Weight loss and weight management were once called calories in and calories out. This, of course, created a very simple-minded idea that just by exercising more, we could eat whatever we wanted as long as the calorie count was lower than those expended. However, this is not true.
Science has taught us that weight loss is a lot more complicated than just this simplistic formula. So, the idea of calories in versus calories out is not nearly as effective or accurate as it once may have seemed.
It is important to consider the types of foods we eat every day and how they affect our energy balance. Some foods are more metabolically active than others. This means that they require more energy to digest, absorb, and assimilate, resulting in increased fat deposition over time if the body is not burning enough calories to compensate for this additional expenditure. So what can we do? There are several diets out there that focus on eating certain types of foods rather than restricting carbohydrates or fat.
One example is the Mediterranean Diet, which focuses on lean proteins, healthful fats, whole grains, lots of fruits and veggies Ã¢Â¤, and even allows for red wine! Yet another diet worth mentioning is called The Paleo Diet. While both of these diets have some very interesting concepts about nutrition and metabolism–the purpose of this article is not to focus on any specific diet but rather on the foods that are included in these diets for weight loss.
The following are six popular breakfast foods that can help you lose weight by keeping your metabolism revved!
This fruit is very low in calories and rich in Vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and bioflavonoids Ã¢Â¤ which have been shown to amp up HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
A recent study showed that those who ate half of a grapefruit with each meal (at least three times per day for 12 weeks) helped them lose an average of 5 pounds. Losing weight fast may not be the best option, but grapefruit is still a good addition to your breakfast.
They also found those who had higher adiponectin levels in their blood benefited more from the grapefruit! Adiponectin is a hormone that helps regulate metabolism. It also increases insulin sensitivity, which can help reduce fat mass over time.
- Green Tea
This beverage may taste bitter to some, but science seems to think it’s delicious! Research has shown that green tea consumption increases both energy expenditure and fat oxidation during exercise in Japanese men.
Another study confirmed this finding, suggesting once again that drinking 3-5 cups of green tea per day appears to be enough for these metabolic effects. In addition, studies have shown that green tea catechins have been able to inhibit lipogenesis (fat storage), increase thermogenesis (cal burning) and stimulate fat oxidation. It may even help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Oatmeal and other whole grains have been getting a bad rap for decades due to their high carbohydrate levels, but new research shows that they can improve insulin function and lower blood sugar levels.
This is important because insulin resistance has been linked to obesity and PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and some cancers. In addition, studies have shown that those who eat higher amounts of whole grains tend to weigh less than those who eat refined carbs like bread, pasta, cereals, etc. The best thing about oatmeal? It’s yummy! Try mixing in some berries, cinnamon, and nuts.
Many experts suggest avoiding eggs due to their high cholesterol levels–but the good news is that new research shows that cholesterol from food doesn’t appear to have much of an impact on blood cholesterol.
Also, many studies have demonstrated the powerful effects of dietary cholesterol on satiety, as well as positive changes in LDL (bad) and HDL (good) cholesterol profiles. A study showed no negative heart disease risk with eating two eggs daily for six months among healthy adults. In addition, they found an improvement in HDL/LDL ratios and triglyceride levels.
Some experts suggest eating only the egg whites and discarding the yolk to minimize fat and cholesterol intake. Still, the whole egg has many essential nutrients, including choline, important for brain and liver function. Plus, whole eggs actually may help you lose more weight than just the whites!
Many associate this caffeinated beverage with weight loss due to its diuretic properties, but research has shown that it can increase satiety. In one study, those who consumed caffeine an hour before lunch ate 17% fewer calories than those who had a placebo.
The best time to grab a coffee is in the morning when you wake up. You can use a coffee maker, which will save you time and money. Instead of dropping by a coffee shop early in the morning with other coffee drinkers waiting for their morning cup, you can make your own. It also gives you the chance to choose something rather than your regular old coffee. Put it in a thermos before you head for the office or drop your kids off at school.
In addition, caffeine has been shown to boost energy expenditure and fat oxidation throughout the day and increase lean muscle mass. It has also been associated with a reduced risk of depression, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
The key here is moderation, too much coffee can make you jittery and anxious. Also, avoid loading it up with sugar or other flavorings Ã¢Â¤ stick to black coffee!
This dairy product contains probiotics, which are very important for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Some studies have shown that probiotics can increase satiety and improve blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity. Yogurt is also high in calcium, which has been linked to lower body fat levels.
These are just a few of the most popular weight loss breakfast foods! Each food offers its unique health benefits, so it’s best to experiment with them and see what you like, and if you don’t like one, there are plenty more to choose from! As always, try to avoid fried, greasy foods and minimize added sugars whenever possible.