Best Healthy Foods for Your Weight Loss Journey
If you’re trying to lose weight, the amount of food you eat is important— but what kinds of foods you eat matter, too. By incorporating healthy foods for weight loss into your diet, you can make significant strides towards your weight loss goals while still fueling your body with the nutrients it needs to function at its best.
The right foods can directly support your weight loss goals. Here, we go over some things to keep in mind when deciding what to eat (and drink) on your weight loss journey.
What Healthy Meals Are Good for Weight Loss?
What types of meals are good for weight loss? Everyone has their favorites, but what’s most important is to overall eat a healthy, balanced diet. At the core of your healthy eating plan should be a variety of foods that includes whole grains, lean meats, and an assortment of fruits and vegetables.
Reducing the number of calories you’re consuming is a typical weight loss goal. To lose weight, your body needs to burn more calories than it is taking in. This is known as CICO, or “calories in, calories out.” You need to get enough “calories out” through exercise to balance out the “calories in” you eat. You can work with your doctor to calculate the number of calories that you should safely aim to eat and burn each day.
Many people are concerned with specific nutrients, such as proteins and fats, in their meals. A good rule of thumb is to avoid foods high in saturated fats, as foods that are high in this fat can contribute to weight gain (think fast food burgers, processed snack cakes, and ice cream). Some types of fats, called unsaturated fats, are good for you. These include the fats that come from avocados and nuts. Foods with good fats are typically healthier options and can help to keep you feeling full.
When preparing meals using healthy foods for weight loss, pay attention to portion size and try to avoid using too much salt and butter. Healthy, filling meals that work towards your weight loss can still be foods you enjoy eating. Just because a meal is healthy doesn’t mean it can’t be packed with flavor. Have fun and experiment with preparing different weight loss meals to see what works for you!
Healthy Foods for Weight Loss
When you set out on your weight loss journey, knowing what to eat as part of your plan can turn out to be surprisingly difficult. Online research may produce conflicting information and individualized experiences. It can be tough to keep up with trendy diets and the latest superfood. However, finding easy-to-find and easy-to-make healthy foods for weight loss shouldn’t be difficult. In fact, you’re likely already familiar with many types of “diet” foods that can support your weight loss:
- Eggs: Eggs contain protein, good fat, and a wide range of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B12 and D. Eggs are also a good food for weight loss because they tend to be filling.
- Vegetables: Vegetables come in so many shapes, sizes, and varieties that you’re bound to find some you enjoy! Each type of vegetable packs a nutritional punch. Leafy greens like kale and spinach are packed with fiber and other nutrients. Veggies like broccoli and cauliflower are full of vitamins and can be cooked in many different ways.
- Salmon: One fish rises above the rest. Salmon contains protein and good fat, including omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and there is evidence to suggest that omega-3 can lower blood pressure, too.
- Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are good sources of both fiber and healthy fats. They’re easy to take on the go, making them an ideal snack when you’re trying to lose weight.
- Legumes: Legumes consist of foods like beans, peas, and lentils. Legumes are a good source of protein and healthy fats. Perhaps best of all, they’re typically inexpensive at the grocery store and last in your pantry.
- Berries: Even among fruits berries are one of the best foods for weight loss. Their high fiber and water content gives you more bang for your berry.
- Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt contains more protein than typical yogurt to help keep you fuller longer. Certain varieties contain live or active cultures of probiotic bacteria that can improve your gut health.
Weight Loss-Friendly Drinks
While the focus in weight loss is often on food, what you sip on is important, too. Drinks high in sugar, such as soda and juices, are not going to help you lose weight. However, some drinks pair well with weight loss.
Green tea is an excellent choice for weight loss. Plain green tea is very low in calories and has a high amount of antioxidants. If you prefer black tea, don’t worry! Black tea also contains antioxidants. Just be careful how late you drink either option—both types of tea are caffeinated.
Coffee, the most popular pick-me-up, can be a good weight loss drink option—if you don’t add a lot of sugar and cream (sorry, frappuccino lovers!). Because of the caffeine, some people who drink coffee experience some mild appetite suppression. While this may benefit your weight loss goals, it’s important that you’re still eating healthy foods alongside coffee to fuel your body.
Of course, the most important drink for weight loss is water. When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s essential to stay hydrated—especially if you’re exercising more often. By drinking enough water, you can also get an accurate picture of your hunger and ensure that your body and mind continue to function at a high level.
Talk to a Doctor About CONTRAVE
Healthy meal and diet foods can do more than just help you lose weight. By paying more attention to the foods you are putting in your body, you are becoming a more mindful eater. This will benefit your healthy lifestyle long after you reach your weight loss goals!
Frequently Asked Questions
Which foods are best for burning belly fat?
As you lose weight and fat overall you will lose fat from your stomach, too. An overall balanced diet is typically best for weight loss; look for foods that are high in protein and good fat. Healthy, filling meals for weight loss that will keep you full for longer include fish, legumes, lean meats, leafy vegetables, and eggs.
How can I quickly burn fat?
The best way to lose weight and burn fat is through a healthy diet paired with regular exercise. Work to improve your diet by incorporating some of the healthy foods for weight loss that we’ve listed in this article. If you’re really struggling to lose weight even with healthier eating and increased exercise, ask your doctor if a prescription weight loss is a good option for your weight loss journey.
There are prescription weight loss pills backed up by science and a long list of success stories. Talk to your doctor to learn about one of these medications to find out whether it’s right for you. You can also read more about how weight loss medication could potentially facilitate your weight loss journey.
What are good food substitutes for weight loss?
It’s easier than your think to swap unhealthy, calorie-dense foods with filling, nutrient-rich foods. Below are some simple food substitutes that can make any meal a little healthier:
- Making a sandwich? Swap out high-fat and -calorie mayo for mustards.
- Want something fizzy? Skip the soda and instead choose seltzer with some lemon.
- Pass on the popcorn—Eat nuts instead of chips or other buttery or salty snacks while watching a movie.
- On the go? Reach for fresh fruit instead of fruit bars packed with hidden sugars.
- Craving some stir-fry? Substitute riced cauliflower for rice to cut the calories (but none of the flavor!)