The amount of calories we eat and drink directly impacts our weight. Consume more calories than the body burns, and the weight goes up. Consume less, and the weight goes down.
Of course, many factors affect your weight, including lifestyle, genes, family habits, sleep, gender, culture, age, and even where you live and work. Regardless, following a healthy eating pattern can help keep the body as healthy as possible as you age.
In this guide, we’ll share some of the best weight loss-friendly foods you should eat to help meet your weight goals.
Top 10 Weight Loss-Friendly Foods You Should Eat
1. Leafy Greens
Collards, spinach, swiss chards, kale, and other leafy greens have properties that make them ideal for a weight loss diet. One reason is that they are low in carbohydrates and calories but loaded with fiber. Leafy greens are also very high in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants shown to aid in burning fats in the body.
2. Whole Eggs
Whole eggs are once feared for being high in cholesterol. However, they are making a comeback among dieters for being rich in nutrients.
Eggs are not only a great source of high-quality protein, but they also contain several essential minerals and vitamins. One large whole egg alone already contains:
- 6 grams of protein
- 10% of the daily value (DV) of vitamin A
- 16% of the DV of riboflavin
- 21% of the DV of vitamin B12
- 5% of the DV of iron
- 9% of the DV of folate
- 28% of the DV of selenium
Eggs also increase metabolic rate, help lose weight, keep you full, reduce eye disease risk, and protect brain health (an excellent source of choline).
Avocados are another great source of healthy fat and fiber, making them an excellent food for decreasing hunger. However, the fruit is calorically dense since it is a fat source. It is essential to be mindful of portion size when eating avocado in a day.
Salmon is relatively low in calories. A 100-gram (3.5-ounce) serving of farmed salmon only has 206 calorie content. On the other hand, the while salmon has even fewer calorie content (182). This weight loss-friendly food may help manage your weight by reducing your appetite, decreasing your belly fat, and temporarily boosting metabolism.
Shrimp can help you lose weight because it is rich in protein, a satiating nutrient as it digests slowly in the stomach and makes you stay full longer.
Moreover, shrimp appears to lessen appetite by stimulating the production of CCK or cholecystokinin hormone that signals that you are satisfied to the stomach. In addition, shrimp and other shellfish contain selenium and zinc. These minerals are essential for increased energy and immune health.
Apples are high in antioxidants and fiber. The fruit also contains vitamin C and phytochemicals and has anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, the filling effects of apples can reduce appetite, leading to weight reduction.
Potatoes are rich in potassium, which plays an essential role in weight loss and preventing water retention. Studies have even shown that potatoes may lead to fat cell shrinking.
There have even been people living on potatoes alone for extended periods, proving that they contain a diverse range of nutrients or a little bit of almost all nutrients you need.
In the satiety index of common foods (which measures how filling foods are), boiled potatoes scored the highest out of all the foods tested. This result shows that you will eat less of other foods by eating boiled potatoes and will naturally feel full longer.
8. Raw Oats
Raw oats contain healthy protein, fiber, and complex carbs. They are also rich in nutrients, like zinc and magnesium, which can aid in weight loss, better gut health, and help lower cholesterol.
9. Chicken Breast and Lean Beef
Meat is a weight-loss-friendly food as it is high in protein, the most filling nutrient. Eating chicken breast and lean beef can make you burn up to 80 to 100 more calories in a day. These foods can also reduce your appetite for late-night snacking by half.
Bananas have fiber, which slows digestion and increases the feeling of fullness. As a result, it may promote weight loss. Eat up to one banana per day as part of your weight loss diet. You may also consider taking a pre-workout fat burner to increase energy and stamina levels and focus on making the workout feel easier.
Tips for Healthy Eating
Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit.
Vegetables and fruits are essential sources of minerals, vitamins, plant protein, antioxidants, and dietary fiber. Individuals whose diet is rich in vegetables and fruit have a significantly lower risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, stroke, and certain types of cancer.
Choose high fiber or whole-grain varieties.
All types of grain high in fiber can make you feel satisfied and full longer. As a result, it is easier to maintain healthy body weight. Some examples of whole grains include barley, buckwheat, brown rice, oatmeal, millet, bulgur, and whole-wheat bread.
Eat less fat
Overeating fat, particularly wrong kinds of fat, such as industrially-produced trans-fat and saturated fats, can increase the risk of stroke and heart disease. Using unsaturated vegetable oils (corn, sunflower, soy, and olive oil) rather than animal fats or oils high in saturated fats (coconut, ghee, lard, butter, and palm oil) will help consume healthier fats.
Reduce salt intake
Consuming too much salt can increase your blood pressure. Those with high blood pressure are more likely to have a stroke or develop heart disease. Remember that about three-quarters of the salt you eat every day is already in the food when you buy them, like sauces, slices of bread, soups, and cereals. Limit yourself to less than 6g of salt a day (for adults and kids aged 11 and above).
Limit intake of sugars
Regularly consuming drinks and foods high in sugar increases your risk of obesity. For a healthy diet, the amount of sugar in your food should be less than 10% of your total energy intake. Reducing such further under 5% has added health benefits. You can do this by limiting the intake of soda, soft drinks, and other drinks high in sugars (cordials, fruit juices, syrups, yogurt drinks, and flavored glasses of milk) also helps limit your intake of sugars.
Do not skip breakfast.
Regularly skipping your breakfast can lead to weight gain and is correlated with obesity. A study shows that skipping breakfast disrupts the body’s internal clock, regulating body weight and glucose metabolism changes. Skipping breakfast can also cause the metabolism to slow down, making it harder to lose weight.
To help you get the nutrients your body needs for good health, a healthy breakfast high in fiber and low in salt, sugar, and fat can form part of a balanced diet.
The Bottom Line
Choosing healthy foods such as vegetables and fruits can help maintain or achieve a healthy weight. Being physically active can also help decrease your chances of having health problems and feel more energetic.
We hope that eating these weight loss-friendly foods and knowing the basics of healthy eating can help you make healthier choices.
We wish you the best of luck on your weight loss journey ahead!
Melissa Weimer is a nutrition expert who has helped thousands of people to create a healthy diet for weight loss and to maintain a good health. Weimer is the author of “Your Body’s Role in Weight Loss,” a healthy lifestyle book that you can use as a template to lose weight.