Food Science

How Incorporating Fish Into Your Diet Can Help You Lose Weight

Often, the key to losing weight isn’t necessarily cutting back on the amount of food you’re eating. Instead, substituting your current choices for foods that will keep you full, curb your snacking, and have a low-calorie count may be a more ideal option.

One of these fat-busting foods is fish, and incorporating fish into your diet is an excellent way to alter your lifestyle choices without resulting in crash or fad diets. Consuming more fish is the perfect way to eat healthier and lose that extra weight just in time for summer.

Why Fish?

The U.S Department of Agriculture recommends eating seafood at least twice a week as part of a healthy diet. This recommendation means you need eight ounces of fish as part of your weekly menu. Fish is a food choice that’s rich in nutrients and protein and low in calories. Oily fish in particular, like salmon and tuna, boast the highest levels.

Fish has less cholesterol than meat and is often lower in saturated fat. From a health perspective, fish is a significant change you can make in your diet to live an overall healthier life. It’s what we consider a “lighter food,” as in it feels light when you’re eating it. It’s a meal that you can feel comfortable finishing without feeling like you’ve overindulged. Plus, it keeps you fuller longer. This reality means you’ll eat less over the day, which leads to positive weight loss results. If the food you’re eating keeps you full, you’ll be less likely to snack, which can often be one of the causes of weight gain. This is one of the most prominent ways to derail your diet and ruin your weight loss goals.

Fish is also full of protein and lean on fat. Less fat means less of a chance for weight gain. More protein and less fat also suggest your cholesterol will stay or come down to a healthy level, making you healthier overall. High amounts of protein can also curb hunger, making you less likely to overeat.

There’s no quicker way to gain weight than frequent visits to the cupboard for snacks. Fish helps fill you up, which means you’ll eat a decreased number of times you eat during the day. Being less hungry is especially important at night because you want your dinner to satisfy your hunger, so you don’t sneak into the kitchen for a midnight snack.

Lean fish, in particular, is a vital part of your diet if you’re trying to lose weight. Lean fish, though high in fat, is high in omega-3 fats. These fats are known as the good kind of fat. They boost your metabolism, which means you’ll burn more calories at rest and during activity, leading to increased weight loss. According to a study, three adults took three grams of omega fatty acids for twelve weeks and had their metabolic rate increased by five.

What Types of Fish?

There are several types of fish that are both good and good for you. Often when we think of healthy eating and dieting, we think of salmon as the be-all and end-all of fish choices. And while salmon is an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids, don’t discount the other fish options out there.

Salmon

Salmon is the best fish for weight loss. All salmon have omega-3 fatty acids, which, as we discuss above, boost your metabolism, leading to positive weight loss results. According to Dr. Marit Espe, her research shows that the smoking process to make smoked salmon doesn’t affect the Omega-3 fatty acids.

This research means that you can get the same heart health and weight loss benefits from eating smoked salmon as you can from eating cooked salmon. However, lox, a commonly eaten smoked salmon dish with cream cheese, may not help you lose weight, as the cream cheese has a higher fat component.

Preparation Choice

Ty poaching your salmon fillets for a healthy and flavorful option. Find a saucepan big enough to fit your fillets and add enough liquid to cover them. You can use water, milk, wine, or stock to poach the salmon, and they should poach for about ten minutes. The water, of course, provides the least caloric choice and keeps you on the path to reach your target weight.

Tuna

Tuna has a bad reputation for being associated with mercury. Some types of tuna have higher levels than others. Low-level tunas include canned light tuna and skipjack tuna, and these should be your top choice for tuna. Tuna is very low in calories and very high in vitamins and protein, meaning it’ll fill you up and keep you full longer.

Preparation Choice

Since tuna takes a much shorter time to cook, as it’s best-served medium-rare, try pan-searing it for one to two minutes per side. You’ll want to include tuna in your weight loss meal plan from now on.

Rainbow Trout

Since there are strict regulations around trout farming in the U.S, the number of chemicals that farmers can use is limited. These regulations make trout a healthy choice in addition to its high protein and vitamins. Smoked trout is a popular dish, and as we learned with salmon, the benefits remain intact. However, be aware of increased sodium levels in the smoke variety.

Preparation Choice

Since summer is just around the corner, it might be time to break out your grill. Use a little bit of olive oil, lemon, salt, and pepper, and grill your trout. Losing weight just got yummier.

Halibut

There are a lot of people who want to eat fish for the health and dietary benefit, but they don’t like fishy taste. Halibut doesn’t have that, but what it does have is protein, potassium, and vitamin D.

Preparation Choice

Baking is the perfect way to enjoy halibut all year long. Bake your halibut with the skin side down. Use extra-virgin olive oil to coat the fish before baking. Serve with some green beans or a salad, and you have the perfect match.

Mackerel

Mackerel has a strong flavor and more omega-3s than most fish. Mackerel is thus another fish that should top your list of weight loss foods. Smoked mackerel might increase sodium levels, so be aware of that.

Preparation Choice

Try poaching the mackerel for ten minutes in white wine. A small amount of sugar from the won’t impact your diet too much, but if you’re concerned, poaching in lemon water works just as well.

Cod

It’s another white fish that isn’t too fishy and is easy to prepare. It’s shallow in fat and calories but high in protein. Cod is an excellent weight-loss food for those committed to losing weight this season.

Cod is a great fish to use in fish tacos, an option that can be healthy if you focus on the vegetable and suitable fat components. Cod is also a favorite for fish and chips, but as we mentioned previously, this is not a good option if you’re looking to lose weight. Avoid the deep fryer all together in your weight loss journey.

Preparation Choice

Baking your cod may be the best option. A little lemon juice and oil goes a long way when it comes to flavor. You’ll want to add cod to your weekly meal plans because it’s so healthy, helps with your weight loss, and is incredibly simple to make.

Sardines

Sardines get a bad rap, but these oily little snacks are packed with protein and provide you with 50 percent of your calcium need for the day. The FDA has labeled sardines as low in mercury, and they contain omega-3s, which helps speed up your metabolism and burns fat.

Preparation Choice

Chop canned sardines and add them to your salad. Your salads need protein to keep you full, and this is the solution.

Herring

Similar to sardines, in fact, in the sardine family, herring has high levels of Omega 3 Fatty acids, protein, and vitamin B-12. Pickled herring is quite popular; however, the sodium levels are higher and, therefore, not significant for your weight loss goals.

Preparation choice: the healthiest way to cook boned and filleted herring is to bake it at 180 for 10 minutes on each side.

Tilapia

Tilapia is another white fish that’s great for weight loss because of its high protein content and low-fat content. Like everything, tilapia is best in moderation.

Preparation Choice

Tilapia is great for healthy fish tacos. Bake the Tilapia with some low-fat taco seasoning, and substitute your sour cream with Greek yogurt.

Things to Keep in Mind When Cooking Your Fish

Avoid Sauces

Be conscious of what you’re putting on your fish or what you’re dipping it in. Marinades and sauces are yummy and can enhance your dinner. But using ingredients that negate the positive health and diet effects of the fish is counterproductive.

Soy sauce, which is high in sodium, and mayo, which is fatty, are two popular ingredients in marinades. Avoid ingredients that take away from the fish’s natural healthy qualities. Look for places you can substitute healthier choices that will help you stay on track with your diet.

Fish and Chips Don’t Count

While delicious, this meal negates the purpose of eating fish to lose weight. Deep frying your fish in oil, especially fatty oil, can ruin the nutritional value of the fish. Fried foods, especially battered fried foods, are the quickest way to gain weight, which is the exact opposite of what you’re looking to do. Your fish and chips aren’t an ally to your weight loss journey. If you can, sear or bake your fish in extra virgin olive oil. Fish in olive oil is a much healthier version of fried fish and chips.

Steam or Poach Your Fish

The healthiest way to eat your fish is to steam it. Often, baking, frying, or grilling fish gives it time to dry out, meaning its nutritional value starts to dry with it. Steaming fish at a low temperature prevents this. Poaching is another healthy and quick way to cook your fish that locks in the flavor.

A Healthier Diet

Dieting is hard, and it often doesn’t work because people look for a quick fix, or they’re engaging in unrealistic dieting behavior. Making healthy, tangible meal choices when eating is the best way to lose weight and keep it. Lifestyle choices are more likely to get you to your target weight than any diet you read about on the internet. One of the best foods to incorporate for a new, healthy lifestyle is fish.

Fish can help you lose the weight you want to and keep it off. With its omega-3s, high levels of protein, and low calories, fish is the perfect main dish to compliment any meal for those trying to lose weight. And with so many delicious and healthy recipes out there, it’s so easy to commit to eating more fish in your diet. Eating fish at least twice a week is going to help you slim down and get you ready for the summer.

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