When starting a diet, it’s not uncommon to feel as if everything you enjoy eating has suddenly become off limits. Tempting foods seem to present themselves during every meal, and trying to force yourself to only eat low calorie items can leave your palate feeling bland and your stomach empty. Fortunately, many of the foods you enjoy have unjustly received their bad reputation, and some may actually help you lose and keep off weight.
Few foods seem to spark the kind of healthy eating debate as eggs. However, recent research has shown that eating an egg a day is both safe and nutritious for most adults. Even more compelling, eating an egg for breakfast may actually help increase your chances of losing weight while on a diet. Eggs are loaded with protein, which the body takes longer to digest. By eating an egg for breakfast, you ingest enough protein to keep your stomach feeling full throughout the morning and into the afternoon, so you end up eating less the rest of the day.
While you’ve undoubtedly heard health experts call for Americans to consume less red meat as part of their diet, eating steak doesn’t always mean trouble for the heart or the waistline. In truth, a cut of lean beef actually has only a few more grams of saturated fat than a skinless chicken breast of the same size. As with eggs, steak contains plenty of protein, which keeps you from snacking after a meal by helping you stay full longer. To get the most protein with the least amount of fat, choose extra-lean cuts of meat such as sirloin or tenderloin. You also want to keep your portions to roughly the size of your palm.
When you hear the term pork, most people immediately begin to think of fatty meats such as sausage and bacon that easily ruin the best laid dieting plans. However, pork doesn’t always refer to meats that you need to avoid while on a diet. Over the last 20 years, studies have found that cuts of pork tenderloin have become 31 percent leaner, which makes pork a perfectly suitable source of protein with similar benefits to that of a lean cut of beef.
Depending on the type of diet you’re on, carbs may be one of the first things to fall on the “don’t eat” list. However, instead of avoiding pasta entirely while on a diet, try switching to small portions of whole grain noodles instead. Studies have shown the individuals who consume several servings of whole-grains each day have a better chance of losing and maintaining a healthy weight. Once study even suggested that eating whole instead of processed grains can assist you in burning off belly fat.
You may have heard that nuts are high in fat- it’s true -but not in a bad way. Not only are nuts a great source for omega 3 fatty acids, they also contain high amounts of protein, vital nutrients, and fiber, which can help stabilize your blood sugar levels. So while nuts may not be the perfect dieting food, they offer a lot more healthy benefits than a lot of other tempting treats such as cookies and candy.