When it comes to weight loss, isn’t everyone is looking for a quick fix? Most of us have figured out, by now, that there is no magic bullet! And, if you’re a veteran to the weight loss game, you also know that how you lose weight is important. The goal is to lose weight slowly and steadily-- to BLAST FAT WHILE MAINTAINING MUSCLE MASS! But that’s easier said than done! Here’s some surprising news about turbocharging fat loss while losing weight for good.
Recent research shows the benefits of essential fatty acids for turbocharging your fat loss while giving you the nutrients you need to maintain beneficial lean muscle. Since muscle burns up to three times as many calories as fat, it’s easy to see how maintaining it is an essential part of successful weight loss. Fish and nuts are known for their omega-3 fatty acid content, with salmon being a super star, but there are many more surprising sources that can help you meet your daily needs. According to the Institute of Medicine, adults need 1100 to 1600 milligrams of omega-3’s each day. One more thing to keep in mind - because your body cannot synthesize omega-3 fatty acids, you need to consume them through foods.
Eat fat and lose weight? What’s the catch you might ask? One of the reasons why including fat in your diet is so important for weight loss success is that it satisfies hunger, thus reducing appetite and lowering total food consumption. Dietary fat, like dietary fiber, slows down the emptying of the stomach so you feel full longer. When you are not as hungry during the day, it makes sense that that you will cut down on snacks and eat less at meals. As a result, you consume fewer calories. Do keep in mind though, that fat contains more calories per gram than either protein or carbohydrate, so keep calories and portions in check by using a food tracker.
Check out these foods to help you get your daily dose!
While it may not have a “foodie” reputation, it can be dressed up and transformed into a delicious meal. A ½ cup serving of raw tofu contains just 100 calories and 400 mg Omega-3 fatty acids, or about a third of your daily requirement.
Need a few tips on making tofu tasty? Always, always, press and drain tofu and use a well-seasoned, oil-free marinade. For more information, check out Good Housekeeping’s “How to Make Tofu Taste Good: 6 Easy Tofu Cooking Tips.”
Just ¼ cup raw wild rice contains 120mg omega-3 fatty acids and is relatively low in calories – just 140. Wild rice also boosts a relatively high protein and fiber content when compared to brown rice and it is high in B vitamins, manganese, zinc, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium, according to Dr. Andrew Weil. Cooked wild rice is a great addition to a salad, it can round out a dinner, or can be mixed with dried fruit and cinnamon for a quick breakfast.
It's a little known fact that leafy green vegetables supply a good dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Spinach tops the list with 160 mg per cup of boiled spinach, but there are so many other great greens to choose from, like kale, mustard greens and Swiss chard.
Cube 1/4 cup of fontina cheese for 250 mg omega-3 and 120 calories. Pair it with sweet cherry tomatoes or a high-fiber apple for a satisfying snack or pre-workout meal.
Chia seeds not only boost plenty of omega-3’s but they are also one of the best sources of fiber you can eat. A plethora of research has shown that higher fiber diets promote weight loss by making you feel full and staving off hunger.
What are your favorite ways to enjoy healthful omega-3’s? We want to know! Start a conversation below and share your ideas with us.
Author: Kristen Ciuba
Kristen is a Nutritionist at Diet-to-Go, based in Lorton, VA. She tries to “practice what she preaches” by fitting in healthy foods and cooking, challenging exercise, and quality time with family and friends every day!