Still snacking on beans, seeds, and nuts to lose weight? The best foods to lose weight taste great, are affordable, and keep you fuller for longer, too.
As food security goes, obesity and hunger are two opposite sides of the same coin: one aspect involves too much (of the wrong) foods, and the other involves too little of many (nutritionally valued) foods. Ironically, the same 10 best foods to lose weight are also those that would feed the hungry.
What is Food Security?
In short, food security is reliable and safe access to healthy, nutritious food. A large part of food insecurity occurs as a result of lack of access to foods, which could be caused by your immediate environment, a lack of finances, or both.
How Does Food Security Affect Health And Diet?
On a financial level, lack of access to nutritional food means that you’re left eating simply what you can afford. In more poorer regions around the world (such as South Africa), this is a diet of processed meats, heavy fats, compounding carbohydrates, and wheat-based products.
Coupled with unbelievable unemployment rates and lockdown restrictions, this scenario has the potential to create a hunger unlike any other you may have known.
When you eat to stay full but lack the means or the motivation to exercise or just move around in general, your body sets itself up to store what it can to keep going for a little longer. When meals are far and few between, you may end up eating a lot more than you normally would, knowing that the next meal coming will take a lot of hustling to organise, and a lot of effort to make.
And when making “real” food becomes a chore or is impossible to get, it’s easy to turn to ready-made and processed foods, such as junk food.
How Does Junk Food Affect Health And Diet?
According to the CDC, one in every three Americans eat junk food daily.
Junk food (or fast food) is notoriously high in sodium (salt), saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, sugars, and processed ingredients. Irresponsible eating habits lead to obesity, heart disease, risk of stroke, loss of quality of life (QoL), and a poor self-image.
In addition, junk food is calorie-high and nutrient-low, often as addictive as the substances we consume, such as alcohol or drugs. The unhealthy ingredients in junk food cause a release of dopamine into the blood stream, creating that satisfied feeling (that a salad may not give you right away).
Ironically, once the “forbidden” aspects of eating junk food are removed from the thought process, eating healthier becomes a choice, not a chore.
Continue reading: This is your body on fast food ~ The Washington Post
What Does Being Overweight Mean?
That feeling of tight clothes that restrict and feel awful is an indication that your diet has changed, that your body is not using the nutrients you’re feeding it, and that your overall health is at risk.
Weight vs Height is the basic ratio used to calculate your Body Mass Index, or BMI. According to the World Health Organization, a healthy BMI ranges from 20-25, overweight is 25-30, and obese is 30+.
Continue reading: Obesity and Overweight ~ World Health Organization
What is Obesity?
Overweight (and obesity) is classified as “excessive or abnormal fat accumulation”.
In obesity, this fat accumulation is more severe, more in total weight, and more dangerous to your health than any other prevailing health condition, including a pandemic.
Once considered a “rich man’s” problem, obesity has become more of a low-to-middle income global pandemic. By April of 2020, World Health Organization (WHO) figures put the annual global fatality rate from obesity at just under 3 million people per year!
Alarmingly, the overwhelming population sector at most risk are children, with estimates as high as 38 million children under the age of 5 across the globe that are obese.
Obese children are far more likely to develop diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, growth problems, self-image issues, and to be addicted to substances at an age younger than non-overweight children, resulting in higher chances of premature death or life-long addictions.
Continue reading: 6 Facts On Obesity ~ World Health Organization
How Lifestyle Affects Your Weight
While it may be (mostly) true that your body shape is determined by your genetics, healthy eating habits play a vital role in your eating habits as an adult. Studies show that children who overeat or eat the wrong foods are at increased risk of becoming obese adults, and feeding their own children incorrectly.
How Habits Affect Your Weight
A habit doesn’t necessarily need to be a bad one to do harm:
- Poor sleeping habits contribute to weight gain and weight retention by creating a hunger and food craving effect on our metabolism
- Inactivity (such as sitting for long periods of time) and a lack of exercise or minimal physical activity affect your metabolism
- Indulging in larger-than-needed portions of food instead of multiple small meals that are designed to keep you fuller for longer
- A preference for sugary, sweet, salty, fatty, or processed foods that fill but don’t nourish
- A lack of social connectivity may lead to obesity because we cut ourselves off from physical interactions that require the body moves about (such as in the case of too much screen time)
Continue reading: 12 Lifestyle Factors That Contribute to Obesity ~ Healthgrades
How Attitude Affects Your Weight
How and what you think can contribute to unhealthy weight gain when your coping skills are not developed enough to handle or manage the everyday stressors thrown at you. We see this evidenced in teen eating disorders, the most common of which are binge eating, bulimia, or anorexia.
Of course, coping skills are something that needs to be taught from a very early age so that children become resilient and are better able to handle the stressors of an adult life. It isn’t always possible to be everything to one little person all of the time, and in most cases, parents do what they can to the best of their abilities (and own coping skills) at that time.
If you’re concerned that your coping skills may need a boost, speak to your healthcare practitioner or family physician for more information and links to resources that could help you.
Continue reading: Eating Disorders In Teens ~ Family Doctor
How Your Medical History Affects Your Weight
Chronic inflammation – such as in autoimmune diseases – can severely affect your gut health and your metabolism. While a little inflammation actually promotes healing and repairs minor injuries, an overloaded and chronically inflamed system does not.
Inflammation can be grouped as either acute or chronic:
- acute – instant inflammation, such as a sports injury or a skin lesion
- chronic – when the body continues to fight an impossible fight, causing a build-up of immune system white blood cells and an overload of cautionary messages for the immune system to carry on fighting
Chronic inflammation is associated with metabolic disorders (like diabetes and obesity), some forms of cancer, arthritis and painful joints, irritable bowel disease (IBS), and heart disease.
Continue reading: When To See Your Doctor ~ Harvard Medical School
What Foods Should You Not Be Eating?
If all of the factors above have been taken into consideration, it’s time to start thinking about what you’re eating that’s doing you no good and contributing to your weight gain or an inability to process the healthy foods you’re eating.
At the top of the list are the food stuffs already mentioned, such as salt and sugars, but are you really getting all the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay active and healthy, and still be able to cope with what today may bring?
Are the foods in your diet the best foods to lose weight with?
What Are The 10 Best Foods To Lose Weight?
Restrictive eating habits and diets can make you feel as if you want the unhealthy food you’re eating ~ more than you actually do. Losing weight is not a tasteless affair. The 10 best foods to lose weight not only taste great, they’re affordable and keep you fuller for longer, too.
- Eggs are nutrient-dense pockets of goodness, filled with just about every vitamin and mineral your body needs ~ except vitamin C
- Leafy greens such as chard, spinach, and kale are low in carbs and calories, and high in dietary fiber
- Fatty fish such as salmon, herring, and sardines are high-protein, high-omega, and high-iodine sources of vital nutrients that enable proper thyroid functioning and have been shown to reduce inflammation
- Potatoes – the white variety – produced the highest rate of satiety when tested, which is interesting because it seemed that potatoes were scrapped from most fad diets over the years, and earned a bad reputation in the process. Potatoes actually contain scores of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals like calcium, potassium, vitamin C, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, and iron. Potatoes are also one of the best foods to lose weight, and are excellent sources of fiber and carbohydrates, and have a low calorie-count, as well.
- Fruits such as apples (and apple cider vinegar) contain even less calories than potatoes, and are filled with vitamin K (also found in spinach, broccoli, and canola oil) and potassium.
- Avocados and avo oils – when consumed in moderate amounts – are healthy fats that add potassium and fiber to your diet and can also be eaten as a healthy in-between snack that increases the absorption of nutrients from vegetables consumed.
- Olives and olive oils contain oleic acid, vitamins E and K, and phenolic and anti-inflammatory antioxidants.
- Pepperoni, Jalapeno, and Habanero peppers are excellent sources of capsaicin, which may lower blood pressure, boost your metabolic rate, improve skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, and reduce your risk of certain cancers.
- Yogurts are an essential source of the gut-healthy probiotic, are filling and nutritious, and can almost never be eaten in abundance. It’s just one of those foods that you quit eating, even before the tub is emptied!
- Nuts, seeds, and legumes have not only been scientifically proven to boost your metabolism, they’re fantastic snacks, too.
No matter what you eat, maintaining a healthy weight through proper diet and exercise, plenty of rest and good quality sleep, and sufficient intake of natural water will help you lose weight – and keep it off – for longer.
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