Why do we eat? The most basic reason is hunger, however with the growing rate of obesity this shows us that people eat for more reasons than just hunger. People eat out of boredom, loneliness, hunger, or deprivation. All of which can lead to excessive overeating and added weight gain. By choosing the right foods to eat when you are actually hungry you can limit cravings to eat for these other reasons. Superfoods contain essential nutrients that the body needs to properly function. When the body is functioning optimally it will speed up your metabolism, boosting calorie burning, making it easier to lose weight. Superfoods contain fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals, which play a role in how your body responds to calorie absorption and fat cells. Superfoods tend to be lower in calories and take the body longer to digest. This leaves you feeling fuller for longer, giving you less reasons to eat unneeded calories. They also provide the body with a steady flow of energy, keeping the metabolism working to burn more calories. By adding these foods into your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks you can lose weight and feel great.
Apples- Apples are great for weight loss. They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Apples are low in calories, low in sodium and high in fiber, which keeps the body feeling full while providing a stable source of energy. The low sodium in apples helps to prevent excess water retention in the body, which can lead to higher weight on the scale. Apples nutrient content such as the enzymes it contains help to digest food more efficiently thereby eliminating unwanted fats from the body. Pectin one of the fibers in apples drains out cholesterol from the bloodstream thereby managing blood cholesterol levels. Apples fiber also helps to slow the absorption of carbohydrates, the foods most notably known to be stored in fat cells. Eating an apple a day can help to reduce the number of calories you consume per day.
Lentils- These small legumes pack a real big punch against weight gain. Lentils are high in folic acid, iron, magnesium, fiber and protein. Lentils are a low fat protein, which is a prefect substitute for meat. Plus their fiber content alone will satisfy hunger and reduce ones appetite. The soluble fiber in lentils lowers blood cholesterol by binding to bile. This forces the body to use cholesterol as a replacement, thereby stabilizing blood sugars. Lentils also contain resistant starch which shrinks fat cells; smaller fat cells means less fat.
Wild Salmon- Wild salmon as opposed to farm raised is recommended for weight loss because it’s low in calories, low in saturated fat and high in protein. Protein is needed to build muscle and muscle burns more calories than fat, more muscle in the body more calories burned equals weight loss. Wild salmon also contains omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3’s improve insulin sensitivity, helping the body build muscle and decrease belly fat. Omega 3’s also alter gene expression meaning it acts like a light switch telling the body to burn fat rather than to store it.
Quinoa- Most people have no idea what quinoa is. Often categorized as a grain or a legume, it is low in calories high in essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fiber, and protein. Quinoa is actually a complete protein. It contains all the essential amino acids to build muscle. Plus its fiber content satisfies hunger, and keeps you felling full. Dietary fiber binds to fat and cholesterol so the body excretes it rather than absorbs it. The iron and vitamin B12 content helps to boost energy production, which is needed for weight loss. Quinoa’s low glycemic index balances blood sugar making it easier for you to avoid temptation and diminish cravings.
Eggs- Although most people only eat them for breakfast, eggs are a great food for weight loss. High in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and proteins, eggs help to build muscle, which in turn helps to burn fat. Eggs also contain a compound called choline, which is needed for all cell function but also helps to block fat absorption. Eggs help to control hunger and foods cravings and will make you feel fuller for longer.
Yogurt- Yogurt is a healthy combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. This combination staves off hunger by keeping blood sugar levels steady. Yogurt also contains a healthy dose of calcium. Calcium signals fat cells to stop pumping out cortisol. This lowers the production of cortisol, a hormone linked to belly fat. The protein in yogurt helps to burn fat and repair and rebuild muscle. The carbohydrates replace muscle energy stores so they don’t get stored as fat.
Olive oil- Olive oil like salmon contain monounsaturated fats which switch gene expression on to fat burning. This enhances the body’s ability to burn stored fats in the body. Using olive oil in meals increases satiety, taming appetite, decreasing the amount of food to make you feel full. It also is a natural anti-inflammatory, which decreases bad cholesterol without harming good cholesterol.
Kiwi- Although peculiar in size, shape, color and taste, this small fruit is loaded with nutrients. Kiwis are high in fiber, both soluble and insoluble, low in calories and high in vitamin C. Vitamin C helps form carnitine, which plays an essential role in burning fat. Kiwi’s dietary fiber reduces cholesterol and fills you up suppressing the appetite. Its insoluble fiber aids in digestion, decreasing the time it takes for stool to be excreted. The soluble fiber provides bulk making you feel fuller. Even though it’s small it provides the body with a powerful tool to combat weight gain.
Sweet Potatoes- Sweet potatoes unlike most other vegetables are higher in calorie content but are worth all of them. Sweet potatoes contain resistant starch, which produces compounds to signal to the brain to stop eating. The bulk in sweet potatoes fills the stomach so you feel full. Carotenoids in sweet potatoes stabilize blood sugar levels and lowers insulin resistance. When cells respond to insulin they can build muscle and reduce fat stored in the belly. Even though they are higher in calories its reasonable because they are fat free.