How to Lose Weight with 16 Foods

If you’re trying to lose weight, you might be tempted to cut calories, but eating too little can put your health at risk. In fact, research shows that a diet of less than 1,000 calories a day doesn’t give your body the balanced nutrition it needs, and it can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can cause serious health problems.

Also, if you eat a lot less than you need, your body will break down muscle and organ tissue to use as fuel. And the less lean tissue mass you have, the slower your metabolism, which is not good for losing weight.

So instead of restricting your caloric intake, focus on feeding your body healthier foods—it’s a more effective weight loss strategy, says Jamie Feit, a registered dietitian nutritionist and founder of Jamie Feit Nutrition in White Plains, New York. Here are the foods that experts say will help you lose weight in a healthy way that will last.

How food affects weight loss:

Matthew Olesiak, M.D., chief medical director of Bellevue, Washington-based health technology company SANESolution, says that controlling your weight is mostly about how your hormones react to the foods you eat. He says, “Hormones send signals to the brain that affect our hunger, cravings, and body weight.” Here’s how certain foods affect the hormones that make you feel hungry:

Protein makes you feel full quickly and for a long time. Dr. Olesiak says that it also decreases the amount of the hunger hormone ghrelin that is released after a meal. This makes people feel less hungry.

“Protein also takes more energy to digest and makes you have more lean muscle mass,” he says. Both of these things help speed up your metabolism.

Dr. Olesiak says that dietary fibre slows digestion and makes sure that blood sugar levels rise slowly. This causes insulin, a hormone that stores fat, to be released more slowly.

“As fibre moves through the digestive system, hormones that make you feel full, like ghrelin, are released. These hormones send signals to the brain to make you feel less hungry and control how much food you eat,” he says.

Kara Landau, a registered dietitian, gut health expert, and founder of snack brand Uplift Food in Brooklyn, New York, says that means you’ll feel fuller for longer. This can help you avoid overeating and cut down on your overall calorie intake. “Soluble prebiotic fibre also feeds the good bacteria in your large intestine, which is good for your gut health,” she says.

Dr. Olesiak says that ultra-processed foods are low in nutrients and fibre, so they are broken down quickly. “This means that eating them (like potato chips, candy bars, and toaster pastries) causes a quick rise in blood sugar, which makes a lot of insulin come out,” he says. He says that because insulin needs to get glucose out of your blood quickly, most of those calories go to your fat cells.

“When you need energy again, you should be able to use these calories. “However, if you eat a lot of ultra-processed foods, you’ll always be adding to your fat cells and never taking them out,” says Dr. Olesiak.

How to Lose Weight Safely and Permanently:

Dr. Olesiak says that cutting calories by a lot isn’t necessary and isn’t even a good idea. Instead, eating whole, unprocessed, high-quality foods is the safest and most long-lasting way to lose weight. “These foods control your hunger on their own, speed up your metabolism, and help you burn fat,” he says.

Feit adds that you should avoid as many processed foods, fried foods, and refined sugars as you can and watch the size of your portions. “The plate method is a great way to eat healthy. Half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables, a quarter should be lean protein, and the other quarter should be fiber-filled carbs,” she says.

Landau says that eating a wide range of clean, unprocessed foods can also help your gut health. “Good gut health is linked to a stronger insulin response, which means less fat is stored around the middle,” she says. “It can also help reduce inflammation and boost immunity, which will make you feel better physically and mentally and keep you on track to reach your weight loss goals.”

16 foods that experts say will help you lose weight:

These foods can help you lose weight and improve your health in a number of ways.

1. Lean Protein:

Feit says that lean protein sources like chicken, turkey, and grass-fed lean beef help you feel full, cut down on cravings, and keep your blood sugar level. Plant-based proteins like legumes, beans, and lentils have the same health benefits as animal-based proteins. They are also high in fibre, which helps you feel full.

2. Eggs:

Eggs have minerals like phosphorus, calcium, and potassium, and almost all of the essential vitamins except for vitamin C. Feit says that eggs are a good source of complete protein and can be changed to suit different tastes.

3. Vegetables:

All kinds of vegetables can help you lose weight, says Feit. For example, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage are high in fibre and vitamins and help with digestive problems. On the other hand, dark green leafy vegetables are a good source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and fibre. And crunchy vegetables like celery and jicama are great options for snacking that are low in calories.

4. Avocados:

Avocados are totally underrated, says Feit. The fruit has a lot of fibre and is a good source of healthy fat, which makes it a great food for making you feel less hungry. But since avocado is a source of fat, it has a lot of calories, so it’s important to watch how much you eat.


According to Feit, apples have a lot of fibre and antioxidants. The fruit is also good for reducing inflammation and has phytochemicals and vitamin C in it.

6. Berries:

Berries are full of fibre, antioxidants, and vitamin C, all of which are things your body needs to work well.

Feit says that nuts and seeds are good for your health in different ways. All nuts are a good source of fibre, protein, and healthy fats, and they also help you feel less hungry. On the other hand, seeds are a great way to get minerals and good fats. Here, too, watch what you eat. A quarter cup of nuts and seeds is the same as one serving.

8. Salmon:

Rima Kleiner, a registered dietitian nutritionist and the founder of Smart Mouth Nutrition in Greensboro, North Carolina, says that salmon is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids may help people who are overweight or obese feel fuller, according to research[2]. Kleiner says that fish in general may make you feel fuller and happier than other proteins like eggs and beef.

9. Shrimp:

Shrimp makes you feel fuller, according to Kleiner. Shrimp seems to make you feel less hungry by making your body make more cholecystokinin (CCK), a hormone that tells your stomach it’s full. Also, shrimp and other shellfish have zinc and selenium in them, which are two important minerals for a healthy immune system and more energy.

10. Lupini Beans :

Lupini beans are high in prebiotic fibre that feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut, says Landau. “When the bacteria in your gut are well fed, the number and types of bacteria in your gut grow. “Having a microbiome that is well-populated and diverse is good for your gut health. This makes your cells more sensitive to insulin, which helps get rid of fat that has been stored around your waist,” she says.

11. Unripe Bananas:

Landau says that unripe bananas are one of the best sources of resistant prebiotic starch in the world. Prebiotic-resistant starch makes your cells more sensitive to insulin, which helps stop fat from building up around your waist. When combined with protein, like in a smoothie with protein powder and/or nut butter, it can keep you full for hours.

12. Raw Oats:

Raw oats are full of resistant starch, which is a type of starch that can’t be broken down. This type of starch is great for weight loss, says Landau. When resistant starch is digested, it gives off byproducts that can make your cells more sensitive to insulin. This can help you lose stubborn fat around your middle.

13. Sauerkraut:

Sauerkraut, which is fermented cabbage, is both a prebiotic and a probiotic food, according to Dr. Olesiak. This means that it adds good bacteria to your gut and feeds the good bacteria that are already there. He also says that sauerkraut has a lot of fibre, which helps control hunger and keep blood sugar levels steady.

14. Legumes:

Landau says that legumes help you feel full and keep your gut healthy. Their high fibre content makes you feel full longer, which stops you from eating too much. Plus, they have nutrients that feed the bacteria in your gut.

15. Chia Seeds:

Dr. Olesiak says that chia seeds can help you lose weight in two ways. First, they have a lot of fibre, which can make you feel full and keep you from eating too much. Second, they grow when they get wet, so if you eat them before they get wet, they take up more space in your stomach and make you feel less hungry.

16. Water:

Water isn’t a food, but it’s just as important for losing weight in a healthy way. “All of the processes in our bodies need water to work, and metabolism is one of them,” says Feit, so make sure to drink enough water.

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