Could these foods for weight loss be the key to your most successful bikini season yet?
Expert Home Tips are firm believers that all anyone needs to get one of those elusive 'bikini bodies' is a bikini, and a body. A great bikini body, however, requires a certain confidence.
When you feel sluggish and weighed down by excess weight, strutting your stuff isn't appealing. A healthy diet, full of weight loss foods, however, will enable you to feel lighter, tighter and brighter than you have in years!
It's never too late to get in shape, especially when you know how. Start incorporating the following 25 foods for weight loss into your diet today, and watch in awe as your body transforms.
Maybe you won't need to invest in a new, slightly larger bikini this year after all!
What are foods for weight loss?
In this day and age, we have access to pretty much whatever food we fancy. This isn't always a good thing! Supermarket shelves are full with so much variety, it can be difficult to know which food is best for us.
100% natural foods are best if you want to lose weight
As a general rule, stay away from processed food if you want to lose weight. It contains lots of additives, which are neither good for our health or our calorie count.
Eat nutrient-dense foods to lose weight fast
There's a reason dieticians advise us to stay away from chocolates and sweets - they don't actually want to make our lives miserable! Sweets and chocolate bars contain virtually no nutritional value. This means for every one, ten or hundred calories you consume, your body is benefitting very little.
The lack of nutrients means you're unlikely to feel full and your body will crave more.
For the quickest weight loss, always compare the nutritional value of foods, not just the calories. Pay particular attention to protein, as this is the food group that is most satisfying.
Choose low-calorie foods where possible
By low-calorie foods, I don't mean Weight Watchers toffee desserts - sorry.
Providing a low calories food is relatively natural, and also nutritious, they can be a great way to cut your overall calories for the day. A good example of this is substituting one, calorie-dense meat for a lower-calorie fish.
Now we've identified what makes a food good for weight loss, let's look at some of the top weight loss foods in more detail.
What meat & fish will help me lose weight?
Why are meat and fish so important for weight loss? Simple: they're full of protein and protein makes us feel fuller for longer.
If you're looking to lose weight, you want to feel satisfied on a lower amount of calories. An easy way to work towards this is by including protein in each of your meals. The recommended daily allowance is 0.8 grammes of protein per kilogramme of body weight, but you should aim for more if you're also exercising.
Don't just pick any old protein, though. Make sure it's a protein source that's also great for weight-loss like the following.
1. Grass-fed beef is great for weight loss
Beef is a luxury food for most of us, and not just for the cost. Many of us know that red meat is much higher in calories than white meat, so why is it a weight loss food?
Well, grass-fed beef is much lower in calories and saturated fat than grain-fed beef. It provides all the protein, iron and other red-meat benefits with the calories of white meat - definitely worth the extra money!
2. Eating chicken breasts can help you lose weight
Protein is not only important for making us feel fuller for longer but also essential for muscle recovery - it's no wonder weight-lifters go mad for chicken breasts.
Chicken breasts are one of the lowest calorie, natural protein sources out there. 100g contains just 165 calories, and a whopping 31g of protein.
3. Salmon is seriously nutritious
If you love fish anything as much as me, you'll be pleased to hear salmon is great for weight-loss. Not only does it taste absolutely divine, but it's extremely nutritionally dense.
Salmon is, regrettably, higher in calories than most other fish, however, this doesn't mean it's off the diet menu. It's impressive vitamin, protein, and omega content make it a stand-out food that's really great for our health.
Just be sure to balance it out with a plate full of lower-calorie foods.
4. Pork is a healthy option too
Pork chops are a weight loss food?! Well, not exactly, but that doesn't mean you have to forgo pork entirely.
100g of pork fillet contains more than half the calories of a pork chop, yet more protein. It's an extremely lean cut of meat, comparable to chicken breast, but will provide you with the taste variety all successful weight loss diets need.
5. Tuna is the ultimate diet food
Yep, you guessed it! Canned, whole tuna, is, of course, one of the best weight loss foods. Extremely low in calories and packing a real protein punch, it's an easy way to meet your protein RDA whilst also losing weight.
Just because tuna itself is good for you, doesn't mean you can mix it with anything. Stay away from fatty condiments if you want to keep this fish healthy.
Eat these vegetables to lose weight
Vegetables are definitely your friend if you're looking to slim down for Summer. As they're the lowest calories of all foods, they're great for bulking out meals and keeping you fuller for longer.
Vegetables are extremely nutrient dense, providing your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to function correctly. However, as with all foods, some are better than other.
For weight loss, the following are among the best:
6. Incorporate beans in your diet
Pulses are often overlooked in the UK, but they really shouldn't be. Incorporating beans into your diet could help you get you feeling bikini body ready in no time!
Although high in calories than most vegetables, they may just be worth it. Eating a portion a day will help you feel fuller for longer and eat less overall.
7. Bulk-out diet meals with spinach
If it was good enough for Pop Eye, it's good enough for us, right?
Spinach contains virtually no calories - a cup contains just seven. Despite that, it's extremely versatile - perfect for bulking out stews and throwing into salads to make weight loss meals more filling.
8. Eat yellow peppers to lose weight
Are your love handles hanging on like there's no tomorrow? Yellow peppers are high in vitamin C, a vitamin that can stimulate weight loss.
9. Why is kale good for us?
Kale has rapidly increased in popularity over recent years. It's no wonder, as kale is a great weight-loss food.
Along with being extremely nutritious, it's also a very versatile vegetable. It can be used in a similar way to spinach, or perhaps my favourite, made into kale chips which is a tasty, low-calorie snack.
10. Bean sprouts are beneficial for your health
Another good way to easily shed the pounds is swapping high-calorie protein sources for lower ones. A great vegetable protein source in bean sprouts.
They contain the same amount of calories as most vegetables, yet are much higher in protein - 4g per 100g.
11. Try substituting meat for...mushrooms!
Protein is essential in any balanced diet. If you're trying to lose weight, however, it's a good idea to consider substituting meat for something more calorie friendly - mushrooms for example.
Mushrooms contain protein, fibre, iron and vitamins and minerals. They're extremely rich and 'meaty' in texture, which helps make them an extremely satisfying meat substitute.
Can I eat carbs & still lose weight?
We've all heard about 'cutting carbs' to lose weight, but is there any truth in it? Well, there's no escaping the fact that carbs are high in calories, much higher than meat and raw produce. It's true that they should be consumed in moderation, but they're certainly not the enemy.
Carbohydrates provide the body with well-needed energy. Pick your carbs wisely, and they'll give you much more than just that.
Avoid refined carbs if you want to lose weight. Instead, opt for nutrient dense, 100% natural, complex carbohydrates that will release energy over time and make you feel fuller for longer.
Examples of diet-friendly carbs are as follows:
12. Start your day with porridge to lose weight
There's a good reason porridge is such a popular breakfast choice.
A complex carb with a generous protein percentage, oats release energy over time and help you stay fuller for longer. They'll no longer be a need for a mid-morning snack, helping you to reduce your calorie intake for the day - hurrah!
13. Quinoa is a great diet food
Have you tried quinoa yet? If not, now's the time.
Quinoa is high in dietary fibre and protein like many other complex carbs, but what makes it really special is its vitamin B content. Vitamin B helps your body to process nutrients, enabling it to reap the benefits of all the wonderful weight loss foods on this list!
14. Can I eat pasta on a diet?
Pasta is the devil, right? While it's true that white pasta isn't good for diets, some varieties are. The problem with white pasta, rice and bread is that they're refined foods - simple carbohydrates that are digested quickly by the body, and don't leave us feeling full.
Buckwheat pasta, however, is a slow-releasing carbohydrate that will keep your body energised all day long.
Which dairy foods are best for weight loss?
Dairy products are really useful for weight loss as they provide us with that important, fulfilling ingredient - protein.
Diary isn't always diet-friendly though. Some foods such as butter and cream are extremely high in fat and calories - the kind of things you want to avoid.
It's the protein rich, moderate-calorie foods we're interested in for weight loss.
15. Add low-fat cottage cheese to salads
We're often told to stay away from 'low-fat' versions of foods, as they can be packed with additives.
Low-fat cottage cheese, however, can be a great way to add protein and taste to otherwise bland, unfilling salads.
16. Mozarella is a lower-calorie, cheesy option
Cheese-obsessed? Don't fret, you don't have to say goodbye completely.
Choose a chunk of cheddar cheese at 400 calories/100g when dieting, and you'll have to cut back significantly elsewhere to make up for it. Mozzarella comes in much more modestly, containing 280 calories/100g. Plus, it melts better meaning that deliciousness will go even further!
17. Start the dieting day with high-protein yoghurt
Another fat-free choice that I would recommend trying is fat-free Greek yoghurt.
Yoghurt is a great way to get more protein into breakfasts and snacks. The full-fat stuff can be pretty hefty calorie-wise, however. Fage Greek yoghurt will cost you 96 calories/100g and 9g of protein. Fage 0% contains just 57 calories/100g, and packs even more protein - 10.3g to be precise!
Can I still eat snacks on a diet?
"Don't snack in between meals" - yeah, right!
Snacking doesn't have to be as bad as its reputation suggests. Healthy snacks can actually prevent us from reaching for high-calorie treats and keep us going until dinner time.
The key with snacks is to avoid anything processed, over 200 calories and too sweet. The aim is to keep your body ticking over until dinner time, not shock it with sugar.
18. Dark chocolate is actually good for weight loss!
I bet that just made your day.
Yes, dark chocolate really is beneficial for our health! The hormones it contains help to make us feel satisfied and control your appetite.
Dark chocolate may have health benefits, but don't go crazy! Any more than a square or too and its high-calorie content will start to really hamper your dieting efforts.
19. Popcorn can be healthy too!
Could this snack list get any better?!
Sadly, I'm not refering to the gooey, American toffee kind you snack on whilst watching Bridget Jones.
Popcorn, in its natural state, is actually pretty good for you. Full of fibre, it helps with digestion, keeping that tummy flat. It's inflated texture also means a small amount goes a long way - it's much more filling than say, crisps.
Top with cinnamon, a sprinkle of sea salt or a drizzle of honey for a tasty, weight-loss treat.
20. Goji berries are an amazing super food
Goji berries are a rather peculiar looking berry, but don't let that put you off.
Unlike other dried fruits, goji berries are comparatively low in calories and high in protein. They also contain a wealth of antioxidants and vitamins, helping you stay energised through those extra weight-loss workouts.
A small handful of goji berries is a great, low-calorie snack.
21. A handful of nuts is a healthy snack choice
Nuts are a great, 100% natural snack to keep those pangs of hunger at bay between meals.
Packed with protein, healthy fats and vitamins and minerals, they're an easily-digestible snack for anyone on a diet. Just be sure to keep an eye on portion control, as these too come with a hefty calorie count.
Top weight loss foods with these boosters
Want to give you newly found weight loss foods an extra boost? The addition of spices, seasonings and other ingredients will kick your healthy diet up a notch.
22. A dash of cinnamon can increase weight loss
Now, I'm not suggested you go ahead and take the 'Cinnamon Challenge', but a sprinkling on foods can be beneficial for weight loss.
Cinnamon helps to regulate the body's sugar levels, preventing them from becoming too high which can lead to excess fat storage.
The key to getting a slim waist could be as easy as sprinkling on your porridge in the morning!
23. Shock your body with chilli
Can you handle the heat? Spicy meals not only shock your mouth, but they can help you lose weight too.
This is because the heat also shocks your body into fat-burning mode. One food scientist even claims you can lose 10 times more weight by adding chopping chillis to meals - pretty impressive, huh?
24. Vanilla is a dieter's, sugar-free sugary friend
If you've got a sweet tooth, this list has probably filled you with dread. All is not lost, however.
While sprinkling sugar over everything is definitely off limits if you want to lose weight, vanilla isn't. A smidgen of vanilla bean paste, or drop of vanilla extract can be used to give a sweetness without the calories to otherwise lacking diet foods.
25. Protein powder could help you lose weight
Protein powder doesn't just have to be for gym bunnies! If you want to know how to lose weight on a budget, alternative protein sources could be the key.
Protein powder is much cheaper and convenient that conventional meat. Not only that, but there are a wide breadth of flavours available - including naughty ones like chocolate which will give you that sweet kick you crave.
Swapping a pack of crisps for a protein shake after your workout will help you reach your protein RDA. In turn, you'll stay fuller for longer, and your muscles will get the nutrients they need to properly recover.
With all that information on weight loss foods, you'll be bikini body ready in no time!