Are your favorite pants feeling a little tight around the waist? Are you unhappy with your appearance? If you answered “yes” to one or both of those questions, you’re probably thinking about taking some action.
There are a lot of different fad weight loss methodologies out there, from diet pills to high-intensity interval training. However, many of them offer little to no results—especially those that fail to emphasize the importance of your diet in weight management.
Ultimately, weight loss is done in the kitchen and if you want to shed those excess pounds then making lasting changes to what you eat is an absolute must.
When it comes to selecting weight loss foods, a lot of people think that low-fat foods are the only way to achieve their goal; however, that’s a common misconception. In reality, eating a diet that’s high in healthy fats and cutting out your carb intake is actually way more effective. In fact, a diet that’s centered on high fat, low carb foods are the foundation of the most popular diet in the United States: the keto (short for ketogenic) diet.
The objective of the keto diet is to achieve a state of ketosis, a metabolic state in which the body burns its fat stores for fuel, which in turn leads to weight loss. The keto diet offers several other health benefits beyond weight loss; it boosts energy levels, suppresses appetite, increases endurance, maintains healthy blood glucose levels, improves health cholesterol levels, and can even help to lower blood pressure.
With so many benefits, it’s easy to see why the keto diet is the most popular diet in the US. There’s another factor that makes it such a widely-used diet: there are so many high-fat, low-carb foods that meet the ketogenic guidelines. If you’re thinking about giving the keto diet a try, you’re probably asking, “What foods do I need to eat to lose weight?” We’ve got the answer to that question covered! Below, we highlight the best foods for weight loss so that you can prepare yourself for success.
Common Questions About Foods That Help You Lose Weight
Before we dive into our list of the best weight loss foods, we want to take the opportunity to answer some of the most frequently asked questions that dieters have about fat-burning foods. Let’s take a look.
What kinds of foods are best for weight loss?
As mentioned above, the best foods for weight loss are those that are high in fat and low in carbs. Why? Because when the body is seeking fuel from the food you consume, it burns through carbohydrates first and stores fats. By limiting the number of carbs you consume, your body will burn through fat reserves, which in turn will allow you to lose weight.
Can any food in particular help you lose weight?
Yes, foods that are high in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates are generally the best options to help you lose weight. However, it should be noted that when you’re shopping for fat-burning foods, avoid items that contain manufactured ingredients and instead, opt for natural, organic whole foods, as they’re higher in vital nutrients and all of the good stuff your body needs to thrive. No matter what the labels say, manufactured foods really aren’t good for you. With that said, you should stick to fruits, veggies, dairy, seafood, whole grains, etc.
Can you lose weight by eating fruit and vegetables?
Yes, you can lose weight by eating fruits and veggies. However, to achieve optimal results, you should choose low-carbohydrate fruits and vegetables and avoid those that have a relatively high carb content like potatoes, yams, bananas, mangoes, and apples.
How fast can you lose weight?
There is no definitive answer to that question. Several factors will affect the amount of weight you’ll lose and how quickly you’ll lose it: your gender, age, and lifestyle, for example. Younger men who are more active will lose weight faster than older women who are more sedentary. However, with that said, if you are diligent and stick to a low calorie, high-fat diet that is rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and other vital nutrients, and you participate in moderate exercise a few times a week (walking, jogging, swimming, etc.), you should start to see the pounds fall off before you know it.
What are the best breakfast foods for weight loss?
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, as it fuels your body and lays the foundation for the rest of your day; however, a lot of the go-to breakfast foods aren’t exactly weight loss-friendly. Standard bagels, waffles, pancakes, muffins, and even cereals are packed with carbs, as well as unhealthy fats, and sugars. Instead of supporting weight loss, these breakfast foods will actually add on pounds or will limit the effects you’ll see. Fortunately, however, there are fat burning foods that are suitable for breakfast; eggs, cottage cheese, natural yogurt, low-carb fruits such as cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries, and blueberries, organic whole grain cereals, and steel-cut oats mixed with a pad of organic grass-fed butter, just to name a few.
Best Foods for Weight Loss
So, what are the best foods for weight loss? While there are certainly a lot of options to choose from, below, we’ve highlighted our top eight picks for the best weight loss foods.
1. Low-carb veggies
When you’re making up your list of weight loss foods, make sure to include a bunch of low-carb veggies. While tubers, such as white and sweet potatoes (a.k.a. yams) should be avoided because they have a high carbohydrate content, there are still tons of yummy low-carb veggies. Options include:
Not only are these low-carb vegetables great weight loss foods that should be the foundation of all of your low-calorie and low-carb recipes, but they’re also rich sources of essential vitamins, minerals, and other vital nutrients.
2. Low-carb fruits
In addition to low-carb veggies, you’ll also want to include low-carb fruits on your list of fat-burning foods. Stay away from things like bananas, pineapple, mango, and apples, as their sugar content is high, and hence, their calorie content is high. However, some great low-carb fruits that will help you lose weight include:
3. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are high in fat, low in carbs, and are jam-packed with protein and other vital nutrients. They make for great healthy snacks that support your weight loss efforts. They can also help to reduce the risk of heart disease, some cancers, and even depression. Examples of nuts and seeds to include on your list of weight loss foods include:
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Macadamia nuts
4. Plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese
High in protein, low in carbs, and high in fat, plain Greek yogurt, and cottage cheese are great foods for weight loss. In addition to aiding in weight loss, they have also been found to promote a feeling of fullness, thus reducing feelings of hunger. Enjoy some low-carb fruits, nuts and/or seeds, or even some overnight oatmeal mixed into yogurt for a well-rounded, filling, and fat-burning meal.
Organic, free-range eggs are an excellent source of protein and they contain virtually no carbs; one large egg has about 1 gram of carbs. They have also been shown to encourage the release of hormones that boost feelings of fullness and keep you satiated. Enjoy them hard-boiled, soft boiled, scrambled, over-easy, or even deviled.
6. Meat and poultry
These are staple fat-burning foods. Organic lean meat and poultry are completely carb-free and rich sources of several essential minerals and B vitamins. They also contain high-quality protein, which helps to increase muscle mass and boost HDL cholesterol (this is the one that’s good for you).
Another staple on a weight loss diet, seafood, including fish and some varieties of shellfish, is packed with vitamins, potassium, selenium, and other vital nutrients. They’re also virtually carbohydrate-free. Different types of seafood to include on your weight loss foods shopping list include:
Rounding out our list of the best fat-burning foods is cheese. There are dozens of cheeses, and most varieties are low in carbs and high in fat, making them the perfect choice for a keto diet. They’re also loaded with calcium, are high in protein, and contain various other essential nutrients; plus, they help you feel fuller longer. Examples of cheeses that are great for weight loss include:
- Blue cheese
- Colby jack
- Cottage cheese
- Cream cheese
- Goat cheese
Enjoy a slice of cheese as a snack or mix cheese in with other weight loss foods to further support your diet goals.
Our Thoughts on The Best Weight Loss Foods
If you’re wondering, “What foods do I need to eat to lose weight?”, make sure you include the options we outlined above. There are so many different low-carb, high-fat foods that you can easily make a healthful meal plan that will help you achieve your weight loss goals.
Finally, while concentrating on the right foods is a great strategy, also be mindful about the kinds of fluids you drink too. Water is your best friend here. For something sweeter, try coconut water or vegetable juices with a little fruit mixed in. Also, go with unsweetened tea and coffee. Finally, while there are alcoholic drinks that are relatively low calorie (like keto-friendly alcoholic cocktails), you want to limit your alcohol intake as much as possible.