You’ve heard it before: Not all calories are equal.
It almost feels like a cliché now, to be honest, but I think it’s more accurate to say that not all nutrients are the same.
Some fats are better than others, some carbs are better than others, and some proteins are better than others — and that’s all because of their effect on weight and, as an extension, your health.
Below is a list of healthy foods to eat everyday to lose weight.
Despite having relatively few calories, they’re loaded with high quality nutrients that can either help you keep your appetite under control, speed up your metabolism, promote a healthier digestive system, or give you a bunch of other benefits that can help you shed at least a few pounds.
Check ‘em out!
Eggs are one of the best natural appetite suppressant foods for weight loss and that’s largely because they’re loaded with protein and healthy fat.
Specifically, one large egg will get you over 6g of protein and 5g of fat. It’s fairly low calorie, too, at just a little less than 75 kcal (per the USDA).
A high protein breakfast, in particular, can have significant effects on your appetite throughout an entire day. One study even points out that these effects last all the way up to dinner and evening snacks.
On the other hand, about 70% of the fat in eggs are unsaturated (the “good” kind of fat). The fact that the “good” fat in eggs largely outweighs the “bad” make it a great addition to any healthy weight loss diet.
Plus, it’s cheap, widely available, and incredibly versatile in the kitchen.
While we’re on the topic of weight loss breakfasts, one study says oatmeal is better for weight loss than ready-to-eat cereal. Per their findings, oatmeal can suppress your appetite and help you eat fewer calories on your next meal because of its fiber content.
To take the hassle out of making oats every morning, you can simply choose to make a handful of batches ahead of time. Here are 15 overnight oats recipes from Chocolate Covered Katie to help get you started.
Along with eggs, a study specifically names shrimp as one of the few foods that don’t necessarily increase your risk of heart disease despite having a relatively high amount of cholesterol.
The reason is that shrimps don’t have a lot of fat in them and carry more omega-3 than they do omega-6. Furthermore, shrimps are ridiculously high in protein.
A study even shows that eating shrimp might even improve the ratio between good and bad cholesterol while also lowering triglyceride levels, making it great for your cardiovascular health.
For your reference, NutritionData says that 100g of shrimp contains 20g of protein, 1.7g of fat, and 540mg of omega-3 fatty acids. They’re fairly low calorie, too.
Speaking of heart- and weight-healthy food, salmon fits right in that category, too. And, like shrimp, it’s packed with top quality protein and a good load of omega-3.
It’s fatty seafood like salmon and shrimp that, according to research, have an effect on your hunger hormones (i.e. insulin, ghrelin, leptin).
Furthermore, another study says that the omega-3 in these foods improve your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio which, in turn, helps you dodge cardiovascular disease, arthritis, asthma, and several others.
Another reason salmon is so great for weight loss is, of course, its protein content. Not only does protein stave off hunger, it also enables you to build more muscle. In the long run, an increase in muscle mass also boosts your resting metabolism, making you burn more calories in and outside of the gym.
If salmon isn’t to your liking, maybe tuna is.
The reason why a lot of gym rats and bodybuilders incorporate tuna in their meal preps is because it’s a much leaner source of protein without packing too many calories.
Specifically, tuna has less calories and isn’t nearly as fatty but it also has about 5 more grams of protein per 100g compared to salmon (per the USDA).
If you want to keep it low fat and low calorie, make sure to choose canned tuna in water (like Starkist’s Chunk Light Tuna) instead of those in oil.
Personally? I’m not the biggest fan of oysters. But if you are and you want to lose weight, oysters are the way to go.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that oysters have more zinc per serving than any other food. This is important because zinc deficiency is quite common — it affects about a third of the world’s population — and many studies have associated it with obesity. .
On the contrary, other studies have associated higher levels of zinc to better weight and BMI.
That alone makes oysters amazing for healthy weight loss.
Plus, it’s fairly low-calorie, too (100g of oysters only nets about 68 calories) and it’s packed with all sorts of other nutrients, including vitamin D, vitamin B12, iron, copper, and omega-3.
Avocados have high fat, fiber, and nutrient profiles which helps you feel more satiated. In turn, you eat fewer calories.
Moreover, a study shows that people who ate avocados were more likely to eat more vegetables, fruits, and healthy fat while eating less sugar. Avocado consumption also led to better body weight, BMI, and cholesterol levels.
However, largely because of its fat content, avocados are also high in calories (1 cup of avocados has 234 calories per the USDA), so be sure to practice moderation.
Similar to avocados, almonds have higher calories than most other foods on this list. But, because of the nuts’ nutritional value, they still make one of the best healthy foods to eat everyday to lose weight.
In particular, almonds are packed with protein and fiber. Per the USDA, a single ounce of whole almonds will get you 164 calories, 6g of protein, and nearly 4g of fiber.
It’s also a rich, healthy source of vitamin E, vitamin B2, manganese, magnesium, and several other vitamins and minerals.
Because of these macro and micronutrients, research shows that including almonds in your weight loss diet can lead to greater weight loss than if you went on a diet without it.
Again, however, be weary of its calories and consume in moderation.
9. Plain Greek yogurt
First of all, Greek yogurt has slightly more calories than regular yogurt. However, the former is better for weight loss because it’s got about 3 times more protein (9g for Greek yogurt vs. 3.47g for regular yogurt).
A study shows that Greek yogurt is particularly good when you’re lifting weights because not only does it help you get leaner, it also helps you build muscle mass and strength.
Moreover, yogurt is packed with probiotics that promote a healthier digestive system. One research says that the probiotics in yogurt helped reduce body fat.
So, if you were wondering what foods help burn belly fat, well, yogurt and other fermented products with probiotics are one of them.
Try to stick to plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt to keep your calories low.
Speaking of fermented food, kefir is another great example of dairy products with gut-healthy probiotics. In fact, kefir is known to generally have more probiotics and protein. In any case, both of them will get you the same fat-burning benefits of a healthier gut.
Furthermore, one study says that it has similar weight loss benefits as milk.
Personally, I think kefir makes for a great snack although I don’t have it all that often simply because it’s harder to find good quality kefir than it is to find plain Greek yogurt. Or, at least that’s the case where I live.
In any case, you can always ferment your own kefir at home. Here’s a simple recipe from Live Eat Learn.
11. Cottage cheese
You might be seeing a pattern here but if you aren’t then let me tell it to you straight:
Dairy is great for weight loss.
In fact, a study finds that in weight loss diets, people who ate 3-4 servings of dairy per day lost significantly more weight than those who didn’t.
That being said, I think cottage cheese is one of the best dairy products for weight loss largely because of its high protein content and relatively low calories. Per the USDA, 4 ounces of cottage cheese will get you more than 12g of protein at only 111 calories.
Plus, as you’d expect from dairy products, it helps you get more calcium in your system. Research says that taking in more calcium helps give your weight loss diet a good boost and it’ll help you lose more fat in your trunk, including the ever stubborn belly fat.
12. Parmesan cheese
Who doesn’t love sprinkling parmesan in their pasta, right? I think it’s delicious! More than that though, parmesan is great for losing weight.
Its weight loss prowess partly come from its impressive calcium content which, as previously stated, helps you lose fat. Per USDA records, a tablespoon of grated parmesan gets you nearly 43mg of the bone healthy mineral.
Now, I understand that doesn’t sound like much but considering how little parmesan cheese you need to add flavor to your meals, that’s actually quite a lot.
Plus, parmesan is among the select cheese types that form tyrosine crystals (along with Romano, Swiss cheese, and gruyere). Tyrosine is an amino acid that’s vital to dopamine production. Connecting the dots, this is probably what makes eating food with parmesan cheese feel so satisfying.
Circling back to probiotics and fermented food, sauerkraut is another good example.
Like yogurt and kefir, the probiotics in sauerkraut can help you get a healthier gut which, in turn, can help you lose weight.
However, probiotics only tell half of the story. What makes sauerkraut one of the best healthy foods to lose weight is also that it’s low calorie but incredibly high in fiber.
Per USDA records, a cup of this only amounts to 27 calories but it packs a whopping 4g of fiber.
I personally like using this as a side dish but other people have more creative ways to make this work for them. Either way, the fiber in sauerkraut can help put off your hunger while you wait for your next meal.
Watermelons are mostly, well… water. In fact, It’s about 91% water according to the USDA.
Now, a study says that consuming foods with high water content can help you feel fuller and decrease your feelings of hunger. Ultimately, you eat less calories, making it a great weight loss fruit.
Oh, and speaking of calories, a cup of diced watermelons only has about 46 calories. That makes for a great snack in my book.
Grapefruit is also mostly water (about 88% per the USDA) and has very few calories, so it shares the same weight loss benefits as watermelon.
Besides being tasty snacks though, I think eating these watery fruits before your main meals is a great way to cut down on calories because they fill you up prior to gorging on whatever is on your plate.
Plus, research finds that eating half a grapefruit before meals led to significant weight loss as well as better insulin levels.
Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries — they’re all great for weight loss!
Berries, pound for pound, have some of the highest amounts of fiber among fruits which makes them all particularly filling. They all have impressive water contents, too, by the way. Not a lot of calories either.
For your reference, here’s what they have per 100g according to the USDA:
|Raspberries||52 kcal||85.75%||6.5 g|
|Blackberries||43 kcal||88.15%||5.3 g|
|Blueberries||57 kcal||84.21%||2.4 g|
|Strawberries||32 kcal||90.95%||2 g|
As you can see, raspberries have the most amount of fiber. On the other hand, strawberries have the most water and the least amount of calories.
So, if you were at the berries section and wondering which one you want to buy, those 2 standout. Well, to me at least.
In any case, all these berries are great for weight loss. There’s really no wrong choice here.
1 medium-sized apple gets you over 4g of fiber and less than 95 calories per USDA’s records. Plus, it’s about 85% water. Those things alone make it great for weight loss, because it helps tone down your appetite.
More than that though, a study describes apples as fruits with several powerful antioxidants. This is important because antioxidants help cleanse your body of harmful free radicals which, in turn, will help speed up your metabolism.
Like the rest of the fruits on this list, bananas are filled with fiber. Specifically, a medium-sized banana will net you about 3g of fiber and only 105 calories (per the USDA).
Bananas are also a good source of potassium and magnesium. Per study, higher magnesium intake helps overweight and obese individuals improve their insulin sensitivities. Another study also associates higher potassium intake with lower BMI.
Other weight-healthy nutrients that are abundant in bananas include vitamin C, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, and manganese.
Remember when I said foods with high water content help you lose weight? Well, they’re not just limited to fruits and vegetables. Obviously, soup has a lot of water in it, too, and it’s largely what makes it one of the most healthy foods to eat everyday to lose weight.
As a matter of fact, there’s a study that describes how people who consumed soup had less weight and smaller waists because they tend to eat less calories. The study also says how soup consumption may help reduce fat intake while increasing protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals.
However, you also have to be careful with too much salt on your soup as too much sodium can lead to higher blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke (per Harvard).
One way to do this is to make your own because you know exactly what you’re putting in your bowl. That being said, we’ve compiled 17 healthy soup recipes for weight loss you might want to try.
Moving on, let’s move over to leafy greens. Spinach is largely one of, if not the most talked-about leafy vegetable that’s more than capable of upping your health and weight loss.
It’s extremely low cal with only about 7 calories per cup while also boasting over 91% water content and a good chunk of fiber.
Spinach is also loaded with nutrients. Most notably, just a cup of this vegetable will get you more than enough vitamin K which, according to a study, may help support weight and fat loss.
Furthermore, spinach has more omega-3 than omega-6, which can reduce your risk of several diseases.
Kale and spinach have a lot of similar benefits when it comes to weight loss, including that they’re both amazing sources of vitamin K, but there are a few slight differences.
In particular, kale has a bit more calories and water but it has nearly twice as much fiber. Kale also has more vitamin A and vitamin C.
Per research, not having enough vitamin C makes you more resistant to fat loss. But, since a single cup of kale gets you more than enough vitamin C, you shouldn’t have to worry about that if you eat it everyday.
Here’s another leafy green you might want to have everyday. If I’m being honest though, I’m not the biggest fan of collard greens, largely because I haven’t found a way to cook them that I think takes away most of the bitterness.
However, I can’t deny how incredible this vegetable is for a healthy weight loss.
For one, it’s about 90% water and a cup of these large leaves are only 12 calories per the USDA. Like spinach and kale, it also has loads of vitamin K, further elevating its status as a healthy weight loss food.
Also, one study suggests that green leafy vegetables like collard greens help improve your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio which, in turn, helps steer you away from cardiovascular disease.
23. Swiss chards
Aaand, more leafy greens! If you haven’t figured it out by now, leafy greens are generally low calorie, high in fiber and water, and have more than enough vitamin K, making most, if not all of them great for a weight loss diet.
Specifically for Swiss chards though, it’s about 93% water, 1.6g of fiber, and only 19 calories per 100g (says the USDA). A cup of these greens will also get you over 300% of your daily vitamin K needs.
Overall, these leafy greens are a great way to add volume to your food without necessarily affecting your calories too much.
One stalk of broccoli is only 51 calories and carries about 4g of fiber (per the USDA). Of course, you probably won’t eat the whole stalk in 1 sitting but that doesn’t take away from the fact that those nutritional values make it great for weight loss.
Also, just an ounce of broccoli gives you about 40% of your daily vitamin C needs which can then help you be more capable of losing fat.
If you thought broccoli was low cal, cauliflower has even fewer. That’s likely because it also has a bit more water content at 92% versus broccoli’s 89%.
It has about half as much vitamin C though but, the way I see it, it’s also a lot more versatile. Particularly when I was on the keto diet, I tested out a huge number of keto recipes and a lot of them used cauliflower as a replacement for other high-carb ingredients like rice, pasta, and bread.
A lot of those same recipes actually tasted great that I make them even when I’m not on any low-carb diet anymore.
Asparagus is a staple part of many weight loss kitchens — and for good reason.
For one, it has prebiotics that help promote a healthier gut. It’s also a natural diuretic that can help you flush out excess fluids out of your system.
In terms of nutrients, 100g of asparagus is about 93% water with 2g of fiber, so it’s filling. It’s also very nutritious with vitamins like vitamin A, C, and K, as well as some iron.
Like virtually all the produce here, celery has fairly few calories and has a lot of water and fiber. Specifically, this crunchy vegetable is about 95% water with 1.6 of fiber and 16 calories per 100g (based on USDA records).
Celery also has antioxidants that promote gut health. Per research, one of these antioxidants, apiuman, may be capable of protecting your digestive system.
As the National Health Service (NHS) says, pulses such as beans, lentils, and peas are -fat sources of protein, fiber, and vitamin and minerals.
This generally makes most, if not all of them great for promoting fullness which, in turn, can help you consume less food. This also makes them great vegan sources of protein.
29. Whole grains
These include quinoa, brown rice, rye, oats, and barley, just to name a few.
Like pulses, a lot of whole grains are great sources of plant-based protein and fiber. They also have lower glycemic index (GI) scores than a lot of other carbs, so they’re slower to digest and give you a more steady source of energy.
Quinoa, for example, has a lower GI score than white rice and potatoes. And, it has a complete amino acid profile — that’s important to know because not a lot of plant-based protein sources have the complete set of amino acids.
30. Plain coffee and tea
If you didn’t know yet, coffee and tea are both great for weight loss. In fact, I personally use them as sort of cheap and natural fat burners.
I’m not talking about all those sugary drinks you get from Starbucks though. I’m talking plain, boring, bitter coffee and tea.
Both these have caffeine in them. According to a study, caffeine helps suppress your hunger which, in turn, can help reduce the amount of calories you eat everyday. It also amplifies your metabolism (thermogenesis) which helps you burn more calories even when you’re outside of the gym.
For tea, I highly recommend going with green and oolong tea.
There’s a study about green tea that shows how people who regularly had this beverage lost more belly fat than those who didn’t.
On the other hand, another research points out how oolong tea can help you lose weight and fat by influencing how your body metabolizes fat.
I hope this list of healthy foods to eat everyday makes your journey towards your dream physique easier.
To sum it up, you’re going to want foods that are highly nutritious but also have relatively few calories. Whether it be protein, fiber, water, vitamins, minerals, or a bunch of antioxidants, the trick to healthy weight loss is to get enough of these while staying under a caloric deficit.
Oh, and before you leave this page, would you mind sharing this with your friends? We want to help ‘em out, too. Thanks!