30 Great Diet Foods for Weight Loss
While there may not be one food to single-handedly shed off those unwanted pounds, there certainly are some great diet foods that can assist and accelerate your efforts. So if wondering which are the best foods for weight loss, incorporate these healthy food options to develop a well-balanced diet!
Best Food for Weight Loss
Filled with satiating protein and healthy fat, almonds are touted as one of the best foods for weight loss. Agreeing research suggests an almond-enriched low-calorie diet (LCD) was effective in decreasing body weight compared to following a complex carbohydrate-enriched LCD. The omega-3 fatty acid content of almonds and other nuts also reduces overall inflammation in the body, along with protecting and promoting both physical and mental health.
As they say... "An apple a day can keep weight at bay!" (Or is it "...keeps the doctor away?") No matter how you slice it, apples offer a high fiber content at a low calorie cost, with nutrition experts vouching diets high in fiber are linked to normal body mass indexes (BMIs), as fiber offers satiation and may prevent the risk of overeating.
Avocadoes are unique, as they offer healthy fats instead of naturally-occurring carbohydrate in most (or all) fruits. The monounsaturated fat paired with its fiber content not only benefits the heart, but may shed unwanted weight by stimulating satiety. And rather than opting for a sugar-laden dessert, try this creamy, guilt-free avocado ice cream to cool you down!
Bananas are considered one of the best foods for weight loss primarily related to the resistant starch it supplies, subsequently suppressing appetite and feeding healthy gut bacteria to beat belly bloat. Its easily digestible carb and potassium content further make it a valuable pre and post workout snack to fuel your exercise class and replenish carbs and electrolytes following a workout.
Along with bean's notorious supply of fiber, they are a valuable plant-based protein source. Beans are also relatively low on the glycemic index (GI), with research published in The New England Journal of Medicine demonstrating a moderately high-protein diet with reductions in GI can sustain weight loss and prevent weight regain. Throw in black, pinto, red, and kidney beans in chili, soups, casseroles, and salads for added protein and fiber.
Blueberries might be small, but they are nonetheless mighty! The berries are chock-full with powerful antioxidants and fiber, all while supplying only 80 calories per one cup serving. The natural sweetness of blueberries can also fulfill a hankering sweet tooth without packing on calories from sugar-laden desserts. Mix blueberries into smoothies, top onto yogurt, or complement a salad for added nutrients.
7. Brown Rice
Brown rice is a wholesome grain packed with fiber and considered a low-energy-density food, meaning it is filling without supplying a hefty load of calories. It also offers flexibility in a number of nutritious dishes, including this chicken and Andouille sausage jambalaya and chicken paella with andouille sausage dish.
Cauliflower is a nutrient-dense, low-calorie cruciferous vegetable that can assist in your weight loss efforts. It is extremely versatile and adaptable in food preparation, including pureeing it into soup, making cauliflower 'rice' or pizza crust, and mashing into a potato-like consistency. But aside from weight loss and maintenance, ongoing research suggests the chemical properties found in cruciferous veggies may protect against cancer.
9. Chia Seeds
From their omega-3 fatty acid content to their fiber contribution, the small (but mighty) chia seeds are shown to offer these five health benefits, including weight loss and maintenance. And for a healthy breakfast, snack, or dessert option, whip up this naturally-sweetened vanilla chia seed recipe!
While not so surprising it made the list, chicken is one of the greatest foods for weight loss based on the lean protein it provides. But rather than resorting to a nightly meal of chicken and broccoli, experiment with flavors, including grilled chicken pesto, jerk chicken with mango salsa, cranberry apple stuffed chicken breast, and these 10 inexpensive recipes to get the most from a whole chicken!
First off, the benefits of coffee primarily exist when consuming plain, black coffee, not the decorated "coffee" drinks that spillover with sugar and cream. A cup of black coffee supplies a mere five calories, along with having the ability to suppress the appetite and initiate thermogenesis, a process in which the body converts energy into heat to amp metabolism. Coffee can also act as a natural pre-workout, supplying you with extra energy to tackle a workout!
Now that nutrition experts give their "go-ahead" regarding egg consumption, egg lovers can now rejoice and appreciate the high protein and fat content of eggs, especially in a well-balanced breakfast, that makes them egg-cellent weight loss influencers!
While the so-called "grapefruit diet" may not be your ticket to successful and sustainable weight loss, grapefruit can assist in your efforts related to its low-calorie, high-fiber nutritional profile. It is also important to note grapefruit has numerous and severe medication interactions, so be sure to check-in with your doctor if managing a health condition to ensure its safety.
14. Greek Yogurt
Ditching traditional yogurt and going Greek supplies a significant amount of protein, making it a valuable calcium-packed dieting food. Greek yogurt is also loaded with probiotics, live bacteria cultures shown to support gut health and beat belly bloat. When selecting yogurt, opt for a plain variation, as flavored types are notorious for supplying unwanted added sugars that deters the healthy connotation. Pair with berries, bananas, cinnamon, nuts and seeds to add natural sweetness, texture, fiber, and other nourishing ingredients.
15. Leafy Greens
From spinach to kale, leafy greens are extremely versatile and can be used to increase nutrients and volume in a number of meals, including salads, soups, casseroles, and soups. And packed with nutrients without supplying large loads of calories, there is no denying leafy greens are some of the best foods for weight loss and maintenance.
While lemon water is not a magical elixir to weight loss, adding the citrus fruit to your water can keep you motivated to stay hydrated. Lemon can also enhance flavor and nutrients to a number of foods, including roasted veggies, homemade dressings, and marinades.
Coming in an assortment of colors, lentils act similarly to beans, offering flexibility, variety, fiber, and plant-based protein into a healthy diet. They also complement this nutritious and delicious chicken and feta meatballs with lentils recipe!
Rather than pouring out a bowl of sugary cereal, opt for a nutritious bowl of oatmeal! Oats are high in fiber and nutrients to keep you full and satisfied throughout the morning, especially when ditching the sugary oatmeal packets and naturally sweetening with berries, bananas, cinnamon, nutmeg, nuts and seeds.
19. Olive Oil
Olive oil can positively influence your weight loss efforts by adding healthy fat into the diet and increasing satiety levels. But aside from its contribution to fat loss, olive oil has proven benefit to promoting heart health and managing blood sugars.
Like apples, pears are a great source of antioxidants and fiber (even containing almost 25 percent of total daily fiber needs for one medium-sized pair)! Researchers from the Louisiana State University found people who consumed fresh pears were 35 percent less likely to be obese compared to non-consumers. Or maybe the quote goes, "A pear a day keeps the weight away...?"
Add a little spice to your diet to advance your weight loss efforts! Research suggests hot peppers can facilitate weight loss related to its capsaicin content. Capsaicin is the compound that gives peppers its spice, even showing to induce and stimulate thermogenesis, a process in which the body converts energy into heat and speeds up metabolism.
Compared to other snacks, popcorn can be a valuable option to nosh on when cravings strike. In fact, about three cups of air-popped popcorn is similar to the calories of one small handful of chips or crackers. However, it is important to stray away from the butter-drenched kernels, ultimately swapping out high-calorie snack foods with fiber-filled, air-popped popcorn to save calories, initiate satiety, and support weight loss.
Related to their high-carb content, potatoes are not often recognized as a valuable diet food. However, potatoes are a great source of resistant starch, so eating them in moderation can assist in your weight loss efforts, predominately related to their substantial ability to keep you feeling full for longer bouts of time.
The high fiber content of pumpkin offers satiation without packing on calories, as one cup offers approximately 7 grams of fiber for only 80 calories. Relish on the fall superfood with these easy and healthy pumpkin recipes, including the notorious PSL, pumpkin pie wontons, gluten-free pumpkin bread pudding, and pumpkin curry with shrimp. Oh, and don't forget or dismiss the seeds!
Recognized and touted as a "superfood," quinoa is one of the few plant-based foods that is considered a complete protein, or containing all nine of the essential amino acids. That being said, protein-packed quinoa is a valuable option to enjoy, rather than carb-filled pasta and Chinese dishes. But don't be discouraged by its preparation... Find out how to prepare quinoa here!
Salmon and other fatty fish are notorious for supplying omega-3 fatty acids, offering heart-protective and anti-inflammatory properties. But aside from the healthy fat it supplies, salmon is considered a lean protein source, with nutrition experts touting swapping out red meats with fish can reduce both caloric and saturated fat content to support weight loss.
According to a study conducted by Penn State University, consuming soup before the main entree can help cut total caloric intake by 20 percent! However, it is important to swap high-calorie and cream-based soups with a low-calorie, broth-based option to lessen the risk of increasing total calories. These protein-packed soups can also stand as a balanced meal and assist in weight loss efforts.
Though similar to tofu, tempeh is considered to be more nutritionally-packed in regards to protein, fiber, and healthy fat, all of which are significant weight loss contributors. Experiment with the plant-based protein source by adding into soups, salads, casseroles, smoothies, and sauces!
While it is difficult and almost impossible to single out one food associated to weight loss, nutrition experts can at least agree on a drink... Water! Consuming at least 64-ounces of water daily can not only assist in your weight loss efforts, but sustains critical body processes and life.
30. Whole Milk
Hear us out... Yes, low-fat milk and dairy products come with a lower calorie count while still supplying protein. However, 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.