Managing one’s weight can be more complex than losing it. As discussed in our article on “Weight Management for Athletes”, it involves lifestyle changes that go beyond maintaining a certain physique. It also encompasses better eating habits anchored on a balanced diet, as what you eat can make or break your weight. That said, it’s important for athletes and fitness enthusiasts to know which types of food can particularly aid in their weight goals. Below, let’s take a look at five such foods essential for weight maintenance.
Considered the ultimate food, eggs contain nearly every nutrient your body needs. It is full of protein, vitamins, and minerals, including amino acids, calcium, and Vitamin D. These boost your metabolism by positively altering how fat cells are formed and stored. Additionally, eggs are low in calories, making them ideal for those who keep track of their calorie intake. As they are highly versatile, eggs can feature in various meals throughout the day. You can fry and pair them with toast for breakfast, or hardboil them for a quick snack.
Despite its high carbohydrate content, rice is a staple in most diets because it is rich in fiber. This slows digestion and makes you feel full longer, preventing you from eating more than you should. Rice is also often incorporated in meals due to how flexible and easy to prepare it is, even for cooking novices who have the right tools. Case in point, the Cuckoo rice cooker has multiple cook settings which allow you to variate your meals with little fuss. As such, you can easily make congee or sticky rice to suit your appetite. In this way, meals are never boring or lacking in fiber and fuel–even if it is centered on something as simple as rice.
Also known as lupins, lupini beans are nutritious and very filling due to their high fiber and protein content. Originating from the Middle East, they are also an excellent source of prebiotic fiber, which stimulates the growth of good bacteria in the gut. This is important for maintaining your weight, as a healthy gut encourages your body’s response to insulin. Consequently, fat is less likely to be stored around the waist. Although typically pickled and served as an appetizer, lupins can elevate any stew with the help of slow cookers like the Cuisinart multicooker. With these, bean prep can be foolproof and perfect for healthy meal prep.
More than providing a creamy texture and a pop of color to meals, avocados are a good source of healthy fats and monounsaturated oleic acid. A Nutrients study finds that a higher intake of these lead to lower fat storage, increased satiety, and a faster metabolism–all of which are key to sustaining your weight. That said, be mindful of eating avocados in moderation, as healthy fat is still fat. Nonetheless, they can be incorporated into salads, toasts, and even smoothies. They also go really well with blueberries, which lend an extra punch of flavor, fiber, and antioxidants.
If you’re tired of eating chicken as a primary source of lean protein, switch things up with salmon instead. This heart-healthy fish is filled with omega-3 fatty acids that reduce excess belly fat and protect your muscles from exercise-induced inflammation or damage. Because it’s also rich in protein, salmon can help regulate satiety and maintain your lean body mass. This reduces the risk of weight fluctuations and instead stabilizes it. There are plenty of ways to prepare salmon, like grilling, baking, or airfying it. Regardless of how you prepare it, try to incorporate salmon at least twice a week alongside other proteins.
Trying to sustain your body at its healthiest can be tricky. However, through healthy lifestyle changes such as exercise and a balanced diet, it can be achieved and even rewarding.
Feature photo source: Pexels
By Lilah Neilsen