Not all foods are the same when it comes to calories, metabolism, enzymes, and satiety; which are all things to consider when managing your weight. According to Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson, Heather Mangieri, RD, there are some foods that keep you from overeating by making you feel fuller which reduces cravings and some that boost your metabolism. Eating foods of this type naturally leads to losing weight and maintaining that weight loss. Additionally foods that have been overcooked, processed or canned have lost their natural enzymes through heating. Eating a diet consisting of principally these type foods stimulates the endocrine system and results in gaining weight. When considering losing weight and maintaining your weight remember that calories from cooked foods results in gaining weight much more than raw foods. In lieu of switching to a diet totally of raw foods, you can add digestive enzymes to your diet with high quality supplements that help you breakdown the foods you eat into forms the body can use. Undigested food sits in the gut and shows up as belly fat. Adding raw and lightly cooked veggies and fruits to your diet as much as you can will get extra digestive enzymes working for you. Adding probiotics such as acidophilus, bifidus or a full spectrum probiotic supplement can also help keep your digestive system working optimally so that you get the most nutrition from the foods you eat that your body can use up instead of store up as fat. For the digestive support to aid in weight management, taking probiotics first thing in the morning and digestive enzymes with pure water five to fifteen minutes before eating can be helpful. Eating a healthy diet that keeps your body nourished with the nutrients it needs can also help you eat less in general. This is a case where a wholefood supplement such as AFA bluegreen alage, full of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients, can be helpful to add to your diet insuring that your body is getting the full range of nutrients it craves. Being high in chlorophyll, AFA bluegreen algae not only provides wholefood nutrition, but also supports the intestinal lining, the digestive system, and helps in assimilation of food to nourish the body on a cellular level which reduces food cravings. It also is high in fiber to help eliminate toxic waste that our cells release when losing weight and helps us from absorbing fat. An easy, convenient way to get AFA, probiotics and enzymes all in one product is with these daily packets. In maintaining weight there are other certain types of food that you can add to your healthy diet to help.
Including protein in your diet can increase your metabolism significantly to help burn off more calories, help you feel more satisfied so that you snack less, and build muscle which burns up more calories. Studies report that a diet high in protein can help you burn 80 to 100 extra calories daily and that adding 30% more protein foods to your diet can reduce your unhealthy food cravings by 60% and help you lose about a pound a week extra. Eggs are a good high protein food that are low in calories and have healthy fats. In the past eggs were associated with raising cholesterol levels, but more current research discounts this and reports findings of those eating eggs for breakfast as contributing to curbing appetite and losing weight compared to other breakfast foods such as bagels and cereal. In fact one study reported women eating eggs for breakfast lost two times the amount of weight compared to those eating bagels for breakfast and another study reported women eating 350 calories with 35 protein grams from eggs and beef sausage ate less fatty and sugar filled foods throughout the day than those having cereal. When it comes to eggs though, don’t skip the yolks as many of its nutrients are there. Meats, beans, legumes, and dairy are other good sources of protein. One way to add extra high quality protein into the diet is with a protein powder. There are various kinds of protein powders available including whey, soy, pea and brown rice. Recent studies however indicate that whey protein benefits far surpass soy protein.
Dairy products are not only good sources of protein, but also calcium that can help burn fat. Milk, goat cheese and feta all have a fatty acid that aids in fat burning. Dairy products from animals that are grass fed have the most of this healthy fat. Cottage cheese is another good dairy product for weight management as it is low in calories, doesn’t have much fat or carbs and is high in calcium. Then there is yogurt that is a great addition to a weight management diet as it also gives you probiotics for gut health. It is generally thought that low-fat dairy is preferable to avoid extra fat, but there are studies now reporting that whole dairy is actually better at lowering risks of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Low fat yogurts also often contain extra sugar.
Increasing your vegetable intake is definitely important for maintaining weight. To start with, since they are typically lower in calories you can eat more veggies than other types of foods. They are also one of the foods that are high in water content which according to a study at the University of Tokyo resulted in less inches on the waist and lower body mass index in the participating women. Vegetables also are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants giving you lots of nutrition so the body craves less unhealthy foods. Leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, collards, and swiss chard also have calcium, are low in carbs and have lots of fiber. For around 70 calories you can eat a whole pound of Romaine lettuce and also get B vitamins, folic acid and manganese. Spinach can give you iron, folic acid, vitamin K, beta carotene, vitamin C and lutein. Cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts are other good vegetables to make part of a weight management diet and they are high in fiber, very filling, have some protein, are full of antioxidants and have been found to have cancer preventing properties.
Foods high in fiber work in the intestines to absorb cholesterol so that it doesn’t get into the bloodstream, make you feel fuller by taking longer to digest, keep fat from being absorbed, make the body work harder in breaking them down, and boost metabolism. Beans and legumes such as black, kidney, lentils, and garbanzo are not only a rich source of fiber, but also lean protein and resistant starch which is a good carb for burning fat and boosting metabolism. Garbanzo beans, also called chickpeas, not only have the protein and fiber of other beans, but also healthy fats. Potatoes are not only one of the more filling foods, but give you lots of potassium needed in controlling blood pressure levels and are full of resistant starch. Whole grains are another good source for fiber and also add some protein to your diet. Oats, brown rice, quinoa, and pearled barley are all low calorie, filling, high fiber foods to add to a healthy diet for losing weight. Chia seeds are another good choice with 12 grams of carbs per ounce 11 of which are fiber. They are able to absorb 11 times their own weight in water which causes them to expand in the stomach and make you feel fuller and they have omega-3 fatty acids.
Fruits are another good source of fiber, most of which is in the peels and though they do have sugar, the fiber slows the sugar from entering the bloodstream all at once. One study reported women eating 3 pears daily lost more weight and since each pear has 15% of the daily recommended fiber this possibly explains these results. Raw fruits are also low in calories, high in water content, and enzymes which also serve to make them a welcome addition to weight management. Grapefruit in particular has been found to help with losing weight. One research study reported adding a half a grapefruit before a meal as resulting in a loss of three and a half pounds over 12 weeks. Grapefruit has also been reported to lower insulin levels, reduce fat storage, be a good source of protein, vitamin C, folic acid, fiber, potassium, vitamin A and lycopene, be high in water content as it is around 90% water, very filling, and as being able to add to losing about a pound of weight a week. There are certain medications that do not allow you to eat grapefruit however so make sure you check with your health care provider to see if this is a safe food for you.
While you want to avoid trans fats and too many saturated fats when losing weight, there are healthy fats that your body, and your brain in particular, need to function well. Healthy fats to include are monounsaturated fats, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fats. One study in 2001 reported people eating a diet that included healthy monounsaturated fats lost around nine pounds while those that didn’t include these fats in their diets gained around six pounds. Fish such as salmon, mackerel, trout, tuna, sardines and herring besides being a good source for omega-3 fatty acids, also are high in protein and iodine needed for the thyroid to stabilize your metabolism. Avocados and olive oil are other sources of healthy monounsaturated fats with oleic acid and avocados also have protein, fiber and potassium. Nuts make a good snack to give you some extra protein, fiber and healthy fat. They can be high in calories though so limit the amount you eat. Replacing fatty oils that you cook with or add to foods with more healthy oils such as olive oil, canola oil, flaxseed oil and coconut oil can also help you get ahead in weight management.
Riding the roller coaster of dieting, losing weight, and gaining it back is no way to treat your body. The better way to lose and manage your weight loss is through adopting diet changes to include healthy proteins, fiber, and fats, get plenty of exercise to burn off excess calories, and making sure your body gets all the nutrients it needs through whole foods and whole food supplements. It may take a little longer to lose all the weight you want, but remember that slow and steady wins the race and your health will be the real winner.
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Abrams, Karl J., Algae to the Rescue