Welcome to this hidden treasure trove of the best foods for weight loss. I’m sure you’ve heard time and time again that shedding as many calories as you possibly can from your diet is the most efficient way to lose weight, but that is not the case.
You need to counter cravings that lead you into going overboard eating less healthy options – the best way to do this is loading your diet with healthy, nutrient-rich foods. This list of superfoods will help you lose weight and maintain your weight loss, give you a huge energy boost so you can work out harder, and send your metabolism into overdrive burning extra calories.
This dark, leafy green is loaded with nutrients and is super low in calories. In fact, 2 cups of spinach contain only 14 calories! It’s high in protein (increases muscle mass to tone your body), iron, fiber, and potassium (reduces bloating).
Spinach can be thrown into meals and is a great way to add volume helping you feel fuller longer. You can also throw it into smoothies and salads. A must-have addition to your diet for weight loss.
These seeds may be small but they pack a healthy punch. Chia seeds are loaded with healthy fats (omega-3 fatty acids) and fiber and are actually one of the most nutrient-dense foods available. A tablespoon of chia seeds adds 5.5 grams of fiber to your diet for only 69 calories.
They’re even thought to promote exercise performance without the added sugar – so better workouts! Try adding chia seeds to smoothies, sprinkled over your cereal or toast and even incorporate them into your baking.
Did you know watermelon gets it color from the antioxidant lycopene? It is loaded with water, 92 percent in fact – which makes it an incredible ally in weight loss. Proper hydration has been proven as a key element in weight loss because it stops you confusing thirst for hunger. It also helps your metabolism work optimally which means more calories burned!
Don’t believe in what you’ve heard about watermelon being high in calories – 1 cup of watermelon has only 46 calories which makes it a great, healthy snack.
Popcorn a superfood? You must be crazy! Actually, air-popped popcorn is a great tool for weight loss. Portion-wise it has fewer calories than any most other snacks – only 31 calories per cup. It’s a complex carbohydrate which digests slower (keeping you full longer) and provides sustained energy (no crash, no cravings).
Just make sure you don’t grab the salt and butter loaded pre-made versions. Air pop the popcorn yourself and add a little salt, easy!
A great on-the-go snack, apples also contain antioxidants which may help prevent metabolic syndrome reducing health problems like obesity. They also have a hefty dose of fiber which fills you up – 4 grams in one medium apple.
One way I love to eat apples is to slice one up on a plate and sprinkle it with cinnamon. Pop the plate in the microwave for 60 to 90 seconds and you have a delicious, healthy treat.
Tomatoes are great at reducing bloat because they’re high in potassium. They also are loaded with the antioxidant lycopene which aids weight loss and contains a high percentage of water – hydration!
1 cup of sliced tomatoes only contains 32 calories, so incorporate them into your diet by adding them to salads or as a side to your dinner.
Dieticians love chickpeas and consider them a must-have addition to dinners. They’re loaded with protein and fiber – 12 grams of each in a single cup. This combination means they leave you feeling full and are digested slowly.
No wonder they’re a dietary staple throughout the Mediterranean and India!
I’m sure you’ve heard about the many benefits of dark chocolate. For those of us with a sweet tooth, you’ll be glad to know dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and magnesium. An ounce serving of 70% cacao dark chocolate has 3 grams of fiber and 68 mg of magnesium which improves muscle function.
I like to have my dark chocolate after meals to curb my sweet-tooth cravings. I find it helps me avoid reaching for other snacks between meals.
Great for boosting weight-loss because of their high protein and fiber content, lentils are a must-have addition to your diet. 1 cup of cooked lentils has a whopping 18 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber.
There are so many varieties to pick from too, my favorite is red and yellow because they cook the fastest. I love to throw lentils into my pasta sauces because of their mild flavor. What’s great is that they contain so much protein you can skip adding meat to the meals you use them in!
Oats are an amazing complex carbohydrate that bodybuilders swear by. They assist in weight loss because they provide you are sustained energy release and are digested slowly. This makes them great to have for breakfast – and they are so flexible!
Make sure to stay away from the sugar-loaded versions – go for the steel-cut and rolled oats because they contain the most fiber.
The buzz around kale will never die down because it is one of the most nutrient-packed foods on the planet! One cup of raw kale will only set you back 33 calories and contains and it loaded with iron and calcium. It also contains 2 grams of protein and 1 gram of fiber.
Throw kale into smoothies, soups or chopped-up added to your meals. It adds loads of volume for very few calories which will fill you up and help to melt the pounds away.
I’m sure you’ve heard of goji berries before – these tart and chewy morsels are loaded with 18 amino acids (a great source of protein). 1 ounce of goji berries contains only 23 calories and provides you with 3 grams of protein.
I like to add goji berries to smoothies, add them to yogurt and sprinkle them over my cereal.
Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, salmon will help you build muscle and lose weight. More muscle means more calories burnt, even while resting. Not to mention salmon is great for your hearts health. Eat salmon however you like, the options are almost limitless!
One of the best berries you can eat, blueberries are anti-inflammatory and loaded with the antioxidant anthocyanin (it gives them their blue color). They’ll keep you feeling full and satisfied thanks to the 4 grams of fiber in each cup – a great way to help your weight loss.
I love adding blueberries to oats, in smoothies or sprinkled on top of my cereal.
Don’t be scared of the nutritional content of almond butter and its high-fat content. The fat in almond butter not only makes it taste delicious but keeps you satiated longer. It also contains a generous amount of protein, 2 grams per tablespoon.
Adding almond butter to a carbohydrate-based food such as your morning cereal will help stop your blood sugar spiking – which will result in more sustained energy and no crash.
Greek yogurt has a huge amount of protein, an incredible 23 grams per cup. Not only that, it contains the full trifecta with carbohydrates and fats along with the protein – so adding it to your diet is a sure way to stop yourself from winding up hungry after finishing your meal.
Adding this superfood to your plate is a sure way to curb hunger and aid your weight loss. It contains 6 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein per cup – that magic combination keeping you full and satiated for hours.
A simple way to add quinoa to your diet is to use it over white rice for in meals like stir-fries.
And now we reach the end of the list and what better way to finish it off than with avocado. This heart-healthy food is loaded with monounsaturated fat which keeps you satiated for hours. It truly is a top weight-loss food and tastes amazing as well.
Remember avocado does contain a lot of calories so be sure to exercise portion control. I use avocado as a substitute for high-calorie mayo’s in my sandwiches, or mash it on toast for breakfast – yum!
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