Losing weight is no simple task, as evidenced by the hundreds of fad diets that have come and gone over the years, but there is no substitute for exercising and eating well. While many people are of the belief that it is simply a matter of your calories consumed being lower than those expended on a regular basis, it’s important to focus on what you’re putting into your body. Diet sodas may seem appealing when you see that zero-calorie content on the can, but numerous studies have found that artificial sweeteners may actually contribute to weight gain, and all that sodium can lead to water retention. What you should be focusing on are healthy foods that contain lots of vitamins and other nutrients to improve your health. When you’re healthier, your body will function better and your efforts at the gym will pay off much faster.
Of course, some foods are better than others, so check out these 10 treats that can give you even more of a boost toward your weight loss goal:
According to Health magazine, enjoying half a grapefruit as an appetizer before each meal can help you drop pounds effortlessly thanks to a compound that naturally lowers insulin. If the fruit is a bit too tart for your taste, drizzle a tiny bit of honey over it instead of sugar before diving in.
Chick peas are great for your health, and hummus is a tasty way to enjoy them. Hummus is loaded with protein and many other nutrients that will boost your health and keep you feeling full.
Ignore the urge to opt for egg whites, as the yolk contains proteins that can encourage your body to burn more fat when you work out, according to Fitness magazine.
This versatile grain is great for protein and vitamin B, Fitness pointed out, and it can be eaten at every meal. It makes a great substitute for oatmeal as well as pasta, and there are countless recipes for you to try.
5. Chocolate milk
Drinking chocolate milk after a strength-building workout can help your muscles heal faster and stronger. While muscle does weigh more than fat tissue, having more muscle mass will help you burn more calories every day.
Your mother may have warned you to go easy on the avocados because they contain a lot of fat, but Health pointed out that in addition to being rich in fiber and protein, avocados are loaded with healthy fat that can help stave off hunger.
7. Greek yogurt
Yogurt contains probiotics that can prevent fat storage, and Greek varieties tend to contain less sodium, according to Fitness. Get plain yogurt and add your own fresh fruit to cut down on preservatives, too.
To beat the mid-morning hunger blues, try having oats for breakfast. Health reported that the high fiber content will keep you feeling full for hours. You don’t have to settle for oatmeal, either, as you can whip up oat-based smoothies or baked breakfast pastries with oats to keep your menu interesting.
9. Parmesan cheese
That’s right, there’s a cheese that’s good for you. Fitness magazine explained that the flavorful, dry cheese packs such a punch that you don’t need to eat much to get your fill of dairy. Plus, one tablespoon only has 22 calories. Opt for a wedge you can grate yourself rather than the processed, pre-grated mixtures.
Did you know there’s an antioxidant in wine that can actually prevent your body from storing fat? The resveratrol in one glass of wine can help your body burn more calories for over an hour after you sip your drink, according to Health magazine.