You see, calories are not all equal.
And that’s because different foods go through different metabolic processes in your body.
Calories usually have diverse effects on your hunger, hormones, and the number of calories you burn.
So, if you’re looking for the best foods for weight loss and want to know what foods to eat to lose weight, then this is your go-to article.
Below I’ve listed you 20 weight-loss-friendly foods that are supported by science.
Although you might know that eggs are high in cholesterol, and can be harmful to your health, you’re about to find out that things are a bit different.
Even if a high intake of eggs can raise your “bad” LDL-cholesterol levels, they are one of the best foods to eat if you want to lose weight.
Well, because eggs are high in protein and fat, and keep you satiated for an extended period of time.
One case study conducted on 30 overweight women shows that eating eggs for breakfast, instead of bagels, increases your feeling of fullness. More than that, the participants ate less for the next 36 hours.
Another eight-week study also shows that eggs for breakfast can increase weight loss on a calorie-restricted diet, compared to bagels.
Thankfully, by being nutrient-dense, eggs can help you get all the nutrients you need when you’re on a calorie deficit diet.
But what’s more interesting about it is that you get the most nutrients from the yolk.
As a summary, eggs are a very filling and nutrient-dense type of food. If you compare them to refined carbs like bagels, eggs suppress appetite and even promote weight loss.
Kale, spinach, collards, swiss chards, and so on..
You might not like their taste …
But they are the perfect tools to help you lose weight.
Well, leafy greens have several properties that make them perfect for a calorie deficit diet.
By being low in calories and loaded with fiber, leafy greens are the perfect way to increase the volume of your meals without increasing the overall calorie count.
Thankfully, this type of greens is so nutritious and so high in vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that it’s considered one of the best fat-burning foods.
As a summary, leafy greens are an excellent tool to help you with weight loss. Besides being low in calories, they are also high in fiber, which keeps you more satiated throughout the whole day.
If you’re looking for a calorie-friendly way to keep you full for many hours, then fatty fish is your go-to type of food.
Thankfully, salmon has high-quality protein, healthy fats, and numerous essential nutrients.
So you know, fish and seafood can provide you a significant amount of iodine.
What’s iodine good for?
Well, iodine is essential for proper thyroid function, so your metabolism can function correctly.
More than that, salmon has omega-3 fatty acids, which help you reduce inflammation, playing a significant role in obesity and metabolic disease.
Besides salmon — mackerel, trout, sardines, herring, and other types of fatty fish are also excellent fat burning foods.
So, let’s summarize …
Salmon is both protein and omega-3 fatty acids abundant, which makes it one of the best foods for weight loss.
Besides leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables are also a great option if you want to lose weight.
Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, and so on.
Why are they so good for weight loss?
Well, like other vegetables, they’re high in fiber and are very filling.
More than that, these veggies generally have decent amounts of protein. Even if they’re not as high in protein as animal foods or legumes, cruciferous vegetables can still be a good source of protein for you.
Some case studies suggest that cruciferous vegetables are highly nutritious and have cancer-fighting substances too.
So, having the right combination of protein, fiber, and low energy density, cruciferous vegetables are the perfects foods to introduce in your diet if you want to lose weight.
5.Lean Beef and Chicken Breast
You see, meat is unfairly demonized nowadays.
Most times, meat is blamed for different health problems, even if we don’t have good evidence to back up these claims.
Indeed, processed meat is unhealthy and can harm you, but studies show that unprocessed red meat doesn’t raise the risk of heart disease or diabetes.
More than that, according to two significant review studies, red meat only has a small correlation with cancer in men and no correlation at all in women.
All you need to know is that meat is weight-loss friendly since it’s very high in protein, which is by far the most filling nutrient.
If you’re on a low-carb diet, you can eat fatty meats with no guilt. However, if you stick to a moderate to high- carb diet, eating lean meats can be more appropriate.
Thankfully, tuna is another low-calorie, high-protein food.
So you know, being a lean fish, tuna is low in fat.
If you’re a bodybuilder or a fitness model and you’re on a cut — tuna is your go-to meat type. By eating it, you increase your protein intake while keeping your total calories and fat low.
If you’re trying to emphasize protein intake and cut down any other macros, make sure to choose tuna canned in water, and not in oil.
7.Beans And Legumes
You see, beans and other legumes are another excellent option of foods to eat to lose weight.
Lentils, black beans, kidney beans, you name it …
All of them are great fat-burning foods you can consume.
Thankfully, beans and legumes are high in protein and fiber, two nutrients that lead to satiety. And besides these, they also have some resistant starch.
In some cases, you may have difficulties tolerating legumes, which is why it’s essential to prepare them properly.
As a summary, beans and legumes are some of the best foods for weight loss, helping you to feel fuller and keep a lower calorie intake.
So you know, dairy products are usually high in protein.
One of your best options, cottage cheese, is very high in protein and low in carbs and fat.
In other words, cottage cheese is a great way to boost your protein intake while keeping you satiated for a good period of time.
More than that, cottage cheese is high in calcium, which can aid fat burning. Besides cottage cheese, you can choose to eat Greek yogurt and skyr, which are other two great high protein dairy products.
Avocados are also called “The Special Fruits” …
Well, while most fruits are high in carbs, avocados have lots of good healthy fats. Fats like monounsaturated oleic acid, or the type of fat you can find in olive oil.
Besides being rich in healthy fats, avocados also have water and fiber. In this way, they are less energy-dense than you may think.
A great option to eat avocados is to introduce them to your vegetable salads. You see, studies show that their fat content increases carotenoid antioxidant absorption from vegetables.
But there’s more …
Avocados also have other important nutrients, including fiber and potassium.
So, if you’re looking for good fat-burning food, avocado should be your option. Just make sure to keep your intake moderate.
Even if cereal grains have a bad reputation nowadays, some of them are clearly healthy.
Why are they healthy?
Well, whole grains such as oats, brown rice, and quinoa are high in fiber and have a decent amount of protein.
To be more specific, oats have beta-glucans, which are soluble fibers that increase satiety and improve your metabolic health.
Besides oats, both brown and white rice have significant amounts of resistant starch, especially if you cook and allow them to cool afterward.
You have to keep something in mind.
And that is to stay away from refined grains, which are not a healthy choice. You see, foods that have “whole grains” on the label are sometimes highly processed junk foods. And they can harm your health, especially in the long term.
So, if you’re following a low-carb diet, grains aren’t your best option — since they’re high in carbs. But, otherwise, you can eat whole grains as long as you tolerate them.
In other words, if you want to lose weight, refined grains shouldn’t be your option. You should choose whole grains instead because they have more fiber and are more nutrient-rich.
“A fruit a day keeps the doctor away!”
There’s nothing truer than that.
You see, studies show that if you eat fruit regularly, your overall health improves. But, even more, some fruits are weight-loss friendly too.
The thing is, even if they have natural sugar, fruits have a low energy density and a high fiber content — which prevents sugar from being released too quickly into your bloodstream.
The only reason you may want to avoid or minimize eating fruit is if you follow a low-carb, ketogenic diet, or have intolerances.
As a summary, even if fruits have some sugar, you can easily introduce them to your weight loss diet. And that’s because they provide you fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients that are good for your health.
Also known as one of the best foods to lose belly fat, grapefruit has significant effects on weight loss.
How do you know it?
More than that, grapefruit also has reduced insulin resistance, which is abnormally implicated in numerous chronic conditions.
To summarize, grapefruit can suppress your appetite and reduce calorie intake when you eat it before meals. So, if you’re looking for one of the best foods to lose belly fat, then grapefruit should be your option.
You see, not all fats are created equal.
Coconut oil has medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are medium-length fatty acids.
Thankfully, studies show that MCTs boost your satiety better than any other fats and also increase the number of calories burned — making coconut oil one of the best fat-burning foods.
But, even more, two studies show that coconut oil can reduce your amounts of belly fat.
So you know, being fat-rich, coconut oil has calories. And if you want to add it on top of your meal, you should be careful with the calorie count.
One good option for you is to replace some of your cooking fats with coconut oil. Alongside extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil is one of the healthiest fats you can find on the planet.
As a summary, if you’re looking for one of the best foods to lose belly fat, then coconut oil should be your option.
As you know by now, meals and diets with a low energy density can make you eat fewer calories.
Usually, most foods with low energy density have lots of water, such as vegetables and fruits.
So, why not add water to your food, and make it a soup?
You see, studies show that eating the same food turned into a soup can make you feel more satiated and eat fewer calories.
But you have to keep in mind not to add too much fat to your soup since it will significantly increase its calorie count.
In other words, soup is one of the best foods for weight loss. And that’s because they have a high water content which makes you fuller. However, you should avoid creamy or oily soups if you want to lose weight.
If you want to check on more weight-loss foods and discover new healthy recipes, I highly recommend you Metabolic Cooking (read here my review article). In this cookbook, you find everything you need about healthy recipes made with whole foods ingredients.
I hope this article was helpful and that you discovered some new fat burning foods to help you in your weight loss journey.