It’s time to turn the calendar page to a new month … which means summer — and bathing suit season — is upon us. And with that, usually comes trying to lose weight, which usually comes with cutting down on food.
But instead of cutting down on food, did you ever think about adding foods in to your diet? Sounds counterintuitive, but actually, if you add filling foods into your diet you’ll be less hungry, and, therefore, better able to stick to your plan for the long term. And the weight will come off!
So, what are those magical foods you should add in to your diet? Here are three of our favorites.
Weight loss food #1: Nuts
We know what you’re thinking. Nuts are full of fat, how can they possibly help you lose weight? The important thing is that nuts are full of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Some nuts, like walnuts, contain heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids. These are all good fats — the kinds that will fill you up and help you eat less overall. In fact, when Purdue University researchers told women to add about 350 calories worth of raw almonds to their diet daily (about 50 nuts), but were not told to cut back on calories elsewhere or step up the exercise, the women gained no weight after 10 weeks.1 Another study found that participants who ate 1.5 ounces of almonds daily felt less hungry throughout the day.2
What’s more, nuts are packed with protein, fiber, vitamin E, folic acid, magnesium, copper, and other antioxidants. All good things when you’re trying to take off pounds. So add walnuts to your morning oatmeal, pecans to your afternoon yogurt, or keep a snack-size bag of almonds in your glove compartment or your office desk drawer whenever a hunger pang hits.
Weight loss food #2: Beans
That “magical fruit” truly does have some magical properties. They’re loaded with fiber, protein, iron, and zinc. And in the weight-loss category, they’re tough to beat. In one study,3 researchers at Purdue University and Bastyr University assigned participants to one of three eating plans. All three groups were told to cut calories by 30 percent, but there was one big difference among the plans. Plan #1 included 3 cups of beans and lentils a week, plan #2 included nearly 2 cups of beans and lentils a day for women and 3 for men, and plan #3 included minimal amounts of beans and lentils. While all the groups lost weight after six weeks, those who consumed the most beans and lentils shed the most pounds. Other studies have reported similar findings.4
Add beans to meatloaf, spaghetti sauce, and chili. Or puree beans and add as a thickener to soup, stews, and casseroles.
Weight loss food #3: Low-fat yogurt
It’s no surprise that yogurt is a food that’s good for your health. One delectable cup is a great source of potassium, phosphorous, riboflavin, zinc, B vitamins and, of course, calcium. It may, however, come as a surprise that it’s also good for your waistline. Using data from the Nurses Health Study, Harvard researchers looked at the eating habits of more than 120,000 people and found that those who kept their svelte figures as they aged ate the most yogurt compared to those who gained.5
Look for the words, “live and active cultures” on the label. That means the yogurt has probiotics, bacteria that help promote a balanced environment in the intestinal tract. Top baked potatoes with yogurt instead of sour cream, add a dollop to vegetarian chili, or use plain Greek yogurt instead of mayo to make chicken, tuna, or pasta salads.
Don’t forget to take a daily multivitamin like ENDUR-VM® Multi-Vitamin & Mineral when dieting. This helps ensure you fill any nutrient gaps between what your body demands and what your diet provides.
You don’t have to starve to slim down. Before you know it, you’ll be looking forward to getting into that swimsuit!
1. Hollis J, Mattes R. Effect of chronic consumption of almonds on body weight in healthy humans. Br J Nutr. 2007;98(3):651-6. PMID: 17445351.
2. Tan SY, Mattes RD. Appetitive, dietary and health effects of almonds consumed with meals or as snacks: a randomized, controlled trial. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013;67(11):1205-14. PMID: 24084509.
3. Megan A McCrory MA, Lovejoy JC, Palmer PA. Effectiveness of legume consumption for facilitating weight loss: a randomized trial. FASEB J. 2008;22:1084.8.
4. Kim SJ, de Souza RJ, Choo VL, et al. Effects of dietary pulse consumption on body weight: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016;103(5):1213-23. PMID: 27030531.
5. Mozaffarian D, Hao T, Rimm EB, Willett WC, Hu FB. Changes in diet and lifestyle and long-term weight gain in women and men. N Engl J Med. 2011;364(25):2392-404. PMID: 21696306.