There were 20,200,000 results on Google when I typed “what to eat to lose weight”. I took all those top 10 sites and here’s the short summary:
We all know the mainstream advice:
- Eat veggies
- Drink water
- Eat your breakfast
- Eat from small plates
- Throw out foods that you crave
But what about practical advice that allows me to get to low % bodyfat and stay there year round? It’s probably buried inside millions of blogs and articles. Well, no more. Today I’m going to reveal you the following:
- What’s the king macronutrient after which I guide my flexible dieting strategy and which helps me shed fat and maintain lean muscle mass (along with a list of foods that I use to create my diet)
- How can you eat big portions of food and still lose fat (it has to do with the way you select the foods you eat)
- How you can transform liquid food and shakes that don’t keep you full into slow-digesting fat loss promoting powerhouses
- What foods to eat to keep the hunger away in the easiest way possible (I also compiled a list of foods that are the most filling per calorie)
Here are my top 4 strategies that will help you decide what to eat to lose weight quick and easy:
The KING Macronutrient And It’s Ability To Help You Increase Fat Loss And Maintain Muscle Mass On A Diet
When you want to lose weight, this macronutrient is the “top dog”.
- It keeps the hunger away because of it’s fullness factor (I’ll tell you more about this factor a bit later)
- It helps you maintain your muscle as you diet down to lower bodyfat
- It’s a great energy source and low in calories
- Your body expends more energy to digest protein than any other macronutrient (it helps with weight loss indirectly)
This “KING” macronutrient is the good ol’ PROTEIN. Why you should keep your protein intake high?
If you don’t eat enough protein when you are on a weight loss diet, you will lose muscle mass. And if you think that losing muscle mass is not important, think twice. It’s like 10 times harder to build muscle mass than to lose it. So think twice before you make a move.
Eat at least 2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. I always start from this value with my permanent lean body transformation clients, and adjust from there.
The Best Type Of Protein You Can Use
You might have seen plenty of advertisements with different protein powders and/or foods that should have the “best type of protein”. But I usually tend to disagree to the all or nothing mindset. There’s always the middle way. And it’s also true here.
There’s no “best protein” out there. They all have pros and cons. And the way you chose your protein depends on many factors. Let me list some of them:
- Protein digestibility – The rate at which protein absorbs in your body depends on its digestibility factor. Simply put, if you eat 100 grams of protein, you won’t digest 100% of it. For example, only 76% of the protein you get from rice gets absorbed. On the other side, egg protein digestibility is at around 97%.
- Speed of digestion – There are slower and faster absorbing proteins. For example, Whey isolate is absorbing at a rate of around 10 grams per hour, when raw egg protein is absorbing only at a rate of 1.4 grams per hour. This means that different proteins are good for different purposes.
- Protein quality – This shows how well your body can use a type of protein. It’s also influenced by speed of digestion and protein digestibility factor.
Taking all of that into consideration, if I were to chose a single type of protein from all of the available protein powders, I would chose any type of whey protein.
- If you are on a budget, chose the protein concentrate version.
- If you can spend some extra dollars, get the isolate version.
TIP 1: I always mix my whey protein with milk. That way I obtain a protein shake that has a medium absorption rate which is perfect as a pre or post workout supplement. That way, you’ll have a steady influx of amino acids over a longer period of time compared to a simple water and whey protein shake.
TIP 2: When I’m dieting, I frequently eat greek yogurt with a mix of seeds. It’s one of the best snacks for fat loss.
My top sources of protein are the following:
- Chicken (breast, leg – usually skinless and/or boneless)
- Pork (trimmed of fat)
- Fish (tuna, cod, mackerel, salmon)
- Cottage Cheese
- Greek yogurt (it has at least 8 grams of protein per 100 grams)
- Eggs (I’m occasionally buying bottles of egg whites – I make sure I get farm eggs)
- Whey protein (concentrate and/or isolate)
How To Eat Big And Satisfying Portions And Still Lose Fat
A while ago, I sent out a survey to some of the people that are actively following my blog, and are subscribed to my email list. I asked them: “What’s their main struggle when it comes to losing fat”.
And 67% of them told me that their main problem when it comes to losing fat is CONSISTENCY. Staying consistent with dieting and training seems to be a great feat these days. And one of the main reasons why staying consistent with your diet is hard is because of the hunger feeling.
How do you avoid getting hungry?
You eat BIG.
The biggest mistake I see people make when they diet is to spread out their meals in smaller portions. Not only that but they also add small snacks or they “graze” in between meals. That’s not a good strategy if you ask me. All they do is to make their meals less satiating and satisfying. That means they get hungry more often. And they eventually overeat due to being unable to stay on that diet.
How can you eat BIG and lose weight?
Go from small and unsatisfying portions, to bigger and more satisfying ones.
You might think you’ll get fat.
Well, that’s not true if you follow some simple guidelines.
It’s all about the choices you make. Really.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Chose nutrient dense, high protein, and the so called “healthy” foods. You can eat more of those foods and the chance of overeating is way smaller. Not only this but they can help you stay on a diet because they take longer to digest, and also keep you fuller.
This rule works because:
- Your mental motivation will be IMPROVED since you’ll get more micronutrition and you’ll feel fuller for longer periods of time due to decreased meal digestion
- Foods that are lower in calories but fill up your stomach will send a signal to your brain that will make you feel satiated (this keeps hunger away)
Here’s the difference between highly caloric foods and lower caloric foods. You can see what I mean by eating BIG meals, staying satisfied, and not overdoing it with your caloric intake:
The picture above is self explanatory. While I haven’t showed you exactly what to eat to lose weight (more on that a bit later), you can see the difference between high protein/nutrient dense foods, and lower calorie/lower nutrient foods.
- To the left, we have different foods that are high in calories and easy to overeat
- To the right, we have broccoli, rice, and chicken breast
Both of these food choices are on the same caloric level. I only matched the caloric level of “dirty” versus “clean” foods.
It’s all about: SIMPLE CHOICES
Look at the first example: a big pizza. For the same number of calories, you can eat more than twice the quantity of food. But it’s not pizza. It’s rice, broccoli, and chicken breast.
What do you think will keep you more satiated for a longer period of time with lower chances of getting hungry fast, and potentially overeating?
I don’t know you but I can eat a large pizza in a sitting, and 2h later I’ll be hungry again.
But I don’t think I can eat 5 plates of chicken, broccoli, and rice and still be hungry 2h later. And if you can manage to eat that much, I can guarantee you won’t need food for most of the day.
Of course you can lose weight even if you eat pizza. But it will be hard for you to keep a low caloric intake through the course of a day if that single pizza is more than what you should eat for the entire day. And you can’t live on pizza.
This is what: Losing weight by eating BIG means.
[bctt tweet=”Eat big and satisfying #healthymeals or stay hungry with #junkfood” username=”MarinasFlorin”]
When I go after single digit bodyfat, 80% of what I eat are foods that are low in calories, high in fiber and nutrients and they keep me satiated for longer periods of time.
MENTAL SWITCH: If you chose foods high in protein, low in calories, and that keep you fuller for longer periods of time, you’ll feel satisfied, you’ll get a proper micro-nutrition, your energy levels will stay constant, and you’ll improve the quality and quantity of your fat loss.
How To Slow Down Food Digestion, Decrease Your Caloric intake, And Make Sure Food Keeps You Fuller For Longer Periods Of Time
A recent study shows that adding 14 grams of fiber every day to your diet will ensure a 10% lowered caloric intake through the day. And the subjects lost 4 kg in 2 months.
Fibers are low in calories. They form a thick gel in your intestines which slows down digestion. For example, if you add fibers to your protein shake, it gets thicker.
TIP: I sometimes add xantan gum and/or psyllium husk to my protein shakes. They are healthy fibers you can add to your protein shakes. Adding these fibers will help slow down protein shake digestion and improve satiety. You should try it too. Your protein shake will get a gelatin like consistency. But the taste will be the same.
Most scientific studies agree that a diet rich in fibers promotes weight loss. How come?
They do it indirectly. They do it by keeping you fuller for a longer period of time. They slow down food digestion, and maintain the feeling of fullness.
And if you are the type that runs away from eating fats, then consuming fibers is even more important. Why?
Fats slow down food digestion and improve satiety.
If you don’t eat fats, the hunger sensation might knock at your “door” a bit faster and that might keep you away from staying on your diet. It’s hard to be consistent with a diet that’s making you feel hungry.
The worst scenario I can imagine is one in which you are surrounded by tasty looking food. It’s going to be hard to abstain from drifting off your diet if you are constantly hungry.
But you can fix that small problem by eating fiber rich foods or adding fiber to your shakes/foods.
It’s scientifically proven that foods high in fiber require more chewing time. And a longer chewing time might mean a drop in the sensation of hunger.
How To Eat Meals That Keep You Fuller For Longer Periods Of Time (the 4’th food on the FF scale always helps me get over hunger)
The hunger feeling is one of the most important survival mechanisms we developed as humans. It ensures we eat enough for survival purposes. This usually translates into getting enough calories for your body needs.
But when you want to lose weight, this same adaptation can sabotage your efforts. It can make you eat more than you should. That’s why it’s important to “get rid of it” as much as you can.
When I’m after creating the most filling fat loss meal plans, I use two “tools” I have in my sleeve: The fullness factor and the satiety index. Combined, they cover everything I need when it comes to creating meal plans that keep you full for longer periods of time.
The satiety index, fullness factor and the glycemic index are similar but not the same.
Why You Shouldn’t Use The Glycemic Index
A number that shows what a food does to your blood sugar. It starts from 100 and it goes down. Sugar is sitting at 100.
Many of the so-called fat loss experts still say that eating foods that are lower on the glycemic index scale helps with fat loss. But from my opinion and experience, THAT’S BS.
The glycemic index is useless for fat loss in my opinion. Why? I don’t think you have meals that are only based on singular food items.
When you combine more foods, the glycemic index is irrelevant.
Even if you eat white bread which should be deemed as a food that’s highly glycemic, if you combine it with meat, cheese, etc., it’s glycemic index will inherently go down. Add some fibers and it gets even lower.
TAKEAWAY: The glycemic index is irrelevant for a fat loss diet.
Don’t worry. I have something better than this:
[bctt tweet=”The glycemic index is irrelevant for fat loss, use the FF/SI Method to select the foods you eat” username=”MarinasFlorin”]
The FF/SI Method For Selecting Your Food
The satiety index and the fullness factor are two factors you should take into consideration when you select what to eat to lose weight.
The fullness factor – shows the order of foods after their respective ability to make you feel fuller after you eat them.
It’s the perfect tool when you are on a fat loss diet. It helps you make the right choices effortlessly. No more questions like “what to eat to lose weight?”
It’s a food rating scale that goes from 0.5 for the less filling per calories foods, and up to 5 which is a number attributed to foods that are more filling per calorie they offer. When I first saw the list, I was astonished (I’ll share it with you in a moment).
It’s easy to interpret the fullness factor. If brown rice gets a 2.3 and oats get a 3. The winner is clear. Oats are more filling per calorie.
If you’d test brown rice and oats, you’d see that for the same quantity, oats are more filling.
Satiety Index – is a useful tool to see how satisfying is a certain food or its ability to keep hunger away. It was developed by Dr. Susanna Holt at the University of Sydney (2). She found out that foods like boiled potatoes are 3 times as satisfying as the most satisfying food tasted (when I found out about this, I tried it myself and it seems to hold true).
As a general guideline, the more protein, fiber, and water is contained within a food, the more it has the ability to keep your hunger away.
Here’s an example (boiled potatoes are on the top of the list):
These two pictures are just a spoiler from a more complete list I compiled and put it into an excel spreadsheet. You can download it for free below. I would appreciate some sharing love as it took me quite a while to compile everything. After you press any button and share this article with your friends, the download link will appear below:
Follow these 4 simple and quick rules. Now you know what to eat to lose fat. It’s not that hard as most people are making it. Apply these rules even for a week, and tell me how it went. I bet you’ll lose fat automatically without minutiously tracking your diet or caloric intake.
- Start your weight loss diet by setting your current protein intake at around 2 grams per kg of bodyweight. That’s a good starting point (I compiled a list of foods that have the highest amount of protein per 100 grams – foods I always eat on my fat loss diet)
- Don’t follow rigid meal plans. Create your own meal plans from foods that are high in protein, low in calories, and can sustain a long term diet adherence
- Eat foods that are high in fibers and/or add psyllium husk/xantan gum or other fibers to your meals
- Always go after foods that have the highest rating for fullness factor and satiety index (you’re at one click away from getting the list -> If you’ve missed it, it’s right above. Use the sharing buttons and download it)
Is the question “what to eat to lose weight” still unanswered?
Let me know in the comment section below. If you liked this fine piece of no bs and proper dieting advice, share it with someone you know will benefit from reading it. Benefit is a weird word. Let’s rephrase: If you think that I can help someone get leaner and make better food choices, share this article and/or send it through an email. I’m glad I can help any visitor.
- Satiety index of common foods
- Holt SH1, Miller JC, Petocz P, Farmakalidis E, A satiety index of common foods., Eur J Clin Nutr. 1995 Sep;49(9):675-90.