13 Healthy Weight Loss Foods to Include in Your Diet
Trying to figure out which foods are good and which foods are bad for you whenever you are trying to lose weight can be quite overwhelming and make the process even harder. So we thought to make that easier for you and share a list of our personal favorite weight loss-friendly foods. We will be talking about 13 delicious and scientifically proven weight loss foods that you should add to your weekly meal planning if you want to see a change whenever you step on the scale.
13 healthy foods that will help you lose weight
Eggs are possibly the most popular breakfast food around the world. Who does not want to wake up to the smell of freshly fried eggs? With some whole grain bread next to them and some of your favorite veggies? You have the perfect, nutritious, and highly weight-loss-friendly breakfast ready in just a few minutes.
You see, for the longest time ever, people have tried to stay away from eggs, being afraid of their “high” cholesterol levels. And while a high intake of eggs is still not recommended, there is no reason why you should pass on the additional nutrients that eggs have to offer you. Plus, not to mention that they are also one of the best weight-loss foods out there.
Eggs are rich in protein and healthy fats, which makes them highly satiating (1, 2). This means that they will be able to keep you full for a long time and help you stay on track with your calorie deficit throughout the day. Multiple studies have discussed the importance of a high-protein breakfast, such as eggs, in the fight against overweight and Obesity, all of them offering proof of the high efficiency of eggs to enhance weight loss (3, 4).
The next weight-loss-friendly food that we have for you are leafy greens. In this group, you will find kale, spinach, swiss chards, and many other tasty veggies, all of which are loaded with essential vitamins and nutrients. But that is not exactly the reason why we decided to include them in this list.
Leafy greens are all very low in calories and carbs, and in return, are rich in fiber. By adding more leafy greens to your meal, you will be able to increase its volume, without necessarily increasing its calorie count. This is one of the scientifically proven weight-loss strategies that you need to practice on a daily level to achieve great weight-loss results (5).
One mineral that is found in leafy greens and in which we are interested in weight loss is calcium. According to a 2003 study, calcium helps aid fat burning (6). This is the second reason why you should start by filling half of your plate with leafy greens whenever you are eating lunch and dinner if you want to see that belly fat disappearing and never returning.
Yet another popular high-protein breakfast, but also a snack, the option is Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is packed with protein, calcium, and probiotics, among other nutrients, all of which will help you shed those extra pounds in a fast and effective weight.
Easily paired up with some fresh or frozen fruit, nuts, seeds, granola, or added to your favorite smoothie, Greek yogurt is certainly a fun ingredient that you can experiment around with while using its powers for good and losing weight. Similar to eggs, because of its high protein and fat content, Greek yogurt will keep you full for a longer time, thus preventing unwanted snacking and overeating during the day (7).
Speaking of seeds, we have one of the most nutritious foods right here in this list – chia seeds! An ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds contains even 11 grams fiber and 4 grams protein, among other much-needed nutrients, which is pretty amazing for such small seeds, you would think (8).
With the amount of fiber that they contain, chia seeds possess the power to absorb up to 10-12 times their weight in water, creating a gel-like substance to promote fullness, but also slow the absorption of your food, helping to suppress your hunger (9). Being a source of clean protein also helps their case of being weight-loss-friendly food.
In a study published in Obesity, the obese and overweight participants that increased their daily protein intake to 25% of the daily calorie intake, have reported reduced cravings by 60%, lower desire for snacking throughout the day and night and achieving weight loss of almost one pound per week (10). And what is a better source of clean protein than chicken breast?
Because of its high protein content, chicken breast is real weight-loss food. This lean protein source is great for anyone who is following a low-fat, low-carb diet plan since chicken breast contains very little fats and carbs. There are thousands of recipes that you can try and even meal prep for the entire week by using chicken breasts.
Avocados, unlike most fruits, contain very little carbs, and instead, offer us a high amount of quality, healthy fats. This is the reason why avocados should be a part of everyone’s weekly menus, but they are especially recommended to anyone who is trying to lose weight.
Thanks to their high-fat content, avocados can help you feel more satisfied after eating (11). This is because the fats slow down the release of food from your stomach. Fats are not the only thing that avocados contain. They also contain high amounts of water and fiber, among other helpful vitamins and nutrients, especially potassium, as well. While they are a great addition to any meal and even snack – Have you trying adding avocado to your smoothie, because you definitely should, they are yet another very popular breakfast food. If you are struggling with keeping away from mindless snacking between breakfast and lunch, try pairing your morning eggs with some avocado and notice an immediate difference.
Because it is only natural to crave a snack or two in between your meals, here is one snack that is highly nutritious, weight-loss-friendly, and even more delicious – nuts! A handful of mixed nuts – almonds, walnuts, cashews, etc. is a great example of how a healthy snack looks like.
Despite being high in fats and calories, many studies over the years have talked about their efficiency at improving the metabolic rate and promoting weight loss (12, 13). This means that not only will nuts be able to satisfy your hunger; they will also be offering many nutrients, vitamins, and minerals while boosting your metabolism so that you are burning more calories on the go.
Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, and cabbage tend to be highly feeling because of their high fiber content. Many of them also contain a decent amount of protein. Not to mention the fact that, like most other veggies, they are also low in calories and carbs, which makes them the perfect weight-loss food. The combination of nutrients found in cruciferous veggies is the one that you need, no matter whether you are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight and is the one that will help improve your overall health.
Salmon, and any other fatty fish in general, is yet another great lunch and dinner weight loss friendly food. Fish is a great source of protein, healthy fats, and a variety of important nutrients, such as iodine. Salmon is also one of the greatest sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for being able to reduce inflammation and support a healthy heart function.
A study published in 2007 showed that men who ate three 5-ounce servings of salmon per week for a month, being a part of a low-calorie diet, have achieved greater weight loss results as compared to an equicaloric diet that excluded fish (14). Another study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry demonstrated the ability of fatty fish to signal the thyroid cells in the liver to increase the percentage of fat being burned on a daily level (15).
It seems that whenever someone mentions potatoes, we instantly think of French fries, which makes us want to deny potatoes of their rightful place in any weight loss plan. But frying is not the only way to prepare potatoes. When is the last time that you have had boiled potatoes, for example?
Did you know that boiled potatoes are the perfect weight-loss food, despite them being on the scale of higher carb foods? White, boiled potatoes are also filled with more fiber than you could count. That is the reason why they have scored the highest of all foods tested on the popular Satiety index list (16). Instead of gaining weight, you will be losing weight by eating more boiled potatoes since they will keep you full and far away from wanting any junk food and empty calories during the day. F
or the best weight loss effects, we would recommend allowing the boiled potatoes to cool down and eating them cold. That way, you will be consuming more of something called resistant starch. Resistant starch is a fiber-like substance that will add to the satiety levels of your boiled potatoes, thus promoting weight loss (17).
Apart from nuts, another great snack option that we have for you is popcorn. Popcorn is relatively low in calories, has low energy density, and contains a high amount of fiber. These are all of the previously mentioned characteristics of the healthiest weight loss foods so far.
Replacing your usual potato chips bag with a bag of freshly popped popcorn might as well be one of the best weight loss tricks. When a 2012 study compared the feelings of fullness after eating potato chips and popcorn, it showed that 15 calories of popcorn were just as filling as 150 calories of potato chips (18).
However, even with the healthiest foods of them all, moderation is the key here. Besides, how you prepare your popcorn matters as well. Always choose to pop your popcorn by using little to no oil and do not be too generous with the salt while trying to spice up your popcorn.
Beans and legumes
Lentils, black beans, and kidney beans can be quite good for you whenever you try to lose weight. All of these foods tend to be quite rich in fiber and protein – two nutrients that are declared as weight-loss friendly. These are also the best version of protein sources for vegans and vegetarians. We can go on and on about the thousands of different ways in which you can add more beans and legumes to your diet.
Another great vegan and vegetarian option, this time for breakfast, is oatmeal. Starting your day with a bowl of oatmeal can help you see a change on your scale. One study showed that participants who ate oatmeal felt fuller and less hungry, thus losing more weight, as compared to those who ate any ready-to-eat breakfast cereal (19). This is, of course, thanks to the high satiety due to the quality soluble and insoluble fiber found in oatmeal. Sprinkle some cinnamon, add some fresh fruits, and there you have it – the perfect, healthy oatmeal that will keep you full for hours!
Today we successfully shared a long list of healthy and weight-loss friendly foods that we hope will help you to finally see the change that you have wanted to see whenever you step on your scale. As you can see, here we have something for everybody – from vegans to vegetarians to those following a low-carb, high-fiber diet. Now it is up to you to plan healthy meals with as many weight-loss friendly foods from this list as you can use.