Oats and oatmeal are high in fibre, which helps you feel full (and satisfied) longer. Image by: Getty Images
Trying to lose weight? Instead of thinking about what you shouldn't eat, focus on the delicious foods that will help keep you satisfied.
Although cucumbers offer only modest nutritional benefits (a bit of vitamin C, A, and some fibre), this delicately flavoured member of the gourd family goes a long way in bulking up a salad, and making you feel nice and full for few calories. Or if you're in the mood for a crunchy snack, slice them up with the skin on, instead of reaching for potato chips or crackers.
Grapefruit is a delicious and nutritious sweet-tart snack, breakfast side or salad topping. But researchers have also discovered that eating grapefruit or grapefruit juice daily can aid in weight loss, possibly due to a reduction in insulin levels.
Packed with fibre, folate and magnesium, this versatile fat-free legume can be a fabulous supporting player of a slimming healthy eating regimen. Lentils, prepared any number of ways, will have you feeling as if you've eaten a meaty, even creamy, dish minus the calories and saturated fat that come with eating meat.
Oats and oatmeal are high in fibre, which helps you feel full – and satisfied – longer. Plus consumption of whole grains has been shown to aid in weight loss. For the best benefits, fill up on oatmeal for breakfast – try steel-cut oats if you've got the time, or instant oatmeal if you prefer to eat at work (just try to pick the sugar-free kinds and add your own sweeteners).
5. Foods with shells
If you’re a compulsive snacker with a yen for salt, foods with their natural shells on can help you slow down and savour what you're eating while curbing the craving. For instance, unsalted pistachio nuts, walnuts in the shell, peanuts, and edamame in the pod can help you curb your cravings for saltier, unhealthier junk food. Plus, you're not as likely to overeat if you have to work for your reward.
Plentiful and versatile, apples can help you satisfy sugar cravings for less calories. Whether eaten fresh as a mid-afternoon snack in the office or baked for dessert, these nutritional powerhouses will help fill you up and keep you slim.
With an average 72 calories, a hefty 6 grams of protein, and elements of almost every essential vitamin you need, eggs can be a nutritious (not to mention affordable) part of a healthy weight loss plan. Hard-boiled eggs are highly portable for a post-gym snack; poached eggs can be a delicious, filling breakfast.
All nuts are healthy and loaded with good fats and other nutrients, but almonds are the one to go for when you're trying to lose weight. They're lower in calories than many of their cousins (that means you, macadamias) and the protein and fat content will help keep cravings at bay.
9. Dark chocolate
While not low in calories nor in fat, dark chocolate still has two major things going for it. First, it's very hard to eat large quantities of real, high-quality dark chocolate as compared to its milky sibling; and second, it's very high in health-promoting antioxidants. It's no diet food, but eating a few small squares to squelch a potentially much larger scarfing of, say, a piece of chocolate cake with icing, is well worth the modest calorie intake.
10. Vegetable soups
One of the biggest trends in weight loss research is the concept of calorie density – the idea is that your body pays more attention to the amount of space your food takes up in your stomach than it does to the amount of calories you're consuming. So by eating lots of foods with a low calorie density, you'll be satisfying your hunger for less. Vegetable soups (and we're not talking cream of broccoli) are one great option – serve them as a starter or a light meal and just watch how quickly you feel full.