The age-old misconception of a diet is that you need to eat less in order to lose weight. However, by simply eating smaller and less frequent meals, you may in fact be depriving your body of some much-needed nutrition, compromising your immune system and causing you to fall sick more often.

Any weight loss experienced through this method is unsustainable and unhealthy! Nowadays, it’s more widely known that in order to lose weight, you shouldn’t be eating less, but rather you should be eating more of the right things. We bring you through the various foods that can help you lose weight without the hunger pangs.

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Beans and legumes

Packed with proteins and fiber, beans and legumes fill you up faster, reducing the chances of you overeating them. They also contain resistant starch, a type of starch that doesn’t get digested and hence absorbed by the body. Some studies have shown that adding resistant starch to your diet would not only decrease body fat, but also has a whole plethora of health benefits like reducing the risk of diabetes and heart diseases. [1]

1. Black beans

Just 100 grams of black beans contain 21 grams of protein and 16 grams of fibre! They also contain no cholesterol at all. If you’re in a hurry, you can try preparing them with avocado and lime in this quick recipe and have it as a side or pack it as your entire meal.

2. Kidney beans

In 100 grams of kidney beans, there is 24 grams of protein, 25 grams of fibre and no cholesterol to boot. However, take note that kidney beans should always be cooked and prepared, and never eaten raw. For a healthy but delicious dinner or supper, use kidney beans in this dish along with chicken breast, peppers, garlic and brown rice.

3. Lentils

Lentils are gaining popularity as a health food, primarily because they are able to absorb a lot of flavours used in preparation, making it easier for those just getting started on healthier diets to get into. Salt your water, and don’t be afraid to add some flavour with crushed garlic, herbs or onions while they are boiling. Don’t leave them unflavoured, and give them some zest with red wine vinegar, spices, herbs, or any healthy but tasty dressing of your choice!

Did you know?

Make sure you use a sieve to clean the lentils when preparing, and boil them with a lot of water. Salt your water, and don't be afraid to add some flavour with crushed garlic, herbs or onions while they are boiling.

Whole Grains

The grains that most of us eat most of the time, like white flour and white rice, have been refined by processes to remove some of its original parts in order to give it a finer and more palatable texture, as well as to improve its shelf life. Unfortunately, removing those parts also removes 50 – 60% of the nutrients in the grain!

Whole grains are those that have not gone through those processes, so all their original parts are intact, making them “whole”. You can read more about the difference between whole grains and refined grains if you’re interested.

This also means that for the same amount of grains that we consume, we get a more balanced nutrition with all that fibre, proteins and nutrients. Whole grains still contain carbohydrates, though, so you might want to give them a miss if you’re on a low-carb diet. If not, they’re a much healthier alternative to what we’re already consuming on a daily basis.

1. Brown Rice

In Asia, white fragrant rice is a daily staple in our meals, but with the recent debacle about how white rice may increase the risk of diabetes, a lot of people here have been exploring the healthier alternative of brown rice. Not only does brown rice pack a lot more fibre and proteins than its more common counterpart, it also contains 1.7 grams of resistant starch per half-cup serving; these are starch that causes you to feel fuller faster, but yet being resistant to digestion and hence decreasing your calorie intake.

There are several ways to cook brown rice, but if you find the harder and crunchier texture difficult to get used to, leave it to soak for 45 – 60 minutes in cold water before cooking, to allow the water to soak through the harder shell.

2. Oats

Rich in a water-soluble component called beta-glucan, oats are packed with fibre that not only helps to improve your gut health, but also make you feel fuller in a shorter amount of time, and decreasing the amount of food you feel like eating in a single meal.

They have been gaining popularity as a healthy breakfast option, and can be prepared in a short amount of time for those of us who are rushing in the morning. We recommend this recipe for delicious, creamy overnight oats with blueberries and flax!

3. Quinoa

Quinoa is a superstar grain when it comes to fibre content. All that fibre will not only help with your gut health, but also make you feel fuller faster, decreasing calorie consumption, and helping with weight loss. There are many different ways to prepare quinoa for your meal, so take your pick!

Did you know?

Quinoa seeds come with a natural coating that is bitter in taste, so be sure to rinse them thoroughly before cooking to get rid of that bitterness. Use a fine-mesh strainer so the seeds won't fall through and down the drain!

Avocados

Avocados are full of fats – but they’re the right sort. They contain oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat compound that can also be found in olive oil, that may help to decrease the feeling of hunger. They also have a pretty low sugar level, at only 0.2 grams per half a fruit. Avocados are popularly used as an ingredient in salads, not only for its delicious taste, but because studies have shown that they actually help salads become even more nutritious than they already are. Throw them together with your favourite salad ingredients for an added boost!

Salmon

Salmon is one of the most popular type of fish around, and its health benefits are renowned. They are filled with monounsaturated fatty acids (the healthy sort), iodine for healthy thyroid function, and its skin contains lots of omega-3 fatty acids that help to lower inflammation throughout the body.

They are also a lean source of protein, which means that they help you feel fuller without as much calorie intake. With all the different ways to prepare this fish, salmon can be daunting to cook. If you’re new to cooking salmon, try starting from and perfecting simple recipes, then branch out from there!

”Did

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[2] These vegetables also have a significantly higher amount of protein compared to other vegetables as well, though not as much as what you can find in lean meat or beans and legumes. Many broccoli sides are easy and quick to make, and delicious to boot!

Grapefruit

Here’s an interesting piece of information: even if you change nothing else about your diet, eating half of a fresh grapefruit before meals can already help you lose weight significantly! Grapefruits contain a compound that help to lower blood sugar, making them not only effective for weight loss but also in sugar control for diabetics.

It’s a good source of protein, and it’s also 90% water, which means you would feel full without eating as much. You can eat grapefruits as they are (avoiding the bitter-tasting walls) or you can also incorporate it into other recipes in several different ways.

Did you know?

Because of the active component in grapefruits, they also can have significant reactions with many medications. Do consult your doctor or pharmacist about the suitability of eating grapefruits if you are on chronic medications.
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