When you think about losing weight, your mind can automatically wander to eating less, skipping meals, and developing other unhealthy habits. Instead, it’s important to focus on healthier ways to lose weight. Some ideas may include changing your exercise routine as well as changing your eating habits. An important factor, however, is to make sure you are eating and drinking to help you lose weight.
Instead of focusing on just one or the other, you can find food and drink combinations that go together nicely and help promote weight loss. We talked to Kimberly Snodgrass, RDN, LDrepresentative of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, who laid out the best food and drink combinations for weight loss with the meals of the day: breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner, to make sure you get the most out of your weight loss efforts.
These winning combinations generally have protein as an important food group, as it helps you feel fuller longer. Beverages, on the other hand, have been shown to support metabolism and digestion to help keep your gut happy and healthy.
Breakfast: Eggs and coffee
Start the most important meal of the day right by combining the power duo: eggs and coffee.
“Eggs can help boost your metabolism for a few hours,” explains Snodgrass. “This is because proteins require your body to use more energy to digest them. This is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF).” Research published in Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism has shown that protein-rich foods increase TEF more.
“Protein can also help you stay fuller for longer, which can prevent overeating,” she says.
When it comes to coffee consumption, Snodgrass suggests that this caffeinated beverage can aid in weight loss by increasing metabolism, reducing calorie intake and stimulating fat burning. The most important part, however, is to make sure you drink it black with no additives like cream or sugar.
Finally, Snodgrass suggests that eggs should be prepared without extra calories. For example, you could have a hard-boiled egg with paprika for flavor, but not throw in calorie-dense foods like cheese or butter.
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Lunch: Fish and green tea
When choosing what to eat for lunch, keep in mind that this combination of fish and tea can help you lose weight.
Similar to eggs, Snodgrass says grilled fish can help boost your metabolism for a few hours because of the proteins that require your body to use more energy to digest them (the TEF). This can, in turn, help you stay fuller for longer.
As for green tea, this can be your perfect midday boost (if you drink it straight, that is).
“Green tea can help promote weight loss by boosting energy levels and improving exercise performance,” says Snodgrass. “And, green tea contains a high amount of catechins, which are antioxidants that may increase fat burning and boost metabolism.
RELATED: The Secret Effects of Drinking Green Tea, Says Science
Dinner: Salad with nuts, seeds, black beans and chickpea ginger tea
All great sources of protein, Snodgrass suggests that nuts, seeds, low-sodium black beans, and chickpeas are great metabolism boosters and can keep you full all night long.
Black beans, for example, are not only a great source of protein that can help with metabolism, but are also great for digestion. The soluble fiber in black beans can help keep you full and also help you maintain a healthy gut, which in turn can positively impact your ability to lose weight.
Ginger tea is the perfect combination for weight loss with your salad. “When examined in human studies, ginger shows that it can promote fullness, reduce appetite and increase metabolism,” says Snodgrass.
Snack: Plain Greek yogurt with berries and water
If you feel like you need a snack to carry you from one meal to another, this is the perfect combination.
Snodgrass says Greek yogurt is full of protein that will help you feel full and lose weight. It’s also full of good bacteria for your gut, which may promote good gut health. Adding the berries helps add a layer of fiber to the mix.
Combine it with cold water and you are ready for a rich snack. “Drinking cold water increases your resting energy expenditure, which is the number of calories you burn while resting.
If you want to flavor plain water, Snodgrass suggests adding cucumber or mint.