The truth is, there is no single food that will make or break your weight loss goals, nor is there any one type of weight loss diet we should all be on. However, figuring out how to add some nutritional balance to your approach may help make the process feel a bit easier – and potentially improve your health in the long run.
Certain foods can help you shed body weight, because they help you feel full longer and help curb cravings. Some even kick up your metabolism. So take this list when you go to the supermarket.
LIST OF FOODS THAT HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT
A small ½ cup serving of pumpkin has 50 calories, fiber, iron, vitamin E, and 100% of your vitamin A needs. Pumpkin puree is one of your best bets for snacking and cooking purposes. Try this the next time you’re craving sweets: add pureed pumpkin to unsweetened Greek yogurt with cinnamon and chopped pears for a nutritious dessert.
While all yogurt is a pretty good source of protein (around three to four grams per cup), Greek yogurt takes the crown at a whopping 17 grams per cup! Yogurt also contains probiotics, which help promote healthy digestion and gut health!
Kefir is a yogurt-like substance, but it actually contains less sugar and more protein than conventional yogurt while remaining packed with gut-friendly probiotics that can help you lose weight by aiding digestion. In one study, kefir displayed weight loss properties similar to those of milk and other dairy-rich products. Other probiotic-rich foods include kombucha, bone broth, and fermented items such as sauerkraut and kimchi.
Inexpensive, filling, and versatile, beans are a great source of protein. Beans are also high in fiber and slow to digest. That means you feel full longer, which may stop you from eating more.
Start a meal with a cup of soup, and you may end up eating less. It doesn’t matter if the soup is chunky or pureed, as long as it’s broth-based. You want to keep the soup to 100 to 150 calories a serving. So skip the dollops of cream and butter.
Many people think they need to give up starches like pasta, bread and rice when they’re trying to shed pounds. Thankfully this isn’t the case if we’re choosing whole grains most of the time. In addition to vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, whole grains like whole-wheat pasta, brown rice and quinoa contain fiber to keep us feeling satisfied. Plus, our bodies and brains prefer energy from carbohydrates, so consuming these foods alongside protein and healthy fats can reduce cravings for refined carbs and sugar, which can sometimes sabotage weight-loss efforts.
With only 30 calories per cup, broccoli provides a good source of folate, 100% of the daily value for vitamin C, and 75% of your vitamin K needs.
While we don’t mention water here, proper hydration is absolutely critical to a healthy weight. Cucumbers are flush with H2O, low in calories, a good amount of fiber, and a bit of protein as well.
Want to enjoy chocolate between meals? Pick a square or two of dark over the milky version. In one study, chocolate lovers who were given dark chocolate ate 15% less pizza a few hours later than those who had eaten milk chocolate.
Yes, grapefruit really can help you shed pounds, especially if you are at risk for diabetes.
Researchers found that when obese people ate half a grapefruit before each meal, they dropped an average of 3 ½ pounds over 12 weeks. Drinking grapefruit juice had the same results.
But grapefruit juice doesn’t have any proven “fat-burning” properties – it may just have helped people feel full.
Leafy green veggies
Leafy greens like collards, kale, and spinach are loaded with fiber and protein, which will help keep you full for a long time. Very low in calories, dark green veggies are also packed with antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins.
A surprising addition to this list, mushrooms may assist in helping you lose weight by balancing hormones while regulating blood sugar levels. While not “loaded” with protein, one cup of whole mushrooms registers a respectable three grams.
Similar to lentils, oatmeal also takes a while to digest while helping to stabilize blood sugar levels. One cup of cooked oatmeal contains around six grams of protein. Oats also contain a viscous gel that is formed by the submersion of soluble fibers, which helps promote digestion, increase satiety, and lower cholesterol.
Skip the apple juice and the applesauce and opt instead for a crunchy apple. Whole fruit blunts appetite in a way that fruit juices and sauces don’t.
One reason is that raw fruit has more fiber. Plus, chewing sends signals to your brain that you’ve eaten something substantial.
It doesn’t get any better than the healthy fats in this fish when it comes to hearty protein, alongside salmon and sardines. They’re filled with omega-3s and lean protein, helping you fill up at meal time and dodge sneaky snack attacks later in the day or night.
The polyunsaturated fatty acids plus minerals in salmon make it an ideal dinner choice. The vitamin D found in each fillet has been previously linked in research illustrating that it may assist in weight management in overweight individuals. You’ll also get 25% of your daily vitamin B6, which can help with mood and stress regulation.
Pistachios are one of the lowest-calorie nuts, coming in at 160 calories per serving. In addition to being delicious, pistachios come with a slew of health perks. Studies suggest these pretty green nuts can be protective against type 2 diabetes, promote a healthy gut and improve cholesterol levels. And eating them two or more times per week may reduce the risk for future weight gain. We suggest buying pistachios in shells – shelling them as you snack is a simple way to promote mindful eating!
All nuts can be included in a healthy weight-loss diet. They’re satiating and satisfying thanks to their healthy fat, fiber and protein content. The key is portion control, as a serving of nuts (about ¼ cup) ranges between 160 and 200 calories.
Like other low fat and non fat dairy options, cottage cheese contains a ton of protein and essential nutrients to support your goals.
The egg really is the perfect protein, especially when it comes to weight loss. Eaten at breakfast, eggs have been shown to enhance weight loss as part of a reduced-calorie diet. Plus, incorporating enough protein-rich foods like eggs at breakfast may keep evening snack cravings at bay. They’re also economical and versatile enough to meal-prep ahead for grab-and-go snacks and lunches for the week, or to top a power bowl at dinner.
Avocados seem to make the cut when it comes to pretty much any diet plan. The reason? They deliver a one-two punch of healthy fats and fiber, plus a buttery texture that adds richness to meals and snacks.
While they’re higher in calories than other fruits and vegetables, research suggests avocado eaters – those who consume about half an avocado a day along with a healthy diet – have lower body weights and waist measurements. While you can never go wrong with avocado toast, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy them throughout the day.
Believe it or not, air-fried potatoes (yes, really!) are an excellent source of potassium, which can help manage bloating and counterbalance sodium. They’re high in fiber as well, meaning potatoes can be a nutrient-dense food – just as long as they’re not served the french-fry way.
Cranberries contain a substance called ursolic acid. Researchers report that ursolic acid decreases diet-induced obesity, glucose intolerance, and fatty liver disease.
Blueberries are lousy with antioxidants, satiating fiber, potassium, and more, and according to researchers, the colorful fruits may also encourage weight loss.
In a study of laboratory rats, scientists found that after 90 days the rats who consumed blueberry-enriched powder as 2 percent of their diet had less abdominal fat, lower triglycerides, lower cholesterol, and improved fasting glucose and insulin sensitivity, than the rats who didn’t consume any blueberry-enriched powder.
Chia seeds are another powerful superfood. They register nearly 16.5 grams of protein per 100 grams. Containing high amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and fiber as well, chia seeds effectively stimulate fat burning and stave off hunger!
Dried apricots contain the highest amount of protein of any fruit with 3.5 grams per serving. Excellent sources of fiber as well, apricots must be dried to reap weight loss benefits.
Almonds are an excellent source of fiber, and they’re high in protein. Eating foods with the one-two punch of fiber and protein can help you feel fuller longer-which makes it less tempting to reach for an unhealthy snack between meals.
Rich in vitamin E and a good source of heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats, almonds are a great choice to sprinkle over a salad or side dish. You can also use them in pesto in place of walnuts or pine nuts, top your morning granola with them, or simply keep a small bag in your purse as an emergency snack.
Celery offers much more than just low calorie contents. For starters, it contains a great deal of inflammation-lowering antioxidants that can help fight damaging free radials, which are thought to contribute to chronic conditions and cancer.
Celery also contains a compound called “apiuman,” which has been shown to support gastrointestinal health. When the gut is healthy, your metabolism can work more efficiently to aid in weight loss. Goodbye constipation-induced weight gain!
CHOOSING FOODS FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Instead of fried foods, you should better choose foods that have been baked, broiled, or grilled. Lean proteins, including beans, chicken, eggs, fish, and turkey are good alternatives to high-fat meats.
When choosing foods for weight loss, it is also important to be mindful of portion sizes, even for healthful foods.
Sugar-sweetened beverages can provide a significant amount of calories but do not result in the same sense of fullness as solid foods. Choose calorie-free beverages instead of juice and soda, such as water or unsweetened tea.