Maintaining optimum energy levels while losing weight is one of the most important factors in your long term success.
It’s one of the reasons many fad diets which require a drastic cutting of calories and food groups don’t work; participants have such a lack of energy that they struggle to continue.
Our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge is all about losing weight in a healthy and sustainable way.
To help you make the right choices to reach your goals, we’ve worked with Kathleen, one of the Healthy Mummy Nutritionists to compile a list of the top 10 weight loss foods that will also keep your energy levels stable and boost your metabolism.
Top 10 weight loss foods for maximum energy
1. Rolled oats
Oats are low on the glycemic index and a rich source of fibre giving you a sustained bout of energy. Oats also contain stress lowering B vitamins, which helps transform carbohydrates into usable energy. For the best nutrition kick, steer clear of instant oats or sugary flavoured varieties. Choose natural rolled oats and sweeten with yoghurt, fruit and cinnamon or add into your Healthy Mummy Smoothie.
They’re cheap, versatile and a brilliant kitchen staple. Lentils provide both carbohydrates and protein, making them a balanced addition to any meal. They’re also low in fat and a good source of iron – an important mineral for maintaining energy levels. Boost your intake by incorporating these humble delights into salads, vegetable patties, or pies.
3. Leafy greens
Salad greens are abundant in chlorophyll – a compound used by plants to convert sunlight into usable energy. A big, flavourful salad is rich in fibre, vitamins, and powerful antioxidants, particularly vitamin C. Getting enough Vitamin C is not only crucial to staying healthy, it also helps your body to absorb iron, a key nutrient to fending off fatigue. Have a salad before a meal and you’ll be satisfied with smaller portions.
Creamy, delicious avocados are one of my daily staples. The healthy fats contained in avocados are highly beneficial to cognitive functions, such as memory and concentration. They’re also jammed packed with vitamin C and E, which are powerful antioxidants to help keep your skin smooth and youthful.
Combine them with tomato slices, tossed into a salad, or use as a dip with your favourite wholegrain crackers to enjoy a much-needed energy boost any time of day.
No, bananas are not fattening or bad for weight loss – in fact, they contain virtually zero bad fat and are a convenient source of potassium, which helps boost energy levels by maintaining normal blood pressure and heart rhythms.
Bananas also provide beneficial carbohydrates giving you a natural energy boosting capability that will help to keep you on track between meals.
For a perfect work-out recovery food, add bananas in your Healthy Mummy Smoothie.
Chock full of magnesium – a mineral vital to converting the foods you eat into energy. Also high in filling protein and healthy fats making them a perfect snack to help conquer your appetite. Aim to eat around 10-15 almonds per day or use them in recipes like bliss balls.
7. Red meat
Aside from being an excellent source of protein, lean red meat is particularly high in iron and B vitamins. Iron plays an essential role in transporting oxygen around the body. An iron deficiency means less oxygen is delivered to the cells, which can leave you feeling wiped out. To maintain healthy iron stores, treat yourself to a high-quality steak two to three times a week.
Egg yolks are naturally rich in B-vitamins which are responsible for converting food into energy.
They also contain the highest quality protein, which is needed particularly after an intense training session when muscle breakdown occurs the most. Poached or boiled eggs are a perfect choice for a healthy snack. I also love a hard-boiled egg as a snack or added to salad.
Yogurt is an excellent source of tyrosine which is a type of protein that helps to produce adrenalin and dopamine: key chemicals in the brain that perks you up and maintains mental alertness.
Try organic or Greek yogurt since it’s less likely to be loaded with artificial ingredients, sugar, and preservatives.
Without water, your body cannot generate energy, and even mild dehydration can lead to fatigue and lack of concentration. Drink enough water so your urine is pale yellow – not clear or dark yellow. Start your day with a large glass with breakfast and always carry around bottle of water to sip throughout the course of the day to keep your energy levels up.