Logic might lead you to believe that food in any quantity will work against your fat loss goals. Instead, to lose weight, you should be cutting down the amount you eat — not depriving yourself of nutrition.
The truth is, you can eat hearty meals packed with ingredients that are proven to whittle down your figure. In other words, your food choices can work with you to help you achieve your goals — you just have to know what to eat.
Here are ten foods to try in your pursuit of confidence and good health.
1. Cayenne Pepper
This spicy ingredient can seriously heat up your fat loss plan. That’s because each pepper contains capsaicin, which stokes belly-fat burn by improving your ability to turn your meals into energy. Super-spicy foods can also suppress your appetite — especially when served as an appetizer.
So don’t shy away from that salsa and don’t be afraid to add some heat to meats, grilled veggies and eggs with a dash of cayenne.
2. Lean Meats
You want to lose fat, but your body doesn’t always do precisely what you want it to. In fact, most people, on a mission to slim down, experience simultaneous muscle and fat loss. Studies have shown, but also challenged, the idea that about a quarter of the overall weight a person loses is from lean muscle mass. Better to play it safe.
You can protect yourself by eating plenty of lean protein throughout your weight-loss process. As a bonus, meats like chicken and turkey contain tryptophan, which stokes the body’s production of serotonin. This feel-good neurotransmitter can ward off emotional eating, stress and unstable moods.
3. Baked Potatoes
One of the best ways to quickly expunge excess weight is to eat better without eating less. And that’s why baked potatoes make the list: unlike their deep-fried counterparts, they have a wealth of health benefits. For one, they’re packed with fiber that fills you up and keeps hunger at bay. They also contain potassium, which counteracts the bloat caused by sodium.
4. Nut Butters
Again, you might look at the label on your favorite container of peanut or almond butter and think, “How is something with this much fat good for me?” But the combination of these healthy natural fats with protein and fiber leave you feeling satisfied after snacking. So, measure out two tablespoons of your favorite nut butter or switch it up with a quarter-cup of whole nuts. Either way, you’ll have a decadent serving of healthy fats that will stoke your fat loss.
5. Fermented Foods
You’ve probably heard the word “probiotics,” especially if you’re focused on foods that will facilitate the weight-loss process. Probiotics improve overall gut function, which can help you ward off bloat and fortify your body’s immunity. To relish all of these body-bettering benefits, you’ll want to add fermented foods, including sauerkraut and tempeh, into your menus.
Whole grains are the exception to the rule that carbs are bad. Yes, some processed carbohydrates — like pasta, bread and rice — can contribute to belly fat. But unprocessed whole grain options can help you get rid of unwanted curves because they’re packed with fiber — and we already know fiber keeps you full and therefore less susceptible to cravings and temptations.
Much like the above-mentioned lean meats, eggs are an excellent source of protein. But eggs are especially valuable because they’re a breakfast staple that starts your day on the right foot. By dining on eggs each morning, you’ll be increasing your odds of losing weight, since research has demonstrated that your breakfast is an integral factor in the success of a diet.
If you foresee yourself tiring of a daily scramble, try mixing things up with creatively tasty egg recipes.
8. Leafy Greens
You already know why leafy greens are good for you, but one particular nutrient contained within them will help you with your goal. Iron, which you’ll find in abundance within greens like spinach, facilitates your body’s transport of oxygen. With this process streamlined, you can burn fat and build muscle at the same time, thus making workouts more efficient.
9. Beans and Lentils
Even vegans can get a healthy dose of protein thanks to the number of beans on the market today. From chickpeas to lentils and kidney beans to peas, pulses contain plenty of minerals and B-vitamins, too. Altogether, these compounds help build lean muscle, flatten bloat and strengthen the nervous system.
10. Lemon Water
It’s the only non-food on our list, but this beverage makes the cut because it’s so integral to your fat loss goals. Water is vital in the metabolic process, so drinking plenty of H2O will help you burn calories throughout the day. Plus, staying hydrated helps you feel satisfied and full throughout the day.
To amp the power of the water you drink throughout the day, add a bit of lemon to each glass. An antioxidant hidden in the citrus fruit’s peel helps your system purge toxins. It further spurs the metabolic process to get waste out of the body, too.
Eat Up, Slim Down
When it comes to fat loss, food is your friend as you pursue your goal. These ten foods are perfect additions to your daily menu, so eat up. Soon, you’ll feel healthier and look just the way you envision while remaining satiated, satisfied and happy along the way.