If you have ever tried to lose weight and had a difficult time, perhaps it is because you were not eating enough low energy density foods. Often, diets can leave a person feeling hungry and frustrated. It is possible to lose weight and avoid the hungry feeling by eating foods that are low energy dense. In one study researchers found that just by eating-energy dense foods, the participants consumed fewer calories and stayed full longer. Here are 10 low energy density foods for weight management.
When it comes to eating fruits for weight loss, eat fresh or frozen fruits. Definitely avoid fruit juices and dried fruits. This is because those types of fruits tend to have a lot of sugar on them. Eat the fruits fresh without adding sugar to them for the best results. Fruits are perfect for a healthy afternoon snack instead of eating chips or other snacks containing sugar.
For vegetables, it is important to eat the ones that are not starchy. Go for the broccoli, carrots and other greens. Try to avoid foods such as corn, potatoes, and peas. Both fruits and vegetables have a higher water and fiber count and are lower in fat. They will fill you up and keep you satisfied longer.
By eating whole grains instead of refined grains, you will be more likely to easily manage your weight. Whole grains tend to have more fiber, so they will keep you feeling full for longer than the other grains. Fiber actually slows down your digestive process, which is what makes you feel full for longer. Try oatmeal for breakfast and popcorn for a healthy snack before bedtime.
Meats and Fish
Eating meats and fish that are leaner or have no fat will be more beneficial when trying to maintain or lose weight. When foods are higher in fat, they have a higher energy density. This also means that eating fatty meats and protein sources will leave you feeling hungry soon after you eat. By eating lean meats and fish, it will keep you satisfied for longer.
Beans and Legumes
You can also consume beans and legumes to help with weight management. Beans contain fiber, protein, and also folate and iron, which are good for you. Beans can be eaten as a side dish or thrown into soups or on top of salads. Adding them to a meal can help you to feel fuller and consume fewer calories throughout the day.
Egg whites are a great low energy dense food. Start your day off with eating fried egg whites. Add it to whole grain bread, which is also a great source of fiber. This meal will keep you satisfied until lunchtime, preventing you from consuming too many calories before lunch.
The benefit of soups is that they are low energy density for a couple of reasons. First, they tend to be mostly broth and liquid. Many beverages have a low energy density as long as they are not filled with sugar. Soups that are broth based can keep you feeling full for longer, meaning you will eat less throughout the day.
A study done by Rolls and his colleagues found that when participants ate soup, they were fuller for longer and did not eat as many calories as those given a casserole. Soups are also great because you can add vegetables, legumes, beans, and other low energy dense foods to it.
Many people think that when on a diet, they have to avoid cheeses. This is not the case. As long as the cheeses you are consuming are low-fat like cheddar, swiss, parmesan, feta and mozzarella. You can add them to a meal or have some cheese as a snack that will keep you feeling full.
Low-fat dairy is also a good source for managing your weight. Try some low-fat yogurt for breakfast or a snack. You can also eat skim milk or cottage cheese, which will help you feel full but will be lower in calorie intake.
Oil for Cooking
If you are looking to maintain your weight through low energy dense foods, you also want to avoid using butter when cooking. Butter is high in fat, which means you are consuming a high number of calories and not getting any nutrients. The best oil to cook with is olive oil. Only use a little bit because it is still high in fat, but also tends to have more nutritional value. It contains monounsaturated fat, which is healthier than other types of fats. It also has many antioxidants in it.
By eating foods that are low energy density, you will be better able to maintain your weight. You will feel better, look better, and stay full longer when you eat.