13 Foods You’d Never Guess Are Good for Weight Loss
If you’re starting a weight loss journey, your first step is understanding what filling foods are. Foods with high satiety indexes can reduce your appetite and quickly fill you up.
Filling foods contain high protein, fiber, volume and energy density levels. They also have low calories for their weight. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains are excellent examples.
Add these 13 foods you’d never guess are good for weight loss.
Nuts are high in fat, so most people on a diet assume they add to their weight. However, the fat in nuts — monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — are healthy. They contribute to the calorie content of nuts, but eating them does not make you gain weight.
Nuts help lower bad cholesterol and are good for the heart. Snacking on cashews or pistachios can decrease your appetite and make you feel full.
Pasta is typically the first food you cut in your diet to reduce the numbers on the scale. It’s fattening since it’s rich in carbs. However, you can find healthier options than white pasta, which is mostly refined flour with lower nutritional benefits.
Healthy selections include pasta made of chickpeas, lentils, lupin beans and hearts of palm. Check the labels when looking for weight loss-friendly choices. Buy products with high fiber and protein that are low in calories.
Eggs are the go-to nutritious foods for weight loss. Like nuts, they contain healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and protein, which fill your stomach.
One egg has only about 74 calories but is packed with a good balance of the vitamins, amino acids, healthy fatty acids and minerals your body needs. It means you can eat more and worry less about gaining weight. Consuming protein-rich foods can also increase metabolism.
Legumes are an ideal plant-based source of protein. They contain low fat and have a glycemic index (GI) — the scale used in rating the carbohydrates in foods from zero to 100 — between 10 and 40. They also have fiber for better digestion and satisfy your appetite.
Legumes such as beans, lentils, green peas and soybeans are also part of popular diets, including paleo, vegan, vegetarian, Mediterranean, low GI and DASH. Make sure to add them to your plate.
Oatmeal is a staple breakfast on the American table. Swap bacon and ham for oatmeal if you want to lose weight. It’s rich in fiber that lowers cholesterol, as well as protein and complex carbs. It also has magnesium and zinc. The balanced mix of nutrients makes oatmeal a healthier breakfast substitute than fatty processed foods.
Pumpkin is a fall classic with low calories and zero fat that adds a pop of orange to your plate. Even if you eat more of it than rice, you will still consume fewer calories. One serving size of 58 grams only has 15 calories, meaning you can be lenient in eating them. Like other fruits, it’s rich in vitamin C and B6, iron and magnesium. Consuming pumpkin can reduce your weight and give your body the necessary vitamins.
Doctors often recommend a pureed diet for post-surgery patients who need to heal their bodies. Pureed vegetables are ideal foods for weight loss. You can choose your favorite greens and meld them into one meal that’s easy to digest.
You can eat your foods as usual, but sometimes, pureed foods are tastier. Reach a healthy weight by cooking fiber- or protein-rich vegetables and pureeing them until they have the same consistency as yogurt.
Salmon is a zero-carb food rich in omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Most people prefer it pan-fried. One serving of 3 ounces has 121 calories, 5.4 grams of beneficial fatty acids and 17 grams of protein. The low-calorie and high-protein content combination makes it a perfect superfood for maintaining weight.
Sardines are another seafood choice rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Like salmon, it has low-calorie, high-protein and essential fat contents that change how your body processes sugar as energy. One serving of Atlantic sardines weighing 3.75 ounces has 22 grams of protein, 351 milligrams of calcium equivalent to 35% of your daily needs, selenium, iron and vitamin B12. The nutrition profile in sardines combines perfectly to reduce inches on your waistline.
Turkey is a holy grail of weight loss. It’s a low-calorie, low-fat, high-protein healthy mix that curbs your appetite. One hundred grams of cooked turkey has 190 calories and 30 grams of high-quality protein. You can pair it with asparagus and other low-calorie vegetables to prepare a meal of about 500 calories.
It’s also a good source of vitamin B and minerals like iron and selenium to help your body produce energy.
You might never guess that chocolate is good for weight loss. It’s typically high in calories, sugar and saturated fat. Overeating is a recipe for weight gain. However, it also has health benefits. For example, milk chocolate contains calcium, iron, potassium and vitamin D. Meanwhile, people hail dark chocolate as a healthy food because it has polyphenols, flavanols and catechins — compounds that help manage circulation and blood pressure and provide antioxidants.
Dark chocolate indirectly benefits weight loss by boosting people’s moods while minimizing hunger and appetite. One study found that consuming chocolate in the morning or evening can affect appetite. Snacking during the day could help burn fat and lower body sugar levels.
Dried food may not be as preferred as fresh fruits when it comes to losing weight, but it has health merits due to its fiber content.
The body needs 25 to 30 grams of food-sourced fiber daily, which you can get by adding dried fruits to your meal plan. A 1/2 cup serving of dried apricot has 4.7 grams of fiber. Dried dates of the same amount have 5.9 grams and figs have 7.3 grams.
Fiber is important in satiation. It occupies more space in your stomach than other nutrients, making you feel full longer. It also helps regulate bad cholesterol.
Soup is a classic comfort food that helps you drop weight. There’s a strategy for this to work. Opt for broth- or vegetable-based soups instead of cheesy or creamy soups high in calories and fat.
Another option is to mix beans, fish, vegetables and other proteins into your soup for your whole meal. A soup diet is effective in losing weight because it takes time to finish a bowl and fills you up.
Count Your Calories to Achieve Your Ideal Weight
You can’t improve what you can’t quantify. It all boils down to measuring calorie intake, choosing the right foods for weight loss, determining portion size and making smart food choices. Your weight-loss journey requires effort and discipline regarding what you eat. Thankfully, there are many healthy, delicious and filling options to make it enjoyable.