Probably one of the reasons that make dieting so hard is because you have to make that conscious decision to avoid your comfort meals. So this means none of your favorite salty french fries, no greasy burgers, and no more of that bubbling cheese still melting on top of your pizza slice. Okay, not helping. But you get the point.
Besides, you can only take so much of that boring cabbage soup, and we all know that the military diet is just next to impossible to conquer. And we’re here to help you with your weight loss goals. To do just that, we decided to scour every food item known to man and compiled a list of foods that are delicious and help you shed those pounds!
Personally, we think apples are a great go-to mid-afternoon snack or pre-workout food. We all know that fiber makes your body feel fuller for longer.
Did you know that a medium-sized apple can make up 20% of your minimum daily fiber intake? It has five grams of fiber, and science says that for a single gram of fiber cancels out seven calories. How? They bind and surround the calories and keep it from being absorbed by the body.
Apples also have polyphenols, which are linked to an improved immune system and reduces your chance of getting cardiovascular diseases and stroke by lowering your cholesterol levels.
You can eat apples by itself, or slice them up and mix it with your salad! You can toss in some romaine lettuce, sliced apples, and kiwi, and top it off with some kewpie dressing.
You might think that you can’t eat nachos anymore, but that’s not completely true! Stick to baked, whole grain nachos. Two tablespoons of salsa have between five to 50 calories. So just remember to eat them in moderation. You can also grab fat-free dips like black bean, mustard, or French onion.
3. Dark Chocolate
Who said you couldn’t have sweets on a diet? The health benefits of cocoa and dark chocolate are practically infinite. Cocoa is abundant in polyphenols and flavonoids. It’s heart friendly, and consuming dark chocolate at least twice a week has been linked to a lower BMI.
It’s the perfect way to treat yourself to a sweet treat without upping your caloric intake too much. Bonus: the antioxidants in dark chocolate helps improve your mood and focus, too!
4. Healthier Fast Food Options
Yes, it’s totally possible! The key to a successful diet is to be mindful not to take too many calories than your body can actually use up in a day.
You can still treat yourself to some of Taco Bell’s Fresco-style items, which have more or less 180 calories, even a Quiznos small Honey Bourbon Chicken sub with 275 calories (hey, see, you can have this for lunch!) or a Southwest salad with grilled chicken from McDonald’s, which amounts to around 290 calories if you don’t get the dressing (you gotta compromise sometimes).
5. Green Tea
Studies have shown that daily consumption of green tea helps you burn more calories by boosting your metabolism. It’s also the second most-consumed beverage in the world next to water!
If you’re not a fan of green tea, you can always opt for green tea extract capsules.
6. Acai Berry
Another staple for many health-conscious people is acai berry (specifically, acai berry bowls). The superfruit is chock full of antioxidants that promote better overall health and improved mood. We all know what stress-eating does, folks.
Acai berry is also one of the few fruits that have monounsaturated fats (like avocados), which help the body feel fuller for longer. This means no more of those cravings for salty food barely an hour after lunch.
For an extra healthier punch, throw in some chia seeds! An ounce contains 12 grams of carbohydrates, but 11 grams of those are fiber. Chia seeds can also absorb up to 12 times their weight in water! Much the same as glucomannan and apples, this helps absorb those carbs and calories and make you feel fuller for a lot longer so you don’t overeat.
Salmon, as well as tuna and mackerel, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that work to increase satiety in people. It’s also rich in protein, which helps fill you up! In fact, studies have shown that people who often ate fish rich in omega-3s reported feeling a lot more satiated after eating compared to those who ate pork or beef.
You read that right! It’s a whole grain, is rich in fiber, and has a high volume. Snack on unsalted popcorn instead of potato chips to help you fill up. It also contains far fewer calories than a candy bar.
Just remember to go for air-popped popcorn, since the ones you buy at the movie theater or even microwave popcorn are probably high in calories and filled with additives.