We eat to supply our bodies with energy. This energy is counted in calories and, for many of us, our intake is higher than our requirement. When we consume more calories than we burn, we gain weight, making it hard for us to maintain optimum health. Our daily calorie requirement is shaped by a number of factors, including our gender, weight, age and activity levels. On average, women are said to need between 1,600 and 2,400 calories per day and men between 2,000 and 3,000. By keeping our calorific intake in check and performing regular exercise, we can work to maintain a healthy body weight and enhance our general wellbeing.
When it comes to weight loss and maintenance, apples offer a two-pronged solution. With good calories for weight gain, apples also contain an ideal amount of fiber for slimming. A satisfying snack, apples work well to control our all-important blood-sugar levels.
Oil-free, unsalted popcorn is a surprisingly low-calorie filler. A whole-grain carbohydrate, popcorn even offers some folate, niacin, vitamin A and vitamin B-6. A great healthy snack, three cups of popcorn offers over 3g of fiber and is only 63 calories. Just be sure you don’t coat your popcorn in butter!
Although the pear might taste very sweet, it’s made up mainly of fiber and water. These two components are invaluable for weight loss. Pears will help you stay fuller for longer, despite the fact that they only contain around 56 calories per 100g. The fiber in a pear also promotes healthy digestion, leaving you satisfied without feeling bloated. Healthy energies for the win!
When nine people were examined, it was found that those who consumed caffeine 1 hour before exercise burned almost 100% more fat than those who didn’t. Further, the caffeine consumers were able to endure an exercise period that was 17% longer than those who went without. In a different study, adults were asked to consume 100mg of caffeine every 2 hours, for 12 hours in total. Results showed that during those 12 hours, lean adults burned 150 extra calories and formerly-obese individuals burned 79 extra calories. To avoid side effects and still burn the bonus calories, aim to consume between 100mg and 400mg of caffeine per day. More caffeine can become harmful to your health.
Just beating celery, cucumber has around 15 calories per 100g and also supports weight loss, with high fiber and water content. The fruit is also packed with phytonutrients which help our bodies to combat a number of nasty diseases. This is a good investment for your health on the long term.
Often misclassified as citrus fruit, pineapple is a low-calorie treat (50 calories per 100g) and is also high in fiber and vitamin C. Completely fat-free and with natural sugars, pineapple is a low-energy-density fruit that makes for ideal breakfast food or afternoon snack. Pineapple is also celebrated because it contains bromelain, an important enzyme that’s great for general wellbeing. What wonderful claims!
14. Coconut oil
If we add coconut oil to our diets, we improve our HDL cholesterol (the good kind) and reduce our triglycerides. Further, coconut oil helps us to shift those extra kilos. By consuming 1-2 tablespoons each day, we can use coconut oil to accelerate our fat burning. Coconut oil is a great purchase, that’s for sure.
With only 15 calories per 100g, zucchini is the perfect vegetable for those wishing to slim down. Not only is it a low-calorie option, but it’s also super-healthy: zucchini is rich in protein, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium and phosphorous, and low in cholesterol, sodium and saturated fats. Yes please, we’ll purchase 10!
12. Citrus fruits
Great source of fiber and water, citrus fruits are also very effective in the fight against hunger. With citrus fruits taking longer to digest, these fruits offer a state of satiety. When avoiding weight gain, it’s important to stick to fresh fruit and to avoid any sugar-laden fruit juices. Citrus fruits have a naturally sweet taste, so no need for additional sweetener. Calorie content varies by fruit, but you should expect between 26 and 50 calories per 100g.
11. Green tea
According to research, those who drink 2-3 cups of green tea each day can benefit from its weight-loss benefits. Indeed, one placebo-controlled study showed that moderately overweight adults will lose an average of 2.64lbs and ¾ inch off their waistlines by simply adding green tea to their diet. We’ll trade our sugary coffees for tea any time with these results!
Try incorporating more green leaves into your diet. Those such as kale, spinach and arugula are all jam-packed with vitamins and minerals and share a very low-calorie content of 25 calories per 100g. As a general rule, the darker the leaf, the more beneficial it is for a healthy diet.
Containing healthy fat and a healthy dose of protein, eggs are very good for us. What’s more, they contain a number of other properties that support slimming efforts. When boiled or poached, eggs provide the perfect breakfast foodstuff. Satisfying and low-calorie, they are sure to keep us fuller for longer and reduce our cravings for high-calorie treats. Moreover, they are a healthy source of energy.
Also known as brinjal or aubergine, the modest eggplant is great for weight-loss. While being low in carbohydrates and calories, the eggplant is also full of important nutrients. A very healthy foodstuff, it’s also hypoglycemic and has no effect on blood sugar levels. This is very important for weight maintenance. Per 100g, eggplant fans can expect to consume just 25 calories.
7. Red berries
Containing numerous nutrients, raw cranberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries have around 35-40g calories per 100g. Strawberries are also very high in phenolic antioxidants which are great for combatting inflammation. Have some healthy red berries to hand and treat yourself to some guilt-free snacking and healthy energy.
6. Green vegetables
Eat more greens! In particular, try to pack your diet with cruciferous vegetables, which are great for general health and also for weight loss. Cruciferous vegetables are those such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, leafy greens and sprouts. These green friends contain between 20 and 40 calories per 100g. They are, therefore, the foundation for a balanced lifestyle.
With bananas commonly celebrated for their potassium content, you might be surprised to learn that melons contain twice as much. This means that melons are a high antioxidant choice. Due to their high water content, melons are also excellent at reducing water retention. With between 24 and 26 calories per 100g, they are a low-calorie, high-nutritional addition to any healthy diet.
For those seeking to improve their nutrition, algae such as agar, raw spirulina, kelp and wakame are all great choices. With high nutritional value and low-calorie content (max 45 calories per 100g), algae are good for cell function and intestinal health. All in all, a good investment.
For calorific content, celery is almost top of the list, with only 16 calories per 100g. It’s great for slimmers and a very healthy option for snack time. While the water content of celery is very high, at 95%, it still provides a good number of nutrients, including potassium, vitamin K, folate and fiber.
2. Spicy food
Studies show that chili peppers such as jalapenos can support calorie-burning while also suppressing our appetites. These spicy peppers contain a large amount of capsaicin, a chemical that typically hides in the white membrane around the seeds. A report published in England suggests that capsaicin has sufficient health benefits for its consumption to be recommended to slimmers.
1. Red beetroot
Jam-packed with essential nutrients such as folic acid, potassium and fiber, beetroot is a very healthy foodstuff. The entire beet can be consumed either raw or cooked, and contains 87% water. The remaining 13% of the beet is made up of fiber and carbohydrates, with a maximum calorific content of 45 calories per 100g.