Losing weight is hard.
Not only do you have to exercise and eat healthy foods, but you also have to wade through tons of misinformation about what food is good for you and what isn’t.
That’s why I’ve put together this list of weight-loss-friendly foods proven by science so you can lose weight eating a variety of delicious meals and snacks.
Here are the 15 Most Weight-Loss-Friendly Foods on Earth!
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Fiber helps you control hunger and eat less by making you feel fuller for longer periods. Protein boosts metabolism, which allows you to burn more calories, and also helps reduce the blood sugar spikes and crashes caused by carbohydrates.
One study showed that people on high-fiber diets that included beans experienced less overall hunger and lost 3 pounds on average over a month. Another study found a convincing link between bean intake and lowered body weight and reduced belly fat.
Eating beans has also been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure, and reduced low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
Though eggs will increase your levels of LDL-cholesterol, they’re also among the best foods for weight loss, especially if eaten early in the day.
High in protein and fat, eggs can help you get all the nutrients you need and feel satiated even on a calorie-restricted diet.
Studies have shown that people who replace grain-based breakfasts, like bagels and cereal, with eggs eat fewer calories over the next 36 hours. Not surprisingly, these same people tend to lose more weight than those eating grain-based breakfasts.
Think twice about only eating the egg whites, especially if you’re on a low-calorie diet because almost all of the nutrients in eggs are found in the yolks.
3. Brussels Sprouts
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage are low in calories, high in protein (for a vegetable), and filling thanks to their high levels of fiber. But Brussels sprouts are head and shoulders above the rest in terms of losing weight because they also help keep blood sugar levels steady, which reduces the likelihood of snacking.
Brussels sprouts are also efficient compared to other cruciferous vegetables. Three servings of Brussels sprouts every week will help you hit all your daily omega-3 fatty acid requirements. A half-cup provides 12 percent of the daily requirement for women and 8.5 percent of the daily requirement for men.
4. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens like kale, spinach, collard greens, and swiss chard are among the most weight-loss-friendly foods due to their low level of calories and carbohydrates and their high level of fiber.
Studies show that people who eat meals with low energy density tend to eat fewer calories overall. Use leafy greens in your meals to increase volume without significantly increasing caloric intake.
Leafy greens are also great in low-calorie diets because they have most of the vitamins you need daily, including calcium, which may aid in burning fat.
Unlike other fruits, avocados are loaded with healthy fats rather than carbs. They are especially high in monounsaturated oleic acid, the same type of fat found in olive oil. Because of their high level of water and fiber, avocados aren’t as energy-dense as many people assume. One 3.5-ounce serving of avocado has 7 grams of fiber, 27 percent of the recommended daily value.
They are a perfect addition to a leafy green salad. Not only will they provide essential fats and fiber needed to feel full, but they also increase the health benefits of the leafy greens. Studies show that they increase antioxidant absorption from vegetables by between 2.6 to 15 times.
Though it may sound counterintuitive, meat is a weight-loss-friendly food because it is high in protein. Chicken, and especially skinless chicken breast, is especially great for losing weight because it has no carbs and lots of protein.
High-protein diets have been shown to help people burn between 80 to 100 more calories per day by keeping the metabolism running efficiently. Studies have also shown that increasing protein intake to 25–% of daily calories can cut cravings by 60%.
Matt Damon famously ate an “all chicken breast” diet to drop 60 pounds.
Salmon, which is rich in high-quality protein (also known as “complete protein”), can help you lose weight by:
- Regulating the hormones that control appetite
- Increasing the speed and efficiency of your metabolism
- Decreasing belly fat in overweight individuals
Public health agencies and dieticians agree that people should eat between 20 to 30 grams of high-quality protein per meal. A 3.5-ounce serving of salmon contains between 22 to 25 grams of protein.
Whenever you have the choice, go for wild salmon as it has lower calories per 3.5-ounce serving (182 calories) than farmed salmon (206 calories).
8. Cottage Cheese
Incorporating lean dairy products like cottage cheese into your diet is a great way to increase protein intake without going overboard with calories.
On a calorie-for-calorie basis, it doesn’t get much leaner than cottage cheese, which is uniquely low among dairy products in carbs and fat.
In addition to protein, which has proven weight-loss benefits, cottage cheese also has high levels of calcium, which evidence suggests may aid fat burning. If you’re not a fan of cottage cheese, you can substitute it with Greek yogurt.
9. Whey Protein
Though whey protein is most widely known as a supplement to help bodybuilders build muscle, it has also become a popular weight-loss-friendly food thanks to its high protein content and ability to reduce cholesterol.
One study supported the use of whey protein as part of a weight reduction or weight maintenance diet, concluding that replacing some calories with whey protein every day can result in up to 8 pounds of weight loss over time.
Whey is a watery milk substance that is created in the production of cheese. Whey protein is the protein that’s extracted from whey. While that may not sound overly appetizing, whey comes in a tasteless (or flavored) powder that you can easily add to smoothies, baked goods, or anything else your heart desires.
10. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has become incredibly popular in the natural health field, and it’s easy to see why.
One study showed that drinking a small amount of vinegar with a meal increased feelings of fullness and made participants eat between 200 and 275 fewer calories for the remainder of the day.
Vinegar has been proven to reduce blood sugar spikes after meals, which is beneficial for individuals with diabetes or at risk of developing diabetes as well as the population in general. One 12-week study showed that obese individuals taking between 15 and 30 ml of vinegar per day lost between 2.6 and 3.7 pounds.
Try adding apple cider vinegar to a leafy green salad or dilute it with water for a tart, refreshing drink.
Grains have developed a bad reputation in recent years thanks to the popularity of the ketogenic diet, but some grains are without a doubt good for losing weight. The most weight-loss-friendly grain? Oats, which are also among the most nutrient-dense foods on earth.
Oats are well-balanced nutritionally, with a good supply of carbs and fiber and more protein and fat than most other grains. Importantly, oats have powerful fiber beta-glucan, which can:
- Reduce LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol
- Reduce blood sugar and insulin response
- Increase the feeling of fullness and reduce snacking
Nuts are high in fat, but they’re also high in protein and fiber, which are the most important nutritional compounds for losing weight. Studies have shown repeatedly that nut consumption improves metabolic health, allowing you to burn more calories, and promotes weight reduction.
Walnuts are particularly good for losing weight because of their high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and phytonutrients, and melatonin.
Eat walnuts in moderation with leafy green salads and be sure to get the unsalted variety!
Large population studies have shown that people who eat more fruits and vegetables tend to weigh less. One of the best foods for weight loss is grapefruit.
One 12-week study showed that eating half a fresh grapefruit before a meal led to 3.5 pounds of lost weight. It’s thought that this is because grapefruit reduces insulin resistance, allowing people to feel more satiated and eat fewer calories.
14. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has become a popular replacement for vegetable oil because of its relatively high smoke point and its better nutritional profile. Coconut oil is high in medium-chain triglycerides, better known as MCT oil, which:
- Delivers feeling of satiety or fullness better than other oils
- Increases the number of calories you burn.
Two studies have shown that using coconut oil can reduce that difficult-to-target abdominal belly fat.
Mushrooms are one of the hottest weight-loss-friendly foods out there, largely thanks to research from the University of Buffalo that showed how mushrooms can help people lose weight by regulating blood sugar and balancing the hormones that are responsible for hunger and appetite.
I hope this list of weight-loss-friendly foods will help you lose weight eating delicious meals while at home!
Check out: 7 Superfoods That’ll Help You Lose Weight!
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Hi, my name is Rebecca and I am the face behind Everything Abode! I am a lifestyle and wellness writer based out of Vancouver Island. When I’m not writing or exploring mountains and beaches with my furry rescue, I love spending time learning creative ways to manifest a healthy home. Thanks for stopping by!
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