New Year, New Foods: Fat Burning Foods for Weight Loss

by | Jan 6, 2021

Food. There always seems to be an anticipated love/hate relationship between losing weight and food. This doesn’t have to be the case. Food isn’t the enemy on your weight-loss journey; it’s a weapon you can use to fight hunger and speed up weight loss. Check out these fat-burning foods for weight loss and learn why certain foods may be better for your success than others. 

Proteins

Proteins are a critical component of any healthy weight-loss plan, plus the body needs them to survive, so there’s that. When it comes to fat-burning foods for weight loss, the list is packed with flavor and backed by science. 

Whole eggs

The whole egg is made up of two main parts – the yolk and white. Each egg contains about 75% water. The remaining elements include about 13% proteins and 12% fats. The egg yolk contains nearly all fat, but the protein is split between the yolk and white. 

When it comes to describing why whole eggs are a fat-burning food for weight loss, we’re going to concentrate on the protein content. 

Whole eggs are made up of several different proteins, from the most concentrated to the least concentrated. These include:

  • Ovalbumin
  • Conalbumin
  • Ovamucoid
  • Ovomucin
  • Lysozyme
  • Avidin
  • Ovoglobulin
  • Ovoinhibitor

Why are these proteins essential to fat burning? 

Clinical research has shown that dietary protein intake of 1.4g/protein per kg/weight per day helps promote weight loss while protecting against muscle loss often associated with weight loss. 

Even in elite athletes who need to shed weight, increasing protein intake is suggested and proven as a viable means of weight loss. This effect is extremely important because elite athletes typically hover around average body weight, making it harder for them to lose weight. The effectiveness of protein spans from the overweight and obese to the elite athlete. 

Salmon

The salmon is also made up of two parts – the flesh and skin. Typically, people choose to eat the fish’s flesh, but we’ll talk shortly about some of the benefits salmon skin could provide. First, what’s the makeup of salmon? Salmon is made up of about 70% water. Nearly 20% of salmon is protein, and 6% is fat. 

Just like whole eggs, salmon supplies enough protein to help promote weight loss. According to a study in Obesity Facts, people who consumed a high-protein diet lost about 2kg more than did those following a standard protein diet over six months. 

Though the protein content is essential, we also want to highlight the omega 3 fatty acid content of salmon. Omega fatty acids, particularly omega 3s, are critical to overall health. Unfortunately, the western diet supplies far more omega 6 than needed, so there’s an imbalance occurring across many developing nations. The ideal ratio of omega 3s to omega 6s is about 15:1.  Currently, most people consume a ratio of 1:1 or worse, more omega 6 than omega 3. 

It’s 100% accepted that salmon is a fantastic source of omega 3s, but not all salmon is created equal. Farmed salmon contains about six times the amount of fat as wild salmon. Also, because farmed salmon are fed with meal containing oilseeds and vegetable oils, these oils cause omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acid levels to rise – again affecting the natural balance our bodies need. Wild salmon is the best option for high omega 3 fatty acids. 

But why are fats so important when we’re looking for fat-burning foods for weight loss? Research shows that omega 3 fatty acids, while they may not necessarily promote weight loss, they do promote weight maintenance and help stop future weight regain. 

The final part of salmon we want to touch on is the skin. Many people have a love/hate relationship with salmon skin. It’s amazingly fragrant during cooking, which can be a turnoff for people who don’t want their home smelling like fish for hours. The skin is packed with healthy fats, vitamins, and nutrients being wasted in the trash. 

We feel it essential to take a second look at salmon skin because research has uncovered some fantastic potential benefits. For instance, a study in Marine Drugs revealed that salmon skin could have anti-diabetes properties. Diabetes is a leading medical condition associated with overweight and obesity.

Lean beef

For decades saturated fats were considered the devil among fats. That is until trans fats came along and took the title, but that’s a story for another day. Fatty beef is known to have higher concentrations of saturated fats than lean beef, which would make it an easy addition to a list of fat-burning foods for weight loss, but there’s more to it than that. 

In recent years, saturated fats have started to earn back a little respect. Research into some saturated fats has shown health benefits, which may include weight loss. So, with that in mind, why should you steer clear of fatty meats and choose lean beef instead?

First and foremost, fatty beef supplies more calories than leaf beef. That’s a simple reason to place it on a list of fat-burning foods for weight loss, but it’s not the only reason. You also want to choose grass-fed lean beef. Though it is more expensive, grain-fed meat tends to be higher in omega 6 fatty acids and lower in omega 3s. Grass-fed lean beef contains less omega 6 and, possibly, more omega 3. And remember, omega 3s may help us maintain weight or stop weight regain. 

The leanest cuts of beef are:

  • Sirloin tip side steak
  • Top round steak
  • Eye of round steak
  • Bottom round steak
  • Top sirloin

These are the cuts you want to stick with when trying to lose weight. They will be less tender than fattier cuts of meat, but there’s a way to fix that problem. Start by tenderizing your meat by pounding it out between two pieces of wax or parchment paper. Then, allow to marinate for at least a few hours in a vinegar-based marinade. Before cooking, allow the meat to warm to room temperature to relax the fibers. Finally, lean beef needs to be cooked low and slow or in a pressure cooker for optimal results.

Lean beef can be a great addition to a healthy weight-loss program like Noom, which uses detailed food logging and health tracking to keep you informed about your health habits.

Chicken breast

One medium chicken breast weighs about 120g. Slightly more than 75.4g of that is water. There are no carbohydrates, 35.5g of protein, and about 6.5g of fat. The remaining 1g of weight is where all the vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids are found. So, what does this nutrition lesson have to do with fat-burning foods for weight loss? 

Because this is a section on proteins, we immediately look at the high protein content of chicken breast and see where it falls in line with the whole eggs and lean beef. Protein is clinically-proven to help facilitate weight loss and prevent muscle loss while losing weight

But, there’s more to chicken breast and fat burning than the protein content. We burn fat when we don’t have enough calories to fuel our body processes and activities. That’s why weight-loss diets tend to suggest eating fewer calories than you burn. 

Eating less means having less food in the stomach, a cause of hunger for many people trying to lose weight. One answer is water. It’s been shown that drinking water before meals can curb appetite and reduce the number of calories consumed. However, chicken breast offers us another answer. Nearly ⅔ of the total weight of a medium chicken breast is water. So, while your stomach thinks you’ve given it 120g of food, you’re only digesting about 50g. This is the secret to calorie-density weight loss. Foods with less calorie-density supply the same weight in food to the stomach but with fewer calories.

Tuna

Our final fat-burning food for weight loss on the protein list is tuna. We covered salmon earlier because of the high protein and omega 3 fatty acid content, so what does tuna have to offer? 

Of course, we have to touch on the protein content of tuna first. For every 3.5-ounce serving of fresh tuna, you’re supplied with 24.4g of protein. Protein packs that punch when it comes to weight loss, as we’ve covered previously. Plus, it helps preserve healthy muscle in obese individuals losing weight

Then, there’s the water content. As with the chicken breast, tuna is mostly water. A whopping 74g out of the total 100g weight of the 3.5-ounce tuna portion is water. Because there are nearly zero fat and literally zero carbohydrates, tuna is almost 100% water and protein. 

Now, tuna doesn’t have the omega 3 fatty acid profile of salmon, but you can spruce up the healthy fats with a drizzle of olive oil. Just ½ tablespoon of olive oil supplies more than 5g of monounsaturated fatty acids. Unsaturated fats are “good” fats.

Fruits & Vegetables

Now, we’re moving on to fruits and vegetables as fat-burning foods for weight loss. Nature has created these foods with all the right nutrients and characteristics to keep you feeling full longer and provide the vitamin influx many trying to lose weight need. 

Leafy greens

There are many types of leafy greens, including spinach, collards, turnip greens, romaine lettuce, watercress, kale, cabbage, and more. All fit perfectly into any list of fat-burning foods for weight loss, but we’re going to focus on one of the most nutritious – collards for the sake of science.

One of the main characteristics of leafy greens is that they’re mostly water. One cup of cooked collard greens that weighs about 130g contains approximately 115g of water. Herein is the power of eating lower calorie-dense foods for weight loss. Because collards take up so much space but are mostly made of water, the stomach fills faster, and you feel full. But, as digestion occurs, only a mere 15g or one tablespoon of that entire cup is actual food that will contribute to your calorie intake.

Collards offer more than water. Each one-cup serving supplies about 5.5g of fiber. “Soluble fibers can slow gastric emptying and delay or decrease nutrient absorption of fats and glucose, thereby reducing both caloric uptake and pancreatic insulin secretion. Because soluble fibers can hold large quantities of water, they can increase stomach distension that may trigger afferent vagal signals of fullness, leading to satiation.” Not only does fiber help you feel full longer, but it also reduces the uptake of calories from foods containing fiber. That’s a win-win for this fat-burning food for weight loss. 

We would be remiss if we didn’t touch on the impact of the most popular leafy green on weight loss. Lettuce is everywhere – on burgers, tacos, salads, bowls, and more. There’s nothing wrong with lettuce as a weight-loss food, but the volume you’d have to eat to get the same nutrition as you would from collards is pretty big. In total, to just get the 5g of fiber out of romaine lettuce, you’d have to eat about 6 cups of shredded lettuce.

Incorporating these kinds of foods into a healthy weight-loss program like Noom can lead to some significant healthy changes in your lifestyle. Answer a few questions to find out how much weight you can lose in 16 weeks.

Cruciferous vegetables

All cruciferous vegetables are in the Brassica family of plants. Some examples include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, and turnips. These vegetables are packed with nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, and fiber. We want to focus on this fiber content when including these vegetables on a list of fat-burning foods for weight loss. 

Let’s take a look at the fiber content of the mentioned cruciferous vegetables per 100g or 3.5-ounce serving. 

  • Kale: 4.1g
  • Brussel’s sprouts: 3.8g
  • Broccoli: 2.6g
  • Cabbage: 2.5g
  • Cauliflower: 2g
  • Turnip: 1.8g

We’ve listed the vegetables based on total fiber content. You’ll notice that kale, at the top of the list, is the darkest in color, followed by Brussel’s sprouts, then broccoli, and so on. By the end of the list, the least fiber is found in the vegetable with the least color, the white turnip. Why is this important? 

Eating a rainbow of colors when trying to lose weight is essential to supplying the body with all the nutrients it needs in the best quantities. But, when you’re looking for fiber-rich vegetables, the darker the color, the better. 

We’ve touched on the water content in foods and its impact on weight, but what about sugar content? Are vegetables a significant source of sugars? Believe it or not, sometimes. Here are the sugar contents per 100g of each cruciferous vegetable.

  • Turnip: 3.8g
  • Cabbage: 3.2g
  • Brussel’s sprouts: 2.2g
  • Cauliflower: 1.91g
  • Broccoli: 1.7g
  • Kale: 0.8g

This tells us that kale, which is at the top of the list for most fiber and bottom of the list for most sugar, is one of the healthiest fat-burning foods for weight loss in the cruciferous family.

Avocados

Avocados are grown on opposite sides of the United States, with one variety hailing California as home and the other Florida. You’d think that two of the same fruit would it’s the same fruit, but that’s not the case here. A Californian avocado is about the size of a small hand balled into a fist though it can grow slightly larger. The skin is dark green and bumpy. A Floridian avocado is more the size of half a loaf of bread. The skin is a lighter green and smooth. 

Both avocado varieties belong to a list of fat-burning foods for weight loss, but there are significant differences in the two’s nutrient profiles.

A recommended serving of avocado, according to the USDA, is 50g. That’s a little more than three tablespoons. The nutrients found in one serving are:

California

  • Calories: 83.5
  • Water: 36.2g (out of 50g total weight)
  • Protein: 0.98g
  • Fat: 7.7g
  • Carbohydrate: 4.32g
  • Fiber: 3.4g
  • Sugar: 0.15g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 4.9g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.9g

Florida

  • Calories: 60
  • Water: 39.4g (out of 50g total weight)
  • Protein: 1.12g
  • Fat: 5.03g
  • Carbohydrate: 3.91g
  • Fiber: 2.8g
  • Sugar: 1.21g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2.76g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.84g

Both avocado varieties have excellent nutritional profiles and, even though the numbers are different, there are only two essential differences between them. 

First is water content. Floridian avocado contains more water than Californian avocado. The difference is small, but it is reflected in the calorie content. So, you could eat at least one additional tablespoon of Florida avocado for the same calories as the standard three-tablespoon serving of the California avocado.

Another difference reflected in the calorie content is fat content. Florida avocados contain about 2.7g less fat than the California avocado. The majority of the difference is in monounsaturated fats – or “healthy” fats. The California variety supplies nearly 5g of monounsaturated fats, but the Florida variety packs a mere 2.76g per serving. 

To be fair, if you were to add that extra tablespoon of Florida avocado we mentioned earlier, the total monounsaturated fat in the portion would increase to around 3.7g. 

Now that you know the difference between the two avocado varieties let’s talk about why they are on a list of fat-burning foods for weight loss – fiber.

Avocados are a fantastic fiber source with an average of about 1g of fiber for every tablespoon eaten. California supplies 3.4g per 3-tablespoon serving, and Florida provides 2.8g. Along with the protein we talked about first, we believe fiber is critical to weight loss, and science agrees. Research shows that “Diet that promotes increased fiber and lean protein intake demonstrates feasibility and high acceptability ratings, which results in caloric reduction and dietary quality improvement.” Caloric reduction means consuming fewer calories – a cornerstone of many weight-loss plans. 

However, caloric reduction isn’t the only important part of a weight-loss program, which is why Noom offers things like food logging, educational lessons, and 1:1 coaching to help you reach your weight-loss goals.

Fruit

Most fruits are a rich source of fiber. Yes, fiber hits the fat-burning foods for weight loss list again. But, not all fruits are created equal, so you need to know which fruits pack the best bang for their nutrition punch. 

At the top of the list of high-fiber fruits is passionfruit. Just one cup of this fantastic fruit supplies about 25g of fiber. That’s nearly 100% of the daily recommended intake for fiber. 

Fruits tend to have more sugar than fiber, which means that 25g of fiber, partnered with 26g of sugar, comes with a high price tag of 229 calories per cup. Only 100 calories are from fiber. Another 104 calories are from sugar. That leaves just 25 calories from proteins and fats. 

Second on the list of fat-burning fruits for weight loss is guava. Guava supplies 9g of fiber per cup. That’s a drastic drop from the 25g supplied by passionfruit. But, that one-cup serving only has 112 calories. Comparing the two based on calories, passionfruit supplies about 13g of fiber for an equal number of calories. It looks like it remains at the top of the list. 

The final spot is rounded out with berries – raspberries and blackberries, to be exact. The two berries have a nearly identical macronutrient makeup. Raspberries have more fiber and less sugar, while blackberries have a little more protein. You’ll spend about 63 calories per cup of either berry. 

Raspberry (one cup)

  • Calories: 64
  • Fat: 0.8g
  • Carbohydrate: 14.7g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Sugar: 5.4g
  • Protein: 1.5g

Blackberries (one cup)

  • Calories: 62
  • Fat: 0.7g
  • Carbohydrates: 13.8g
  • Fiber: 7.6g
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Protein: 2g

As you can see, the nutritional differences between the two are small. Why not consider ½ cup of each and get the best of both worlds?

Even if you’re not trying to lose weight, fiber-rich fruits may help you gain less weight in the future. “Evidence from observational studies consistently demonstrates that habitual increased intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is associated with lower body weight increase over time.” But, the real meat of the research results says, “Adherence to healthier dietary templates (including incorporation of higher amounts of plant-based foods) in intervention studies also tend to evidence greater weight loss than control diets.”

Other Foods

Whole grains

Whole grains are a rich source of fiber, something we’ve talked about repeatedly in reference to weight loss. Fiber comes with a long list of potential health benefits, including support for colon health and, you guessed it, weight loss. As we’ve discussed, weight loss occurs, in part, because fiber slows the digestive process, so food literally stays in the stomach longer. As long as there’s food in the stomach being digested, the brain thinks, “I’m full,” at least on a fundamental level. 

However, independent of the fiber content, whole grains have shown “statistically significant positive benefits for reducing the incidence of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and colorectal, pancreatic, and gastric cancers and a modest effect on body weight, waist circumference, and body fat mass.”

In addition to the effect whole grains have on digestion and weight, there’s also benefit to people who are currently overweight or obese. Overweight and obese individuals tend to be at higher risk of cardiovascular health events. Whole grains are clinically proven to help protect the heart and support overall heart health, particularly in this vulnerable population.

As you’d expect, all whole grains are different, so some supply more fiber per cup than others. Here is a list of whole grains, starting with the highest fiber content. 

  1. Cracked wheat (bulgur): 8g
  2. Spelt: 8g
  3. Kamut: 7g
  4. Teff: 7g
  5. Pearl barley: 6g
  6. Oat bran: 6g
  7. Quinoa: 5g
  8. Whole wheat pasta: 5g
  9. Buckwheat: 5g
  10. Hominy: 4g
  11. Oatmeal: 4g
  12. Whole wheat bread: 4g
  13. Brown rice: 4g
  14. Wild rice: 3g
  15. Couscous: 2g

Beans & Legumes

If you guessed that beans and legumes are on the list of fat-burning foods for weight loss because they have high fiber content, you’d be right. Beans have the highest concentration of fiber per cup of any food. Some beans have extremely high fiber contents, which poses a potential problem that we’ll get to in just a moment. First, let’s look at the top 15 high-fiber beans listed, starting with most fiber per one-cup serving. 

  1. Red kidney beans: 17g
  2. Cranberry beans: 16g
  3. Lentils: 16g
  4. Pinto beans: 15g
  5. Black beans: 15g
  6. Navy beans: 13g
  7. Lima beans: 13g
  8. Garbanzo beans (chickpeas): 13g
  9. Refried beans: 11g
  10. Black-eyed peas: 11g
  11. Fava beans: 10g
  12. Edamame: 8g
  13. Firm tofu: 6g
  14. Peanut butter (2 tablespoons): 3g
  15. Soy milk: 2g

What’s the problem with high fiber content in a small serving size? The average person consumes less than 50% of the suggested intake of fiber. Fiber works on the digestive tract in a way that adding too much fiber at once can cause painful side effects like bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal symptoms. You must gradually increase fiber content, so start with ¼ cup of beans every other day for a week or two, then increase to ½ cup beans. Allow your digestive system to get used to the increased fiber gradually. 

Full-Fat Greek Yogurt

We examined three Greek yogurt types to find the best for our list of fat-burning foods for weight loss. Here’s what we found. 

Full-fat Greek yogurt, or Greek yogurt made with whole milk, could be considered the best weight loss option. Fat helps slow the digestive process, so eating the whole milk version that contains around 5g of fat per ½ cup serving as compared to the lower-fat or non-fat versions with 2g and 0.5g of fat, respectively, is the better option from this perspective. 

Not only do fats help you feel fuller, they are sometimes quite impressive anti-inflammatories. Obesity and overweight are considered inflammatory conditions. The body is literally in a constant state of inflammation. Full-fat Greek yogurt also supplies a healthy serving of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These “healthy” fats work to support overall heart health and, in some cases, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Experts suggest getting as much as 20% of your calories each day from monounsaturated fats.

Why did we specifically choose Greek yogurt over other varieties? If you’ve ever noticed that Greek yogurt is significantly thicker than traditional yogurt, you already know the answer. 

Greek yogurt is drained, so much of the whey protein, which is thinner, is removed. What’s leftover is mostly casein protein. As we’ve discussed, protein has a satiating effect, so it leaves you feeling full. Casein protein is digested much more slowly than whey protein. It takes longer to move through the digestive system. All protein is effective, but casein is the most effective protein of all. 

Chia Seeds

If we were developing a list of nature’s perfect foods, chia seeds would be in the top 5. The nutritional profile for these tiny seeds is beyond any best guess you could imagine. Before we dig into why chia seeds are on the list of fat-burning foods for weight loss, let’s take a look at these impressive nutrition facts in one ounce of chia seeds. 

  • Water: 6%
  • Calories: 138
  • Total Fat: 8.7g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.9g
  • Monounsaturated fats: 656mg
  • Polyunsaturated fats: 6721mg (6.7g)
  • Omega 3s: 5064mg
  • Omega 6s: 1657mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 12g
  • Fiber: 9.8g
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Protein: 4.7g

We’ve talked previously about the water content of foods and how that’s important for weight-loss plans and calorie-density, but there’s very little water in the case of chia seeds. Chia is concentrated nutrition if you will. It’s like dried fruit; you get all the nutrients in a much smaller package, thus the one-ounce serving size. In most cases, we would say that high-calorie density foods should be consumed in moderation or occasionally, but this is one food that’s the exception to the rule.

The high-calorie density of chia seeds means that a one-ounce serving packs 138 calories. The majority of those calories are in the form of fats. More than 50% of the calories in chia seeds come from fats, so why would this be considered a fat-burning food for weight loss?

Of the 8.7g of fat in one ounce of chia seeds, 6.7g are in the form of polyunsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats have been shown to suppress hunger in clinical research. 

But, we can’t leave chia seeds without talking about the impressive fiber content. Each ounce of seeds supplies nearly 10g of fiber. 

Are you ready to keep better track of your fiber intake while losing weight? Noom gives you the tools you need to track your health and wellness habits, including 1:1 coaching, and customized meal plans.

Chili Pepper

Spicy chili pepper is not nutritionally significant. As a spice, you consume so little of it that even if there were macro and micronutrients, you’d not get a worthwhile amount. But, what it does have is capsaicin. This is the substance in chili peppers that give the fruit heat. Research shows that “the main targets of chili are fat metabolism, energy expenditure, and thermogenesis.” Additional research shows that capsaicin helps the body burn up to 50 calories more each day while reducing appetite. 

Then we have the study published in the journal Appetite that says, “findings suggest that daily consumption of capsaicinoids may contribute to weight management through reductions in energy intake.” According to the International Journal of Obesity, “consumption of capsaicinoids and capsinoids may be helpful to facilitate obesity management.”

Fermented Foods

“Imbalances in the gut microbiota, the bacteria that inhabit the intestines, are central to the pathogenesis of obesity,” shares research from Obesity Reviews. Fermented foods are an excellent source of probiotics – the healthy bacteria responsible for much of your gut health. Supplementing with probiotics or foods containing probiotics is an excellent way to support your overall health naturally. Some of the more commonly consumed fermented foods include yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, and kimchi. 

What part do fermented foods play in the gut microbiota and obesity? We know from decades of medical research and reported events that obesity is an inflammatory condition. “It is well known that gut microbiota plays a major role in the development of… low-grade inflammation… key… in obesity.” An unhealthy gut is pro-inflammation, and a healthy gut is anti-inflammation if you will. 

The best way to explain the role of fermented, probiotic (and prebiotic)-rich foods on obesity is as such. “… bacteria play an important physiological role in vital processes such as digestion, vitamin synthesis and metabolism amongst others. Even though the exact mechanism linking gut microbiota to obesity is far from being very well understood, it’s well established that gut microbiota can increase energy production from diet, contribute to low-grade inflammation and regulate fatty acid tissue composition.”

Gut microbiota is also thought to play a part in developing type 2 diabetes in overweight and obese individuals. This is because the bacteria affect energy balance and glucose metabolism. 

Now, not all gut bacteria are created equal. Some research has pinpointed certain bacterial species that may contribute to health problems often associated with obesity. According to the International Journal of Endocrinology, “Blautia hydrogenotorophica, Coprococcus catus, Eubacterium ventriosum, Ruminococcus bromii, and Ruminococcus obeum” were found in higher concentrations in obese individuals.

Low-Calorie Density Foods

Before closing out our topic of new fat-burning foods for weight loss, we wanted to discuss the concept of calorie density a little bit further. Many of the foods optimized for weight loss will have lots of water. This water gives the food volume, but it is not digested like food because it has no nutritional value. So, the stomach feels the weight or volume of the food, but you get fewer calories than you would if you ate the same volume of food that didn’t contain high water concentrations. 

To better demonstrate the power and effectiveness of eating based on calorie density, let’s look at a few food comparisons. 

One double cheeseburger (McDouble) from Mcdonald’s weighs 140g and supplies nearly 400 calories. A 6-inch roast beef sub at Subway with lettuce and tomato on white bread comes in at 190g and less than 300 calories. If you decided to go for a Greek Salad, you could consume 210g of salad for less than 100 calories. To eat the same number of calories in Greek salad as you would a cheeseburger, you’d have to consume more than nine cups or around 900g of food. Another way to look at it is if one cheeseburger is the size of your balled fist in your stomach, that 900 g of Greek salad would be more on the lines of nine fists. That takes up a lot of space in the stomach for very few calories. 

Calorie density doesn’t just work with foods that are exceptionally different, like a cheeseburger from McDonald’s versus a Greek salad. You can see the effect on something as simple as yogurt. 

Yoplait Plain Non-Fat Yogurt: 59 calories per 100g portion

Yoplait Whips! Chocolate Yogurt Mousse: 142 calories per 100g portion

Here we have two similar foods from the same company, but the nutrition stats are anything but similar. These are both yogurts, so why is there such a difference in calorie content?

Yoplait Plain contains no fat and very few carbohydrates. We can’t say the same thing for the whipped variety. Yoplait Whipped! contains 3.5g of fiber and 22g of carbohydrates, nearly all in the form of sugar. Sugar is extremely calorie dense and offers absolutely zero nutritional value.  Going back to volume, you could eat 2 ½ times the plain yogurt as they whipped for the same calories, so you can see how you’d feel fuller.

In the end, having a supportive weight-loss system like Noom to back you up can prove to be incredibly useful. The program utilizes more than just calorie reduction to aid in weight-loss, but also tools like personal meal plans, health tracking, coaching sessions, and daily goals.