As a continuation of my previous post on the Top 10 Foods to Avoid to Lose Weight, I’ve written this post to focus on the best foods to eat to lose weight.
If you haven’t read that previous post, please do so (link here) as it will be very beneficial in making sure your diet is primed for weight loss by skipping on some of the fattening foods.
In this post, I’m going to share on the 11 Best Foods To Eat To Lose Weight. While writing this list, I found that there’s a lot of great foods out there that you should eat to lose weight, so much so listing each and every food is a futile exercise.
Hence, I’ve opted to combine some of the foods into common groups so that this list will be manageable without being too lengthy. That way, it will be easy for your next shopping trip with the groups acting as a guide for your food selection.
But first, let’s see the main criteria on what makes a food something that you should eat to lose weight.
What’s The Main Criteria For Foods To Eat To Lose Weight?
There’s a few criteria on what constitutes a great food for weight lose. There’s a lot of food around us (thanks to the modern age) and we’re basically spoilt for choice.
The first criteria is the food must not have high calorie per gram. This is very important as you’ll have to continuously create a calorie deficit in order to lose weight.
Without calorie deficit, your body won’t utilize the dormant fat around the body as energy fuel and there’s no weight loss. So it’s important that your food selection has a low calorie capacity.
Due to this, carbohydrates and sugar are some of the things that will be missing in this list due to its high calorie (not to mention it’s very easy to overeat carbs since it’s soo tasty).
You’ll also want to eat something that is fulfilling to minimize hunger. This will help you as it’s easy to get hungry during dieting as you’ll be eating lesser food.
Eating just vegetables and water is a sure recipe for weight loss but it’s not sustainable for humans. Yes, you can do a vegetable detox program once in a while but to do that a few days a row? That’s impossible (at least to me LOL!).
Last but not least, the foods must be delicious with some variation in the foods to keep you interested and not bored in the diet.
One of the ways to create a delicious but healthy meals is in the selection of the raw materials with the correct cooking.
In addition, variation is a must. To tell the truth, eating the same perfectly curated meal daily is one of the best ways to lose weight.
But this is only good in theory and not easily done as humans are easily bored. Which is why I’d recommend that you grasp the principles of this list so that you can easily choose wide variety of foods easily.
11 Best Foods To Eat To Lose Weight
- Lean Protein/Meat
- Whole Eggs
- Coffee and Tea
- Protein Supplement
- Dark Chocolate
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Chia Seeds
No time to read the whole article? Watch the video above for a summary of the article
1. Lean Protein/Meat
A great food with low calorie but still fulfilling (and my personal favorite) is lean meat. True enough, protein has the same amount of calorie as carbs per gram (4 kcal per gram) but it’s not as easily digested as carb.
This means there’s no spike in blood sugar and insulin level, and our body actually has to work harder to digest protein, thus there’s actually lesser net calories from eating protein vs eating carbs.
But the main point here is “lean”.
What does lean means? It means that you need to forego the fatty (or very delicious) parts of the meat!
I’m talking about skinless chickens, chicken breasts, lean meat cuts (round, sirloin, etc.) and lean fishes (cod, tuna, etc.)
And these are the meat parts that you need to avoid: chicken drumsticks/thighs & wings and fatty cuts such as ribs & filet mignon.
The reason is you want to eat the meat with as much protein and the least fat as possible. This is very important as fat has a huge amount of calorie per gram (9 kcal per gram) and can easily destroy your calorie deficit diet.
Also remember to keep the cooking with as little oil as possible. Deep frying is one of the worst ways to cook a food because the food will be coated and cooked entirely under oil, causing it to soak huge amounts of it in the process.
And what does oil made up of? Yep, you’ve guessed it right, it’s fat! Deep frying these lean meats is counter-productive and you might actually eat more calorie than normal.
So stick to low oil ways of cooking (grill, steam, etc.) and you’ll be able to fully get the whole protein nutrition without the unnecessary fat & calories.
Vegetables is the second food in this list of the best foods to eat to lose weight. There are many reasons why you should eat vegetables:
- It’s very nutritious. The lots of vitamins, minerals and nutrients in vegetables will surely turn your life towards the better. After adding a bowl of salad daily, I can notice huge difference in my body in terms of skin, energy level, and bowel movement (which is very important for weight loss. More on this below)
- Some green vegetables (such as kale, spinach, etc.) have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties thanks to its huge phytonutrients content. These properties have long been associated with decreasing the risks of cancer.
- Have lots of fiber which helps with digestion, with more nutrients being absorbed into the body. If you’re not defecating at least once daily, your digestion system is not optimized due to lack of fiber in your diet. Besides, defecating is the natural way of the body to shed some weight too!
- Low in calorie means that you can basically eat a boat load of vegetables without getting fat. What this means is you can substitute a large portion of your meal with vegetables to quickly fill you up (it has lots of fiber after all) and effectively cut your calories significantly.
So now you’ll understand why vegetables are very good for us. In terms which vegetables to eat, I personally like the leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, collards and such.
The reason is these leafy green vegetables are more packed with nutrients (especially its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties) than their non-green counterparts.
Try to eat more vegetables for each meal and you’ll be able to reduce your effective calorie intake while at the same time reaping its health benefits.
Fruits are delicious and are good replacement for normal carb (such as bread, rice, grains, etc. that is not recommended to be eaten) for quick energy.
Their high fiber content helps prevent the sugar from being released too quickly into bloodstream. The fibers also make fruits easier to fill up your stomach, thus stopping you from over-eating.
The high water content also makes most fruits have a low energy density compared to normal carbs.
In addition, the various nutrients and vitamins in fruits is a good addition to any meal.
But still, you’ll need to select your fruits carefully.
While most fruits are low energy density, there’s also high calorie fruits that can still be eaten, but at limited quantity.
These are the fruits such as dates, apples, oranges and avocado (high calorie because of the fat content). You can still eat them but not too much (especially the very sweet dates).
You can also make a healthy smoothie consisting of mostly green vegetables with fruits to give some taste and sweetness to it.
I find green smoothies an easy-to-do meal replacement that can be whipped out fast without any cooking needed.
Just toss in the ingredients into a blender, blend it and you’re good to go. Check out this article on how to make a low calorie smoothie for weight loss.
4. Whole Eggs
Whole eggs has a bad reputation as some claimed the yolk has a high cholesterol level that is unsafe for consumption.
I’m also one of the people that was guilty of eating only egg whites (and discarding the yummy yolk. Duh!).
It was quite stupid what I did before. We should never doubt mother nature as the egg yolks, although high in cholesterol, were found to have no correlation with high blood cholesterol level.
This means that whole eggs including the yolk is safe to be eaten.
And that’s a great thing because the yolk is one of the best part of the eggs. It’s delicious, and has lots of good stuffs in it.
One particular thing that make whole eggs very good for weight loss diet is how satiating it can be, considering its low calorie content.
And looking at how much nutrient it has, whole eggs are definitely a great staple food for those wanting to lose weight.
Simple couple boiled or poached (so that you won’t have to put butter/oil to fry it. Lesser calorie yay!) with a huge bowl of salad and you already have a healthy breakfast with some very low calorie numbers =)
Yeah, water is not food but I got to put it in this list as it’s very important not just for losing weight but also for general well-being of our body.
To be precise, I’m talking about plain water and not any of the sugary drinks (which is one of the worst things that you can drink if you want to lose weight).
As everybody knows, our bodies are made up mostly of water. Which is why water is very essential for the well-being of our body and health.
It’s the conduit for any and all bodily functions to work correctly. This is very important to consider as although you might be able to shed a few by stop drinking water, this is very dangerous for your health and I don’t encourage it.
So if you go on a very strict diet, please make sure you’re still drinking your 13 cups (or 3 liters) of water daily. Do keep in mind that this amount goes up depending on your activities i.e if you’re working out, you should drink more than this recommended amount.
One of the good side effects of adequate water intake is in our kidney performance. With adequate water, kidney can work at full capacity and this enables our body to filter out the by-products more efficiently.
In addition, our liver will be able to metabolize fats better in this condition.
By the way, don’t worry too much about the additional weight from drinking water. Yes, 13 cups a day is equal to about 6-7 pounds (~3 kgs) but keep in mind that this amount of water is NECESSARY for your health.
Not to mention it’s just water and not the actual part of your body such as your fats =)
6. Coffee and Tea
Caffeine is one of the best stimulant for us. The burst of energy after drinking a cup of coffee or tea can help propel us forward, even during a tough calorie restrictive diet.
In addition, caffeine also can increase fat mobilization and fat burning around our body. It also helps to fill up our stomach (more so than plain water) and this is great especially when your stomach during dieting will not be full as you’d normally would be.
And these are the reason why coffee and tea is one of the best best foods to eat to lose weight.
Although coffee is the one here with the higher caffeine content, I find tea a good complement as you cannot drink too much coffee in a day.
Another thing to remember is to drink your coffee or tea plain, with little to no sugar. Milk is also not recommended as we’re trying to reduce the amount of calories that we consume.
This brings to another important factor to consider: you do need a good coffee/tea to be able to drink it on its own.
Drinking a low quality coffee/tea without any sugar/milk is a not a good experience. Most of the cheap processed coffee/tea are too refined and bitter.
I’d suggest investing in better quality coffee/tea so that its natural sweetness is still drinkable even on its own.
7. Protein Supplement
As a high protein diet is a sure way to reduce weight, protein supplements are a good way to get those proteins without the hassle of cooking your own meat.
While body builders have been using protein supplement for years to help in building muscle, we’re taking it as a meal replacement to really drop the carbs while still giving fuel to our body with the proteins.
Protein supplements nowadays have become so much better. There’s a lot of different types of protein supplements out there from different sources such as whey, casein, egg, etc. that you can tailor made to your different budget and needs.
(Personally I prefer egg protein supplements as I’m lactose intolerant and whey protein just gives me bloating. That’s something that you can think about too)
It’s also becoming cheaper and taste better nowadays. And this is a good thing as you don’t want to combine the protein supplements with other things (such as milk, banana, etc.) that will increase its calories and is contradicting the reason why we’re drinking the supplement as meal replacement in the first place.
One thing to consider is to choose a good supplement with low amount of sugar and fat content. As much as possible, you’d want a supplement with high protein content with the lowest carb.
8. Dark Chocolate
The next best foods to eat to lose weight is dark chocolate.
Wait a minute..
Can you eat dark chocolate to lose weight???
Apparently you can. Chocolate or its raw form cacao, is a very powerful food that has lots of anti-oxidants in the form of flavonoids, helping its eaters to reduce risk of critical diseases such as diabetes and heart diseases.
It’s also very delicious – no surprise as it’s one of the most favorite desserts in the world.
Eating chocolates will give you a burst of energy, much like coffee, and works well as your morning drink on an empty stomach, especially when you’re trying to do intermittent fasting by skipping breakfast.
And this is why chocolate is one of the allowable desserts, apart from fruits, for dieters.
But there’s a catch. You cannot just simply eat any chocolate on the grocery store. The normal chocolates on the shelves are full with sugar and milk – and as a result have monstrous amount of calories in it.
The way to still enjoy chocolate is by selecting the dark chocolate variant. You also need to get one with as high cacao percentage as possible (more than 70% is great).
For example, if a chocolate bar has only 40% cacao content, then it’s actually filled with sugar and milk – thus reducing its flavanoid content and increases its calories.
A slice of lemon into plain iced water is very tasteful especially in the hot summer. But do you know that lemon can also help with weight loss?
Lemons are fully packed with Vitamin C and it does not have the same calorie as sweet oranges. It also can reduce levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that is associated with hunger and fat storage.
In addition, it also contains polyphenols that might be able to stop fat accumulation and hence, weight gain.
And if you think that the juice is the only good thing about lemons, then you’re wrong.
The lemon’s peel (or its skin) actually houses lots of Vitamin C inside them. In fact, it has more Vitamin C compared to the whole fruit itself.
In addition to that, the peel contains pectin, or a type of fiber that can help with feeling fuller longer. So the next time you’re juicing your lemons, do keep in mind about the peel and try to use it for your dishes =)
10. Apple Cider Vinegar
I’m pretty sure you’ve heard that apple cider vinegar (ACV) is one of the most useful natural foods around us.
It’s not like normal vinegar and that’s the reason why ACV is packed with beneficial vitamins and minerals.
You can either dilute it to drink or use it as dressings for your salad. Whatever method you use, ACV is noted to be able to reduce blood sugar spikes after meal and make you feel full faster.
Do get the raw unfiltered ACV with the small wispy strands in the bottle. These are called the “mother” that is packed with all the goodness.
A good way to take ACV is with hot/warm water in the beginning of the day. The characteristic sourness of the ACV will definitely light up your day =)
11. Chia Seeds
One of the foods that become very popular nowadays is chia seeds. It has lots of nutrients (in the form of Omega 3, minerals and anti-oxidants) and you just can’t deny that it’s own of the best supplements or superfoods out there in terms of nutrient density.
Best part about chia seeds is its ability to absorb lots of water to expand itself, thus making it a very good replacement ingredients for some popular dishes such as pudding, jam or cakes (see some chia seeds recipes here).
With such a huge range of application in cooking, it’s no wonder why it’s becoming popular nowadays. You can put chia seeds into your favorite desserts and it will instantly turn out to be healthier! Now that’s a great and convenient superfood!
The ability to absorb water comes from its high fiber content that can help us to feel fuller faster. And coupled that with very low calorie content, chia seeds is one of the best foods to eat to lose weight.
One way to eat it is by making a chia seeds pudding for your breakfast or healthy snack. That way, you’ll be able to suppress your hunger while at the same time making sure you’re not eating more calorie than what you want.
If you’ve been trying to lose weight for some time but just can’t get the result that you want, then you’ll need to pay close attention to what kind of foods that you eat.
I’ve previously shared about the 10 foods to avoid to lose weight before (click here to read that article) and some of them are the staple foods for most people.
While I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to get a major improvement on your weight loss by avoiding those 10 foods, you can bring it up a notch by eating these 11 foods listed above.
These 11 foods listed above will not only help you to lose weight, it’s also full of nutrients and minerals for a healthier body.
By doing this combination, you’ll be able to turbo-charged your weight loss effortlessly and get the body that you desire!
I’d like to state a disclaimer that I’ve learnt a lot of the things in this article from The 2 Week Diet. It’s one of the best diet plan currently, using scientific methods to easily shed 6 pounds or more in just 2 weeks (read my review of the ebook here).
By the way, there’s also an ongoing 30% discount going for The 2 Week Diet if you’re interested (you can click this link to see if it’s still available).
I hope this article about the 11 best foods to eat to lose weight is helpful. Do let me know if you have any comments or suggestions on other foods that should be included inside this list.
Till next time then.