Yes- eating fish is good for weight loss because it is high in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids.
But before I jump into the details of why fish helps you lose weight, let me say this…
I know fish is not everyone's “cup of tea”.
Some folks just don't enjoy the taste of fish. In this case, stick with your chicken, beef, pork, and whey proteins.
If you've already got your protein intake up to par based on those sources, there are plenty of supplements you can take to get your Omega-3 fatty acids.
And if you're not a fish-eater for other reasons ie; vegan, there are some non-animal-based Omega-3 sources to turn to.
With that out of the way, let's get to it!
Why adding fish to your diet helps you lose weight
The first (and main) reason fish helps weight loss is that it keeps you feeling full.
Fish is satiating, meaning that it makes you feel full and satisfied after eating.
This is due to the protein and Omega-3 fatty acids.
These nutrients take longer to digest than other types of food, so you feel fuller for longer.
And as you know, weight loss is a game of calories in vs. calories out.
To lose weight you must create a caloric deficit, which means you're burning more calories than you're consuming.
So, including fish in your diet can help you eat fewer calories and lose weight in the long run.
The second reason eating fish helps you lose weight is the high amount of Omega-3 fatty acids, which helps balance your blood sugar and lower inflammation.
The benefit of balancing your blood sugar is that it may help you from getting food cravings later in the day.
Again- this assists in lowering your “calories in” part of the weight loss equation.
The benefits of lowering inflammation are mainly less fatigue and more physical and mental energy.
When you have more energy, you tend to move around more (the calorie burn from non-exercise activity, or NEAT, can add up), and you're also more likely to exercise.
Add up your exercise activity + non-exercise activity, and you've got the “calories out” part of the weight loss equation going.
We're in a good spot now. We're burning body fat at a higher rate, and losing weight on the scale.
Secondary benefits of eating fish
Did you know that the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism is, and the more calories you burn?
I can hear your *gasp*…
“I don't want to be big and muscly”
That's ok. It takes years and years of hard and heavy weight training to gain the kind of muscle that's scaring you.
I'm talking about performing normal weight training exercises that give you the illusion of a “tight and toned” body.
You don't need to get big muscles to take advantage of the additional calorie burn, just adding a small amount of muscle around your frame will work wonders.
So to wrap up this section:
- Yes, fish can help you lose weight.
- Fish is high in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids.
- For our weight loss purposes, the benefits of high protein and Omega-3's are that they keep you full, which helps you eat fewer calories.
- Incorporating exercise and non-exercise activity boosts your metabolism, resulting in faster fat loss.
Now that we have the foundation laid regarding fish and weight loss, let's get to some commonly asked questions.
Can fish make you fat?
Eating more calories than you burn causes gain fat.
Is fish going to make you fat? Not likely. You'd have to eat an awful lot of fish to go over your calorie allotment for the day.
If you're eating at your maintenance level of calories and add fish on top of that, then yes, you could gain fat from the additional calories.
Does fish make you lose belly fat?
Taking fish oil can make you lose belly fat, along with fat from the rest of your body, as long as you're in a calorie deficit.
Some studies have shown that the Omega-3 fatty acids from fish can specifically speed up the loss of belly fat, or visceral fat.
However, the rate of fat loss from specific areas of the body is highly individualized due to genetic factors.
Some people notice belly fat loss quicker than others.
I wouldn't take fish oil expecting miracles.
Take fish oil in addition to your calorie-controlled diet, combine it with some weight training and cardio and let the chips fall where they may.
Is chicken or fish better for weight loss
Both chicken and fish are good for weight loss.
Fish has Omega-3 fatty acids, which may give it a leg up, but they're both high in protein making them good weight loss foods.
You don't want to eat fish every day – especially not the type of fish high in mercury.
According to the FDA, shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish are all high in mercury.
Mercury is a toxic metal that can damage the brain and nervous system, so it's important to limit your intake.
Other types of fish that are lower in mercury include salmon, shrimp, tuna (canned light), tilapia, and catfish.
Is fried fish good for weight loss?
No, because it is typically high in fat and calories.
However, fish is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for overall health.
When choosing fish for weight loss, it is best to choose leaner options, such as grilled or baked fish.
Salmon, tuna, and other fatty fish are also a good choice, as they are high in healthy fats.
Ultimately, including fish as part of a healthy diet can be beneficial for weight loss; however, fried fish is not the best choice.
Can I lose weight by eating fish and vegetables?
Yes, you can lose weight by eating fish and vegetables because they're both filling and low in calories.
We love our fat burning fibrous vegetables as they're loaded with fiber to keep you satiated, and you can eat as much as you'd like.
Vegetables can be eaten at each meal if you like.
Fish, on the other hand, should be rotated out with other protein sources to avoid issues with mercury as mentioned above.
You can rotate fish meals with lean beef, pork, chicken, and dairy sources such as cottage cheese or whey protein powder.
Is fish and rice good for losing weight?
Fish and rice can be good for losing weight- as long as you're coming in under your calorie allotment for the day.
Sushi nigiri can be fine as a tasty “weight loss meal”, for example.
The key is to not go overboard on calories from rice, which is pretty easy to do.
We like to add a serving of fibrous vegetables to a fish + rice meal so it slows down digestion and takes up more room in your stomach, making you feel like you've eaten a lot more than you actually have.
Is tilapia fish good for weight loss?
Tilapia is a good choice of fish as it is low in total calories and fat +23g of satiating protein per 3-oz serving.
Is eating fish every day healthy?
Eating fish every day CAN be healthy, but you want to make sure you're rotating through the types of fish you eat.
Make sure you're not eating high-mercury fish more than once a week or less.
Another option is to add shellfish as they're also loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids and protein.
In conclusion, if you’re looking to raise your metabolism, boost your weight loss results, and improve your overall health, adding fish to your diet is a great place to start.
Fish are packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which have been shown to help increase metabolic rate and promote healthy weight loss.
What’s not to love about that?
So go ahead and add some delicious fish recipes to your meal plan – you won’t regret it!