13 Best Foods for Weight Loss

on April 27, 2015


Best Foods for Weight Loss

Remember the so-called "grapefruit diet?" Yeah, so do we. Not all that long ago, the word "diet" conjured bland foods like rice cakes, sugar-free Jell-o and chalky meal replacement shakes. But losing weight doesn't have to be synonymous with deprivation, ya know. The new nutritional wisdom champions an approach to dieting that is anything but boring. We're talking a colorful array of fruits, veggies, lean meats and whole grains. By eating the right foods, science shows, you can rev up your calorie burn and drop inches from your waistline. Here, we reveal 13 foods that will turbo-charge your weight loss efforts-no deprivation required.


1. Beans

The so-called "magical fruit" can help you shed excess pounds. Loaded with hunger-busting fiber and meat-free protein, beans give you that "I'm full" feeling, preventing you from overeating throughout the day. But for as filling as they are, beans are low in calories-just a half-cup serving of black beans clocks in at a modest 100 calories. To reap the waistline whittling benefits of beans, throw some in your salad, or use them as a meat replacement in soups, curries and pastas.


2. Almonds

Almonds are a true nutritional package-these bite-size morsels are packed with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and protein. Almonds are a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which were found to significantly reduce body weight and BMI in experimental subjects. Because nuts are calorie-dense, however, be sure to stick to the recommended serving size (usually u00bc cup) and be wary of overly sugary and salty nut mixes.


3. Greek yogurt

Packed with twice as much protein as regular yogurt, Greek yogurt is the ideal snack for dieters, keeping you satisfied for longer. Additionally, many types of Greek yogurt are loaded with probiotics, healthy gut bacteria that may promote weight loss, studies show. Your best bet is to shy away from the sugary varieties and stick to the plain kinds.


4. Quinoa

Naturally low in fat and calories, this nutrient-rich grain is the perfect addition to a weight loss diet. Not only is it loaded with hunger-quelling fiber, quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. Get creative and eat quinoa for breakfast, lunch and dinner.


5. Blueberries

Blueberries might be your new slim-down secret. Not only are blueberries loaded with fiber and vitamin C, these tasty little gems contain catechins, which activate fat-burning genes in abdominal fat cells


6. Lean Meats

High in protein, lean meats-such as chicken breast and certain types of beef-are a good addition to a weight-loss diet. Protein is an effective weight management tool, studies suggest. According to a 2008 study, protein supplementation was found to increase feelings of satiety in overweight or obese patients, and it even accelerated fat loss.


7. Eggs

Not that long ago, eggs were considered a no-no for dieters due to their high cholesterol content. However, now we know that eggs are a bona fide nutritional powerhouse, packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, a study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that individuals who consumed eggs in the morning lost 65 percent more weight than those who ate a carb-heavy breakfast.


8. Oatmeal

This stick-to-your-ribs breakfast food is loaded with fiber to keep energy levels soaring all day long. With just 150 calories per half-cup serving, oatmeal is also a low-calorie breakfast choice. Add low-fat milk to amp up the protein content, and top with fresh berries for a punch of antoxidants.


9. Apples

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, yes, but it can also keep the number on the scale in check. According to a study published in Food Chemistry, apples contain non-digestible compounds-specifically, dietary fiber and polyphenols-that may prevent disorders associated with obesity by promoting a healthy balance of gut flora.


10. Avocado

Here's another excuse to pay extra for avocado on your sandwich: This superfood is a proven belly shrinker. The creamy fruit is rich in monounsaturated and oleic fatty acids, which can spot-reduce abdominal fat, thereby slashing your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and stroke. What's more, avocado is a hunger squasher. One study found that eating half an avocado at lunch suppressed appetite in individuals.


11. Grapefruit

Ok, so maybe there was some truth to the fad "grapefruit diet," after all. Loaded with vitamin C and fiber, this pretty-in-pink citrus fruit has an edge over other fruits, research shows. For example, an animal study out of UC Berkeley found that drinking slightly sweetened grapefruit juice curbed weight gain and also had a favorable effect on blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity in mice.


12. Broccoli

You might have turned up your nose at broccoli as a kid, but when it comes to weight loss foods, this cruciferous veggie is a key player. Raw or steamed, broccoli is loaded with fiber and crucial vitamins and minerals.


13. Green Tea

Green tea has long been lauded for its gut-busting properties, and rightfully so. This wonder brew is loaded with powerful antioxidants, called catechins, that can shift your metabolism into high gear. In fact, studies show that green tea has thermogenic properties and promotes fat oxidation.