“About eighty percent of the food on shelves of supermarkets today didn’t exist 100 years ago.” ― Dr. Larry McCleary, Author and Brain Surgeon
Weight loss starts in the kitchen. There are numerous complicated diets and intensive or extensive exercise routines that promise fast results, but the truth is, you can lose weight using an extremely simple technique at home.
The ultimate secret to losing weight is to eat real whole foods your ancestors would have recognized and consume a calorie deficit. It’s that simple. Simply eat less processed, sugary foods and eat more whole plant-based meals.
Of course, anyone who has tried to lose weight for an extended period of time knows that this lifestyle change is easier said than done. Learn more about the best ingredients for weight loss and how you can slowly integrate healthy habits for sustainable weight loss.
1. Start Your Day With Oatmeal
If you want to lose weight, start eating more oats. Oatmeal is a filling and substantial breakfast that can keep your blood sugar stable for hours and fight off cravings. Oats are among the healthiest grains on earth. Eating a bowl of oatmeal has many benefits for your body, including:
- Rich in carbs and fibre
- Higher in protein and fat than most other grains
- Very high in many vitamins and minerals
- Help reduce blood pressure
- Reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels
- Promotes healthy gut bacteria
- Increases feelings of fullness
2. Add Vegetables to Every Meal
If you’re trying to lose weight, instead of focusing on what you can’t eat, focus on adding more healthy ingredients to your meals. For example, if you’re making a delicious pasta dish, add spinach, onions, garlic, and other sauteed vegetables to add more vitamins and minerals to the meal. If you want to go the extra mile, you can even buy gluten-free "supergreen" pasta that is made from vegetables and high in nutrients.
Add a side salad to your lunch and dinner meals. You can even turn vegetables into snacks by preparing sliced carrots, cucumbers, and celery with hummus for an afternoon snack. It’s recommended that you eat anywhere from 5-13 servings of vegetables a day. Incorporating more veggies will increase your nutrients, keep you full, and allow you to maintain a modest caloric intake.
3. Drink More Water
How much water do you drink per day? It’s recommended that you consume anywhere from 2.7 - 3.7 litres of water a day. That’s 11.5 to 15.5 cups! Keep a large reusable water bottle with you at all times and try swapping coffee for herbal tea to help you increase your water intake and stay hydrated. Sometimes our bodies have cravings for certain foods when we’re actually thirsty for more water. Staying hydrated can help with weight loss and weight maintenance.
Find out more about losing weight.
4. Consume More Protein
If you want to lose weight, you’ll also need to regularly exercise. Exercise can turn fat into muscle. While muscle weighs more than fat, you’ll be in better shape. Protein is essential for building muscle mass.
You can obtain protein from animal and plant sources. The following foods are good sources of protein for your diet:
- Chicken breast
- Cottage cheese
- Greek yogurt
- Lean beef
- Pumpkin seeds
- Brussel sprouts
Check out some great meals for losing weight.
5. Eat Less
Michael Pollan, an American author and journalist, who specializes in Science and Environmental Journalism, famously said, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” This simple statement highlights that many people eat too much, eat highly processed foods and consume too many animal products.
People gain weight when they consume more calories than they are burning off. This means that if you want to lose weight, you need to reduce your caloric intake and enter a deficit.
Being in a caloric deficit can be challenging because our bodies try to maintain our current weight. It’s normal to feel hungry, have cravings, or miss the old foods you used to eat. However, when you get used to eating more nutrient-rich foods, you will feel more satiated.
It’s possible to be both obese and malnourished. This is because many foods that are high in calories, like oils, are not filling or nutritious. Several servings of vegetables are more satiating and nutritious but lower in calories.
Find out more about diets for sustained weight loss.
6. Simplify Your Food Choices
One of the easiest ways to make a fast change in your diet is by simplifying the ingredients you use and the foods you make. Planning your meals in advance will help you stick to a simple meal plan and eat foods for weight loss. The following is an example of a simple day of healthy eating:
- Breakfast: A bowl of oatmeal with mixed berries and chia seeds
- Snack: A rice cake with peanut butter and banana slices
- Lunch: Arugula salad with pumpkin seeds, canned tuna, olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, and other mixed vegetables topped with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
- Snack: Sliced vegetables with hummus
- Dinner: Sweet potatoes, whole grain rice, and lean protein (turkey, chicken, tofu, etc.)
- Snack: Popcorn with seasoning of choice
Create a few staple “go-to” meals that you can turn to at any time. We don’t always have time to cook up extravagant meals. Simplify the food choices in your house to avoid temptations when you’re short on time or energy.
Top Foods For Helping with Weight Loss
As you’ll have understood, there are no magic foods that guarantee weight loss. It’s all about how much you have of each thing. That said, there are some foods that can help:
- Cider vinegar: helps with digestion and helps burn fat.
- Chia seeds: these can manage hunger and absorb sugars.
- Spice: capsaicin can increase your metabolism.
- Garlic: excellent for overall immunity and weight loss.
- Tuna: full of antioxidants, healthy fats, and protein.
- Oats: filling, nutritious, high in protein, and easy to make.
- Lemon: start your day with a warm glass of water with lemon juice to help with your digestion and metabolism.
- Coffee: caffeine can help you to break down fat.
- Green tea: also contains caffeine to help you break down fat and stay energized.
Find out how to lose weight healthily.
Another way to improve your weight loss efforts is by cooking meals you love. Cooking can be creative, fun, exciting, and rewarding. There are many ways to learn how to cook. You can join a local cooking class in your community to meet like-minded people. You can also connect with experienced chefs and cooking instructors from around the world on Superprof.
Superprof hosts a network of highly skilled teachers who can help you plan meals, pick out the best ingredients, and cook healthy foods to support your weight loss goals. Many nutritionists offer their services on Superprof and combine cooking with education.
You can find the right teacher by searching through various profiles and scanning student reviews, teacher qualifications, and the teacher’s bio.
Get started and achieve your weight loss goals through better cooking today!