Eat a grape, lose weight. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. It would be amazing if weight loss were that simple. Alas, no one food can magically deliver all of your weight-loss goals in one serving.
Instead, healthy weight loss is all about making a lot of small changes to your nutrition habits - boosting your intake of certain foods, cutting back on how much you eat others and learning how to balance it all on top of your hectic lifestyle.
What what are the best foods to do this with? Talking to six women who have successfully lost weight with healthy eating, they take us through their choices, and the reasons behind them.
1. Janelle Gallagher - shrimp
Janelle uses shrimp to curb hunger cravings. "It's high in protein and low in calories and carbohydrates. I love shrimp and it's pretty filling. It took away that hunger feeling and helped fuel my workouts! I had it once per day for the whole five months of my weight-loss journey."
In total, Janelle lost 92 pounds. The trick is to prepare it in different ways so you don't get bored.
2. Rachel Turner - bacon
Rachel, interestingly enough, hails bacon for her transformation. "Eating bacon for most people seems like a 'cheat,' and I used to feel that way too until I realized that every food decision I was making was fear-based and this no longer felt like a way I could live a healthy life."
She continues: “For me, bacon is emblematic of how I’ve worked to create a healthy relationship with food and my body. And that’s what resulted in body-composition changes. When I learned how to break up with dieting, it allowed me to stop fearing food, and stop the binge-restrict pattern that I knew all too well." With this mindset, she lost 15 pounds and got shredded.
3. Hilary Downey - vegetables
You can't beat a classic, even in the world of weight loss. Hilary says: “I love making an egg and veggie scramble for breakfast or a big-volume salad for lunch, full of different leafy, green vegetables with bell pepper, carrots, cucumber, and any vegetable I can add to it. I also love roasting vegetables, especially if I am going to reheat them for meal-prepped lunches. They keep their texture and flavor well when roasted."
Hilary lost 75 pounds, and said: “If you never eat vegetables, set a goal to add a serving of vegetables into one meal a day. Once you've mastered that habit, increase it to two meals a day. This will lead to more long-term success."
4. Cassandra Gordon - Skyr yogurt
Cassandra lost 55 pounds eating Skyr yogurt. "I was introduced to the Icelandic-style yogurt by a friend and I was instantly hooked. It's creamier and less tart than Greek yogurt and contains a little over 20 grams of protein per three-quarters cup."
She continues: "It kept me full so I wasn't reaching for a snack by 9 a.m. I eat it every morning with locally-made low-sugar granola. If I want something lower in carb but that tastes more like a dessert, instead of granola, I add a half cup of frozen blueberries. It's so good!”
5. Vanessa Wallace - bananas
Vanessa says: “If I had to pick just one food, it would be bananas that have most helped me to lose weight. As someone with an extreme sweet tooth, and someone who is constantly on the go, bananas have become my best friend! I’ve almost always got one on me, and have one every day!"
She lost 60 pounds implementing the fruit into her diet and she has them throughout the day, "I have them in my oatmeal for breakfast, or with a little almond butter if I need a snack with a little something extra."
6. Mimi Sandoval, protein powder
Mimi, who lost 35 pounds, says: "By increasing my protein intake, I wasn’t as ‘hangry’ all the time, and I wouldn’t binge and eat junk food when I was bored or ‘thought’ I was hungry. I felt hungry more often, just due to my workouts, but I felt fuller when I would eat, even with smaller portions. I also noticed a difference in how fast I would recover from workouts."
This is how she implemented it into her diet. “After every workout, I’d have protein with water or almond milk always. I like to make morning smoothies with greens, almond milk, Greek yogurt, protein powder, oats, and a fruit.”
Go ahead and stock up your kitchen with these wonderous foods. Have a few of these bad boys on top of your killer workout regime, and it won't be long until you look like an absolute superstar.