So many diets tell you what you can’t eat. Or only let you eat tiny portions. These foods break that trend — you can eat them all day long and feel no guilt. And you’ll still be losing weight.
Ideally, it will be organic baby greens from your local farmer’s market, but really it does not so much matter where it comes from for weight loss, what matters is volume. Plain salad greens should make up the bulk of your lunch and dinner. You can not eat too much of them.
Raw is best, but sauteed or baked is fine, too. These crunchy, colorful vegetables will load you up on great vitamins and other compounds like antioxidants, and they have so few calories its not even worth counting. Learning to chop peppers might be a good thing to do if you’ve been resistant to these veggies before. Cutting up one red pepper for a mid-afternoon snack alone is a great weight loss habit.
My trainer and my nutritionist say I can eat as many apples as I want. That’s fine with me — these are great food for the road, they fill me up, and they satisfy my sweet tooth. And they keep forever if you keep them in the crisper in your fridge. OK, not forever, but for up to three weeks, which feels like forever for a fresh food. If you learn to like different kinds of apples (Braeburns, Golden Delicious, etc) you can frequently just shop the apple sales and keep the prices down. It is a good idea to buy organic apples, though, as their thin skins soak up pesticides, and apples are one of the most-heavily sprayed fruit crops. They made the Daily Green’s list of the Dirty Dozen.
Again, better to eat them raw, but stir-fried or baked or even barbecued (yum!) is just about as good. Zucchini are also dirt cheap and so even if you buy them organic you can still load up.
5) Tomato sauce / Tomatoes
Pick an organic sauce with low to no salt and you’re pretty much good to go. For me, zucchini and tomato suace go hand in hand, as they’re one of my favorite dishes (it freezes well, too)
Okay, I realize this identifies me as a tree-hugging liberal, but before you stop reading, ask yourself, “how much does tofu cost?” If you don’t know, its $1.50 for 16 ounces. And its loaded with protein. And its wonderfully healthy — a terrific way to increase the fullness factor for almost any vegeteble dish. Just go really light on the soy sauce, if you must use it with tofu, as that salt will work against your weight loss goals.
This delicious fruit has like 70 calories for a whole half of a head of it. Its not the cheapest food, but if you need to shake up your breakfast routine, half or a quarter of a cantalope is a great place to start. Or, if you are weaning yourself off of your nightly bowl of ice cream, cut a cantalope in half, empty the seeds and toss in a few handfuls of strawberries and some non-fat yogurt. You’ll still be eating out of a great big “bowl”, and you’ll have sweetness, and you’ll have something cold. You’ll just be skipping about a 1000 extra calories every night.
Hopefully you won’t eat buckets of this, but it is so filling you probably wouldn’t be able to eat bucketfuls. Do be sure to get the steel cut kind, or Arrowhead Mills Organic Hot Cereal, 4 Grain Plus Flax, which is what I eat. Even the old instant oats is better than nothing. You’ll get a major fiber dose, a lot of protein, and a warm bowl of something yummy from your oatmeal. And its cheap enough that even severe penny-pinchers won’t get indigestion.
If you can get yourself to like it, raw broccoli is a champion weight loss food. Eat all you want… even eat a pound and then let yourself have ice cream. It took me a few months, but now I actually crave broccoli… sometimes.
10) Blueberries and strawberries and raspberries
These are expensive unless you grow your own, but they are delicious, low to no calorie, high in fiber and high in lots of vitamins and other good things. A bowl of berries is a great substitute for ice cream (gee… I think I’m craving ice cream today…) and a great way to dress up yogurt or cantalope or oatmeal.