Best Foods for Weight Loss

You’re trying to lose weight and around every turn all you hear is this piece of advice about food and that piece of advice on what to eat, where to eat, how to eat, and more. Losing weight doesn’t have to be, and shouldn’t be, confusing. Whether you’re attempting weight-loss by eating right and moving more or food restriction, such as low-carb diets, there are foods for everyone who wants to lose weight.

One of the top questions when it comes to weight loss is – what do I eat to lose weight? Some plans will claim you have to eliminate carbs or fats; another claims eating non-acidic foods work, and yet another claims all these are false, and you need to eat nothing but raw foods. With so many options out there, how can you tell the best foods for weight loss?

What Are the Best Foods for Weight Loss?

Weight loss can seem like a stressful process. There’s lots of conflicting diet advice on what to eat to lose weight and how to lose weight naturally. To lose fat, you have to take in less energy than you use. The best way to do this is to eat natural weight-loss foods, which are low in calories but give you energy and keep you full.

Your body needs a variety of macronutrients and micronutrients to survive. Best foods for weight loss are the foods that provide these nutrients without extra calories from added sugar or fat. Unsaturated fats, which are known as “healthy fats,” are an essential part of a healthy diet and can help with weight loss because they’re very satiating. However, all fats are high in calories, so you should only consume a limited amount.

Protein is important for building and maintaining your muscle mass, so the best foods for weight loss and muscle tone have lots of protein.

Carbohydrates give your body energy, which will help you be more active. If you want to have successful workouts, your best foods for weight loss and energy will be carb-heavy foods like fruit and whole grains. They aren’t as satiating as fat or protein, though, so you shouldn’t over-consume them.

If you like to eat large volumes of food, you should pay attention to water content. The higher a food’s water content, the more volume it will have per calorie. Some of your best foods for weight loss are more than 90 percent water, which means you can fill up your plate with them for very few calories.

Here we’ll go into detail about the best foods for weight loss, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, proteins, and more.

The Difference Between Noom and Other Plans and Programs

When it comes to learning how to eat and how to live for weight loss, Noom works from a psychological perspective. According to the Chief of Psychology for Noom, Dr. Andreas Michaelides, “By understanding the past behaviors and attitudes of all types of users, we know the best way to meet our users where they are in their journey to help them maximize their change of long-term weight-loss success.”

Noom, as a weight-loss platform, uses the power of food logging, among other advanced technologies, to teach simple, key behaviors for lasting change. Behavior changes that include self-efficacy, motivation, and knowledge are just the start of how psychology can interact with food, so you lose more weight in a way that lasts a lifetime.

Noom works with tech-based tools partnered with support from real-life coaches in a structured program that connects the user with the social support and positive reinforcement needed to change behavior in a way that increases the likelihood of success.

Not all dietary changes are for everyone, and no two weight-loss plans should be the same, which is precisely how Noom works.

By identifying specific areas where changes can be made to reach goals of weight loss and health improvement successfully, users realize where their best changes are to be made and how those changes are incorporated into a lifestyle they can adopt for the long-term.

Best Fruits for Weight Loss

Let’s start off with the sweet side of your diet – fruits. There are hundreds of varieties out there to choose from, with differences between agricultural regions. Here are some of the most popular weight-loss foods available in most areas.

Grapefruit: Grapefruit contains about 90 percent water, which is one of the highest water contents of all fruits. It’s low in calories for its size, and it provides a large percentage of your daily values of vitamins A and C.

  • Nutrition per 100 grams:
  • 42 calories
  • 11g carbs
  • 1.6g fiber
  • 0.1g fat
  • 0.8g protein

Cherries: Cherries are a good source of vitamins A and C, and they contain lots of antioxidants, which makes them one of your best foods for weight loss. They also contain melatonin, which helps regulate your sleep cycles.

  • Nutrition per 100 grams:
  • 50 calories
  • 12g carbs
  • 1.6g fiber
  • 0.3g fat
  • 1g protein

Berries: Berries are an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber. They can help control your blood sugar and protect your nervous system.

  • Nutrition per 100 grams:
  • 33 calories
  • 8g carbs
  • 5g fiber
  • 0.3g fat
  • 0.7g protein

Pink Lady Apples: All apples are good sources of antioxidants, but a pink lady apple has particularly high levels. It’s low in calories, high in fiber, and one of the overall best foods for weight loss.

  • Nutrition per apple:
  • 72 calories
  • 19g carbs
  • 3.3g fiber
  • 0.2g fat
  • 0.4g protein

Watermelon: Watermelons are about 92 percent water, so you can eat a large volume without consuming many calories. Like most other fruits, they’re high in antioxidants, which protect your body from cellular damage.

  • Nutrition per 100 grams:
  • 30 calories
  • 8g carbs
  • 0.4g fiber
  • 0.2g fat
  • 0.6g protein

Nectarines: Nectarines are one of your best foods for weight loss because they’re high in vitamins and antioxidants. They also have lots of fiber, which is helpful for digestion and appetite control.

  • Nutrition per nectarine:
  • 63 calories
  • 15g carbs
  • 2.4g fiber
  • 0.5g fat
  • 1.5g protein

Peaches: Peaches are among the most delicious and best foods for weight loss. For low-calorie food, they’re high in potassium, which is important for heart health. They also contain antioxidants and vitamins A and C.

  • Nutrition per peach:
  • 59 calories
  • 14g carbs
  • 2.3g fiber
  • 0.4g fat
  • 1.4g protein

Plums: Plums are a great source of fiber and potassium, and they’re one of the best fat-burning foods. They help your body absorb iron, which is necessary for oxygen circulation in your blood. Without enough iron, you’ll feel tired and lethargic, and exercising for weight loss will be difficult.

  • Nutrition per 100 grams:
  • 46 calories
  • 11g carbs
  • 1.4g fiber
  • 0.3g fat
  • 0.7g protein

Blueberry: Blueberries, especially wild blueberries, are near the top of the list of best foods for weight loss. They contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, and potassium, and they’re one of the best sources of antioxidants.

  • Nutrition per 100 grams:
  • 57 calories
  • 14g carbs
  • 2.4g fiber
  • 0.3g fat
  • 0.7g protein

Banana: Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. They’re slightly higher in calories than most other fruits, but they’re satiating. You can eat them before a workout to get an energy boost and to prevent muscle cramps.

  • Nutrition per banana:
  • 105 calories
  • 27g carbs
  • 3.1g fiber
  • 0.4g fat
  • 1.3g protein

Oranges: An orange contains lots of natural sugar, so it’s one of the best foods for weight loss and energy. One orange provides more than 100 percent of your daily value of vitamin C. The food is nutritious, filling, and good for your immune system.

  • Nutrition per orange:
  • 80 calories
  • 19g carbs
  • 3g fiber
  • 0g fat
  • 1g protein

Pear: Pears are full of potassium, vitamin C, and fiber, which makes them one of your best foods for weight loss. Fiber makes fruit more filling, so pears are a good low-calorie snack option to eat between meals.

  • Nutrition per pear:
  • 102 calories
  • 27g carbs
  • 6g fiber
  • 0.2g fat
  • 0.6g protein

Guava: Guavas are an even better source of vitamin C than oranges, with one fruit containing over 200 percent of your daily value. The fruit is also very versatile and makes a great healthy dessert to include in your weight-loss plan.

  • Nutrition per guava:
  • 38 calories
  • 8g carbs
  • 3g fiber
  • 0.5g fat
  • 1.4g protein

Track the foods you’re eating with an app like Noom.

Noom works with an extensive food database that provides all the nutritional values for hundreds of fruits.

Best Vegetables for Weight Loss

Now we have fruits under the belt, it’s time to look at vegetables. Nearly all vegetables are safe and effective for weight loss – though some high-calorie options do exist and no food remains healthy if topped by unhealthy amounts of sauces or spreads.

A quick list of the best vegetables for weight loss includes:

Any Leafy Greens: Leafy greens are one of the best sources of vitamin A, iron, and magnesium. They’re extremely low in calories, so you can eat a large volume and easily stay within your calorie goal.

  • Nutrition per 100 grams:
  • 23 calories
  • 3.6g carbs
  • 2.2g fiber
  • 0.4g fat
  • 2.9g protein

Peppers: Bell peppers are among the sweeter vegetables, so they’re a good addition to soups or salads. Their high water content makes them low in calories, so they’re high up on the list of best foods for weight loss.

  • Nutrition per 100 grams:
  • 20 calories
  • 4.6g carbs
  • 1.7g fiber
  • 0.2g fat
  • 0.9g protein

Chilis: Most people eat spicy chili peppers in small quantities, but they can still provide lots of vitamins and nutrients. Adding spicy foods like chilis to your meals can slow down your eating speed, which can help you eat smaller portions.

  • Nutrition per 100 grams:
  • 40 calories
  • 9g carbs
  • 1.5g fiber
  • 0.4g fat
  • 1.9g protein

Onions: Onions are one of the lowest-fat vegetables, so they’re one of the best foods to eat for weight loss. They have high water content and a low caloric density, so you can use them to add volume and flavor to your meals.

  • Nutrition per onion:
  • 44 calories
  • 10g carbs
  • 1.9g fiber
  • 0.1g fat
  • 1.2g protein

Cucumber: Cucumbers are very low in calories, so they make a great snack or salad ingredient. Because they’re mostly water, they don’t provide as many nutrients like some other fruits and vegetables. However, they do contain some vitamin C and magnesium.

  • Nutrition per 100 grams:
  • 15 calories
  • 3.6g carbs
  • 0.5g fiber
  • 0.1g fat
  • 0.7g protein

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are mostly made up of water, so they’re one of the best healthy foods to lose weight. They have fairly high fiber content, so they’re surprisingly satiating for how low-calorie they are.

  • Nutrition per tomato:
  • 16 calories
  • 3.5g carbs
  • 1.1g fiber
  • 0.2g fat
  • 0.8g protein

Mushrooms: Mushrooms are one of your best foods for weight loss because they have lots of protein in a low-calorie serving. Incorporating mushrooms into your diet will help you feel full and maintain your muscle mass as you lose fat.

  • Nutrition per 100 grams:
  • 22 calories
  • 3.3g carbs
  • 1g fiber
  • 0.3g fat
  • 3.1g protein

Carrots: Carrots are the best plant source of vitamin A, which is important for a wide variety of body functions. They also have lots of fiber and potassium.

  • Nutrition per 100 grams:
  • 41 calories
  • 10g carbs
  • 2.8g fiber
  • 0.2g fat
  • 0.9g protein

Cauliflower: Cauliflower is a great low-calorie source of fiber and protein, which makes it one of the best foods to eat to lose weight. It has a mild, neutral flavor, so you can season it or roast it with sauces to make delicious, healthy meals for weight loss.

  • Nutrition per 100 grams:
  • 25 calories
  • 5g carbs
  • 2g fiber
  • 0.3g fat
  • 1.9g protein

Lettuce: A serving of lettuce contains almost your entire daily value of vitamin K. It’s one of the lowest-calorie and best foods for weight loss, and adding salads to your meals is a helpful way to stay full and eat a higher volume of food.

  • Nutrition per 100 grams:
  • 15 calories
  • 2.9g carbs
  • 1.3g fiber
  • 0.2g fat
  • 1.4g protein

With Noom, tracking the best foods for weight loss is easy with a database of more than 3.5 million foods.

Best Protein Foods for Weight Loss

You have a pretty good start to your menu with lots of fruits and vegetables for weight loss. Now, at the heart of the meal is the protein. Protein tends to have higher calorie counts than fruits and vegetables, so choosing the best proteins for weight loss is important.

Legumes: Legumes are a large group of plant foods that are contained within a pod. Most legumes are high in protein and fiber, so they’re some of the best plant-based weight-loss foods.

  • Nutrition per 100 grams of green peas:
  • 81 calories
  • 14g carbs
  • 5g fiber
  • 0.4g fat
  • 5g protein

Beans: Beans fall into the legume category, but these foods are exceptionally high in fiber. You can eat beans to feel satiated and to get protein without consuming unhealthy fats.

  • Nutrition per 100 grams of black beans:
  • 347 calories
  • 63g carbs
  • 16g fiber
  • 1.2g fat
  • 21g protein

Eggs: Eggs are one of the overall best foods for weight loss because they’re extremely filling, and they provide lots of protein and healthy fat. They’re also one of the most versatile foods, so you can make a variety of different recipes without getting bored of them.

  • Nutrition per egg:
  • 78 calories
  • 0.6g carbs
  • 0g fiber
  • 5g fat
  • 6g protein

Pork: Pork is mostly made up of protein, so it’s one of your best foods for weight loss if you want to build muscle or maintain your muscle mass. It also contains other important nutrients and minerals like thiamin and selenium.

  • Nutrition per 100 grams:
  • 297 calories
  • 0g carbs
  • 0g fiber
  • 20.8g fat
  • 25.7g protein

Lamb: Lamb contains lots of B vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids, and protein, which makes it one of the best foods for weight loss and muscle tone. A small serving will provide many micronutrients for a low number of calories, and it’s a good alternative to other red meats.

  • Nutrition per 100 grams:
  • 294 calories
  • 0g carbs
  • 0g fiber
  • 21g fat
  • 25g protein

Chicken: Chicken is near the top of the list of best foods for weight loss. It’s lower in fat than most other meats, and it’s an excellent protein source.

  • Nutrition per 100 grams:
  • 151 calories
  • 0g carbs
  • 0g fiber
  • 3g fat
  • 31g protein

Salmon: Salmon is one of the best foods for weight loss and fat burning. It’s full of omega 3 fatty acids, which improve your bone and joint health. This can help you make your workouts more powerful, which can speed up your weight loss.

  • Nutrition per 100 grams:
  • 208 calories
  • 0g carbs
  • 0g fiber
  • 13g fat
  • 20g protein

Cod: Cod has one of the highest protein contents per calorie of all foods, which makes it one of the healthiest and best foods for weight loss. It’s one of the lowest-fat protein sources as well.

  • Nutrition per 100 grams:
  • 82 calories
  • 0g carbs
  • 0g fiber
  • 1g fat
  • 18g protein

Sardines: Sardines are one of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids, and one serving provides plenty of protein. It also contains vitamin B12, vitamin D, selenium, and calcium.

  • Nutrition per 100 grams:
  • 208 calories
  • 0g carbs
  • 0g fiber
  • 11g fat
  • 25g protein

How much protein are you getting from that 2-ounce portion of salmon? Is that enough to keep you full, or is the portion size too small?

Learn how to eat and track the foods you take in to lose weight once and for all with Noom.

Sample Menu Using Best Foods for Weight Loss

Now you have a list of the best weight-loss foods, but how do you combine them into meals throughout the week?

Breakfast

  • Scrambled eggs with vegetables: three eggs, one tomato, 50g spinach, and 100g bell pepper
  • Nutrition:
  • 282 calories
  • 13.5g carbs
  • 3.9g fiber
  • 15.6g fat
  • 21.2g protein

Lunch

  • 150g grilled chicken; one apple; salad with 100g leafy greens, 100g cucumber, 100g mushrooms, and 100g carrots
  • Nutrition:
  • 400 calories
  • 39.5g carbs
  • 9.8g fiber
  • 5.7g fat
  • 54.4g protein

Dinner

  • 100g salmon; 100g green beans; 1 cup brown rice
  • Nutrition:
  • 455 calories
  • 52g carbs
  • 6.9g fiber
  • 14.9g fat
  • 26.8g protein

Snacks

  • One banana; 1 oz peanuts; 100g carrots with 30g hummus
  • Nutrition
  • 356 calories
  • 45.8g carbs
  • 10.1g fiber
  • 17.4g fat
  • 10.7g protein

Best Late-Night Snacks for Weight Loss

It’s best to stick with this list of best foods for weight loss at all times of the day. If you’re looking for a late-night snack, you could have a piece of fruit, a small handful of nuts, or a whole grain like oats or brown rice. However, it can be hard to keep up with weight-loss motivation at all times. Sometimes, indulging in a small treat will prevent you from overeating on unhealthy, processed foods. Here are some healthy snacks for weight loss that will curb your late-night cravings:

  • Whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk
  • Popcorn with little to no oil or butter
  • Peanut butter on whole-grain bread
  • Frozen grapes, berries, or banana slices

You can gain weight on any type of diet if you eat too many calories. Even if you choose a healthy late-night snack of weight-loss foods, you still should be careful to keep your portion sizes under control. When you’re tired, it’s easy to keep eating after you’re full.

Best Foods for Weight Loss – International Foods

Let’s move away from the shores of the United States and on to other countries across the world to find the best exotic foods for weight loss. We’ll cover India, China, Russia, and more.

India

Most Indian food can be included in the list of best foods for weight loss. The best Indian food is full of lean protein and includes lots of spices, so it can be varied and enjoyable. Some dishes contain high amounts of butter, cream, and simple carbs, though, so you should still be careful. Here are the top types of Indian food for weight loss:

  • Tandoori
  • Chana masala
  • Raita
  • Dal
  • Roti bread

China

Some Chinese food is healthy and low-calorie, and some is the opposite. It’s possible to eat Chinese food for weight loss, though, as long as you select the right menu options. Here is some of the best Chinese foods for weight loss:

  • Broth-based soups: egg drop, wonton, and hot and sour
  • Steamed chicken and vegetables
  • Steamed brown rice
  • Beef with broccoli
  • Fish and shrimp dishes

Eat foods from all countries and all ethnicities with a healthy, weight-loss program from Noom. Amazing foods, amazing community, and amazing coaches help users lose more weight and keep it off – for good!

Check out the Noom app for yourself!

Mexico

Mexican food can be high in fat and carbs, but you can also find great Mexican foods for weight loss. You may have to substitute some of your favorite ingredients with healthier options, but it’s possible to make delicious Mexican meals while sticking with your weight-loss plan. Here are some of your best options:

  • Guacamole (eaten on its own or with vegetables)
  • Black bean burritos or tacos
  • Chicken fajitas (no cheese or sour cream)
  • Tortilla soup
  • Nopalito salad

Russia

Many common Russian ingredients, like cabbage, buckwheat, and beef, are great natural weight-loss foods. Their meals are hearty and filling, but there is lots of good Russian food for weight loss. What’s most important is that you get a balance of produce, whole grains, and lean proteins without eating too much fatty food. Here is the best Russian foods for weight loss:

  • Buckwheat porridge
  • Sauerkraut
  • Borscht
  • Cabbage rolls
  • Dressed herring

Pakistan

Pakistani food for weight loss is similar to Indian food, but usually include more meat. They also include a wide variety of healthy vegetables and spices, which are helpful for weight loss. Here are some options for Pakistani food for weight loss:

  • Chicken tikka
  • Chapati
  • Aaloo palak
  • Moong dal
  • Nihari

Superfoods for Weight Loss

Superfoods are foods that are dense in nutrients and exceptionally good for your health. They’re some of the best foods to eat for weight loss because they help you meet your vitamin and nutrient goals while you cut back on calories. Here are some of the top superfoods for weight loss and their nutrition facts per 100 grams:

Spinach

  • 19 calories
  • 1g carbs
  • 1g fiber
  • 0g sugar
  • 3g protein
  • 1g fat
  • ORAC value: 1,687

Chia Seeds

  • 490 calories
  • 44g carbs
  • 38g fiber
  • 1g sugar
  • 14g protein
  • 31g fat
  • ORAC value: 9,800

Flax Seeds

  • 534 calories
  • 29g carbs
  • 27g fiber
  • 2g sugar
  • 18g protein
  • 42g fat
  • ORAC value: 1,130

Blueberries

  • 57 calories
  • 14g carbs
  • 2.4g fiber
  • 10g sugar
  • 0.7g protein
  • 0.3g fat
  • ORAC value: 4,633 (store bought) or 9,621 (wild)

Goji Berries (Dried)

  • 321 calories
  • 69g carbs
  • 5g fiber
  • 55g sugar
  • 14g protein
  • 1.8g fat
  • ORAC value: 3.173

Pine Nuts

  • 674 calories
  • 13g carbs
  • 4g fiber
  • 4g sugar
  • 14g protein
  • 68g fat
  • ORAC value: 443

Sweet Potato

  • 90 calories
  • 21g carbs
  • 3g fiber
  • 7g sugar
  • 2g protein
  • 0g fat
  • ORAC value: 2,085

Quinoa (Cooked)

  • 120 calories
  • 21g carbs
  • 3g fiber
  • 1g sugar
  • 4g protein
  • 2g fat
  • ORAC value: 3,200

What Is ORAC?

ORAC, which stands for oxygen radical absorbance capacity, measures a food’s TAC, or total antioxidant capacity. Antioxidants are essential for maintaining good health. You come into contact with chemicals and pollutants every day, which exposes you to free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage your body’s cells and cause illness. Eating foods high in antioxidants is one of the best ways to protect yourself from these free radicals, and ORAC values tell you which foods have the most antioxidants.

Experts measure a food’s ORAC value by placing a sample in a test tube along with some molecules that create free radical activity and some molecules that can be oxidized. Then, they determine how well the food sample prevented these molecules from being oxidized by the free radicals. The better the food protects the molecules from the free radicals, the higher its antioxidant levels.

The healthiest and best foods for weight loss tend to have higher ORAC scores than processed junk foods. The foods with the best ORAC scores include the following:

  • Dark chocolate: 20,816
  • Black raspberries: 19,220
  • Pecans: 17,940
  • Ginger root: 14,840
  • Elderberries: 14,697
  • Wild blueberries: 9,621
  • Artichoke: 9,416
  • Cranberries: 9,090

When you want to lose weight once and for all, the clinically-proven app Noom helps by guiding you through small changes in just 10 minutes a day.

What are some small changes you can make for weight loss?

General Weight-Loss Food Tips

We know what foods are great additions to a weight-loss plan, but what about other small yet powerful changes that can be made to your lifestyle to see the best results?

Drink Water

Drinking water is one of the best things you can do to lose weight. It won’t help if you don’t also change your diet or activity level, but it can make the process much easier. If you don’t drink enough water, your body can mistake thirst for hunger, and you may be tempted to eat a large meal even though you’re actually just thirsty.

Drinking water throughout the day will help you stay hydrated and energized, but having a glass of water right before a meal is particularly helpful for weight loss. One study observed the weight loss difference between a group of participants who drank water before meals and a group that didn’t. The group who drank water before their meals had a 44 percent greater decline in weight at the end of the 12-week study.

Don’t Skip Breakfast

You don’t have to cook an elaborate meal for breakfast, but you should eat something to start out your day. Many of the healthiest and best foods for weight loss require little or no preparation, so they’re good early-morning options.

People who skip breakfast have a higher BMI on average than people who don’t. Skipping breakfast may make you more likely to overeat during lunch or dinner, and it can make you feel more lethargic throughout the morning. You may take the elevator at work instead of the stairs, or you may park as close as possible to the door to avoid walking. These small changes can add up and hinder your weight-loss progress. If you work out in the morning, skipping breakfast may also affect your performance.

Avoid Added Sugars

You don’t have to eliminate sugar from your diet completely to lose weight. Most fruits contain lots of sugar but are still some of the healthiest and best foods for weight loss. However, you should cut back on added sugars that provide no nutritional value. Your body breaks down and processes simple sugars quickly, which gives you a short spike in energy followed by a crash. You’ll feel hungry and tired if most of your calories come from added sugar.

Instead, your weight-loss meal plan should consist of complex carbohydrates like whole grains and brown rice, lean protein, and healthy fats. These are some of the most satiating and best foods for weight loss, and they provide more nutrients than simple sugars.

Reduce Processed Foods

The standard American diet is full of processed, unhealthy foods. Processed food is food that has been changed in any way before you buy it. This includes most packaged and prepared foods that have had ingredients added to them. Some processed foods, like jarred tomato sauces or frozen vegetables, are still healthy and can be included in a weight-loss plan. When health professionals refer to “processed foods,” they’re usually talking about foods that go through heavy modification and have dozens of added ingredients, like potato chips, sweets, frozen prepared meals and packaged meats.

Processed foods are usually high in calories and low in nutrients compared to whole foods. The salt and sugar can be addictive, which can lead to overeating. Processed food is also linked to other health problems, like heart disease and cancer. Occasionally eating potato chips or a slice of cake won’t hurt you, but moderation is key. Good diets consist mostly of whole foods, which are the safest and best foods for weight loss.

Drink Green Tea

Green tea is one of the best weight-loss drinks. It contains caffeine, which will boost your energy levels and help you be more active, and it’s full of catechins, which are antioxidants that can speed up your metabolism and break down fat. A cup of green tea has a fairly small dose of catechins, so drinking a cup or two of green tea each day probably won’t make a massive difference in your weight loss. However, it may slightly increase your weight loss when combined with a healthy diet and exercise plan. Green tea has a number of other health benefits, too, including reduced cholesterol and improved heart function.

Exercise Regularly

When it comes to weight loss, diet may be more important than exercise. For most people, it’s much easier to eat 300 fewer calories per day than to burn 300 calories with exercise. However, working out is great for your overall health, and it can speed your weight loss up if you maintain a healthy diet plan. You don’t have to spend hours at the gym to experience the benefits of exercise. Half an hour of moderate cardio like walking, jogging, swimming, or biking can burn calories and strengthen your heart.

Strength training is valuable for weight loss as well because it helps prevent loss of muscle mass while you lose fat. A pound of muscle burns more calories while at rest than a pound of fat, so increasing or maintaining your muscle mass will help you burn more calories as you go about your day.

Exercising regularly is a healthy lifestyle change that promote weight loss. It’s not the only small change you can make, however. Noom guides you through a natural weight-loss process with just 10 minutes a day. Not much time to lose weight for life.

Check out Noom for yourself!

Decrease Portion Sizes

Large portion sizes are a major cause of rising obesity rates. Many people feel like they have to finish all the food on their plate, even when the portion size is too large. You may eat the healthiest, safest, and best foods for weight loss, but you won’t lose weight if you eat too much of them.

Reducing your portions while you cook and serve your food will prevent this issue. You probably won’t miss the larger portion size if it’s not right there in front of you. Using smaller plates and bowls can also trick your brain into thinking that you’re eating more food.

Best Foods for Weight Loss and Bodybuilding

Bodybuilders go through phases of bulking and cutting weight, so they can build muscle without gaining too much body fat. The best diet for bodybuilding depends on whether you’re trying to gain weight (bulking) or lose weight and fat (cutting).

Muscle Gains

To gain muscle, you have to eat plenty of protein. Experts have different opinions on how much protein you need per day to build muscle, but most bodybuilders try to consume at least 0.6 to 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. The best healthy sources of protein include chicken, fish, pork, and legumes like beans and peas. Some bodybuilders use protein powder or protein bars to help build muscle, but you don’t need these products as long as you consume lots of protein during your meals.

Cutting Phase

Protein is also important while cutting weight because the goal is to lose body fat without losing much muscle. When you cut back on calories, losing some muscle might be inevitable. However, eating at least 0.6 grams of protein per pound of body weight will help you maintain as much muscle as possible. The same lean proteins you eat when you bulk are also the best foods for weight loss and fat burning. You should also focus on limiting your fat consumption because fat is higher in calories than protein and carbohydrates.

Best Foods for Weight Loss While Breastfeeding

While breastfeeding, you need 300 to 500 more calories per day than you needed pre-pregnancy. Many mothers are eager to lose the baby weight, but it’s important to consume enough calories to breastfeed. You should speak to medical professionals and follow your physician’s weight-loss advice to lose body fat safely. You should also focus on the foods that are the most nutritious for you and the baby. Best foods for weight loss while breastfeeding include:

  • Iron-rich foods like spinach, black beans, and beef
  • Calcium-rich foods like low-fat milk, almond milk, and cheese
  • Foods with omega 3 fatty acids like walnuts, salmon, and lamb
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables

The Myth of Negative Calorie Foods

One of the most common weight-loss myths is that there are “negative-calorie foods” that contain fewer calories than your body burns digesting them. While it’s true that there are a variety of low-calorie foods that are beneficial to a weight-loss diet, there isn’t any scientific evidence that supports the idea of fat-burning foods or negative-calorie foods.

Your body burns some calories by digesting meals, which is known as the thermic effect of food. The exact number of calories you burn varies depending on the size of the meal and the proportions of fat, protein, and carbs. It’s always a certain percentage of the calories you consume, though. It will never be greater than 100 percent of the calories in the meal.

In one study, researchers compared a “negative calorie diet” to a traditional low-calorie diet. Both groups of participants ate the same number of calories, and there were no differences in BMI or amount of weight lost at the end of the study.

Although negative-calorie foods do not exist, the foods that are commonly believed to have negative calories can help with weight loss. Celery, cucumbers, leafy greens, and carrots are all low in calories and have a high water content, so they’re good foods to help you lose weight. You can eat a large volume without consuming many calories, which can help you stay full and avoid overeating on unhealthy foods.

Popular Diets That Support Whole Foods

Coming up with a weight-loss plan on your own can be difficult. You may not know what to eat to lose weight, or you may be unsure of the correct portion sizes. Fortunately, there are many popular diets that support the use of whole foods for weight loss. You should speak to a health expert before starting a diet that’s drastically different from your current one, and you should always put your healthcare provider’s weight-loss advice above the weight-loss tips included in a diet guide.

Volumetrics Diet

The purpose of the Volumetrics diet is to eat large quantities of healthy foods to lose weight. Whole foods, especially plant foods, tend to have low-calorie densities compared to processed foods. The Volumetrics diet allows you to eat lots of food if you stick to healthy, whole ingredients.

There are four categories of food on the diet plan. The first category includes fruits, non-starchy vegetables, and broth-based soups. These are the diet’s best foods for weight loss, and you can eat them as much as you want. The second category includes whole grains, legumes, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy. These foods are allowed in reasonable portions. The third category includes bread, desserts, cheese, and higher-fat meats, which should only be eaten in small portions. The fourth category includes fried foods, candy, cookies, and fats, which should be eaten sparingly or not at all.

Flexitarian Diet

Vegetarian foods are some of the healthiest, cheapest, and best foods for weight loss. The Flexitarian Diet, which gets its name from the words “flexible” and “vegetarian,” promotes eating vegetarian meals as much as possible to lose weight.

The Flexitarian diet doesn’t ban any foods, but it focuses mostly on five food groups: plant-based proteins like tofu and beans; fruits and veggies; whole grains; dairy; and sugar and spice. Because the plant-based proteins and other whole foods promoted on the diet are lower in calories than meat and processed foods, you may lose weight on the Flexitarian diet.

Raw Food Diet

The raw food diet consists mostly or entirely of raw and unprocessed foods. The exact rules of the diet can vary, but most dieters consider food to be raw if it has never been heated over 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Many people on the raw food diet are vegan, but some dieters will consume raw animal products like unpasteurized milk and raw fish.

Some of the overall best foods for weight loss are included in the raw food diet. The diet food list includes fresh fruits, raw vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouts, and raw lentils. These types of foods are lower in calories and higher in nutrients than processed foods, so it’s easy to make filling and healthy meals for weight loss on the raw food diet.

The raw food diet is as strict as they come, but you don’t need to leave behind cooked foods to improve health and lose weight. Talk with your personal coach at Noom to see what kinds of changes you can make, in just 10 minutes a day, to promote lasting weight loss.

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Whole Foods vs. Processed Foods

The terms “whole foods” and “processed foods” are used frequently in reference to dieting, health, and weight loss. To choose a healthy diet plan, it’s important to understand what those terms really mean. Whole foods are foods that are still in their natural state and composition. They don’t have any additives or preservatives, and they haven’t been cooked or processed. The following are some of the best whole foods to eat to lose weight:

  • Fresh fruit
  • Raw vegetables
  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Beans and legumes
  • Nuts and seeds

Best foods for weight loss and an overall healthy lifestyle are mostly whole foods because they don’t have added salt, sugar, fat, or other harmful ingredients. It’s easier to maintain a balanced and healthy diet when you eat mostly whole foods than when you eat processed foods.

However, you should keep in mind that some whole foods are still high in calories, so it’s possible to gain weight on a whole-food diet. For example, avocados, nuts, and seeds are all high-calorie foods, even though they’re nutritious. Small quantities are good for your health, but it’s easy to overeat them accidentally.

Processed foods are foods that have been altered in some way before you buy them. They may be cooked, fried, or mixed with other ingredients. Many processed foods are high in salt, sugar, or unhealthy fats, which increases their calories. Some of the most popular processed foods include the following:

  • Fast food
  • Baked goods
  • Frozen prepared meals
  • Chips and crackers
  • Hot dogs, corned beef, and beef jerky

Processed foods are linked to obesity, heart disease, cancer, and a number of other health issues. In one study, scientists found that obese rats that were fed a diet of processed foods were much lazier than rats at a healthy weight. When they were given the task of pressing a lever to receive food or water, the obese rats took breaks almost twice as long as the healthy weight rats.

Pros and Cons of Finding Best Foods for Weight Loss

We’ve looked through tons of weight-loss foods – some are vegetarian others meat-based and still others are vegan. Whether you’re looking for a plant-based diet or meat-based plan, here are the pros and cons of finding your best foods for weight loss.

Pros

You’ll lose weight more easily.

Your best foods for weight loss are satiating, low in calories, and high in nutrients. Therefore, you can eat fewer calories while staying full and getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. You don’t have to feel hungry while losing weight if you eat healthy diet foods. You can still eat large quantities of foods, but you’ll consume fewer calories than if you ate junk food.

You’ll get better nutrition.

The healthiest and best foods for weight loss have plenty of fiber, vitamins, and electrolytes. They also contain lots of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. As long as you eat a wide variety of good diet foods, you should get all the nutrients you need. This will keep all of your organs and body systems functioning properly, and it will help you feel energized.

Your overall health will improve.

Weight loss brings about a number of health benefits. No matter what your age, losing weight can improve your heart health, regulate your blood pressure, and decrease your chances of diabetes. It has an immediate effect on your current health and will improve your health long-term.

Your risk of illness will decrease.

Losing weight and eating healthy diet foods will protect your body from a number of different illnesses. Healthy eaters who maintain a normal BMI are much less likely to get sick than people who overeat on processed foods. One study even found that processed foods may be directly linked to diseases like diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and celiac disease. Certain food additives can weaken your body’s resistance to toxins, which can put you at risk for developing an autoimmune disease.

Your immune system will get stronger.

The most common cause of immunodeficiency is malnutrition. Nutrition has a major impact on your immune responses, and eating your best foods for weight loss can only benefit your immune system. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the following are the most important nutrients for the immune system:

  • Vitamins A, C, E, and B6
  • Zinc
  • Selenium
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Folic acid

The overall best foods for weight loss are rich in these nutrients and can boost your immune system, which will prevent you from catching viruses or other illnesses.

Find out what foods you can eat with the best nutrition using Noom‘s food tracking feature.

Cons

It can be expensive.

Depending on where you live, and what you buy, your best foods for weight loss can cost a lot of money per serving. It’s important to get a variety of foods in your diet, but certain produce items and healthy high-protein foods are more expensive than processed meals. To help with the cost, you can look for coupons and buy produce that’s in season. However, your grocery bill still might be more expensive when you buy from the list of best foods for weight loss.

Finding fresh produce in some regions is difficult.

Some neighborhoods have no nearby grocery stores, which can make it difficult to buy items on the list of best foods for weight loss. In colder climates, fresh produce is less readily available because it needs to be shipped in from other areas of the world. Depending on your location, finding your best foods for weight loss year-round may be difficult or impossible. There should always be some healthy foods available, but you may struggle to get enough variety.

Some of the best foods for weight loss are high in calories.

Most of your best foods for weight loss are low in calories, which is why they’re so helpful for dieting. However, some are fairly calorie-dense. Avocados, nuts, seeds, and certain protein sources have a surprising number of calories, and overeating on them will prevent weight loss. These foods are excellent sources of healthy fats, but all types of fat are high in calories. Fortunately, fat is very filling, so you shouldn’t need to eat large portions of these high-calorie foods to be satisfied.

Research on Best Foods for Weight Loss

The American Heart Association’s Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations

According to the American Heart Association, a healthy diet and lifestyle are the best ways you can prevent heart disease. You should eat a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods, and you should exercise for 150 minutes per week. Daily choices will add up to provide long-term health benefits.

National Institute on Health: Learn About Healthy Eating

According to the National Institutes of Health, exercising and good diets are the keys to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Your diet should mainly consist of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products, and you should include some lean meat, beans, eggs, and nuts. A healthy diet is low in salt, added sugars, trans fats, and saturated fats.

National Institute on Health: Nutrition Facts

Nutrition facts labels provide valuable information about the quality of your food. You should check “sell by” and “use by” dates to make sure foods are still safe, and you should check the ingredients list to avoid harmful added ingredients. The nutrition facts label will tell you the nutrition information per serving, and the daily value percentages are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: Healthy Eating Plan

A healthy eating plan includes your best foods for weight loss, which provide essential nutrients while keeping you within your calorie goal. To lose weight, your body needs to burn more calories than it consumes. You can accomplish this by reducing the number of calories you eat and by burning more calories through physical activity.

Some Myths About Nutrition and Physical Activity

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, it’s not necessary to give up all unhealthy foods to lose weight. Most of your diet should consist of the most nutritious, best foods for weight loss, but small amounts of high-calorie foods are fine in moderation.

One common weight-loss myth is that dairy products are unhealthy and fattening. Dairy products can actually be beneficial to your health because they contain protein, calcium, and vitamin D.

Final Tips on Best Foods for Weight Loss

If you want to have a healthy lifestyle, your diet should mostly consist of the overall best foods for weight loss. Whole foods will help you lose weight, have powerful workouts, and improve your health.

It may take some trial and error to determine your best foods for weight loss. Every item on this diet food list is healthy, but everyone has different preferences, and many people have dietary restrictions. You don’t have to eat exactly the same weight-loss meals as someone else to be successful. Instead, take a few weeks or months to find which foods and recipes you enjoy that fill you up, give you energy, and provide all the nutrients you need.

If your current diet consists mostly of unhealthy processed foods, it may be best to incorporate better foods into your meals gradually. Most people who make drastic diet changes all at once don’t stick with their plan, but slowly changing your eating habits will help you adapt. Moderation is key, too. While most of your meals should be based around your best foods for weight loss, indulging occasionally won’t hurt you. It’s more important that the majority of your foods are natural and healthy, which will help you make long-term improvements to your body and your health.

Allow the Noom app to help guide you along your weight-loss journey to success.

Questions and Answers (QA)

How do I conquer a food craving?

You can conquer food cravings by drinking water. Thirst feels like hunger in many cases, so people tend to eat when they are thirsty.

Other techniques to prevent food cravings include planning out meals, eating enough protein and fiber-rich vegetables, reduce stress, and eat healthy snacks to avoid strong hunger.

Should I cut carbs to lose weight?

Cutting carbohydrates alone will not necessarily cause weight loss. When people talk about cutting carbs, they are often talking about a low-carb diet, which requires high fat intake. A high-fat, low-carb diet does promote weight loss, but the results do not tend to last long-term.

Is it true eating after 8 pm will cause weight gain?

The habit of eating after 8 pm does not cause weight gain for everyone. A small study with fewer than 60 participants showed people who ate after 8 PM ate more calories than those who didn’t. More calories can equal weight gain, but not in all cases.

Do I have to count calories?

Taking in the right amount of calories is important, but calorie counting hasn’t been shown to work for weight loss. Instead of counting calories, experts suggest being calorie-conscious. Know what you’re eating and choose healthy, fiber-rich, whole foods.

I’m working out, why am I not losing weight?

There are several reasons why you are working out but not losing weight. You could be:

  • Eating too many calories.
  • Not maintaining an elevated heart rate during cardio exercise.
  • Holding on to water weight as muscles heal.
  • Muscle growth.

Will eating fruit cause me to gain weight?

Nearly all foods, when eaten in excess, can cause weight gain. Some fruits are high in natural sugars and, if you were to eat enough, could cause weight gain.

The highest calorie fruit is the avocado – supplying more than 300 calories each. Coconut, dried fruits, and bananas are all on the list of high-calorie fruits.

Are how many calories or the type of calories more important?

The type of calories you’re consuming is important, but the total number of calories is also a contributing factor to weight loss and weight gain. Even if you eat the healthiest foods imaginable, if you eat them in excess, you will gain weight, and possibly cause significant health issues.

Are all fish healthy?

All consumer-sold fish are generally considered healthy for most people. Eating fish in moderation is important due to potential mercury levels. There’s also concern that farmed fish are treated with antibiotics and raised in polluted waters.

Fish remains unsafe for people with certain medical conditions or food allergies.

Is chocolate actually healthy?

Yes, chocolate is actually healthy. Cocoa, from which chocolate is made, has antioxidant effects shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Dark chocolate is the preferred type as milk chocolate, and chocolate with lower cocoa concentrations tend to have more sugar and a higher calorie content. Less cocoa also means fewer health benefits.

Is wheat bread better than white bread?

Wheat bread is not considered better than white bread, so to speak, but it does have more fiber as the bran of the wheat berry is included in the flour used to make wheat bread. The bran part of the berry is a rich source of fiber.