Good nutrition is essential for healthy weight loss and a healthy life. In last month’s article, I shared some of my favorite tips for mindful eating. In today’s article, I’ll share some of my favorite foods for weight loss.
Proteins for Weight Loss
Proteins are the building blocks of life. They’re essential for building strong bones and lean muscle, maintaining healthy tissue, oxygenating cells, aiding digestion, regulating hormones, and more. I make lean, healthy proteins the foundation of my diet and include 12 servings of protein per day in the nutrition plan for my weight loss program.
A couple of my favorite proteins for weight loss are turkey and chicken. Poultry sources like these are high in protein and low in cholesterol and saturated fats found in many cuts of beef, pork, and lamb. It’s okay to eat red meat and pork now and then if you enjoy it, but watch your portion sizes and make these meats an occasional treat while sticking to poultry for your daily staples. You’ll find a wide selection of chicken dishes and a satisfying turkey chili in the recipes section.
A couple of my favorite proteins for weight loss are turkey and chicken.
Eggs are another great source of protein for weight loss because they’re satisfying, nutrient-dense, and boost the metabolism. Learn more about the health benefits of eggs and get inspired with some breakfast recipes.
For plant-based proteins I often recommend soy products like tofu, tempeh, and textured vegetable protein (TVP). TVP, also known as soy crumbles, makes an easy and versatile substitute for meat in many dishes like tacos and casseroles.
Carbohydrates for Weight Loss
I recommend making proteins the cornerstone of a healthy diet and limiting carbohydrate intake. Still, it’s important to stay balanced and include some of each in our diet. When it comes to carbohydrates, my general advice is to select foods that are nutrient-dense and high in fiber. High-fiber foods digest more slowly than simple carbohydrates and starches, so you avoid the sugar spike after eating them. Plus, high-fiber foods are generally more satisfying than other types of carbs, so you don’t need to eat as much to feel full.
At the top of my list of healthy carbohydrates for weight loss are leafy greens and other cruciferous vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts, bok choy, and green beans. Cruciferous vegetables are packed with essential nutrients and have also been shown to help prevent disease by lowering blood pressure and reducing inflammation.
At the top of my list of healthy carbohydrates for weight loss are leafy greens and other cruciferous vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts, bok choy, and green beans.
For fruits, I prefer berries like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries. Berries are rich in nutrients and high in fiber, and they’re also sweet and delicious, making them an excellent alternative to things like artificially sweetened beverages and desserts. For a delicious and creamy treat, try this simple preparation of yogurt with blackberries. It provides all of the nutritional benefits of blackberries, plus protein and probiotics from the yogurt.
For fruits, I prefer berries like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries.
Cherries are another one of my favorite fruits, and they’re delicious on a hot summer day. Just watch your portion sizes as they’re a little high in sugar. I limit myself to twelve cherries per serving.
Fats for Weight Loss
Extra body fat is unhealthy, but eating good, healthy fats brings essential health benefits. The fats we eat give our body energy, improve nutrient absorption, and support hormone balance. The key is to favor foods that are high in healthy unsaturated fat and low in saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol.
The key is to favor foods that are high in healthy unsaturated fat and low in saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol.
Salmon is one of my favorite fat sources, and it’s excellent for both the body and brain, thanks to its rich supply of omega-3 fatty acids. You’ll find tasty recipes for lemon pepper salmon and Asian marinated salmon in the seafood section of our healthy recipes.
Eggs are another great source of healthy fat and a meat-free source of protein.
For purely plant-based fat sources, I like nuts and seeds such as almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. Nuts and seeds like these are rich in good fats, plus they’re high in protein and fiber. Olive oil is another one of my favorite plant-based fats; just make sure to select a high-quality extra virgin olive oil (this denotes non-heat treated).
On-the-Go Foods for Weight Loss
A big thing I emphasize with new patients is the importance of not skipping meals. When you skip meals, your metabolism drops, and you burn fewer calories in a day. Eating small meals throughout the day keeps the metabolic fires going steadily to burn away the extra pounds.
Eating small meals throughout the day keeps the metabolic fires going steadily to burn away the extra pounds.
Tuna packets are one of my favorite on-the-go foods for weight loss. Tuna is high in protein and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, making it good for the metabolism and a powerful anti-inflammatory food. Plus, tuna packets usually have significantly less sodium than canned tuna.
Another one of my favorite on-the-go foods for weight loss is turkey jerky. Like tuna, it’s high in protein and easy to throw in your gym bag or travel bag. There are several turkey jerky brands available today that are made from lean cuts. Watch the sodium, and if possible, buy organic.
A few of my favorite plant-based foods on-the-go are sliced apples, peanut butter and celery, nuts, and dry-roasted edamame.
Drinks for Weight Loss
Hydration is an essential and often under-estimated key to weight loss and health in general. 128 oz of liquid throughout each day is a good goal for most people. Of course, it’s important to drink the right things and avoid sugary beverages like soda, alcohol, and caffeinated drinks, which have a dehydrating effect.
Hydration is an essential and often under-estimated key to weight loss and health in general.
My favorite drink for weight loss is good, old-fashioned water. Keep a water bottle by your side as much as possible throughout the day, including when you’re on-the-go. If drinking water all the time starts to feel a little boring, add some natural flavor to it. My favorite flavorings for water include lemon, cucumber, and mint. Herbs and spices like ginger, cinnamon, rosemary, thyme, and basil also make great additions to water and provide added health benefits and extra flavor. Simply place the ingredients in a pitcher or glass of water and let the water sit for a few hours. Cube or slice the fruits or veggies. Herbs and spices can just be added as they are.
My favorite flavorings for water include lemon, cucumber, and mint.
Desserts for Weight Loss
For sustainable weight loss and a healthy, happy life, we need to stay balanced. This includes enjoying the delicious bounty the earth has to offer, consciously and in moderation. You don’t need to say “no” to dessert every day for the rest of your life. Just be mindful about what you eat, how often you eat it, and how much you eat.
...chose naturally sweetened foods that are low in simple carbohydrates and sugar, like fruits, berries, and yogurt.
When it comes to desserts, my general advice is to avoid heavy, processed, and artificially sweetened foods like store-bought ice cream, packaged snack foods, and donuts. Instead, choose naturally sweetened foods that are low in simple carbohydrates and sugar, like fruits, berries, and yogurt. You can do a lot with these foods and even re-create healthy versions of your favorite desserts like cheesecake, mousse, and milkshakes.
More foods for weight loss and other related resources: