If you’re dieting, chances are, you’re wondering what you can eat that will help boost your weight loss, and what to avoid. I can help. After lots of research and a chat or two with a dietician, I put together a list of the foods you just have to work into your diet, the best foods for weight loss. Some of them are old dieter favorites, some will be surprises, and all of them are delicious! Ready to rock and lose some weight? Here are the 20 best foods for weight loss. Let’s go!
Want a little protein, a lot of crunch, and a little salt, with a boost of energy and no crash later? Try a handful of almonds! Avoid the types that are covered in chocolate or yoghurt, of course, and stick to plain roasted or lightly-salted varieties. They’re so good for curbing salty or savory cravings… what a great snack choice!
We all know an apple a day can keep the doctor away, but it can also keep the pounds away, too! Apples are loaded with 4 to 5 grams of fiber per serving, so they’re a sweet and crunchy treat that will help you feel full. They also contain antioxidants, which is an added beauty bonus!
Fiber and protein in one creamy, dreamy little food? Avocados have a reputation for being fatty, but no worries. They actually are one of the best foods for weight loss, because they contain “good” monounsaturated fat, and that will help you feel full, along with the fiber. I love mashing a little on whole-grain toast rather than butter.
4. Beans (especially Black Beans!)
Black beans (and most other beans, too) are one of the absolute nest foods for weight loss. Why? Because they contain a lot of protein without the fat in animal proteins, they’re rich in fiber to help you feel full and satisfied, and according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, they even contain a type of fat-burning carb called resistant starch… yes, please!
5. Bell Peppers
Hooray for sweet bell peppers, in whatever color you prefer — red, yellow, orange or green. They offer a hefty helping of vitamin C in just a few bites (about 4 strips of red bell pepper has all the vitamin C you’ll need in a day). They’re delicious on their own, or chopped up in soups or salads.
Blueberries are oh-so-delicious, and we all know how loaded they are with antioxidants, but wow, did you know they’re also packed with fiber? One cup of these sweet little berries contains 4 grams of fiber, and only 80 tiny calories. What an excellent mid-morning power-boosting snack… these are definitely one of the very best foods for weight loss.
7. Broccoli and Cauliflower
These crunchy cruciferous cuties are another of the best foods for weight loss because they contain quite a lot of fiber (again, that full feeling for a longer period of time), and because they’re so versatile — they’re delicious fresh and cold or cooked, with or without fat-free or reduced-fat toppings. Did you know they’re also natural cancer-fighters, reducing your risk of colorectal, lung and stomach cancers with every crunchy bite? Bonus!
Try adding a little cinnamon to sweets rather than sugar, and reap the benefits of increased energy and a slower release of insulin into your system. Cinnamon has a sweet, rich taste, and it’s guilt-free? I love it!
This is one of the best foods for weight loss that’s not actually a food… but did you know the type of caffeine naturally found in coffee can stimulate your metabolism to burn up to about 50 extra calories per day? Remember to drink your coffee black, or with skim milk, rather than adding calories with sugar and cream and other add-ins.
I don’t know why eggs get such a bad rap. Cooked without added calories and fat from butter, they’re a very good, healthy source of protein. Start your day with an egg and a piece of whole wheat toast for energy all morning long.
I love these tangy little citrus fruits, and they’re also one of the best foods for weight loss because, being 90% water, they’ll fill you up without a lot of calories. Also, they contain a compound that can help lower insulin (which triggers your body to store fat). Our mothers have been right all these years — grapefruits are a dieter’s dream!
12. Greek Yoghurt
I love yoghurt for all of its creamy goodness, and its calcium, its digestion-friendly probiotics, and its sweetness. If you agree, then make the switch from regular to Greek yoghurt. It contains twice as much protein and half the sugar of regular yoghurt, it’s thicker and creamier, it contains less lactose… it’s nothing short of a miracle. Make sure you opt for the plain flavor, though.
13. Green Tea
According to Health Magazine, drinking five cups of green tea a day can help you lose weight, a LOT of weight… up to TWICE as much weight, most of it around your waist. It also contains a lot of antioxidants, which can help keep you looking, and feeling, younger and healthier. One note, of course: be sure you don’t add sugar or milk to your green tea… that just adds unnecessary calories.
Plain oatmeal is an excellent source of fiber, so a half-cup bowl of oatmeal (with a handful of blueberries) is such a good way to start the day! That one little serving, even without the berries, provides almost 5 grams of fiber.
15. Olive Oil
According to research by the British Journal of Nutrition, olive oil is another of the best foods for weight loss. Why? Because it helps your body better absorb the antioxidants in the veggies you eat with it, so they recommend drizzling a little olive oil on your salad rather than fat-free ranch. Yum!
Pears are one of my favorites of the best foods for weight loss. They’re a natural sweet treat, but they also contain a lot of fiber in their peels, about 5 grams in each piece of fruit. Choosing a pear for a mid-afternoon snack will help you feel full til dinner, and it will satisfy your sweet tooth. Or you can even poach a pear for dessert… or make pear sorbet… yum!
For those of you not familiar with this miraculous little grain, it’s time to give it a try. It’s rich in fiber, and in protein, an amazing combination that lands it square on my list of the best foods for weight loss. I love it for breakfast, cooked in water with a little orange juice and some raisins. It keeps me full til lunch, even without a mid-morning snack.
Salmon is an excellent source of protein, and though it does contain some fat, again, like avocados, it contains the healthier monounsaturated kind. It’s a much less fatty alternative for lean protein than any of the red meats, so grill some salmon for supper tonight!
Tomatoes offer a double-whammy of dieter delight, with oligofructose, a fiber that helps you feel full for a long time, and lycopene, which has been shown to improve eye health, prevent sunburn, and even keep certain cancers at bay. They’re also delicious, another reason tomatoes are included in my list of the best foods for weight loss.
Did you know that often, when you’re feeling hungry, you’re actually thirsty? Try sipping a glass of cool water before you indulge in a snack, wait a few minutes, and see if that helps curb your craving.
This looks a lot like a shopping list, doesn’t it? Print it, copy it, type it into your smart phone, but whatever you do, refer to it each time you hit the grocery store, and you’re bound to lose more weight, even if you don’t change another thing. Which of these best foods for weight loss is your favorite, and how do you prepare it? Which will you try next? Do tell!