Don't Worry—You Can Still Eat These Foods When You're Trying To Lose Weight
When you think about dieting, you focus on eating foods that are healthy for you, eliminating all the junk foods. Those sweet treats, the savory snacks, and everything in between…they're no longer in your food options. Well, what if we told you that there are foods that have been given a negative reputation, but you can actually eat while trying to lose weight?
You read that correctly! There are popular foods that have been known to take a back seat when it comes to dieting. However, there are ways to get around eating them so it doesn't feel like you're missing out on these delicious foods. We spoke with Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook to clarify what foods we can eat in our diet that we'd originally keep off our plates. Then, be sure to check out The Worst Guilty Pleasure Snacks.
"Most people hear burgers and think 'no way, not when I am trying to lose weight,' but the truth is YES, you can eat a burger," Goodson exclaims. "It's all about how you build your burger."
Goodson further suggests that the goal when eating a meal is to have a high fiber carbohydrate and protein to help get you full faster and stay full longer, and incorporate veggies. A burger can include all of this.
First, start with lean ground beef such as 90% lean, 10% fat (90/10), or 93/7. Then, add the meat to a whole grain bun with cheese. Use avocado instead of mayo, or another high-calorie sauce. Then, load up the burger with veggies like lettuce, tomato, onion, and even grilled mushrooms or caramelized onions.
"Pair that with a salad and you have a delicious 'guilty pleasure' that's nutrient-rich, calorie-conscious, and has 4 of the 4 food groups in it," says Goodson.
This one almost seems too good to be true. But according to Goodson, pizza can fit into your eating pattern when you are trying to lose weight.
"Try a whole-grain crust or even a cauliflower crust for lower calories and carbohydrates," Goodson says. "Skip the white sauces and use tomato sauce or even a brush of olive oil. Then add a lean protein like grilled or roasted chicken, mozzarella cheese, and load that bad boy up with veggies and fruit."
Some combination suggestions Goodson gives are arugula and figs with a balsamic glaze, roasted spinach, butternut squash, and pine nuts, or caramelized onions, peaches, and walnuts.
Not only are these pizzas there to help you get fiber and protein, but they help you feel satisfied and are low in saturated fat. Goodson also suggests pairing your pizza with a salad for the perfect meal.
"Most people agree that baked goods and muffins don't make the weight loss eating plan, but there are actually some muffin recipes that are nutrient-rich and low-calorie," says Goodson. "Muffins made with oats or oat flour are a great place to start because they are higher in fiber."
Goodson further suggests adding nuts and fruit and trying to cut back on the sugar. You can do this by adding less sugar or swapping half of the sugar with an alternative cooking sweetener.
Another healthy alternative? Trying a muffin with veggies in it!
"There are some brands that do a fantastic job at getting extra nutrients into baked goods like Veggies Made Great," says Goodson. "The first ingredient of their muffins is a vegetable!"
"Many people think they have to eat egg whites if they are 'on a diet.' FALSE," Goodson says. "Eggs are one of the most nutrient-rich foods out there and by far one of the most satisfying."
According to Goodson, the protein and fat in eggs will help you stay full for hours. Eggs also provide nutrients like iron, vitamin B-12, choline, and others that are essential for health.
If you want to play around with the versatility of the eggs, Goodson suggests several options.
"Scramble them in the morning with veggies, eat hard-boiled eggs as a snack or slice them up on a salad. Whatever you do though, don't throw away the yolk! That's where most of the nutrients are!"