You’ve probably heard time and time again that eating healthy foods like whole grains, fresh produce, and lean proteins can help you lose weight more easily than you would otherwise. And this is true—but it’s not the whole story! In fact, there are plenty of foods out there that can actually help you burn calories even as you consume them! Read on to learn about 10 foods that might help you speed up your weight loss process, so you can get to your ideal size sooner rather than later!
Salmon is chock-full of protein and low in calories, which makes it a sound choice for weight loss. In fact, one study published in Obesity Research found that women who ate fish once or twice a week lost 23 percent more weight than those who didn’t. Salmon also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to trigger satiety—the feeling of fullness—and decrease food cravings. Plus, eating fatty fish is associated with lowered risks for heart attack and stroke. Just make sure you cook up with dishes like our Tuscan Salmon recipe featuring grape tomatoes and pesto sauce over zucchini noodles. Not only will they keep you on track towards your weight loss goal, but they’ll also make dinner deliciously healthy!
This low-calorie vegetable is full of fiber, vitamins and minerals. It’s also naturally diuretic and has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. Add it to your weekly diet for some serious fat loss assistance. Be sure to steam, sauté or roast cauliflower in a little olive oil instead of boiling it.
3) Baked Potatoes
Potatoes are a nutrient-dense, high-fiber food that’s naturally low in calories and fat. One medium baked potato contains about 200 calories and as much potassium as a small banana. This is great news for your metabolism, since potassium helps to regulate blood pressure, heart rate and blood volume—all of which play an important role in maintaining your weight. Additionally, potatoes are rich in pectin fiber, which is known to speed up digestion and curb your appetite. Eat baked potatoes with butter or without—both ways will boost calorie burn because you’ll burn more energy digesting them than they provide!
Eggs are one of nature’s most nutritious foods. They’re also a powerful ally in weight loss, thanks to their high nutritional value and satiating properties. The protein in eggs is critical for helping you feel full, while they also raise your metabolism and help burn fat. A study published in Obesity Research found that those who eat two eggs for breakfast will consume fewer calories throughout the day than those who eat a bagel or cereal with no egg. Eggs are naturally nutrient-dense, which means your body gets more for fewer calories! This helps you lose weight safely by avoiding calorie-rich processed foods that can lead to long-term weight gain.
Nuts are a great source of protein and healthy fats, making them a smart pick for weight loss. A study published in Journal of Nutrition suggests that nuts can help prevent overeating by inducing fullness. Research shows that snacking on almonds reduces calorie intake throughout the day. Another study found that eating a lunch containing walnuts led to reduced food intake for at least 15 hours. Almonds, being rich in monounsaturated fats, make a healthy snack with their ability to satisfy hunger cravings without disrupting your dieting efforts.
Research published in 2015 in BMJ Open found that regular consumption of yogurt might help people lose weight, even when they did not change their diet or exercise levels. The study looked at more than 200 overweight and obese adults and found that eating a high-protein yogurt snack once or twice a day for 12 weeks as part of a reduced-calorie diet helped participants lose weight. Other studies have linked eating dairy products with reduced risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, notes Keri Gans, RDN, author of The Small Change Diet. Yogurt is nutrient dense, says Gans.
Beans are loaded with fiber, which helps you feel full and keeps blood sugar levels steady. This is what slows down digestion, says Lisa Moskovitz, RD, founder of The NY Nutrition Group. You feel a lot less hungry after eating beans. One caveat: Cooked beans have about 15 grams of carbs per cup—that’s three times as many as some other legumes. If you’re looking to cut back on carbs and calories, stick to around 3⁄4 cup servings or eat them in place of grains.
This super fruit is loaded with monounsaturated fats, which help to speed up your metabolism and curb your appetite. Not only that, but it also has some significant weight loss benefits when eaten with a high-protein meal. One study found that including just two tablespoons of guacamole as part of a meal increased satiety and helped dieters lose 23 percent more weight compared to those who didn’t eat any. Tip: use it in place of mayo or butter on a sandwich, or even better yet—eat half an avocado with breakfast every day! A study in Nutrition Journal found that participants who ate half an avocado with lunch reported a 40 percent decreased desire to eat for hours afterward.
9) Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is one of nature’s perfect foods. It contains a healthy balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat. Peanut butter can be used as an energy source for athletes because it doesn’t cause high blood sugar or spikes in insulin levels. Peanut butter also contains essential nutrients such as niacin, calcium, potassium and magnesium that are necessary for a healthy body. Nut butters such as peanut butter can help reduce hunger cravings because they are slow to digest in your stomach and keep you feeling full longer. They also work by sending signals to your brain when you start eating that tell your brain you feel full already so we stop eating before we overeat.
10) Grapefruit Juice
Perhaps you’ve read somewhere that drinking grapefruit juice will help boost your weight loss efforts. And perhaps you’ve also heard that it doesn’t actually do anything to help weight loss. It turns out both are true. A number of studies have suggested that certain bioactive compounds in grapefruit juice can aid in weight loss, but these studies were done on animals—not humans—and there is no conclusive evidence.