Fish is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids, which aid weight loss. Scientists have found that regular consumption of fish and fish oil can help reduce inflammation-induced obesity, lower leptin and blood pressure levels, increase insulin sensitivity, and improve heart health (1), (2), (3). Though all fish are nutritious, only a few can help you lose weight. Which ones? Read on to find out which fish are the best for weight loss, how they can help you lose weight, ways to consume them, and a weight loss diet that will help you mobilize the fat. Let’s hop in!
FIsh And Weight Loss – Connecting The Dots
- Fish Are A Good Source of Lean Protein
If you want to lose weight, you must focus on losing fat and not lean muscle mass. Fish are a good source of lean protein and help you build lean muscle mass. The muscles, hormones, and enzymes are made of protein. Therefore, providing your body with the daily required dose of protein helps keep your metabolism active, hormones balanced, and all other body functions running.
- Fish Are Rich In Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Most of us are aware of the fact that fish are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. But how does that help in weight loss? The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish help your body achieve the recommended omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid ratio. This, in turn, helps reduce inflammation caused due to excessive omega-6 fatty acids found in most junk foods. Since unchecked inflammation can put the body in a state of stress and lead to weight gain, consuming fish will help reduce inflammation and your chances of gaining fat.
- Fish Lower Triglyceride Levels
Did you think you should avoid fatty fish to become slim? Wrong. Fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and help lower triglyceride levels in the blood.This, in turn, prevents the risk of cardiovascular diseases, keeps you active, and inhibits all obesity-inducing triggers.
- The Omega-3 Fatty Acids In Fish Act As A Natural Anti-Depressant
Depression is a serious illness that can be triggered due to genetic or environmental factors. The diet that most of us choose has an imbalanced omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid ratio. An increased consumption of fish/fish oil has been found to lower the stress levels and increase glucose uptake and utilization. Both stress and malfunctioning glucose transporters can lead to weight gain. So, consume fish or fish oil to stay healthy mentally and physically.
- Fish Are Low In Calories
One more reason fish are a great option when you are on weight loss mission is that they are low in calories. So, you can have grilled or poached fish with veggies without consuming more than 350 calories. You will not feel hungry for the next two hours, and your taste buds will also be satiated.
So, these were the scientific reasons fish are highly recommended for those trying to shed the flab. Now, let me give you the list of best fish for weight loss. These fish are easily available, but if you don’t find them in the local market or supermarket, you can go ahead and buy any other variety. As I said in the beginning, any fish is good for weight loss. Let’s hop right in and find out the best fish for weight loss.
6 Best Fish For Weight Loss
1. Wild Salmon
Wild-caught salmon is a fatty fish, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and is therefore regarded as one of the best fish for weight loss. You will get 175 calories from 3 oz of salmon. It is rich in vitamin A, folate, niacin, vitamin B 12, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and lean protein. In fact, scientists have found that salmon consumption helps reduce the BMI of participants by 5.6% as compared to whey protein (4). So, try consuming wild-caught Atlantic salmon for better results.
Canned or not, tuna is good for you if you are trying to lose weight. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, EPA, and DHA. From a cup of canned tuna, you will get 179 calories and 39.3 grams of protein. Tuna is also a good source of calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin A, folate, niacin, and vitamin B 12. Both fatty and skinny tuna are recommended for you (5). You can easily prepare tuna salad, sandwich, casserole, wraps, and pasta.
Mackerel is a fatty fish that is a close relative of tuna. It contains a good amount of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, EPA, DHA, vitamin B 12, and selenium. All these nutrients help reduce inflammation, improve metabolic rate, and build lean muscle mass. You can have grilled or boiled mackerel, mackerel stew or curry for lunch or dinner to lose weight.
Like any other fatty fish, herring are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. You will get 176 calories from 3 oz of herring fillet. They are also a good source of vitamins A, D, and B12, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium. Have poached or grilled herring with veggies to balance the daily requirement. The FDA recommends consuming herring twice a week.
5. Pacific Cod
Cod liver oil is already known for its hair growth-promoting, heart health-improving, and inflammation-reducing properties. But if you are not comfortable taking supplements, you can consume Pacific cod. You will get 70 calories from 3 oz of cod fillet. It is a great source of vitamin A, choline, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium. Have it stewed or poached to get all the nutritional benefits.
Hilsa belongs to the herring family, and you can get 310 calories from 3.5 oz of hilsa. Mostly savored in India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, hilsa is also available worldwide. It is also a very good source of vitamin C and calcium. Scientists have found that hilsa has bad cholesterol lowering properties (6). Therefore, it is safe for your heart too. You can buy hilsa from the local supermarket and consume smoked or steamed hilsa for the best weight loss results.
The 6 fish listed above will help you in achieving your target weight. But you can include any other fish in your diet and see good results. Now, let me give you an idea of how your diet chart should look like.
Fish Weight Loss Diet Chart
|Meals||What To Eat|
|Early Morning (6:00 a.m.)||2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds soaked overnight in 1 cup water|
|Breakfast (7:15 a.m)||Oatmeal + 1 cup freshly pressed grapefruit juice|
2 egg white omelets + 1 cup milk + 4 almonds
|Mid Morning (10:15 a.m)||1 cup green tea|
|Lunch (12:30 p.m.)||Tuna salad with light dressing + 1 cup yogurt|
Poached herring with veggies + 1 cup yogurt
|Post Lunch (3:30 p.m.)||1 cup coconut water|
Baby carrots and hummus
|Dinner (6:30 p.m.)||Grilled salmon/hilsa/mackerel with veggies|
Stewed fish with small bowl of brown rice
|Bedtime (10:00 p.m.)||1 cup warm milk with a pinch of turmeric|
This sample diet chart gives you a good idea of what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat. Follow this chart, and you will lose weight effectively. But you must also be physically active to tone up. Here are a few other points that you should keep in mind.
Points To Remember
Consume other protein sources such as chicken breast, ground turkey, legumes, soy chunks, and mushrooms to provide your body the full set of essential amino acids.
- Have 3-4 types of veggies and at least 3 types of fruits per day.
- Include whole grains and healthy fats in your diet.
- Eat 5-6 times a day.
- Keep yourself hydrated.
- Get proper rest. Sleep for at least 7 hours a day.
- Do a mix of cardio and strength training and workout at least 3-4 times a week.
- Do not starve yourself.
- Practice yoga and meditation to keep the stress away.
Caution: Due to increased water pollution, there is a greater risk of mercury poisoning through fish. Make sure you buy your fish from a trusted source. You can also take fish oil supplements instead.
To conclude, fish are low in calories and rich in protein and healthy fats, which makes them highly nutritious. By consuming fish regularly, you will be able to lose fat, improve bone health, and prevent skin and hair loss problems. So, go ahead, shed the fat, and look and feel gorgeous all the time. Cheers!
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