Most people associate the words "diet" and "weight loss" with feeling hungry, tired, and ready to rip someone's head off at the drop of a hat. The reality is dropping body fat doesn't have to be complete torture! The trick? Switching to a diet rich in fiber and high-nutrient-density, low-calorie foods as opposed to the other way around. Generally speaking, foods high in fiber or protein carry fewer calories per gram, meaning you can eat as much of them as you like without feeling guilty. Here are some of the top picks to keep you satiated while firing up your fat loss furnace!
Not only is hummus just plain delicious, but chickpeas are chock full of protein and fiber. If you're someone who likes dips, sauces, and fillings, now you can have your (healthy) cake and eat it, too! Try pairing hummus with some raw green beans, carrots, or celery for a late afternoon snack to tide you over.
Are you one of those people who has trouble eating just one of anything? Pistachios will be your best friend. It takes 48 pistachios to equal the caloric value of 28 peanuts or 22 almonds. Moreover, virtually all of the fat contained in pistachios is mono- and polyunsaturated, which is excellent for cardiovascular health.
Every now and then, our sweet teeth rear their ugly heads. When that happens, grab some raspberries, which contain 8 grams of satisfying fiber and only 60 calories per 1-cup serving. Raspberries also carry a ton of the important antioxidant vitamin C. You can eat them stand-alone or chuck them atop a salad or into your post-workout shake.
4. Non-Starchy Vegetables
There's no such thing as zero-calorie foods, but vegetables such as zucchini, celery, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and cucumbers come pretty darn close. Comprised largely of water and fiber, these veggies are naturally low-calorie and tend to give you the feeling of a full stomach. If you're not the type to munch on raw veggies, use them to bulk up a sandwich, omelet, or other dish.
5. Greek Yogurt
As yogurts go, Greek yogurt contains twice as much protein as regular yogurt and about 20% of your daily calcium requirements. If you really need something to chew on, try mixing in some berries, nuts, or Kashi cereal. Note that, although nonfat plain Greek yogurt is best, a 2% flavored variety won't set you back too much (130 versus 100 calories for a standard 6-ounce container).
Be honest: deep down you really are starting to hate chicken. The good news is there are tons of other lean meat alternatives to incorporate, including salmon. Salmon offers an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which aid in fat loss by, among other things, increasing the pace of fat oxidation. Combining your salmon with roasted veggies like broccoli, spinach, or Brussels sprouts yields a super tasty meal that leaves you feeling satiated.