3 Foods to Support Weight Loss
Current research shows that weight management is not just “calories in equal calories out.” Types of food, total toxic load and lifestyle factors all play key roles. Poor sleep, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, excess stress and processed and inorganic foods that contain chemicals and hormones trigger the body to build abdominal and visceral fat that acts as a stimulus for insulin resistance, causing the body to release more insulin which results in the storage of nutrients rather than the use of them.
When addressing weight loss, I recommend that my patients have a diet of whole foods, primarily plant-based, and that they eliminate processed foods, especially sugar and simple carbohydrates like flour and alcohol. I emphasize a dinner plate that is made up of at least half to two-thirds vegetables, a protein source, and a complex carbohydrate in order to help maintain blood sugar and minimize cravings. I also incorporate the following foods that are extra supportive for weight loss:
- Leafy greens
Leafy greens like kale, collards, bok choy, mustard and dandelion are excellent sources of fiber, which help prevent constipation, so we can eliminate what our bodies don’t need. These foods also provide strong antioxidants, are nutrient dense and have a high volume-to-caloric ratio, meaning they fill us up without adding extra calories. They also detoxify the body from chemicals and help prevent recirculation of estrogen, which in excess can lead to weight gain.
- Plant protein
Plant-based protein like beans, tofu and tempeh are high in fiber and also provide complex carbohydrates for blood sugar stabilization. These foods contain folic acid, phosphorus, B vitamins, calcium and iron. Beans support and nourish the adrenal glands, which secrete stress hormones such as cortisol. When we are stressed, cortisol promotes visceral fat, which leads to increased appetite, sugar cravings, increased abdominal girth and fat that can be challenging to dissolve.
- Fermented foods
Fermented foods like sauerkraut, miso soup, water- and coconut-based kefirs support the microbiome, or bacteria, of the gut. New studies show that the makeup of the microbiome plays an important role in metabolism. In fact, people who have received fecal transplants from thin donors have had weight loss, and individuals who have had fecal transplants from overweight donors have gained weight.
Photo by Jan Kassay.