5 Foods and Drinks You Need in Your Diet

Foods and Drinks

Dieting and losing weight all come down to one thing – achieving a calorie deficit. While we know dropping a few pounds can feel harder than this in reality, it’s important to bear this simple fact in mind.

So, that means consuming less calories than you burn. You can achieve this using a combination of moving more, eating healthier foods and by cutting down your calorie intake slightly.

Although all this sounds very familiar to most of us, it’s one thing knowing it and another achieving it day after day. Luckily, there are also a few types of foods you can include in your diet that might just help you along the way.

Now, we’re not saying they’ll help you drop the pounds double-time, but they could give you the support you need to get where you want to be and support your efforts.

Check out these five foods and drinks to see how they could help you lose weight.

{ 1 } Green Tea

Green Tea
This drink is a firm favorite amongst health and fitness fanatics across the world due to it’s antioxidizing properties.

It’s these powerful antioxidants (called catechins) that also make green tea a fantastic companion to a weight loss diet.

Both the caffeine and the catechins within green tea are thermogenic compounds. This means they may contribute towards heating up your body, which requires additional energy in the form of, you guessed it, calories.

So, by simply drinking a cup of green tea, your body could be burning more calories than it normally would, even at rest.

One study found that supplementing with green tea extract results in an additional energy usage of up to 179 calories compared to those who didn’t take any at all [1].

With that in mind, it’s little wonder that green tea extract is a hugely popular ingredient in fat burners for women.

{ 2 } Chili Peppers

Chili Peppers
By adding a little spice to your menu, you may be able to boost the results of your diet.

Just like the catechins and caffeine in green tea, chili peppers contain thermogenic compounds. These are called capsaicin’s.

They also cause your body to heat up, burning up a few extra calories along the way.

A study into the effects of the thermogenic ability of chili peppers published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology gave one group of volunteer’s cayenne pepper with a meal and missed out the spice on the other group. They found that those who had the cayenne pepper in their meal showed a significantly higher energy burn in comparison to the others [2].

On top of that, chili peppers may also give you support with cravings and even help you cut down on your calorie intake. This is essential, as one of the easiest ways to lose weight is to reduce the amount of food you’re eating.

A large-scale meta-analysis showed that adding just a little spice to a meal is enough to reduce the number of calories consumed [3].

{ 3 } Oats

A bowl of oats first thing in the morning or a as a pre-workout snack can be a game changer for a weight loss diet.

Apart from just being a healthy way to kick-start your day, oats can help to increase satiety.

This basically means that the high fiber content within oats can make you feel fuller for longer, which comes with a whole host of weight loss benefits.

The main benefit being that you’re less likely to be tempted by snacks between meals. If you’re less tempted to snack, you’re more likely to stick to your diet, and should find it a lot easier to keep your calorie intake in control.

Or if you have a bowl of oats as a mid-afternoon snack it might help you to eat less between at your next feeding time.

Research supports this. One study showed that by eating oats, the calorie intake in the next meal was significantly lower [4].

{ 4 } Caffeine

Now most of us know caffeine as the main active ingredient in coffee that helps us wake up in the morning, or power through an assignment at work.
Well it turns out; caffeine can help you to burn fat too. Is there anything it can’t do?!

Caffeine is another one of those handy thermogenic compounds and comes with a huge amount of research proving its ability to help you burn more fat.

One study shows that caffeine can increase metabolic rate by about 11% [5]. But what makes caffeine so helpful is the fact it increases fat oxidization, which means your body can use fat for fuel more efficiently.

Another study found that fat oxidization increased by around 13% after taking caffeine anhydrous [6].

On top of this, it can help to boost performance during exercise, which can help you work harder and put you in a better position to achieve that all-important calorie deficit [7].

{ 5 } High protein foods

High protein foods
Our last food for weight loss is anything that’s high in protein. A high-protein diet has been shown to promote a leaner body composition [8].

It’s key to maintaining muscle, which is also a healthy way to achieve a higher metabolism.

On top of that, protein have been shown to increase satiety, so by adding these types of foods to your snack menu, you may be able to reduce your calorie intake at other points in the day.

One study found that those who ate a high-protein snack between meals reduced their calorie intake in their next meal. On top of that, they were less likely to binge on high calorie, sugary or fatty foods [9].

With these foods in your day-to-day menu, you could stand a better chance of achieving your goals of healthy weight loss.

Just remember to enjoy a varied and balanced diet and don’t cut calories below 20% of your maintenance requirements to lose weight in a safe, healthy and sustainable way.

  1. Bérubé-Parent S, e. (2005). Effects of encapsulated green tea and Guarana extracts containing a mixture of epigallocatechin-3-gallate and caffeine on 24 h energy expenditure a… – PubMed – NCBI. [online]
  2. Yoshioka, M et al. Effects of red-pepper diet on the energy metabolism in men. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 1995; 41(6): 647-56
  3. Whiting, S et al. Could capsaicinoids help to support weight management? A systematic review and meta-analysis of energy intake data. Appetite. 2014; 73: 183-8
  4. Eleanor J. Beck et al. Oat β‐glucan increases postprandial cholecystokinin levels, decreases insulin response and extends subjective satiety in overweight subjects. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. Oct 2009.
  5. Acheson KJ, e. (1980). Caffeine and coffee: their influence on metabolic rate and substrate utilization in normal weight and obese individuals. – PubMed – NCBI.
  6. Acheson KJ, e. (2004). Metabolic effects of caffeine in humans: lipid oxidation or futile cycling? – PubMed – NCBI. [online]
  7. Goldstein E, Ziegenfuss T, Kalman D et al. International society of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010;7(1):5. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-7-5
  8. Jäger, R., et al. (2017). International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: protein and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2017 14:20
  9. Ortinau, Laura C et al. “Effects of high-protein vs. high- fat snacks on appetite control, satiety, and eating initiation in healthy women.” Nutrition journal vol. 13 97. 29 Sep. 2014, doi:10.1186/1475-2891-13-97
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