Diet foods do not have to be special and expensive foods. Choosing fresh, natural ingredients that will provide you with water, fiber and protein in the right proportion is all you need to feel full longer while dieting. Losing weight is not easy, but choosing the right foods to include at each of your meals will make it easier by preventing you from feeling hungry, reducing your cravings and giving you the energy you need to keep going.
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Vegetables, especially non-starchy vegetables, have a low energy density, which means that they occupy a lot of space in your stomach, with their high water and fiber content, without providing many calories. Avoid starchy vegetables, such as baked potatoes, mashed potatoes and french fries, because they provide more calories per serving. Stick to non-starchy vegetables because of their lower calorie content. You can add onions, mushrooms and spinach in your morning scrambled eggs, have a big salad of leafy greens with green onions and tomatoes at lunch and include a vegetable stir-fry of broccoli, red bell pepper and cauliflower at dinner.
You can include fruits at each of your meals to satisfy your sweet tooth while keeping your calories low and sticking to your diet. Fruits are packed with water, fiber and important nutrients that can help you feel full until the next meal. Berries and melons have fewer calories per serving when compared to most other fruits, but any fruit can be part of your diet as long as you select the smallest one. For example, you can have 1 cup of strawberries at breakfast, a small apple at lunch and finish dinner with two to three fresh figs.
Fish, Poultry, Meat, Eggs and Cheese
Protein is the most satiating nutrient, according to the July 2005 issue of the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition." You should include a source of protein at each of your meals to prevent you from going hungry and having cravings a few hours after your meal. A serving of 4 to 6 oz. of fish, poultry or meat is a great source of protein for your lunch or dinner. At breakfast, you can have two to three eggs, 1 to 2 oz. of cheese or 1/2 cup of cottage cheese to start the day off right.
Avocado, Olive Oil and Nuts
Although you want to keep your calorie intake low to lose weight, including a small amount of healthy fat can make your meals more satiating and satisfying. Fat slows down the digestion process and will therefore provide you with the energy you require little by little. A few slices of avocado with your morning eggs, a splash of olive oil in your salad at lunch and some peanut butter in your stir-fry at dinner is enough to give you the healthy fats your body needs and help you stick to your diet.