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Weight loss doesn’t mean deprivation. If you want to lose more weight, it’s not all about cutting foods from your diet and starving, nor is the answer found in one of the many fad diets out there. Weight loss goals are met by eating the right foods at the right time – and the right amounts of them.

If you are one of the many people who has weight management goals or is just interested in toning up, I’ve got two words for you: lean protein.

A recent study of 39 adults shows that the group that consumed twice the recommended amount of protein for 31 days saw a greater reduction in fat mass, and they still maintained muscle mass.1

On average, a 5’5” woman should consume about 90 grams of protein a day, and this can mean eating a lot of food. So, if you are thinking you’re going to go hungry, think again. You’ll find that in order to consume this amount of protein, you’ll need to eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a few snacks in-between meals. You’ll be consuming at least 10 grams of protein every two hours, and to do that you’ll need to eat quite a bit of food. But since this essential nutrient is offered in a variety of low-calorie foods, like lean meats and whole grains, you’ll find yourself feeling full, without weight gain. In fact you’ll be losing weight. That’s right! Eat more food, lose more weight.

Build Muscle, Lose Fat

Weight loss isn’t just about calorie intake or a number on the scale, and while body fat actually takes up more space on your body than muscle, what you really need to be watching is your body mass index, or (BMI). This is a measurement of your body fat based on height and weight. Your BMI is a more accurate measurement of your weight management. So, focus on building lean muscle to lose more weight or to reach your body shaping goals and improve your health and well-being.

Toned bodies are made of muscle, and muscle is fed with protein, not fats or simple carbs like sugar. In fact, building muscle can help you reach your weight loss goals in an unexpected way; you can actually burn calories while resting as you increase your lean muscle mass. Studies have shown that each pound of muscle increases the body’s resting metabolic rate, and you can burn additional calories every day for each pound of muscle you build.2,3

10 Foods or Seasonings for Weight Loss

14649214 – avocado

To lose even one pound of fat, you have to create a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories, so you really can’t just eat any old high-protein food and expect to lose weight. To lose more weight, you need to reduce your calorie intake. A proper diet along with regular exercise will help to feed the muscles you need to boost your metabolism, burn calories, and obtain that killer physique you want. But there’s no need to go hungry. Try adding these 10 fat burning foods to your diet to shed pounds easily:

  1. Avocados
    Avocados are packed with vitamins and minerals. They also contain healthy fats that your body actually needs in order for it to be healthy. They can also help you feel more full for a longer period of time, which can help reduce your calorie intake. However, avocados are high in calories, so make sure you keep track of how much you eat.
  2. Asparagus
    This vegetable is low in calories and filled with nutrients, like vitamin A, folate, iron, and fiber. Asparagus is also a great source of antioxidants.
  3. Cayenne Pepper
    This herb is believed to be thermogenic, which means it can increase your metabolic rate while also decreasing appetite. It can theoretically also help you burn calories because it’s spicy, which can make your body temperature rise. When that happens, your body puts extra effort into cooling down, thus burning calories.
  4. Green Tea
    This well-known source of antioxidants may be able to help break down fats while increasing metabolism.
  5. Hemp Seeds
    Hemp seeds pack a nutritious punch while remaining low in calories. This nut (yes, technically it’s a nut) is full of fatty acids, specifically omega-6 and omega-3. They also contain fiber, protein, and all of the essential amino acids.
  6. Quinoa
    This isn’t a low calorie food, but it’s a great source of B-vitamins, which promote a healthy metabolism. It may also be helpful in reducing your appetite.
  7. Spinach
    This veggie is filled with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and contains basically no calories.
  8. Tempeh
    Tempeh is a popular source of protein among vegetarians, but its nutritional profile makes it a great food for anyone to eat. It contains niacin and riboflavin, two minerals that are great for boosting metabolism.
  9. Tofu
    Tofu has lost some of its popularity due to it being made from soy. However, it’s still a good food for weight loss. Tofu is high in protein but low in calories; half a cup contains less than 100 calories, as compared to half a cup of beef, which is over 300.
  10. Whey Protein Powder
    Meal replacement shakes are a popular way to reduce how many calories you consume. If you don’t want to shell out the extra bucks on a brand-name shake, whey protein powder is a good alternative.

You can boost metabolism and burn tons of calories by eating foods that help you feel full. How’s that sound? And when you’re trying to lose more weight, don’t worry about the number on the scale. Just cut out the processed foods, fuel your muscles with protein, and add weights to your workout routine. The pounds will melt off!

Sources:
1 Effects of high-protein diets on fat-free mass and muscle protein synthesis following weight loss: a randomized controlled trial.
http://www.fasebj.org/content/27/9/3837.abstract

2 F Zurlo, K Larson. Skeletal muscle metabolism is a major determinant of resting energy expenditure. J Clin Invest. 1990 Nov; 86(5): 1423–1427.

“A Pound Of Muscle Burns 30-50 Kcal/Day, Really… – Online Articles: National Council On Strength And Fitness Trainer’s Tools”. Ncsf.org. N.p., 2017. Web. 21 Jan. 2017.

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About the Author

Dr. Amy Lee

Dr. Amy Lee has board certifications in internal medicine, physician nutrition and obesity medicine specialty. She practices internal medicine with a heavy emphasis on nutrition, wellness and weight management. Her Clinical nutrition fellowship training at UCLA has allowed her to incorporate realistic lifestyle modification in all her medicine patients.