5 Foods for Weight Loss and Energy

July 6, 2012

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greensOne thing that you don’t want to happen when you are trying to lose weight is also to have your energy level plummet. But that’s exactly what can happen if you try cut calories without also thinking about nutrition.

Many fad diets, fasts, and cleanses do not offer a balanced diet and will zap your energy. In fact, any weight loss from such a plan probably isn’t fat loss but water and muscle loss.

The best way to keep your energy level up while losing weight is to make sure you are eating low-calorie but nutrient dense foods. While these five foods alone will not create a balanced diet, they are some of my favorite foods for providing nutrition and energy during weight loss.

Kale: This dark green veggie was once used mostly to garnish plates yet it’s also one of the most nutrient dense veggies there is. Kale contains just 34 calories per cup, 206% of your daily vitamin A requirement, 124% of your vitamin C requirement plus iron and calcium. Keep the calories low by chopping it raw in a salad, tossing some into a stir-fry, or eating it lightly steamed as a side dish.

Spinach: There’s a reason Popeye reached for spinach, he knew that this nutrient packed leaf makes a great substitute for lettuce in salads and other dishes and is also great lightly steamed. One cup of raw spinach contains just 7 calories but provides 56% of your daily vitamin A requirement as well as some vitamin C, calcium, and iron. Move over iceberg lettuce!

Broccoli: Another weight loss super food. Weighing in at just 30 calories per cup, it provides a whopping 131% of your daily vitamin C requirement as well as Vitamin A, calcium, and iron. Snack on it raw with low-cal dip or serve it up steamed or stir fried.

Cauliflower: While you should reach for dark green or purple for maximum nutrition, this white veggie is the exception. Cauliflower contains 25 calories per cup and provides 77% of your daily vitamin A requirement and many other nutrients. Eat it raw, steamed, stir fried, or even mashed in place of potatoes!

Eggplant: Eggplant is often overlooked in American cuisine but it’s also a great choice for a weight loss power food. At 25 calories per cup it’s packed with filling fiber and many important trace nutrients like potassium and magnesium. You can eat it raw with a low-cal dip, or serve it steamed or stir fried (but not breaded and fried) for a novel taste treat!

And remember, these are just a few of the foods you should be eating as part of a balanced low calorie diet. Be sure to also eat enough lean protein to keep your energy level up.

Other ways to keep energy high while losing weight are to exercise regularly, avoid caffeine and simple carb foods like sugar that can lead to a spike and crash, and make sure you are getting 7 or 8 hours of high quality sleep every night.

Many people who follow our program at the Center for Medical Weight Loss say after a week or two that they have more energy than they have had in years, despite the fact that they are losing weight. Why? Because while they are eating fewer calories we make sure those calories are packed with nutritional value. This is not only the secret to keeping your energy levels high during weight loss, but also key to making sure you are losing fat, not just weight.

Dr. Michael Kaplan

Founder and Chief Medical Officer

The Center for Medical Weight Loss




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