With iso almost out of the picture, you might have weight loss on your mind. Dietitian Melissa Meier shares her top 10 fat-burning foods to up your game.
While many a fad diet, weight loss supplement and diet pill promises to help you lose weight fast, I’d suggest you steer clear of these ultra-tempting quick-fixes.
Why? They’re usually highly restrictive and unsustainable – so you may lose weight initially, but chances are you’ll re-gain the weight quick smart.
As a dietitian, my preference is always real food first, regardless of the situation. To give you a little inspo to help shed kilos, here’s 10 everyday whole foods I’d suggest you put on your plate.
Keep in mind there are no magical fat-burning properties in these humble foods… in fact, no single food has that sought-after ability. Instead, it’s all about your eating and exercise patterns you stick to over time that will ultimately help you burn fat and lose weight, for good.
1. Rolled oats
Win the morning, win the day – and that’s exactly what rolled oats for breakfast can help you do. They’re packed with satisfying low-GI carbs, so you’ll stay full all morning (and therefore skip the need to visit the biscuit jar, come 10am…). Plus, as a wholegrain, rolled oats offer gut-loving fibre and a range of micronutrients.
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The humble egg is a nutrition superstar in my eyes: packed with satisfying protein, heart-healthy fats and energising iron, they’re like a real-food multivitamin. Plus, eggs are cheap-as-chips and super versatile. Enjoy them for brekkie, lunch or dinner, or hard-boiled as a calorie-controlled snack.
Oh-so delicious passionfruit is ultra-low in calories but packed with hunger-busting fibre, which is a winning combination when weight loss is on your agenda. While you might associate passionfruit with summer, they also have a winter season – so they’re on your greengrocer shelves right now. Dig in, I say.
4. Sweet potato
One of my all-time favourite foods, sweet potato isn’t just delicious, but really good for you, too. It’s another option on this list that offers low-GI carbs, so you’ll stay full and satisfied (rather than disappointed and hangry like most ‘diet’ foods do). Plus, they count as veggies, so you really can’t go wrong.
Another option with winter veggies in mind, kale is a good option either raw in salads or cooked alongside a hot main meal. I’ve chosen kale especially for this list because it’s in season right now – weight loss aside, that’s super important for nutrient variety throughout the year.
Along with low-GI carbs and protein, fats work to keep you feeling satisfied after a meal – and salmon is one of my top choices for a boost of healthy fats. Salmon offers a special type of healthy fat called omega-3s, which are particularly beneficial for heart and brain health.
7. Greek yoghurt
For a boost of bone-strengthening calcium and hunger-busting protein, Greek yoghurt is an excellent choice. With a goal to lose weight, a reduced-fat variety could be a good idea in order to keep the kilojoule content low. I’d also suggest opting for a plain variety rather than a flavoured one to avoid any added sugar. If you need a bit of extra sweetness, try adding fresh fruit.
8. Wholemeal pasta
Pasta and weight loss?! You bet they can work together. The trick, however, is to nail the portion size. So, instead of piling your plate high with a mountain of spaghetti, stick to just one cup of cooked pasta. That’ll leave enough room for you to balance out your meal with a little lean protein and a veggie-packed sauce.
Quinoa is an easy-to-cook gluten-free grain that works perfectly in anything from stews and soups to salads. It’s also high in protein compared with many other grains and, unlike most plant foods, it offers all of the essential amino acids your body needs to build proteins.
Last but not least, avocado is another great choice for a boost of healthy, satisfying fats. To keep portion sizes in check, opt for a quarter of an avocado (yes, just a quarter) per serve and you’ll be off to a good start with your fat-burning healthy meal.