20 Best Weight Loss Foods
People seeking weight loss should focus energy on reforming the way they think about food, dismissing associations to comfort and boredom and more towards a need to fuel the body. Once you have this mindset, a diet of balanced nutrition should be your goal, focusing less on specific kinds of "weight loss food" and more to wholesome sources that are identified below!
It might sound like a silly question to ask... But is there even such a thing as "weight loss food?"
The best answer to this question is: Not really. But we can explain... As individuals with unique genetic makeups, we all possess diverse physical characteristics that cause our bodies to handle various nutrients in different ways. For this reason, there are not sure-fire foods that will help everyone lose weight, but rather a cumulative list that complements one another to assure adequate nutrients and optimize health!
Healthy Foods to Lose Weight Fast
Filled with satiating protein and healthy fat, almonds are a convenient option food to keep on hand. In fact, research published in the International Journal of Obesity found participants who consumed an almond-enriched (high monounsaturated fat) formula-based low-calorie diet (LCD) decreased body weight and sustained their weight loss compared to those following a complex carbohydrate-enriched LCD. The omega-3 fatty acid content almonds and other nuts provide also reduces inflammation in the body, contributes to good heart health, and promotes mental health.
An apple a day can keep weight at bay! Apples offer a high fiber content at a low calorie cost. Diets high in fiber have been associated with healthy body mass indexes, as fiber offers satiation and may prevent the opportunity of overeating. Pair with protein-packed peanut butter or a cheese stick for a healthy snack.
Unlike most fruits recognized as carbohydrate sources, avocados are acknowledged for their fat content. But do not fear the fat! Avocadoes supply heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, along with fiber, potassium, folate, copper, and vitamins B6, C, E, and K. And if searching for a creamy treat to cool you down (without packing on tons of calories!), look no further than this avocado ice cream recipe!
Along with bean's notorious supply of fiber, they are also a valuable plant-based protein source. Beans are relatively low on the glycemic index (GI), with research published in The New England Journal of Medicine demonstrating a diet moderately high in protein and slightly reduced in GI can sustain weight loss and prevent weight regain. Enjoy black, pinto, red, and kidney beans in chili, soups, casseroles, salads, and other entrees as preferred!
Supplying a mere 80 calories and four grams of fiber per one cup, blueberries can promote weight loss and maintenance. And since blueberries are naturally sweet, their intake can fulfill a hankering sweet tooth without packing on calories from sugar-laden desserts. And not to mention, blueberries are one of the most antioxidant-rich food source!
6. Chia Seeds
While their claim to fame may have stemmed from a plant pet, their role in health are extremely acknowledged today. From their large volume of omega-3 fatty acid content to their significant fiber content, the small (but mighty) chia seeds are shown to offer these five health benefits, including weight loss. For a healthy breakfast, snack option, or even dessert, give this vanilla chia seed recipe a try!
Packed with protein without supplying a significant amount of calories or fat, chicken may be one of the most infamous "diet" foods. But the lean protein is much more than a pairing with broccoli and rice and includes these 11 flavorful and different ways to cook chicken!
8. Cottage Cheese
The intake of cottage cheese can certainly lead to weight loss, largely related to its high protein and low calorie contents. Cottage cheese also makes an excellent breakfast, snack, and post-workout option, especially if paired with fiber-rich and naturally-sweetened fruit such as pineapple and peach slices.
9. Cruciferous Veggies
Including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, turnips, bok choy, radishes, watercress, rutabaga, collard greens and kohlrabi, cruciferous veggies are considered nutrient-dense produce while being minimal in calories. Aside from their contribution to weight loss and maintenance, ongoing research suggests the chemical properties found in cruciferous veggies may protect against cancer.
It was not too long ago eggs were commonly feared related to their cholesterol content. Re-cracking the dignity of eggs, ongoing research suggests dietary cholesterol does not directly influence blood cholesterol. The high protein and fat content of eggs, especially in a well-balanced breakfast, make them egg-cellent weight loss influencers!
11. Greek Yogurt
Ditching traditional yogurt and going Greek supplies a significant amount of protein, making it a valuable calcium-packed food for weight loss! Greek yogurt is also loaded with probiotics, live bacteria cultures shown to support gut health by controlling the growth of harmful bacteria. But when selecting yogurt, opt for a plain variation, as flavored types are notorious for supplying added sugars. Pairing with berries, apples, bananas, and other favorite favorites offers natural sweetness along with fiber and other nutrients.
12. Leafy Greens
Bursting with nutrients without packing on large loads of calories, there is no denying leafy greens deserve their spot in the diet. From spinach to kale, leafy greens are extremely versatile and can be used to boost volume in salad and increase nutrients in smoothies.
Rather than pouring out a bowl of cold cereal, opt for oatmeal! Compared to most boxed cereal types, oats are high in fiber to keep you full and satisfied throughout the morning. It is also important to select rolled oats over instant packs to limit sugar content, also posing the opportunity to naturally sweeten the oats with favorite fruits, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. Making these overnight oat recipes not only offers flavor and nutrients, but make for a convenient breakfast option!
14. Olive Oil
Being a huge element in the Mediterranean diet, olive oil can positively influence your weight loss efforts. But mostly coined to extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), research suggests not only can it promote fat loss, but benefit heart health and assist in diabetes management.
Hot peppers and the spicy foods it transpires into may actually boost metabolism and facilitate weight loss. According to a study conducted at University of Wisconsin, capsaicin (the compound that offers spice) may induce and stimulate thermogenesis, a process in which the body converts energy into heat, subsequently speeding up metabolism.
Salmon and other fatty fish are notorious for supplying omega-3 fatty acids, offering heart-protective and anti-inflammatory properties. But aside from its healthy fat content, salmon is also a lean protein source. Swapping out red meats with salmon can reduce both caloric and saturated fat content to encourage weight loss.
Like Greek yogurt, sauerkraut is a beneficial source of probiotics. And since probiotics play a significant role in gut health and ensuring a healthy immune system, there is emerging evidence on its mitigation of obesity and chronic diseases. Research has shown that probiotics relieve constipation and bloat by improving intestinal motility.
According to a study conducted by Penn State University, slurping down soup before the main course can cut caloric intake by 20 percent! But the study further encourages to choose soups wisely, swapping high-calorie and cream-based soups with a low-calorie, broth-based option, to lessen the risk of actually increasing total calories.
Though tofu may be more popular, tempeh merits high recognition! And while both are appreciated in a plant-based diet, tempeh supplies significantly more protein and is more nutritionally-packed, characteristics valuable in the process of weight loss. Learn more about the disparities between tempeh and tofu and their beneficial uses here.
20. Whole Milk
Although choosing low-fat milk and dairy products was encouraged not long ago, new research states choosing whole and full-fat may offer weight control and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes! While the data still warrants further discovery, researchers and nutrition experts contribute the benefits to the higher fat content whole milk supplies, mostly inducing satiety and lessening the risk of eating again shortly after.
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