This post is brought to you by The Biggest Loser Resort.
It turns out you can eat and lose weight. That's right, I said it: eating certain foods (real, tangible foods – not ice cubes and chalky protein shakes) will actually help you lose that extra weight. Surely, she must be joking, you say to yourself. Which foods would help me lose weight? She must be crazy! Well, to assure you of my sincerity (and sanity), I'll even tell you which foods have been proven to help you reach your weight loss goals.
This grain-like staple is a perfect substitute for white rice and pasta and is more related to spinach than cereal. Quinoa also offers a healthy boost of protein, making it an ideal choice for vegetarians. Quinoa is high in calcium, B vitamins and iron, and since it's naturally gluten-free, it has a home in nearly any diet. Use quinoa in place of other grains; for example, use a cup of cooked quinoa as the base for a delicious, healthy risotto instead of rice, and reduce your calories while boosting nutrients.
It's no secret that protein keeps you feeling fuller for longer periods of time, and eggs are a complete source of protein that you can enjoy every day. While the medical community once shunned the noble egg, doctors and medical researchers are now on-board with an egg or two a day. If you want to further reduce your calories, limit yourself to one whole egg, and egg whites for the rest. Eggs don't need to be a breakfast staple, either. Hard-boil your eggs, and eat one for a snack or with a salad. Add vegetables and herbs and bake them for dinner for an effortless frittata that's big on flavor and low on calories.
Almonds are full of protein, but they're also an excellent alternative to refined carbohydrates for those trying to lose weight, according to a recent study. Almonds contain numerous vitamins and minerals, essential amino and fatty acids and the so-called "good" fats, helping to reduce bad cholesterol. Chewing vigorously increases the fat-burning abilities of almonds, so grab a handful and chew thoroughly for maximum enjoyment and real results.
Foods high in vitamin C are often touted for their immune-boosting properties, but vitamin C may play a large role in weight loss as well. Current research points to vitamin C-deficient individuals and their tendency to retain more fat, suggesting that those lacking in this vitamin may be unknowingly sabotaging their weight loss goals. In the same study, zinc, magnesium and vitamin E deficiencies were also at fault, so look for foods with these properties. Spinach is an ideal choice, high in vitamins A, K and C while offering a good amount of iron, vitamin E, calcium, manganese and magnesium. Swap out less-nutritious greens with vitamin-packed options like spinach or kale next time you make your favorite salad to curb hunger cravings.
Incorporating small amounts of dark chocolate into your weight loss meal plan hardly seems right, but it's a tried-and-true weight loss method, promoted by some of the best weight loss programs out there. To begin with, eating sweets produces a calming effect on the mind and body, reducing the secretion of corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF), a hormone related to increased stress levels. A small indulgence can curb stress-induced cravings and give you a much-needed mood-boost for the rest of your day – just be sure that it contains greater than 60% cacao content. Dark chocolate is an ideal choice for satisfying your sweet tooth, high in antioxidants and offering the same good fats found in nuts and healthy oils. While this treat should be eaten sparingly, it still can be a powerful weapon in your weight-loss arsenal, giving you the freedom to indulge without resetting your hard work.
While there are many weight loss programs and quick-fix diet plans out there, the right one for you will stress the importance of moderation, fitness, nutrition, and education – the key tenants of The Biggest Loser Resort's award-winning weight loss program. You don't need to starve yourself to lose weight; in fact, starvation can have the opposite effect, slowing down your metabolism and increasing the likelihood of binge eating. Instead, be conscious of the foods you put in your body, and develop a healthy relationship with what you eat.