What is the first idea that crosses your mind when you want to shed unwanted fat? Exercise, diet, or visit a beauty salon? You do not have to experience "pain" to slim your body down.
Eating weight loss foods can help. Apples, berries, cucumbers, leafy greens, chicken breast, lean meats, and whole-grain foods are some of the most recommended for weight management. You can eat to get rid of excess fat instead of going on a diet.
You may wonder, "How does eating help weight loss?" Our common sense tells us, "The more food we eat, the fatter we will become."
That is not exactly the case.
Those weight loss superfoods are either rich in dietary fiber, protein, or both and low in calories, fat, or carb. And they also contain vitamins and minerals. As such, eating them boosts metabolism, reduces hunger, and supplies essential nutrients our bodies need during fat-burning.
On top of the foods mentioned above, we would like to share several surprising foods for weight loss, such as dark chocolate, chili pepper, etc. You may not have heard about them before, but adding these foods that promote weight loss can favor your pursuit of a slim figure.
This article will shed light on 12 unexpected foods supporting weight loss. Let's check it out.
12 Surprising Foods That Can Help You Lose Weight
If you want to fight against obesity, fruits is one of the foods to add to your weight loss diet. Here, emphasis will be placed on a special kind – avocado.
An avocado is a shiny low-glycemic fruit with creamy pulp and leathery peel. It contains many nutrients, including B vitamins, vitamins C, E, and K, folate, potassium, magnesium, and carotenoids. That makes nutrient-dense avocados a healthy addition to a balanced diet.
Unlike most carbohydrate-rich fruits, avocados are filled with monounsaturated fats (over 60% are monounsaturated) and fiber (mostly insoluble).
Monounsaturated fat is a healthy fat derived from plant-based sources like olive oil, nuts, seeds, etc. This type of fat stays liquid at room temperature, while saturated fat turns solid under the same conditions. That makes monounsaturated fats less likely to form fatty deposits, one of the causes of weight gain, in our blood vessels.
We eat both foods containing saturated fats and monounsaturated fats every day. But if we use monounsaturated fats to replace saturated fats, the level of fat storage in our bodies will decrease.
Besides, avocado is a high-fiber fruit. That means it generates fewer calories and slows digestion down to help your stomach feel satiating longer. When you feel full, you eat less, making you burn more calories than you can possibly absorb calories possible.
(2) Black Coffee
Drinking coffee, especially black coffee (add no ingredients like milk, cream, or sweetener), in moderation can bring many health benefits, like lowered risk of cancer and cirrhosis. Do you know it may also help you keep weight under control?
You may ask, "How does black coffee aid in weight loss?"
Here are the sciences behind it.
One of the secrets to maintaining a healthy weight is to create a calorie gap. Black coffee is a sugar-free and low-calorie drink, with less than five calories per serving. If you substitute high-calorie beverages with black coffee, your intake of calories will decrease dramatically.
Drinking black coffee speeds up metabolism. The main ingredient of coffee is caffeine, a stimulant that promotes brain and nervous system activities. As such, it boosts the thermogenic effect, accelerating metabolism. When the metabolic rate increases, more calories will be burnt, and less will be converted into fat.
It also gives the feeling of fullness. A study found that those who have an intake of caffeine at least half an hour before a meal are less likely to eat food.
(3) Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are highly nutritious, containing fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, etc. And it is a skin-glowing and cardiovascular-supporting superfood. That makes it a good helper in your weight loss drive while providing essential nutrients.
According to Mayo Clinic, the recommended dietary fiber consumption for women and men is 21 to 25 grams and 30 to 38 grams daily, respectively. A spoonful of chia seeds includes nearly 10 grams of fiber, one-third of the suggested usage.
Since chia seeds are high in fiber, they take longer to digest. That makes your stomach stay full longer and prevents overeating. The fiber content also regulates your blood sugar level, which is associated with hunger pangs.
Furthermore, the superfood is a source of protein. Like what high-fiber food can do, protein-packed chia seeds lessen the hunger hormone and increase the satiety hormone, leading to a fewer intake of calories.
(4) Chili Pepper
It sounds a bit "cruel" to eat chili peppers to shed several pounds if you are not a spice lover. But chili pepper is indeed one of the foods that aid weight loss.
The main bioactive ingredient in chili peppers is capsaicin. The chemical substance causes a spicy taste, which helps you suppress appetite, boost metabolism, and consume more calories.
According to a 2014 study, adding red chili to a meal can help keep a person full longer, decreasing his carving for food within the next several hours. That is the magic power of capsaicin, an appetite-reducing compound.
In addition, eating chili peppers may accelerate metabolism. Science says metabolism is about converting food into energy for maintaining body functions. Red chili boosts metabolic rate. A faster metabolism allows the body to convert nutrients into energy quicker. While a slower rate burns fewer calories, resulting in fat storage.
On top of that, red chili pepper is considered to raise body temperature due to its spicy flavor. An increased temperature assists in fat burning and oxygen consumption. When the body gets "hot," it switches into cooldown mode. That takes in calorie burning.
(5) Dark Chocolate
Perhaps it never occurs to you that dark chocolate can help you slim your body down. But it indeed works. Although dark chocolate is fat- and calories-rich, it achieves your weight-loss goal in these ways: improve insulin sensitivity, curb appetite, and lift the mood.
Dark chocolate may enhance the body's insulin sensitivity. The hormone is responsible for converting food into energy and controlling the blood sugar level. Improved insulin sensitivity will require less insulin for blood sugar stabilizing. That helps maintain reasonable blood sugar levels and decrease fat deposits.
Eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate keeps a person full for a longer period and thus reduces cravings. It is a hunger-curbing option. Likewise, less eating means less intake of calories.
Furthermore, consuming dark chocolate may positively impact a person's mood and mental condition. In a sense, it is a mood-enhancing food. When you are in a good mood, you will try your best to have everything done nicely, including weight reduction.
Please note that dark chocolate is loaded with sugar and additives, although it's a healthier alternative to other chocolate. Therefore, you'd better buy quality dark chocolate with higher content of cocoa and eat it with a moderate amount to promote weight loss.
(6) Green Tea
Green tea, one of the most consumed in the world, is an antioxidant-rich, cholesterol-lowering, and brain-boosting drink. It has bioactive compounds like tea polyphenols, caffeine, catechins, amino acids, etc. These ingredients give a boost to our weight loss effort.
Green tea is filled with antioxidants named Catechins, which cause your body to break fat cells down and burn more calories to promote metabolism. The destroyed cells release more fat that is used as energy. That means less fat will be stored. And caffeine does the same thing, boosting your metabolic rate.
Green tea is a zero-calorie drink. Again, you can take advantage of this to create a calorie gap. For example, trading a high-calorie beverage like soda or orange juice with green tea can cut calorie intake.
(7) Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is loaded with metabolism-boosting and immune-boosting proteins. It's also rich in digestive-friendly, anti-bacterial probiotics. That makes it supportive of weight loss.
It supports fat loss in these ways. The yogurt is high in protein and low in fat, a good energy source that can keep a person full. Eating protein-high Greek yogurt controls your appetite and curbs your desire for food.
The yogurt is also rich in gut-healthy ingredients - probiotics. The substance is beneficial for your gut, which, in turn, promotes digestion.
As mentioned above, yogurt is low in calories. Therefore, you can replace a calories-packed meal with this nutrient-dense food to cut calorie intake.
(8) Lemon Water
As the name implies, lemon water is a drink that mixes water with juice squeezed out from a fresh lemon. It has numerous benefits: digestion enhancing, energy level boosting, and fat loss support.
Lemon water is a low-calorie drink, about six calories. Likewise, using lemon water to replace high-calorie beverages like soda, milk, or orange juice can reduce calorie intake.
Drinking lemon water can increase your metabolism and play a role in detoxifying your body. Water keeps people hydrated. And hydrating maintains the body well-functioned and improves metabolism. When your metabolic rate accelerates, it burns calories faster and more.
Lemon water also gives a person the sensation of fullness. When you get full, you absorb fewer calories and fat, and your chance of developing fat deposits becomes slim.
(9) Red Wine
Red wine can help you lose weight. It can improve blood circulation, speed up metabolism, and promote fat and calorie metabolism and consumption.
It also stimulates your brain to make you feel full, thus reducing the intake of fat and calories.
Additionally, moderate wine consumption may help you enhance blood sugar control. That makes it easier for you to control your weight.
Last, if you add red wine to your weight-loss plan, you need to limit it to one serving daily and keep a calorie gap.
Sardines is a low-calorie and low-fat fish. And they have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects and are a reliable source of lean protein, vitamins, and minerals, making them an ideal supplement to your diet during weight loss.
Here we must repeat it: the relationship between protein and weight loss. Eating high-protein food promotes the feeling of satiety and lower calorie intake.
Additionally, sardines are rich in health-boosting Omega-3s, EPA, and DHA. They contain omega-3 fatty acids, aiding weight management by preventing overeating.
Other nutrients like vitamins and minerals are essential for your overall health since they can provide you with needed energy during the fat loss journey.
Tuna is a low-calorie, low-fat, low-carb, high-protein food with various nutritional elements. And it is a muscle-building food. That is why it is an excellent healthy addition to your diet when you are on the way to a sculpted you.
Eating tuna in moderation for weight reduction can help remove excess salt from your body and help maintain a healthy body without worrying about malnutrition.
Tuna is rich in unsaturated fatty acids and taurine, effectively reducing the amount of fat in the blood.
Not only is tuna good for people on a diet, but it also helps us protect the liver, prevents arteriosclerosis, and lowers cholesterol.
Please note that you need to keep a plain tuna diet (add no oil, vinegar, or spices) to achieve an efficient weight-loss goal. It is very restrictive when you turn to tuna for fat loss.
(12) Whole Egg
A whole egg is a gluten-free, mineral- and vitamin-rich, and low-sodium food. It is rich in high-quality protein. And it is also an energy-boosting food. That makes it a perfect option for weight management.
First, an egg is a low-calorie food. Many factors are associated with weight loss. But the key is to create a calorie gap: burn more calories than take in. An egg has only around 70 calories. If you get 2 to 3 eggs, boiled or fried, for your morning meal, you will intake about 210 calories. The calories for breakfast with vegetables and salad are two times that.
Second, eating eggs makes you feel filling. Eggs are high in protein. When you take in protein, it takes longer for your body to metabolize, especially when you eat food with high fiber. That extends satiety and reduces the intake of calories for the remaining day.
In the above, 12 healthy foods that help with weight loss have been discussed. They help when you add them to your weight-loss diet. However, it is necessary to clarify that no food can guarantee 100% of fat loss. And these 12 unexpected foods that help with weight loss are just healthy supplements. Eating them alone cannot help you achieve your desired weight-loss goal.
Effective and efficient weight loss requires a combination of actions. You need to eat foods that speed up weight loss, engage in aerobic and anaerobic exercise, and have a good lifestyle. And above all, stick to the plan and do not give it up halfway when you don't see changes.
Disclaimer: The information provided is for reference only. It is in no case an alternative to professional medical advice.
Please always consult a specialist for weight loss.