It’s safe to say that working out is great and very much a necessity when it comes to losing or maintaining weight, but diet is probably even more important. Eating right not only helps you look good, but feel good as well. Wouldn’t it be nice if food helped burn calories? Believe it or not, there are plenty of fat burning filler foods out there that satisfy hunger strikes and provide energy to help fuel workouts.

I recently read some great advice on some foods to incorporate and why they’re so important to keep us going.  Here are some foods that not only fuel your workouts and keep you full, but they also help burn more calories aside from being active. Try to incorporate these foods into your daily diet and see how much they can affect your weight management or weight loss goals.

Cottage Cheese – This provides calcium and ladies need calcium, especially when you can see your 30’s creeping near. Some can’t take the taste, some love it. The key is to eat low fat and in moderation – like a few spoon-fulls. I add sugar-free apple sauce and a dash of cinnamon for flavor. Cinnamon is known to suppress the appetite and apple sauce fills some of your fruit requirement for the day. Cottage Cheese is also a dairy protein and supplies casein and amino acid glutamine to burn fat and assist in recovery after exercise. What a multi-tasking snack eh?

Quinoa – This will fill your grain intake and it’s great to have for lunch, dinner, or snack. It took me a while to acquire the taste, but once I found a way to add flavor I had no problem having about a cup a day. It’s high in fiber which stimulates the release of appetite-suppressing hormones and increases the time it takes for food to move through your intestinal system, meaning fewer calories stored as fat (in other words, keeps you feeling full). This is great with a dash of hot sauce and roasted peppers. I mix mine with a veggie like butternut squash to give it some sweetness while also getting in that veggie requirement.

Veggies – It’s important to eat vegetables, but if you’re anything like me, you probably go into the store with the intention of using them, then before you know it, they’re gross and rotten. Not anymore. As soon as you get home from the store, get the baking sheet out, chop away, mix with salt, pepper and olive oil, and then roast. Put them in little to-go containers and munch on them at work. Or, mix with the quinoa – so good! Veggies like broccoli, spinach, and sweet potatoes are superfoods because they saturate the body with health-building nutrients. Incorporating veggies in your diet keeps your body functioning properly and burning fat (even in between workouts).

When adding what’s required daily like dairy, fruits, veggies, grains, and protein it’s amazing to see the energy level spike so workouts, and even the workday, are easier to get through.