast cereal. These two breakfasts had the same calories, although the healthy oatmeal provided more protein, fibre and less sugar than cereal. The difference was in the amount of fibre, especially the soluble variety (beta-glucan). References to this study can be found here.
A takeaway factor: If you weight train — aim to have your oatmeal breakfast after lifting weights. Carbs help lower your cortisol levels so your body doesn’t break down muscle.
One of my ultimate favourite additions to every single meal! Avos provide fibre, beneficial fats, and a host of more nutrients to help promote weight management. Isn’t it funny that people who eat avocados tend to eat more fruits, vegetables and fibre than those who do not?
This particular study also verified that avocado eaters had an overall healthier diet & consumed less sugar. The advantage of eating avocado is that it may increase the fat-burning rate, causing your body to burn more calories after eating it. This is what we call thermogenesis. This is the same feature in many other foods like protein. After eating an avocado, you will notice a substantial reduction in appetite & a decrease in the desire to eat after a meal.
This is because avocado contains high heart-healthy fats, similar to olive oil. A takeaway: Have your avocado with other healthy fats like eggs, salt, and olive oil. Drizzle on a bit of cayenne pepper for an added fat-burning punch. This meal will help you stay full and energetic during the day.
I snack on almonds, pecans, pumpkin and pepita seeds as a mid-morning snack. Nuts (like avocado) contain heart-healthy fats & nutrients. However, since they are very energy-dense foods, it’s pretty easy to overcompensate for calories.
I also find it hard to stop munching on almonds as they can become quite addictively delicious. For example, a study on overweight women compared 50g of almonds daily to a group that did not eat almonds. After three months, the women in the almond-eating group lost more weight than those who did not eat them. It has been said that eating nuts can help to inhibit weight regain after an initial loss.
A takeaway: If you find that moderation is not easy, weigh out your daily nut consumption and have them handy as a snack between meals. Drink enough water between snacks, and you will be less likely to return for second helpings.
Four: Cruciferous veggies
I’m a big believer in the power of plant protein — which includes a tremendous amount of fibre. Plants not only help us feel full for extended periods, but it’s also a great way to cleanse your body from the inside out. It’s like giving your digestion a bit of a helping hand when it comes to elimination — and you know how important a good poo is daily! The high fibre content is what makes them beneficial for weight loss. Pick from cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach, kale and lettuce. Please include them on your plate during every single meal. A takeaway: Add cayenne pepper to your veggies for an added metabolism ignition.
Berries contain the lowest GI level of all the other fruits and are high in fibre. They also contain a lot of water, which adds to the feeling of fullness, especially when you add them to other healthy snacks. Research recommends eating berries for breakfast and replacing any other naughty snacks with a handful of them during the day. The compound in raspberries can speed up metabolism and break down fat, including that dreaded belly fat.
Add a pinch of berries to your oatmeal in the morning, yogurt & nuts as an added filling snack. I like to sprinkle some cinnamon on mine to lower my bodies insulin response. Eating these foods every day will put you a step ahead of the rest when it comes to making optimal choices in your nutrition. You would have noticed how important fibre is in weight loss from this feature.
Think about that when you make your nutritional choices. If you find it hard to eat enough of these options daily, you can do something quite similar to me — buy the frozen varieties and then blend them. Smoothies make a great snack in the morning or throughout the day. You can make your smoothie bowl by adding nuts, seeds and spices. Add these options to your meals every day for one month and see what a difference it makes. I can’t wait to hear your response.
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I appreciate your support.