With so much contradicting information about weight loss and dieting, it is no wonder people are finding it hard to make wise and healthy choices.
However, one crucial tip that all nutritionists agree on is that combining different types of food groups in the right proportions is best for weight loss—for example, proteins combined with healthy fibre-rich foods. Of course, no one-size-fits-all diet guarantees weight loss because everyone is different. But your overall food choices, especially the balance of macros like protein and fibre, can significantly impact your weight loss journey.
Why is Protein Good for Weight Loss?
Protein is an essential macronutrient which supports multiple bodily functions and overall health. Additionally, studies say that protein-rich foods can help you feel fuller for extended periods, thus helping with weight loss.
Protein slows down digestion, preventing overeating and reducing your overall calorie intake. If these calorie savings occur for multiple days, there is potential for successful weight loss!
Thermic Effect is another essential factor behind protein and its role in weight loss. The “thermic effect of food” is the energy your body uses to digest, absorb, and metabolise food. Protein has a higher TEF than carbohydrates and fat, meaning the body burns more calories to process protein than to process carbs or fat. Therefore, including protein-rich foods in your weight-loss strategy can help you burn more calories as part of the thermic effect.
The protein recommended for weight loss varies from person to person. For an average sedentary person, 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight each day is enough. However, the recommended amount is around 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kilogram for people who exercise regularly based on their intensity of exercise/physical activity.
Why is Fibre Good for Weight Loss?
There are two types of fibre: insoluble and soluble. The soluble fibre slows the speed of digestion, giving you a steady energy supply. It makes you feel full and may help you stay satisfied longer.
As a result, you eat less and become less likely to reach for a bag of chips or other snacks an hour later your meal. A study shows that dietary fibre intake promotes weight loss in overweight or obese adults consuming a calorie-restricted diet.
AlsoHowever, when you eat foods that lack fibre, your blood sugar crashes, causing hunger, overeating, and taking in more calories than you require.
Before you buy a seemingly healthy-looking packaged food that claims to be high in fibre, read the label carefully and check the actual fibre content. Or you can simply use the eight lifestyle trackers with a HealthifyMe subscription. You can log your meals on the nutrition tracker to monitor your protein, carbohydrate, fats & fibre intake.
HealthifyMe’s trackers and AI-powered system provide accurate macronutrient breakdowns while scanning through the largest database of 10,000+ Indian foods.
High Fibre Foods to Help You Lose Weight
Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes are the best options to enhance your fibre intake. You can eat lentils, kidney beans, edamame, navy beans, chickpeas, and black beans.
These beans provide between 10 and 40% DV of fibre. For example, half a cup of cooked navy beans offers 34% of your daily recommended fibre.
Craving something crunchy? Crispy roasted chickpeas are a protein-rich and fibre-rich option instead of reaching for potato chips. Or adding just half a cup of edamame to your mid-morning snack list can load you with four grams of fibre.
Whole Grain Bread
One slice of true whole-grain bread has over 4 or 5 grams of fibre. Fortified whole-grain bread comes with over 10 grams of fibre per slice. However, multigrain bread means different types of grains are present. So, opt for bread with whole grain as the first ingredient.
Air Popped Popcorn
Unsalted air-popped popcorn is relatively decent in fibre. Plus, air-popped popcorn without unwanted calories or artificial flavours is a healthy snack for a weight loss diet.
Steel-cut oats offer double the amount of fibre than rolled oats. You get around 4.1 grams per 1/4 cup, which is 15% DV. You can substitute it with 1 cup of bran flakes, providing nearly 6 grams of fibre.
Almonds and Other Nuts
Raw, natural, or unroasted almonds contain nearly 4 grams of fibre and 7 grams of protein per quarter-cup serving (a handful). You can add them to your oatmeal, salad, smoothie, or yoghurt for an ample dose of fibre in your day.
Chia, flax, or pomegranate seeds are superfoods packed with fibre. Sprinkle a spoonful of these nutrient-rich seeds into salad, smoothies, or yoghurt to reap the digestive benefits.
Whole fresh fruits are high in fibre, water-rich, and antioxidant-rich. However, drinking the juice instead of eating the whole fruit with pulp will not guarantee the same dose of fibre.
Here are some fibre-rich fruits:
- Apple (medium-sized, with skin intact): 4.4 grams
- Pears (medium-sized, with skin intact): 5.5 grams
- Oranges (peeled): 4.42 grams
- Figs (3 medium): 4.35 grams
- Banana (peeled): 3.07 grams
- Avocado: 10-13 grams
High Fibre Vegetables
- Broccoli (1 cup cooked, chopped): 5.14 grams
- Medium sweet potato (baked, with skin): 3.76 grams
- Carrots (1 cup, raw): 3.58 grams
- Medium Russet potato (baked, with skin): 3.98 grams
- Artichoke hearts (½ cup cooked): 4.79 grams
Protein-Rich Foods to Help You Lose Weight
Lean Meat and Poultry
Lean cuts of meat and skinless poultry are excellent protein-rich food choices for an overall healthy weight-loss diet. In addition to protein, they provide essential micronutrients like iron, vitamin B12, magnesium, and potassium.
A 16-week weight-loss trial study shows that women who ate lean meat and those who restricted all red meats had similar weight loss, but the group who ate lean meat reported fewer cravings.
Fatty fish, such as salmon or mackerel, provide higher amounts of protein and essential omega-3 fatty acids. But if your goal is weight loss, make sure your fish isn’t breaded or battered and deep fried.
Eggs are one of the most popular, versatile and inexpensive protein sources. One whole egg has around 6-7 grams of protein and other essential micronutrients. You can eat hard-boiled, scrambled, fried, or poached eggs for a fantastic protein dose.
Beans and legumes are popular protein choices for vegetarians and vegans. You get around 18 grams of protein and roughly 16 grams of fibre in one cup of lentils.
A study shows that adding beans, lentils, and other legumes to the diet leads to modest weight loss without deliberately restricting calories. You can also combine different plant proteins, such as beans and nuts, to get all the essential amino acids your body needs.
While high-protein dairy foods are healthy, those looking to lose weight must practise moderation. For added benefits, eat fermented dairy products like plain nonfat yoghurt, low-fat Greek yoghurt, and cottage cheese.Always choose non-fat or low fat milk or milk products as your protein dosage.
The HealthifyMe Note
Beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole fruits, vegetables, and lean meat are rich in fibre and protein. However, one important thing to realise is that only eating more protein or fibre will not automatically help you lose weight. Consuming excessively can still lead to weight gain, much like eating excess carbs or fat would.Hence, the key to a successful weight loss is mindful eating .
Balance Your Protein and Fibre in the Pro Way
Depending on various factors such as age, weight, gender, activity level, or medical conditions, everyone requires different amounts of dietary fibre and protein. However, it is crucial not to go overboard because overeating protein or fibre may mean neglecting other food groups you need, like complex carbs and healthy fats.
With a HealthifyMe subscription, you can get detailed insights into your current eating habits and how the protein or fibre-rich food you eat impacts your health and well-being.
To see what works best for your weight loss plan, you can experiment with different macronutrient percentages, such as increasing your protein and dropping your carbohydrates. However, under the guidance of a HealthifyMe health coach and nutritionist, making such diet changes will be safer.
In addition, they will ensure that any dietary change is suitable for your personal needs and easy to maintain. This way, you can be sure that you are getting the most out of your diet and enjoying it too!
Above all else, the most crucial factor you must remember is your blood glucose level and its response to your diet. Whether you are trying or not trying to lose weight, keep your glucose levels in the normal range. HealthifyPRO comes with a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), which helps notify any sudden drop or rise in your glucose levels.
For example, oatmeal is a weight-loss staple breakfast. But you would not know if it is causing a glucose spike without real-time data. So here is precisely where HealthifyPRO CGM comes in. The real-time insights and alerts from CGM give a quick insight grasp of what you need to change or how you respond to a given food.
Here are some other healthy ways you can boost your protein and fibre intake:
- Choose Greek yoghurt since it contains twice as much protein as traditional yoghurt.
- Include high-protein food with every major meal you eat in a day.
- Choose leaner cuts of meat.
- Munch on nuts, seeds, edamame, and low-fat cheese for a protein boost.
- Enjoy more whole grains such as buckwheat, oats, couscous, wild rice, brown rice, millet, and teff.
- Eat non-starchy vegetables since they are low in calories and high in fibre.
- Eat whole fruits and vegetables, not juice.
- Consider taking a supplement if your protein and fibre intake through diet is low.
- Replace white flour or all-purpose flour with high-fibre flour, such as whole wheat, chickpea, buckwheat, and barley flour.
- Include plenty of legumes in your diet
Healthy eating is different from dieting. It is more than losing weight. Consuming the recommended proportion of protein and fibre alongside other food groups supports all-around good health.
You can modify your protein and fibre intake depending on your specific needs. HealthifyMe and the Pro Plans can help you focus on eating the right proportion of protein and fibre and offer real-time guidance towards making healthier lifestyle choices, managing nutrition, tracking calories, monitoring glucose response, and more.