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6 Best Seeds for Weight Loss (According to a Dietician)

Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: September 19, 2022

One of my responsibilities as a fitness trainer is to assist my clients in choosing healthier snacks as part of their meal plans.

Seeds are one of the superfoods I like to recommend because they are easy to consume during workouts.

In fact, I've been using them in smoothies and baked snacks to help me control my weight for many years.

To better advise my clients on the best seeds to help them lose weight, I did a week of research and examined the scientific literature with a dietician.

Let’s dive in.

Quick Summary

  • Seeds such as chia seeds, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds contain fiber, protein, and certain minerals that can help people hasten their process of fat burning.
  • Besides helping people burn fat faster, these seeds also offer many benefits that can aid in the maintenance of overall health.
  • Adding seeds to your weight loss diet can help burn fat and maintain body composition with regular exercise and natural diet pills.

Six Seeds That Help With Weight Loss

A person measuring her waist

During my research, I discovered six nutrient powerhouses that can offer weight loss benefits along with helping you increase metabolism, curb appetite, and gain lean muscle mass.

Let’s get into the best seeds for weight loss.

1. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds can help people reduce excess pounds because they contain vitamins that burn belly fat which include essential nutrients such as vitamin B and vitamin E, minerals, and high amounts of fiber [1].

According to research, increasing fiber intake to 30 grams per day can help your body slim down by keeping you full longer and making you eat less [2] [3].

Mixing one to two tablespoons of chia seeds with water and drinking it in the morning can help you lose weight as it can boost digestion and improve bowel movements.

2. Pumpkin Seeds

Close up shot of pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds, on the other hand, are packed with minerals, including zinc, which is necessary for proper enzymatic activities that regulate metabolism in the body [4].

Research suggests that consuming two tablespoons or one ounce of pumpkin seeds may provide around 20 percent of your daily recommended zinc intake [5].

Snacking on pumpkin seeds on their own in between your gym or home workouts can be an excellent way to consume them, but be reminded to take only a handful to avoid bloating.

3. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are good for weight loss because they are rich in selenium, a trace mineral that helps produce thyroid hormones for healthy metabolism [6].

According to one study, increasing dietary selenium intake by one mcg per kg of body weight per day resulted in a three to six percent reduction in body fat [7].

When buying raw sunflower seeds to lose weight fast, look for the label and choose the product with less sodium.

This way, you prevent increasing fluid retention and weight gain [8].

4. Hemp Seeds

Close up shot of hemp seeds

Hemp seeds are a good source of soluble fiber and proteins that are naturally slower to digest, thus increasing satiety [9].

The good news is that hemp seeds are similar to nuts and grains in terms of protein digestibility.

As a result, they are filling but are less likely to cause abdominal discomfort [10].

In the morning, you can get 20 grams of protein and eat less throughout the day by toasting four tablespoons of this superfood on a pan to add to shakes or by making hemp milk.

5. Sesame Seeds

Like most of the seeds on the list, sesame seeds also contain high amounts of fiber and protein to help lose weight.

This kind of seed is an excellent choice for snacking to lose excess pounds.

Moreover, researchers found that sesame seeds contain high levels of linoleic acid, a type of fatty acid that significantly increases fat breakdown and muscle gains [11]. 

Sesame seeds kickstart your metabolic rate in a variety of ways, including sprinkling them on salad dressings and sandwiches for breakfast or snacks.

6. Flax Seeds

Lastly, flax seeds contain significant amounts of dietary fiber, essential amino acids, and antioxidant-rich compounds called lignans [12].

"Lignans are a polyphenol, which is a type of antioxidant. While lignans are in other plant sources, flaxseed contains 75 to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods."

- Kate Patton, Registered Dietician

Researchers found that dietary polyphenols play a key role in weight loss by curbing appetite, lowering fat accumulation, and increasing lipid metabolism [13].

Nutritionists recommend consuming about two to four tablespoons of these healthy seeds daily by sprinkling them on water, yogurt, or homemade smoothies.

Are There Any Other Benefits??

A person with drawn weight loss lines on her body

Eating seeds rich in monounsaturated fat has other health benefits, including cancer prevention, reducing cholesterol levels, and lowering the risks of heart disease [14].

Furthermore, they are high in manganese, copper, and selenium, which are essential to reduce inflammation and produce enzymes that allow thyroid hormones to function properly [15].

Healthy levels of well-functioning hormones can put you in better sleep, sexual function, and good mood, which can contribute to stronger immunity and better health.

Can They Cause Adverse Effects?

Even though seeds appear small and are only one part of a more extensive diet, eating too much can cause adverse effects such as problems with the digestive system.

A weight loss diet high in seeds can result in excessive fiber intake, which can increase bowel movements, stomach upset, and bloating [16].

Aside from that, some people may experience allergic reactions and irregular blood sugar and blood pressure levels, which is why seeds are recommended in small amounts [17].

FAQs

Are Seeds Good for Losing Weight?

Seeds are good for losing weight because they are rich in fiber, protein, and essential minerals for maintaining normal body functions.

They help control your appetite, make your hormones work properly, and increase your metabolic rate.

How Many Seeds Should I Eat a Day to Lose Weight?

The standard recommendation is to eat an ounce or about two tablespoons of seeds per day to lose weight [18].

Taking an ounce of seeds daily can provide you with ten grams of fiber, which can help you eat less and burn more calories.

Can Seeds Burn Belly Fat?

In conclusion, seeds can boost metabolic rate, reduce hunger, and hasten fat breakdown, all of which can help people to burn belly fat, among other areas.

However, simply including seeds in a healthy diet may not be enough to hasten weight loss.

Over the years, I've learned that combining fat-burning supplements with a strict diet and regular exercise always works.

Most of my clients have lost a significant amount of weight without experiencing side effects by taking these products, so make sure to check out our guides.


References:

  1. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/chia-seeds/
  2. https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M14-0611?articleid=2118594
  3. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41430-018-0295-7
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24506795/
  5. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/303864
  6. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Selenium-HealthProfessional/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4728638/
  8. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/does-sodium-make-you-fat
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33493023/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20977230/
  11. https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-015-0097-4
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4517353/
  13. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666833520300022
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3745769/
  15. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32480050/
  16. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321286
  17. https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/food-allergy/peanut-tree-nut-and-seed-allergy
  18. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/dash-diet/art-20050989

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