It’s no secret that when it comes to weight loss, diet and exercise are your most important tools. But as the saying goes, “you can’t outrun a bad diet.”
Most experts back up this claim, arguing that maintaining a healthy weight is a combination of 75 percent diet and 25 percent exercise.
With such a high percentage of weight loss attributed to diet, it’s important to know exactly what foods will help you achieve your goals.
Here are the 20 best foods for weight loss success.
Once thought to be unhealthy for their high cholesterol content, eggs have made a remarkable comback in the health food world. Now known as nature’s multi-vitamin, whole eggs are packed protein, branch amino acids, omega 3s, healthy fats, and plenty more.
One 8-week study even found that overweight women who ate eggs for breakfast each day lost twice as much weight as those who started the day with bagels.
2. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are wonderful for creating heathly salads, alternative wraps, smoothies and so much more. They include spinach, romaine lettuce, arugula, kale, and Swiss chard, to name a few.
A year-long study found that low energy density diets focusing on vegetable intake combined with decreased fat intake was effective for body weight management and hunger control.
There’s a reason mom’s try to get creative when sneaking vegetables into their broccoli-averse-children’s meals. Veggies, especially cruciferous ones like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage, are high in fiber and very filling.
These types of vegetables are an excellent source of calcium, and even have cancer-fighting properties.
Although they are technically a fruit, avocados contain about 29 grams of fat, making them perhaps better classified as a fat. But avocados are heart healthy, loaded with potassium, magnesium, monosaturated fats, and plenty of vitamins.
Avocados are also low in carbs and another great source in fiber, making them an excellent for curbing appetite.
In moderation, fruit can be another effective weight loss tool. Although fruit contains sugar, the high fiber content can help to slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream.
Certain fruits, such as grapefruits, have been proven to aid weight loss efforts when eaten before a meal. Grapefruits are 90 percent water and help to keep you full, in addition to other health benefits such as healthy skin.
Raspberries are another important fruit for weight loss and can even help reduce the risk of heart disease, as they contain tons of antioxidants and polyphenols.
6. Chicken and Lean Beef
Protein is key when it comes to losing weight. Increasing protein intake can often reduce cravings throughout the day and can cause weight loss of nearly a pound a week.
Lean proteins are a great option to incorporate protein into your diet without adding tons of saturated fat. Stick to options like chicken, 97 percent lean ground beef, turkey, and pork loin.
Salmon is filled with omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and a variety of important nutrients. The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in salmon can help to speed up weight loss.
Not only is this low-calorie-super-fish healthy, but it keeps you feeling satisfied, meaning you’ll spend less time digging through the fridge for an unhealthy snack and more time achieving your weight loss goals.
Potatoes have somewhat of a bad reputation when it comes to weight loss. Because they have a high amount of carbs, many dieters tend to turn them away.
But in moderation, potatoes can be largely beneficial. They are full of resistant starch, which can increase the body’s ability to burn fat and keep you full.
Sweet potatoes are also an important part of a healthy diet, as they contain an incredible amount of essential vitamins and minerals. Just one sweet potato contains calcium, potassium, iron, 37 percent of your daily vitamin C, and a whopping 438 percent of your daily vitamin A.
9. Beans, Legumes and Nuts
Almonds are another great source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and contain less calories than other types of nuts. One study found that those who ate almonds on a low-calorie diet lost more weight than those who ate carb-heavy snacks on the same diet.
Peanut butter with no added sugar is a great food to help keep your metabolism going when paired with complex carbs like apples. Another source of lean protein, peanut butter also helps to keep hunger at bay.
Beans like black beans, garbanzo beans, and kidney beans are high in protein and low in saturated fat, making them ideal for getting rid of fat, burning calories and staying full.
10. Whole Grains
Eating whole grain foods like oats, barley, brown rice, and more have plenty of health benefits — helping with weight loss among them.
Many whole grain foods are low in calories but contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, meaning you’ll stay full longer and even prevent future weight gain.
Whole grain foods contain plenty of phytonutrients as well, which have been associated with lowering the risks of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Technically a seed, Quinoa is another great source of protein and fiber, in addition to being gluten free. It also has plenty of iron and magnesium to help give your body the energy to lose fat.
12. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a wonderfully versatile food, great for breakfast, as a snack, and even as a substitute for many ingredients like sour cream, butter in desserts, and mayonnaise.
It is also low in lactose, packed with more than three times the amount of protein in one egg and contains plenty of probiotics.
13. Dark Chocolate
Yes, you can still eat chocolate when trying to lose weight! As long as it is dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa, there are plenty of benefits to eating this beloved treat.
The monounsaturated fatty acids within can help to speed up your metabolism, and can help stop pesky cravings for unhealthy foods.
14. Chili Peppers
Chili peppers contain a chemical compound called capsaicin, which can help the body to burn fat after a meal.
They are also high in vitamin C, and can help to combat weight gain.
15. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is low in calories and can help to increase fullness and reduce spikes in blood sugar.
Many salad dressings can be easily replaced with apple cider vinegar, and it can even be diluted with water for a drink.
16. Chia Seeds
Don’t let their tiny size fool you — chia seeds are packed with some serious nutrients to help you lose weight.
Chia seeds contain essential nutrients like magnesium, omega-3s, calcium, potassium. They are also extremely high in fiber and expand in your stomach, making them ideal for warding off hunger.
This incredibly versatile seed can be used in everything from smoothies to salads, and most of the time, you won’t even notice that they are there.
17. Coconut Oil
These days, coconut oil is the solution to nearly every health ailment under the sun. It can be used as a substitute for butter, olive oil, milk, moisturizer, and plenty more.
Coconut oil is also full of fatty acids, specifically medium-chain triglycerides, which studies have shown are more filling compared to other fats.
18. Coffee and Green Tea
The caffeine in coffee helps to speed up your metabolism, meaning your body can start burning more calories after one cup.
Green tea is also a great way to speed up your metabolism and has a variety of other health benefits, too. The antioxidants in green tea can help with inflammation, energy and burning fat, and can even reduce the risks of cancer.
19. Red Wine
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