23 Surprising Foods That Can Help You Lose Weight



If you are trying to lose weight, it can seem like your life suddenly becomes all about the restrictions on what you can eat. It is often this type of approach, that makes it difficult to follow a certain type of diet for any length of time. Fortunately, you do not have to forgo tasty foods in order to lose weight. Surprisingly, eating the following foods can help you reach your target weight without starving yourself.

1. Almonds

According to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, eating a handful of almonds each day, along with your typical healthy diet, can help you lose weight. Participants in the study reported an 18% loss of their body fat when they ate almonds daily for six months compared to those who ate complex carbs. Those participants lost only 11% of their body fat.

However, considering the many benefits of these amazing nuts, it shouldn’t be so surprising that aiding weight loss is one of them. Almonds are rich in vitamin E and potassium, and they are very helpful in regulating the levels of the so –called “good” and “bad” cholesterol. In a certain sense, they are fatty, but they are not “bacon-fatty” – almonds contain in mono-unsaturated fats, the best fats possible.

Consider all this the next time you are picking your afternoon snack and go for almonds instead of a sandwich or, God forbid, chips!

Eat fruit!

2. Pears

A study published in Nutrition highlighted research showing that women who consumed three pears a day not only ate fewer calories, they lost weight as well. Pears are packed with fiber – eating one pear gives you 15% of your recommended daily allowance (RDA). Fiber is believed to be not only beneficial for the digestive tract and therefore for the immune system, but also to help lose excess weight.

In addition to being among the richest foods when it comes to fiber, pears are also packed with other important nutrients – vitamins C, K, B2, B3 and B6.

Pears make an amazing breakfast food. They are sweet and delicious, they go well with cereals and yoghurt and they keep you feeling full longer than many other kinds of fruit. In addition, pears are a great comfort food and they can fix most of food cravings in no time.

Beautiful woman's face with measuring tape.

3. Navy Beans

Resistant starch is known to be a tremendous burner of fat. Just half of a cup of navy beans gives you almost ten grams of resistant starch. University of Colorado researchers found that people who ate resistant starch rich foods at only one meal lose 25% more fat than they would otherwise.

This makes a great case for all foods rich in such starches, especially beans. However, not all beans are alike, and some, like navy beans, are better when it comes to promoting weight loss.

In addition, navy beans are believed to lower the levels of the so-called bad cholesterol, which is important for good cardiovascular health. Because they are rich in fiber, they keep the sugar levels at bay and keep them from rising to abruptly after a meal.

Navy beans are also rich in folate, manganese and vitamin B. If combined with whole grains, they make an ideal protein-based and fat-free meal.


4. Grapefruit

California’s Scripps Clinic found that participants who ate half of a grapefruit before their meals lost about a pound a week, even if they made no other changes to their diets. The study’s author, Ken Fujioka MD, stated that a compound in the fruit helps to regulate insulin, the hormone that stores fat.

If this is true, and it looks like it is, then grapefruit really is a miraculous food. It helps you lose with without dieting – what more could you ask for?

It is also believed that grapefruit boosts the metabolism. This is important since people with a fast metabolism are less likely to become obese and, if they do gain some extra pounds, they lose them much faster.

Of course, grapefruit is also a great source of vitamin C, which is important for good immune system. All these reasons make grapefruit the best possible choice for breakfast.shutterstock_152493020


5. Chocolate

Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants. One of the many benefits of adding lots of antioxidants to your diet is that they can help reduce the accumulation of fat cells in your body. In addition to being a precursor to obesity, adding fat cells could also pave the way to heart disease, according to research out of Taiwan that was published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.

Pretty much every diet in the world allows a little bit of dark chocolate for those who simply can’t make it without their favorite guilty pleasure. But if you look closely at dark chocolate, it’s not really a “guilty” pleasure at all.

A terrific source of antioxidants, dark chocolate is beneficial for a number of organs and functions of the human body, from brain to skin. Add the fact that it can actually help you lose weight in a healthy and non-invasive way, and you god yourself a superfood!

Beautiful woman holding apple core and laughing.

6. Apples

We know that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but did you know that it also keeps obesity at bay?

A study found that people who ate an apple before a meal rich in carbs, such as pasta, actually consumed fewer calories than those who ate something else before the same meal.

Also, apples contain antioxidants that are believed to prevent the metabolic syndrome, responsible for the so-called “apple shape” of the body, characterized by belly fat.

Ideally, apples should be eaten in the morning and/or before meals, for best results. In addition to helping you lose weight, apples are incredibly healthy. They are packed with vitamins, especially the precious vitamin C. Their high fiber content is another thing that makes apples great for weight loss and for good health in general.

Just keep in mind that most of the beneficial properties of apples are found in their skin, so you should eat them whole and unpeeled– after you wash them properly, of course!


7. Steak

Eating a nice, juicy steak may not seem like a good thing while dieting, but if you do it right, it may actually work in your favor. Like some other protein-rich foods, beef from which steak is made of is rich in leucine, an amino acid that promotes the process of calorie-burning. At the same time, it helps maintain the muscle tone, which is something that most dieters are interested in.

A study conducted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign involved 24 overweight women who were told to eat nine to ten ounces of beef per day, while maintaining a 1,700 calorie diet. The results showed that women who did eat beef every day lost more weight than those on the same diet but with less or no beef.

Another good thing about beef steaks is that they keep hunger pangs at bay. Of course, the meat should be as lean as possible, and combined with vegetables or other weightloss-promoting foods instead of fatty sauces, potatoes and white bread.

Woman wanting to eat savoy cabbage - isolated

8. Cabbage

This one probably sounds familiar, considering how popular the cabbage soup diet was at one point. However, you don’t have to go on this strict and unhealthy diet to reap all the weight-loss benefits of this amazing vegetable – just try to add as much cabbage as you can to your normal diet and you’ll be golden.

Cabbage is not just the least fatty vegetable of all. It also has very little calorie, meaning you can eat it as much as you like and remain guilt-free. The best way to do it is to eat it fresh – in a salad or sliced up for a mid-day snack.

While helping you stay fit, cabbage will also do wonders for your health. Rich in antioxidants like vitamin C, it is a great immune-booster. It also contains other essential nutrients, such as calcium and carotene. Cabbage has a high fiber content, and these two properties combined make cabbage one of your best friends while on a diet.


9. Radishes

Radishes are not just fun and delicious, they are also great allies when it comes to battling excess weight. They are low in calories, loaded with folic acid, potassium, antioxidants and sulphur compounds that promote good digestion. And good digestion is vital for weight loss.

Furthermore, radishes are rich in magnesium and iron, both of which are believed to help dissolve and expel the fat in the cells.

Another quality that makes radishes good for weight loss is the fact they have a high water content. Also, they have a low glycemic index, which basically means they keep your blood sugar at desired levels after meals.

With just 19 calories per cup, radishes are pretty much the ideal snack. They can be eaten alone or chopped and combined with other veggies in a nice, healthy salad.

Remember that the greens of this vegetable are not just edible but even more nutritious than the roots.

Young woman holds a piece of cauliflower with chopsticks

10. Cauliflower

Cauliflower is not exactly everyone’s favorite vegetable, mostly due to the quite intense smell and aroma. However, this homely veggie is extremely beneficial both for your weight and for your overall health.

When you are on a diet, cauliflower is one of the few foods that can be eaten almost in almost unlimited amounts. Because it’s non-starchy and packed with healthy nutrients, cauliflower should be eaten as often as possible while dieting. It is rich in antioxidants, which, in addition to promoting good immune system, also participate in the fat-burning processes and speed up the metabolism.

Cauliflower is a good source of vitamin C and folate and contains a phytonutrient called sulforaphane, which is a cancer-fighting agent.

You can eat this delicious vegetable in salads, although most people prefer it cooked – in soups and stews, as a side dish or steamed and mashed together with potatoes.

Eating Egg

11. Eggs

Eggs have always had a bad reputation of being unhealthy and bad for cholesterol, cardiovascular health and even your weight. However, over the recent years, more and more studies have shown that this is not necessarily so and that cutting out eggs from your diet may actually be a bad idea.

Eggs are a great source of protein and protein is essential for weight loss, since it helps build fat-burning muscles and keeps you full for longer.

A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition showed that those who ate two eggs for breakfast consumed 400 calories less later in the day than those who had something else for breakfast, such as bagels or something else high in carbs.

This confirms the theory that foods rich in protein, like eggs, keeps you fuller for longer.

In addition to making you eat less throughout the day, eggs are also rich in calcium and vitamins A, D and B12.

Granola breakfast

12. Oats

Oats are one of the most beneficial cereals and it’s no wonder they are the favorite breakfast choice for many. One of the main reasons is that they are incredibly filling. Eating a meal of oats for breakfast will keep you full for hours, so you won’t snack on unhealthy foods that make you gain weight.

Most people opt for oatmeal as their source of oats, however it has been proven that rolled and steel-cut varieties are the best, because of the minimal processing they undergo. You can even eat the whole oat kernels, thoroughly cooked, of course, with some raisins or chopped up fruits.

Oats have a very high fiber content – up to 5 grams per serving, which is what makes them so filling. In addition, they are rich in antioxidants and in vitamins of the B group. They are helpful against the bad cholesterol and they help maintain proper blood sugar levels.


13. Lentils

Much like navy beans and other legumes, lentils are a terrific ally in the battle against obesity. They come in a number of varieties, all of them packed with fiber and protein.

The high fiber content in lentils makes you feel fuller for longer after meals, which, of course, is crucial for weight loss. They are also rich in water-soluble fiber, the kind of fiber that is helpful in maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol. Not just that, they regulate the way the carbohydrates are absorbed into the body, slowing down the process and thus preventing blood sugar levels from raising abruptly, which is very helpful for everyone looking to lose some weight.

This low-fat source of protein is a great substitute for meat. In addition to fiber, they are rich in iron, magnesium and folic acid.

Lentils come in different varieties, the most common being red, brown and yellow. Whichever variety you choose, you will definitely reap amazing weight loss properties of this great food.

Raw Salmon Red Fish Steak with Herbs and Lemon on White

14. Wild salmon

You know that fish is good for you for millions of reasons, but perhaps you didn’t know that some kinds of fish can even help you lose weight. Salmon, especially wild salmon, is one such kind of fish. It is packed with the so-called “good” fats (omega-3 fatty acid, to be precise), which aid the fat-burning processes.

Salmon is also a good source of high-quality protein. Such proteins help build muscles, and muscles, of course, promote fat burning. In addition, protein-rich foods keep you satiated for much longer than those high in carbs.

In addition, omega-3 fatty acids improve your insulin sensitivity, which is linked with reduced risk of belly fat.

When it comes to this fish, though, it is always recommended to opt for wild salmon, because it has fewer of the potentially dangerous pollutants and toxins. Combine it with some fresh veggies and brown rice, and you have a perfect weight loss meal.


15. Buckwheat

Buckwheat is making a comeback these days because of its high nutritional value and its alleged ability to aid weight loss. The fact is that replacing wheat or barley for buckwheat is actually useful when it comes to shedding pounds.

This is because buckwheat contains less calories than wheat and other grains, and also has a higher protein content. Protein is essential for weight loss because it builds muscles, which, in turn, burn more fat.

Buckwheat is also rich in fiber, another essential ally for reducing the risk of obesity and for losing weight. This grain can be used in almost any type of food where wheat would normally be used – bread, pasta, pastries… It can be combined with other grains and flours or used alone.

Buckwheat also contains flavonoids, powerful antioxidants that improve the immune response. Plus, it is believed to help reduce high blood sugar levels and high cholesterol.

Model meets fruits

16. Pomegranates

Pomegranates are something of a superfood. They are literally packed with antioxidants and as such they keep you healthy and young and prevent a number of serious illnesses, from cardiovascular disease to cancer. But this delicious fruit is also good for weight loss. It has a low calorie count and a high fiber content. Because of this, pomegranates are a perfect choice for everyone who is looking to lose a few extra pounds.

Basically, you can eat all the pomegranates you want, completely guilt-free. Several studies have shown that this fruit has the ability to block triglycerides, meaning it destroys the fat before it can even be stored in the body, which is amazing. And because of the high fiber content, pomegranates are a very satiating food, recommended particularly in the morning.

Keep in mind that, for best results, pomegranates should be eaten whole, with seeds, instead of just drinking the juice.

Beautiful woman teeth, eating red hot chili pepper

17. Chili Peppers

Those who like their food spicy will be pleased to learn that chili peppers are not only delicious, but also very useful in the battle against obesity. A study conducted at the University of Wyoming found that an ingredient of chilies, called capsaicin, causes a thermogenic process in which heat is created directly from burning fat.

Basically, there are two types of fat – white fat, which is bad, and brown fat, which is beneficial. When we work out, the brown fat turns white fat into more brown fat, leading to weight maintenance effects exercise is known to have.

With chilies, this happens without the actual exercise, which is great news for people who are not too crazy about working out but still want to lose weight. In fact, it is believed that capsaicin from chili peppers causes the body to burn more calories for as long as 20 minutes after eating them.


18. Yogurt

Yoghurt is often considered to be a perfect food – it has just the right amount of carbs, protein and fat in it, which maintains blood sugar at steady levels and keeps you from getting hungry too soon. However, that is not all when it comes to yoghurt’s weight loss properties. This delicious and nutritious food contains a lot of calcium.

The calcium affects the release of cortisol, a hormone that signals the body to store fat. More calcium means less cortisol, which logically leads to less body fat accumulation.

In fact, a research conducted by the scientists at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville showed that people who ate 18 ounces of more of plain yoghurt every day and cut on their overall calorie intake lost 22 percent more weigh and as much as 81 percent more belly fat than those who reduced their calorie intake but skipped the yoghurt.shutterstock_326854181


19. Sardines

Sardines would be every dieter’s best friend, if it wasn’t for the fishy flavor that is something of an acquired taste and doesn’t appeal to everyone (but this too can be fixed by soaking the sardines in milk for an hour).

The tiny fish are loaded with protein. As such, they stabilize the blood sugar levels, make you feel fuller for a longer period and stimulate metabolism.

Sardines are also a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, useful not only for the cardiovascular health but also for the mood. And when you’re in a good mood, you’re less likely to crave fatty and unhealthy foods!

Another great benefit of sardines and their vantage point over other fish is that they are low on the food chain so they are practically free of mercury and heavy metals. Not to mention they are so cheap and convenient!

Happy Chinese Woman holding fruit on colorful background.

20. Pumpkin

A food so tightly associated with Thanksgiving and the holiday’s delicious feasts doesn’t sound much like a weight loss aid, right? However, the truth is that pumpkins are highly recommended for all those who are looking to lose a few extra pounds, especially around the holiday season, when pumpkins are abound.

Pumpkin is a terrific source of fiber, meaning it keeps you full for hours and maintains good digestive health. It also has a low calorie count – a can of pumpkin has only 30 calories!

Pumpkin is not just a delicious guilt-free food for dieters – it is highly recommended for everyone, because of its amazing health benefits. It is rich in beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant that reduces the risk of cancer. It also contains phytosterols, chemicals that reduce the bad cholesterol and increase the good one.

You can eat pumpkin with any meal, sweet or salty, and combine it with other weight loss promoting foods for best results. The only trouble with the amazing pumpkin is that it’s season doesn’t last all year round.

Woman with measuring tape on mouth

21. Parmesan

Parmesan may be the king of cheeses, at least when it comes to health benefits and aiding in weight loss. One tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese adds only 22 calories and 1 gram of fat to the meal, which is terrific, considering how much deliciousness you get from just that one spoon!

Parmesan contains more calcium than any other cheese. As we mentioned earlier, calcium is important for weight loss because it regulates the release of cortisol, the hormone that signals the body to store fat. Parmesan is also rich in protein and that is another way this cheese helps the body to metabolize fat.

1Because it contains less lactose than other dairy products, parmesan is not very likely to cause the discomfort such as bloating or digestion problems.

Parmesan is the perfect topping for your fresh salad and a delicious, guilt-free addition to weight loss diet.

woman beauty

22. Avocado

Avoiding all fats is one of the most common mistakes the dieters make. Not all fats are alike and some can even help you lose weight, instead of gaining more. One of the best sources of such fats is avocado.

Avocado is very fatty – an average-sized one contains 29 grams of fat. But it is the healthy monounsaturated fat, the kind that keeps your heart healthy, your brain working like a clock and your immune system strong. Monounsaturated fats also increase satiety and thus help you lose weight.

Avocado also has a high content of fiber and protein, both of which are known as essential factors in the metabolism of fats in the body.

It is recommended to eat one quarter to one half of an avocado per day to reap the benefits of this amazing fruit. It makes a great snack, it is easy to prepare and it’s just simply delicious!


23. Soup

Soup is the ultimate comfort food, the one that makes you feel good when you’re down and helps you get better when you’re sick. But, not many people know that soup can also help you become thin and stay that way.

Low energy density meals and diets have been proven to make you eat less calories. Low energy density basically means less calorie per gram of food. Most foods with such properties are those with a high water content, such as fruits and vegetables.

But you can also simply add more water to your food by making a soup and you can make your diet a low energy density one by including more soup in it on everyday basis. Several studies have shown that eating the same food but in form of soup instead of as a solid makes you feel full for a longer period and thus reduces the amount of calories you consume throughout the day.

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