For functional medicine doctors, curating a specific diet for patients is the equivalent of prescribing medication; they believe that chronic conditions can be treated by supporting the natural healing mechanisms of the body. Healthy weight management is no different—they believe that "eating healthy should be about feeling great and nourishing your body, not trying to fit into a certain size jean," explains MindBodyGreen, and that a healthy diet can help you get there. The health publication recently tapped its team of doctors, health coaches, and the like to identify what the experts actually eat when they're trying to get in shape. Read up on their exact weight loss meals below.
A Cleansing Salad With Protein Dressing
"I'm not sure there's one food that works for me and everyone else when it comes to weight loss, but a general approach is to increase the nutrient density of your food, make it less processed and anti-inflammatory, and to reset the metabolic hormones with your fork. One staple from my kitchen when I want to drop a few pounds is to make a large hearty and cleansing salad with thinly sliced kale, cabbage, cucumbers, fennel, and dress with a thick dressing and add seeds. For my body type, nuts and red meat add on pounds, so I prefer to add seeds or fresh fish as my protein. The dressing I love this time of year is a blend of cannelloni beans, capers, garlic, lemon, fresh ginger, apple cider vinegar, and extra-virgin olive oil. This gives me the slow carbs I need to nourish my adrenals and thyroid, plus enough protein to prevent loss of lean body mass."
— Sara Gottfried, author of Younger
Avocados and Coconut Oil
"Two of my favorite foods for weight loss are rich in fats: avocados and coconut oil. Avocados are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and coconut oil is rich in saturated fat and medium-chain triglycerides. The important thing to note about fat is that healthy fats such as these do not cause weight gain; they actually control appetite, balance blood sugar, and reduce insulin resistance—one of the key issues at play with weight-loss resistance."
— Vincent Pedre, M.D., and author of Happy Gut
"Ground flaxseed helps with weight loss by binding up excess hormones (as an imbalance is a common contributor to weight gain). It also reduces cravings and increases satiation through its high amount of fiber and bulking properties, optimizes healthy gut bacteria, and improves the integrity of bowel movements. It's also rich in B vitamins, magnesium (nature's relaxer, which is important for stress reduction, as weight gain tends to have a stress component), and zinc (good for immune health). It's a rich source of over 20 fatty acids and a great source of alpha-lipoic acid, which helps reduce inflammation. It's high in minerals like selenium (great for thyroid health, which plays a role in metabolism), manganese, and phosphorus. It's best ground, as whole seeds tend to pass right through us."
— Serena Goldstein, naturopathic doctor
"My favorite food for weight loss is an omelet! Eggs have more than 7 grams of protein each, so an omelet has 14 to 21 grams depending on how many eggs you use, plus significant amounts of B12, biotin, and choline, and up to 400 milligrams of healthy omega-3 fats. Because of this, I think in many ways, eggs are nature's perfect food. Choose free-range, pasture-raised eggs whenever possible, as they are much higher in nutrients and healthy fats than industrially raised eggs (you can actually tell visibly because their yolks are bright yellow or even dark orange instead of pale yellow!). The best part is eggs take just a couple of minutes to whip into an omelet—even if you have no cooking skills. I love adding wild smoked salmon, sautéed spinach, and fresh cherry tomatoes, if they're in season. I love this for weight loss because it's carb- and sugar-free, and carbs and sugar cause us to store fat, especially if we are not super active and work at a desk. As a bonus, the protein increases your resting metabolic rate, so you burn more calories even when you're not being active."
— Robin Berzin, MD, founder of Parsley Health
"Bitter melon is a vegetable commonly eaten in India and China that has tons of medicinal uses, including aiding in weight loss. It's a rich source of phytonutrients, antioxidants, and it's high in fiber, all while assisting with boosting digestive health. It's also low in calories, and it's filling. This vegetable stimulates the liver, which is a major detox organ. The better your liver functions, the better your body can process fats and keep them from storing on your hips, waist, and other areas. Make sure to consult with your doctor before including bitter melon in your diet."
— Karla Solis, holistic dentist
Head over to MindBodyGreen for more.
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