- Four years ago, I halved my body fat and have been losing fat ever since.
- My diet varies but there are staples I always buy, like sourdough bread and broccoli.
- I include all food groups, eat protein-rich meals, and adjust portion size to my goal.
Four years ago, I almost halved my body fat and lost 35 pounds, and I’ve stayed about the same body composition ever since.
Strength exercises, walking, and eating a high-protein diet have helped me maintain fat loss and build more muscle over the years, and certain foods have become staples in my grocery cart.
I know that no foods are naturally fattening, so if my weight fluctuates a bit and I want to shed a few pounds of fat, I simply change up my portion sizes rather than cutting out any food groups.
I always keep my protein high, as it helps your muscles recover from workouts, it satiates you and keeps you full, and helps you hold on to muscle while losing fat in a calorie deficit.
My diet isn’t “perfect” – I follow the 80/20 principle to try to make nutritious food choices 80% of the time and eat whatever I want the rest of the time, including cake, pizza and cookies.
Whether I’m trying to build muscle, maintain my weight, or lose fat, these are the 13 foods I always keep in my kitchen.
1. Greek Yogurt
I eat so much fat-free Greek yogurt (or other naturally high-protein dairy like Icelandic candies or British yogurt) that it has become a joke in my family.
I love the thick, creamy texture, refreshing taste and versatility – I don’t just use it in smoothies and overnight oats and eat it with honey, fruit, and granola, but sometimes I replace it with sour cream in savory dishes. It is full of protein and allows you to eat a large amount of food while keeping the calories low.
“Greek yogurt is a great source of protein, and once you choose one that has no added sugar, it’s low in sugar and will keep you full and satisfied.” Daniel Davy He said from the inside. “Great to add to fruit as a balanced snack.”
I eat oats in some form most mornings, whether it’s protein oatmeal, overnight oats, or baked oats. I also sometimes use it in pancakes and baked goods like pancakes or banana bread.
“Oats contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, which is vital for digestive health,” Davey said. “Oats are a slow-digesting carbohydrate food that keeps you feeling full for longer.”
I love bananas, whether they’re sliced over peanut butter on bread or toast, mashed into oats, baked in the oven with a chocolate filling, or frozen and then mixed into creamy smoothies.
“Banana is a great pre- or post-workout energy source, perfect for smoothies, and to add to toast for a recovery snack,” Davey said. They also contain potassium, which is an essential mineral for nerve function and the regulation of blood pressure and heart rate.
4. Chicken breasts
Some people find chicken boring, but when it’s cooked well, I think it’s delicious. I use chicken in fajitas, curries, sandwiches, stews, and more.
“Chicken breasts are rich in protein, which helps the body grow and repair, so it’s especially useful at meals after an intense workout,” Davey said.
5. The land of Turkey
Turkey is a less fat alternative to beef and is tasty on its own. I like to cook Mexican spices or make chili and serve it with rice and vegetables.
“Low carb and high in protein, ground turkey is ideal for meeting protein goals or mixing protein sources,” Davey said.
Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables and I add it to most meals (I agree that’s weird). It is also relatively high in protein relative to green vegetables, providing four grams per 100 grams.
“Broccoli contains vitamin C, which is good for the immune system,” Davey said. It helps the body make specialized immune cells to fight infection.
I love scrambled eggs, omelets, and frittatas and often add cheese and veggies for added flavor and nutrients. Cheese scrambled eggs with sourdough toast topped with avocado is one of my lunch staples.
“Eggs are a source of protein and vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption to strengthen bones and teeth,” Davey said.
8. Sourdough bread
Whether it’s under avocado and eggs, toasted and topped with peanut butter and banana, or held together in a chicken sandwich, I love the flavor of sourdough and the fact that it’s good for my gut, too.
“Sourdough bread is a great source of energy and may also support gut health due to the presence of lactic acid used in the bread making process,” Davey said.
9. Cheddar cheese
Cheddar cheese is delicious over a bowl of Mexican-spiced chicken and vegetables, in scrambled eggs or an omelet, melted over baked potatoes with baked beans, or mixed with pasta. If I’m trying to eat in a calorie deficit, I watch my portion size or buy a low-fat version.
“Cheddar cheese is a good source of protein and a rich source of calcium, a mineral essential for bone health and muscle contraction,” Davey said.
10. Frozen berries
Frozen berries are much cheaper than fresh berries, quite nutritious, and you don’t have to worry about spoiling. I turn them into fruit juices or let them melt on my oats overnight.
“Frozen berries are a great source of antioxidants and fiber. Perfect over overnight oats or in a smoothie,” Davey said.
11. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is rich in calories, but it is also filling. I often add it to my oatmeal or overnight oats, and it keeps me fuller than I do. I keep an eye on my portion size when I’m trying to stick to a calorie deficit, but I absolutely love peanut butter and eat it with everything from bread to curries.
“Peanut butter contains polyunsaturated fats that help the body absorb the fat-soluble vitamins,” Davey said. “It works great on toast or added to porridge in the morning.”
Avocados are also high in calories but packed with nutrients — and delicious. I eat it with eggs and toast, in a sandwich with chicken, in salads, and in fajitas.
“Avocados are a great source of healthy fats that are essential for optimal health,” Davey said. “Avocados are a good source of magnesium.”
13. Brown rice
I usually buy brown rice over white because it releases energy more slowly and has more fiber, plus I like the flavor. I eat rice with curries, peppers, salads and more.
“Brown rice is a great source of slow-digesting carbohydrates and a good source of fiber that digests slowly in the body for sustainable energy levels,” Davey said.
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