So you want to lose weight, huh? No problem. Grab your grocery list. Whatever the length of your go-to list, we’re about to double it. That’s because when you pair certain foods together at the right time and during the right meals, you can supercharge your weight loss efforts more than simply eating one food alone.
The secret lies in making sure your meals contain satisfying nutrients like protein, fiber, and healthy fats. This one rule will set you up for success, preventing you from noshing on empty calories that do nothing to nourish your body (and which may even leave you hungrier than you were before eating).
And there’s no better time to double your weight loss efforts than during the first meal of the day: breakfast. Even better, it also happens to be the easiest. With so many healthy breakfast foods to choose from, we’re about to show you exactly which foods pair together perfectly to optimize your fat loss results.
Read on, and for more on healthy eating, don’t miss 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
Avocados are famous for their healthy fat content, but did you know that this fruit is also an excellent source of fiber? Half an avocado contains 7 grams of fiber or 25% of your recommended daily value of the nutrient! That might be why a Nutrition Journal study found that when people added half an avocado to their lunch, it decreased their desire to eat by 40% in the three-hour period following the meal compared to people who didn’t have avocados with lunch. Pair it with salmon, a fish that’s rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and protein, and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier weight.
One of the 7 Amazing Benefits of Eating Oatmeal? It can help you lose weight. A Journal of the American College of Nutrition study found that when participants ate oatmeal for breakfast, they reported feeling more full, less hungry, had a lower desire to eat, and actually ate fewer calories at the next meal than those who ate cereal. Experts believe oatmeal’s hunger-busting properties are due in part to its high fiber levels, and a soluble fiber known as β-glucan, which has been found to slow the body’s digestion, helping you stay fuller longer. Add a couple of tablespoons of nut butter like peanut butter and you’ll add 8 grams of protein and healthy fats to double down on oatmeal’s satiating properties.
Grab yourself a container of a high-protein yogurt like Greek yogurt or Icelandic yogurt and a container of berries to help lower the number on the scale. Yogurt consumption is associated with lower body mass index, lower body weight/weight gain, smaller waist circumference, and lower body fat, according to a comprehensive review published in the International Journal of Obesity. Berries are the perfect complement to this high-protein food. That’s because blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are all rich in a class of antioxidants known as flavonoids, which studies have connected to weight maintenance. A BMJ study found that a higher intake of foods rich in these antioxidants may contribute to weight maintenance and the prevention of obesity.
Dump that bowl of cereal and crack a couple of eggs. Egg breakfasts have been shown to enhance weight loss when eaten in place of high-carb breakfasts like bagels, according to an International Journal of Obesity study. Season up your eggs with a few splashes of hot sauce. Researchers at Purdue University found that just half a teaspoon of red pepper was enough to reduce appetite and burn more calories after a meal. Scientists think capsaicin, the compound in chili peppers that gives them their heat, stimulates weight loss at a molecular level by altering key proteins found in fat.
Increasing your fiber intake will do wonders for your weight loss goals. In fact, one study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that when participants increased their fiber by 4 grams per day over what they consumed before the study, on average, they saw an additional 3 ¼ pounds of weight loss over the course of six months. Perhaps the most incredible part of the study was that participants weren’t instructed to change anything else about their diets—just to increase fiber by 4 grams per day. One easy way to do that is by tossing a tablespoon of chia seeds into your morning smoothie. That’s right—a single tablespoon of chia seeds contains 5 grams of fiber, exceeding the amount of fiber the researchers found to be associated with an increase in weight loss. In addition to fruit, make sure to add leafy greens to your smoothies. Greens like spinach and kale are incredibly nutrient-dense and high in many essential vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals necessary to keep your body functioning at its best.
Pair those weight loss-supporting frozen berries with another fat-burning ingredient: protein powder. Studies consistently support that increasing the protein ratio of your diet—by reducing intake of refined carbs—along with reducing total calorie intake can support weight loss and have metabolic benefits. What are you waiting for? Grab your blender and press go on one of The 25 Best-Ever Weight Loss Smoothies.