For many, the hardest part of shedding excess pounds is staying satiated between meals. When actively trying to lose weight, it's best to eat foods that contain a mix of fiber, protein, and healthy fat to slow down digestion and absorption, to keep you full longer and without blood sugar spikes. Here are five nutrient-dense foods, like healthy energy bars or sweet potatoes, to incorporate into your diet:
Sweet Potatoes - Adding more sweet potatoes to your diet can help curb your appetite by providing a healthy dose of fibrous carbohydrates. This root vegetable is loaded with vitamins A, C, and E, yet low in calories. Sweet potatoes also contain potassium, iron, magnesium, and beta carotene to help nourish your body. Try drizzling baked sweet potatoes with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt for a great side to chicken or fish.
Apples and Pears - Both fruits make a satisfyingly sweet snack that can also help you lose weight. A single piece of fruit contains less than 150 calories and plenty of fiber, plus helpful compounds like polyphenols to promote growth of friendly intestinal bacteria. Increasing levels of good bacteria help fight bad bacteria in the gut, restoring microbial balance. In the long run, a balanced digestive tract can reduce chronic inflammation throughout the entire body, and help counteract the risk of obesity and diabetes.
Beans - Incredibly high in fiber, beans are slow to digest and keep you feeling fuller, longer. Beans are very inexpensive, as well – especially when sold by the pound – and are incredibly versatile. Try a sweet potato loaded with black beans and salsa for a filling lunch, or puree white beans and garlic to make a delicious dip for raw veggies.
Almonds - Like fruit, almonds are a great on-the-go snack. They're a high-calorie and high-protein food, so a small handful is all you need per serving. In addition to containing fiber and healthy fats, almonds also have vitamin E to help promote healthy skin, hair, and nails. Pack a bag of almonds in your gym duffle, or grab some in between meetings to keep hunger pangs at bay.
Avocado - This creamy fruit has a reputation for being high in fat, but weight-loss seekers need not fear. Avocados are a primary source of heart-healthy monosaturated fat. Plant-based fatty acids like those found in avocados have anti-inflammatory benefits that can help arthritis symptoms and lower the risk of heart disease. Similar to olive oil, another good fat, avocado increases absorption of soluble nutrients and can make almost any meal more filling. Avocado tastes great as a topping for salads, or mixed into a side like quinoa or rice medleys. You can also use avocado as a tasty substitute for mayo on a sandwich or wrap.
If you're looking for foods that will keep you powered for a workout, as well as satiated between meals, try a protein bar from Promax. Our great-tasting bars are lower in sugar, yet high in fiber and protein, to contribute to a healthy diet. For more information, visit our product page or our blog.