While no one food is a magic bullet for weight loss, there are certain foods that can help you achieve your weight-loss goals. Most of the foods included as part of a weight-loss diet have a few things in common: they’re high in fiber (which helps keep you feeling fuller longer) and have a low energy density – meaning that you can eat a decent-sized portion without overdoing it on calories.
The following list of 10 best foods for helping you lose weight also have the added benefit of containing vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are good for your health.
Apples help you lose weight because of the high water content they have. Apples also have both soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps prevent your blood sugar from increasing dramatically. These blood sugar spikes are what cause cravings. Apples also contain quercetin, a nutrient that helps protect you from certain kinds of cancer, reduces damage caused by cholesterol and promotes healthy lungs.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein. Eating protein helps you to feel full for longer. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition discovered that when people ate two eggs for breakfast, they consumed 400 fewer calories than when they ate bagels.
Tuna is another low-calorie, high protein food. It is lean fish… so there isn’t much fat in it. Tuna is popular among bodybuilders and fitness models who are on a cut, because it’s a great way to keep protein high, with total calories and fat low.
If you’re trying to emphasize protein intake, then make sure to choose tuna canned in water, but not oil.
All beans are high in fiber, which is your friend when you’re trying to lose weight because it helps you feel fuller longer, thus controlling hunger. Eating beans and legumes has also been linked with various other health benefits, including lowering blood pressure, reducing LDL cholesterol and reducing risk of cardiovascular disease. Beans are fairly low in calories and deliver protein as well. Try them in homemade veggie burgers, soups and salads.
Yogurt is protein-packed and full of probiotics, which are good for gut health and may help your weight-loss efforts. Your gut health can impact your weight, and eating more fiber and probiotics helps keep your gut bacteria happy, which can be good for your metabolism (read more about your gut-weight connection). Just keep an eye on added sugars in flavored yogurts, which only add calories. Instead, use fresh fruit to sweeten plain yogurt.
In addition to being a great source of lean protein, salmon is also packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which your body can’t produce. One three-ounce fillet of salmon has 155 calories, 22 grams of protein, seven grams of fat, and zero carbs.
Salmon is a great option as a dinner alongside some veggies and a whole grain or starch like quinoa or sweet potato.
Meals and diets with a low energy density tend to make people eat fewer calories. Most foods with a low energy density are those that contain lots of water, such as vegetables and fruits.
But you can also just add water to your food… by making a soup.
Some studies have shown that eating the exact same food, except made in a soup instead of as solid food, makes people feel more satiated and eat significantly fewer calories.
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and iron, chia seeds are great for weight loss because they act like a sponge, absorbing sugar and stabilizing blood sugar levels, says Kotsopoulos. Because of their high fiber content, the tiny seeds can hold up to twenty times their weight in water, so when they’re mixed with liquid they plump up and absorb excess moisture. Add them to your oatmeal or put them in a bowl with unsweetened chocolate almond milk-they will absorb the liquid and gelatinize, similar to the consistency of a rice pudding.