Are you trying to lose weight? Well, we’ve got some fabulous news for you. You don’t have to starve yourself to lose weight. In fact, eating right is just as crucial to your weight loss regimen as exercising. Include these 21 best foods for weight loss to your diet to reach your weight loss goals. Not only are these foods rich in dietary fiber and nutrients, but they are also low in calories.
Avocados are one of the healthiest fruits and also one of the best foods for weight loss. This superfood is high in monounsaturated fats that aids in nutrient absorption in the body (1).
They also help in reducing cravings. The high fiber content of avocados provides a feeling of fullness and helps avoid snacking. So, avocados are an excellent choice for those who want to lose weight.
According to a 2005 study, a diet rich in avocados helps in weight loss and many other health improvements (2).
Apples are rich in nutrients and fiber and are a perfect addition to any weight-loss plan. Since apples contain a high percentage of water, they help you feel full faster and hence prevent overeating (3).
Apples contain a particular kind of fiber known as pectin. According to researchers at UCLA consuming pectin instead of regular fiber doubles the time it takes our stomachs to empty out their contents. This means consuming pectin makes us feel fuller for longer.
Apple peels contain a natural substance called ursolic acid which helps to reduce obesity by increasing muscle and brown fat. According to a new study on mice, ursolic acid increases muscle mass and strength in mice (4).
Apple cider vinegar has become popular in the health community for its weight loss benefits in the recent years. It is undoubtedly one of the best weight loss foods.
It promotes a feeling of fullness and hence helps to reduce calories intake. According to a study when apple cider vinegar is consumed with starchy food, it slows down the rate at which the food leaves our stomach.
Not only does it help you feel fuller for longer, but it also helps lower insulin and blood sugar levels (5). According to another study of obese Japanese subjects adding one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to your daily diet can help lose fat and decrease your blood triglycerides (6).
High in fiber content and low in calories, banana is one of the best foods for weight loss. It is an ideal snack for those who are trying to lose weight. One medium sized banana can take care of almost 12 percent of your daily need of fiber.
Unripe bananas are a rich source of resistant starch which has many health benefits like weight loss and reduced blood sugar levels (7). Resistant starch also helps in burning fat, which helps in weight management (8).
Beans are a rich source of various essential nutrients like protein, fiber, and minerals. The high protein content in legumes and beans helps boost satiety. Since proteins are hard to break down, so you expend more calories in the digestive process.
Beans also have a low glycemic index which makes them a good weight loss food. According to a study published in the American Journal of clinical nutrition, consuming beans and other legumes on a daily basis can contribute to modest weight loss (9).
Cruciferous vegetables like bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale are known to help shrink belly fat and promote weight loss.
They are low-calorie and weight loss foods and are rich in minerals, vitamins, and fiber. The fiber in these vegetables keeps you feeling full. Fibre also helps in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Studies have also found a link between cruciferous vegetables and cancer prevention (10).
Cottage cheese is a low-calorie food and is high in calcium and protein. Since protein helps to keep you full longer, cottage cheese is helpful in weight maintenance. Research has also shown that food rich in calcium is useful in weight loss.
Cottage cheese is also lower in calories as compared to many other sources of protein. This makes it an ideal choice of snack for those on a weight loss diet.
According to studies, foods rich in cottage cheese along with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are helpful in reducing weight and maintaining weight loss (11).
8. Chili peppers
Capsaicin, a natural substance found in chili peppers, is known to help speed up metabolism and support weight loss. According to a 2005 study consumption of red pepper increased satiety and reduced energy and fat intake (12).
Other studies have also shown that consumption of as little as one gram of chili pepper reduced appetite and increased fat burning in people who do not regularly consume chili peppers (13). For people who eat spicy food regularly, consumption of chili peppers does not have any effect.
9. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are rich in dietary fiber. In fact, just two tablespoons of these seeds can take care of 40 percent of your required daily intake.
In fact, daily intake of chia seeds is also known to boost metabolism and reduce belly fat. Although research has not found a very significant impact of chia seeds in weight loss, these seeds are helpful in reducing appetite (14).
Since chia seeds can absorb up to 10 times their weight in water, they help you feel fuller for longer and also keep you hydrated.
10. Coconut oil
Coconut oil helps to burn fat and calories and is also helpful in reducing weight. This oil contains Medium Chain Triglycerides that help boost satiety and increase the number of calories burnt (15).
Coconut oil is particularly helpful in reducing belly fat. A study was done on 40 women with abdominal obesity for 28 days. The study discovered that having two tablespoons of coconut oil lead to a decrease in their waist circumference (16).
Eggs are low in calories and rich in protein and healthy fats. This makes them the perfect choice of athletes and those who want to lose weight. A study was done on 30 women with BMI of at least 25 kg/M2.
When these women ate breakfast that contained eggs instead of bagels, their satiety improved and their food intake reduced for the next 36 hours (17).
Eggs are also considered to be the best and the least expensive high protein food. This makes it a good choice of food for weight loss.
12. Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, chards are high in fiber but low in calories. Research suggests that when you eat low energy density food (kcal/g), it helps control, hunger and fat intake (18).
This makes them perfect for a weight loss diet. The fiber keeps you fuller for longer and thus prevents over-eating. These healthy green vegetables are also a rich source of vitamins and minerals for our body.
13. Green tea
Green tea contains caffeine and catechin, both of which are helpful in speeding up metabolism. Green tea is also known to increase fat burning during exercise.
According to a study conducted on 12 healthy men, consumption of green tea before training helped to increase fat oxidation and improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance (19).
14. Lean Meat
Lean meats are a good choice of food if you are trying to lose weight. Not only is lean meat an excellent source of protein, but they also contain many other nutrients like iron, zinc, and magnesium.
The meat of chicken, turkey and Cornish hens contain less than three grams of fat in a three-ounce serving. Lean cuts of beef, pork, and lamb are also a great way to add protein to your diet.
Since high-protein diet is known to help burn more calories and reduce craving, meats are a must have in a weight loss diet (20).
Salmon is a rich source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains vitamin D, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and selenium. This makes it the perfect choice for a low-calorie diet.
The protein in salmon makes you feel full for longer. The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon help to reduce inflammation, which can lead to obesity (21).
Tuna is a low-calorie, high protein food that is packed with many other essential nutrients like vitamin B12, iron, phosphorus, and selenium. Its high protein content makes it a popular choice for weight-loss food.
Many people avoid eating nuts when they are trying to lose weight as they are high in calories. Interestingly, several studies have found that regular consumption of nuts helps in lowering body weight (22).
Adding nuts to your diet increases satiety. They also help reduce hunger and craving. This is because consumption of nuts increases the production of the hormones like peptide and cholecystokinin, which help to regulate appetite (23).
18. Brown rice
Brown rice is a much healthier alternative to white rice as it contains resistant starch. This starch boosts metabolism and burns fat (24). Brown rice is also low in density, which means that it makes you full fast.
Brown rice is also high in fiber which is good for weight loss. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who eat brown rice tend to lose more belly fat.
Oats are a rich source of vitamins, proteins, and dietary fiber. Oats contain Beta-glucan, a type of fiber, which helps to reduce weight as it improves metabolism. Beta- glucan is also helpful in reducing belly fat.
When we consume beta-glucan, it increases the production of cholecystokinin, which helps promote satiety and regulate appetite (25).
Quinoa has become one of the best foods for weight loss as it is rich in dietary fiber and protein. It contains all the amino acids, so is considered to be a complete protein.
Quinoa makes you feel full and prevents you from binging on unhealthy snacks. It also improves metabolism (26). Quinoa is also relatively low on calories and low on glycemic index.
Yogurt is another great food to add to your diet if you want to reduce weight. Yogurt also contains probiotics which help regulate the digestive system and improve gut health. It protects against inflammation and leptin resistance, which can lead to obesity.
Final words on best foods for weight loss
People often think, eating less would help them in shedding weight. But this is not always true as you can have a proper diet plan with some of the best foods for weight loss.
All these options will provide you with essential nutrients and also help in belly reduction.