Healthiest Foods: 16 Best Foods to Eat If You Want to Lose Weight

One of the easiest and “fastest ways to lose weight” is to base your diet around HEALTHY FOODS, which you can probably agree with. 

It’s nothing new there. 

But here is what you probably didn’t know. 

Certain foods have a Higher Thermic Effect. 

What’s that? You may ask. 

Let me explain. 

Some foods require more energy than others in order to be metabolized. It means you burn a greater amount of calories eating and processing them. 

Sounds like a great deal? Because it is! 

And that’s exactly what foods with a higher thermic effect do. 

Thermogenic foods are simply foods that require more energy to digest.

When you base your diet around those foods…..even without cutting calories….. you end up taking in fewer calories. 

You also feel less hungry and fuller eating them. 

The best part is you also get to maximize your metabolism. 

If they sound like weight loss friendly foods? That’s because they are.

If you’re serious about losing weight, I HIGHLY recommend adding thermogenic foods into your diet.

They will help you tremendously with your weight loss. 

Now the question is, what foods are thermogenic foods? 

Foods that are high in fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 

Yes, foods that are a nutritional powerhouse. 

One example is eggs. 

One large egg contains 6.3 grams of high-quality protein and 70 calories. 

In addition to their high-protein content, eggs also contain metabolism boosting vitamin B12, a nutrient known to support fat breakdown.

Like eggs, there are plenty of other foods with secret metabolism-boosting nutrients just like that. 

Here, I’ve put together a list of 16 foods with a high thermic effect.

Grab this list and add them to your diet today. 

16 Healthiest Foods for Weight Loss

Healthiest foods for weight loss

1. Bananas

Bananas are a wonderful fruit with tons of nutrients that have heart, digestion, and weight loss benefits.

For starters, bananas are very filling due to their fiber content, which studies have consistently linked to lower body weight and weight loss. This is despite banana’s high calories— 105 calories per medium-sized banana.

And because bananas are naturally sweet, they are perfect for satisfying your sweet cravings.

Overall they are a slimming superfood with all types of health benefits.

But always go for a slightly greener banana, as it contains more resistant starch than its ripe version.

Besides its health quality, bananas are highly convenient wrapped in a thick outer layer, which makes them an excellent food on the go. 

To pack in more power and energy, pair it with a tablespoon of nut butter. 

2. Blueberries

With just 6 calories per gram, blueberries are very low in calories

Yet, they are high in fiber, containing 3.6 grams per cup, equivalent to 14% of your daily recommended value.

Since fiber adds bulk to your food while contributing fewer calories, it leaves a positive impact on your weight and satiety.

Blueberries are also known for its high antioxidant content, which itself qualifies them as a superfood. 

Antioxidants help protect the bodies against free radicals that destroy cell structures in the body, thus a food like blueberries is praised for their disease preventative property.

Altogether, blueberries make a nice nutritious snack both tasty and filling. They are a perfect fruit for people of all ages. 

3. Quinoa

To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you take in.

Foods like quinoa contain certain nutrients that aid this process by revving up your metabolism and controlling your hunger. 

One nutrient to speak of is protein.

Quinoa is a protein-packed food carrying over 5 grams of protein per cup of cooked quinoa. This protein content links to its effectiveness as an appetite suppressant and a fat burner (1).  

Quinoa is also gluten-free, and its protein is considered complete containing all nine essential amino acids, making it a perfect non-meaty way to pack on protein.

Overall, quinoa is a quality health food high in protein and fiber and has a low glycemic index score. All of which have been linked to weight loss and improvement in overall health.

4. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are tiny edible seeds packed with nutrients like, fiber, protein, and antioxidants that can help you lose weight.

In addition, chia seeds also contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, and calcium— all essential nutrients for permanent weight loss.

In every ounce (28g), there are 11 grams of fiber, 4.4 grams of high-quality protein, and 50 grams of carbs.

They also soak up water up to 12 times their weight due to its fiber. And with that water absorption, they expand and turn gel-like giving you satisfaction and fullness.

5. Avocado

Avocados are tasty and very filling because of their healthy fat content. They’re particularly high in monounsaturated fatty acids, the same heart-healthy fat olive oil is known for.

Because of this, avocados take longer to digest than other foods, which means it can effectively reduce your appetite and decreases the calories intake. 

Monounsaturated oleic acid has also been shown to reduce belly fat.

Avocados have also been found to significantly enhance carotenoid absorption when added to salad and salsa according to a study published In The Journal of Nutrition (2).

There’s no reason to be afraid of eating fats—as long as they’re the right ones as in the case of avocados. 

This creamy fruit is also packed with fiber and protein. Both nutrients seem to influence hunger, increase satiety, and prevent overeating.  

All of which can help you lose weight. 

6. Grapefruit

Even if you change nothing else about your diet, eating half a grapefruit before each meal may help you lose weight (3).

This is why grapefruit makes such a frequent appearance in many weight loss diets including 3 Day Military Diet Plan

A compound in the tangy fruit can lower insulin and a fat-storage hormone. All of which can lead to weight loss.

It’s also a good source of protein, and because it’s at least 90% water, it can fill you up and help you eat less overall.

Healthiest Food List Table

Bananas 1 medium 1.3 g 3.1 g 27 g 105 
Blueberries 1 cup (148g) 1.1 g 3.6 g  21.4g 84.4
Quinoa 1 cup 8.5g 5.2g 39.4g 222
Chia Seeds 1 oz (28g) 4.4g 11g 50.0g 137
Avocado 1 cup, cubes (150) 3.0g 10.1g 12.8g 240
Grapefruit 1/2 fruit (123g) 0.9g 2.0g 13.1g 51.7
Kale 1 cup (67g) 2.2g 1.3g 24.2g 33
Beans (Adzuki) 1 cup (197 g) 17.3g 16.8g 57.0g 294
Salmon 3 oz 18.8g 0.0g 0.2 g 175
Eggs 1 Large 6.3g 0.0g 1.6g 71.5
Nuts (Almond) 1 oz (28g) 5.9g 3.4g 24.6g 161
Apple Cider Vinegar 1 cup (239g) 0.0 0.0g 2.2g 50.2
Greek Yogurt 2/3 cup (150g) 11.0g 0.0g 5.0g 130
Dark Chocolate 70-85% Cacao Solids 1 oz (28g) 2.2g 3.1g 12.8g 168
Coffee 1 cup (8 lf oz) 0.3g 0.0g 0.0g 2.4
Green Tea 1 cup (8 lf oz) 0.0g 0.0g 0.47g 2

7. Kale

All leafy greens are healthy and good for you.

But kale particularly is one of my favorite superfoods. It contain several nutrients that make them a perfect weight loss food.

Protein, fiber, and calcium just to name a few.

Calcium, in particular, is said to aid fat burning in many studies, including this one here (4).

In addition to their nutrient density, they are also low in both calories and carbohydrates. Two key factors that can help you lose weight.

Eating leafy greens like kale is a great way to add the volume to your meals without ever increasing the overall calories. Since research shows how low-calorie meals help make people consume fewer calories, it’s a legit weight loss food you can always feel good about eating (5). 

8. Beans

Beans are a great way to add valuable nutrients like protein and fiber to your diet.

They are two key nutrients in a weight loss diet as they lead to satiety, reduce hunger, and prevent overeating. 

A cup of black beans packs a whopping 15 grams of satisfying protein and doesn’t contain any of the saturated fat found in other protein sources, like red meat.

On the flip side, beans also tend to contain some resistant starch, which some may not have much tolerance for. 

For this reason, it is important to prepare them properly.

9. Salmon

Salmon is one of the healthiest fish you can eat.

Full of protein and heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, which will keep you full for hours after eating, all without adding calories to your diet.

Salmon like other fish contains a nutrient called iodine, which is very necessary for thyroid function. 

And this has direct importance to your diet as the thyroid regulates your metabolism (6).

If you don’t like salmon, you can substitute it with mackerel, trout, or sardines. 

10. Eggs

Eggs get a less than stellar reputation when it comes to weight loss. But the breakfast staple is loaded with protein that will curb your appetite. 

One study shows that eating eggs instead of bagels for breakfast led to more satiety and less calorie intake for 3 days (7).

And if you are worried about cholesterol, don’t. 

One study found that egg eaters don’t necessarily have higher bad cholesterol or lower good cholesterol than bagel eaters (8).

In other words, egg consumption did not influence one’s cholesterol levels. 

11. Nuts

Nuts are certified superfoods that contain several nutrients that can help you lose weight and slim down.

Thanks to their perfect balance of fiber, protein, healthy fats, and other vitamins and minerals, nuts help ward off hunger, helping people to eat less.

Almonds, in particular, can be helpful in melting those extra pounds off.

According to one study, people followed a low-calorie diet and ate 3 oz of almonds daily lost on average 62% more weight than those on a high-carb diet (9).

Moreover, people who added nuts daily to their low-cal diet lost more weight than people who followed the same diet but swapped almonds for a carb-heavy snack like crackers.

In another study of 100 overweight women found that those consuming almonds lost more weight than those in the nut-free group. They also lost more weight around their belly (10).

However, be mindful of how much nuts you eat, even though nuts are considered a weight loss friendly food, they’re still high in calories and fat.

In case of almonds, there’s about 160 calories and 14 grams of fat per 1 oz. But you’ll also get 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of dietary fiber.

Just don’t go overboard when eating nuts.

12. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is one of the most popular weight loss beverages in the natural health community. It’s getting as much buzz as the military diet in terms of helping people to shed pounds very quickly.

Many health bloggers recommend mixing a teaspoon of ACV in a large glass of water before a meal. It works as an appetite suppressant, helping dieters to feel fuller so they’ll eat fewer calories during meal time. This leads to a reduction in calorie intake.

Scientific research has shown that taking apple cider vinegar at a high-carbohydrate meal potentially leads to increase in satiety, which makes people eat almost 200-275 calories fewer than they would normally take in(1112).

Another study saw that daily intake of 15 to 30 ml of ACV for 12 weeks lead to up to 3.7 pounds or 1.7 kg in weight loss in obese individuals (13).

13. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is incredibly healthy and good for your health.

Not only it’s rich in protein, Greek yogurt is very high in calcium, a nutrient that can help you burn fat and lose weight, according to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity (14).

The study reported that dieters who ate 3 servings of yogurt per day lost 22 percent more weight and 61% more body fat than those who simply reduced their calorie intakes without adding calcium to their diet.

And those that lost the most weight were also able to protect their lean muscle mass, which is critical when dieting because the muscle mass is essential for maintaining a high metabolism.

Another benefit to eating yogurt is that it may help support your immune system, reducing overall inflammation in the body.

Lastly, yogurt also contains live probiotic bacteria that can help improve your gut function.

Full-fat dairy, like Greek yogurt, has also been linked to reduce the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes (15).

14. Dark Chocolate

If you’re a chocolate lover like me, it’s time to rejoice!

Chocolate is by far my favorite weight loss friendly food.

Indulging in a piece of dark chocolate before a meal may help you feel full longer and eat less comes a mealtime.

Dark chocolate contains dietary fiber, which helps to keep appetite in check and increase the feeling of fullness and satiety.

3.5-ounce bar of 70% dark chocolate contains around 16% of your daily recommended intake of fiber.

Monounsaturated fatty acids, the good fats found in avocados and olives are also present in cacao, giving this indulgence a boost for your metabolism and fat burning (16).

15. Coffee

A cup of coffee in the morning is a must for most of us. 

But did you know your daily ritual can actually help you lose weight too?

Yes, drinking a cup of coffee daily can help you lose weight in several ways.

First, there’s an increase in metabolic effect by up to 11% (17).

Other research shows that caffeine in coffee can boost fat burning by as much as 10% in obese individuals and nearly 30% in lean people (18).

Second, coffee can directly signal the fat cells to use as an energy source as opposed to glycogen. Which means that your body will be triggered to burn more fat.

But these benefits are only extended to black coffee, sans milk, cream, and sugar. 

16. Green Tea 

Green tea is the world’s healthiest drink.

And that’s not an overstatement. 

It’s actually no surprise since drinking green tea can improve almost every aspect of your health including your brain health and metabolism. 

If you look at the ingredients in most weight loss supplements, chances are green tea or green tea extract is listed.

Studies have shown that green tea can increase your fat metabolization rate, upping your fat burning (1920). 

Green tea contains a key fat burning compounds called epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, a potent antioxidant thought to be an effective stimulator of thermogenesis, which is the biochemical process by which fat in the body is burned.

In one study, 4% increase in calorie burning was seen in 10 healthy men when they had green tea (21). 

A different study showed that fat oxidation bumped up by 17%, indicating that green tea may selectively increase the burning of fat (22).

Some say it may be the caffeine content in green tea that boosts metabolism. Since caffeine itself has also been shown to effective at mobilizing fat and making available to be used as energy.

The Takeaway

There you have it!

16 of the healthiest foods you can eat to lose weight, gain more energy, and feel amazing. 

Basing your diet around healthy foods on this list will have a powerful effect on your metabolism, hunger, and your fat burning hormones.

Here are some more articles about foods and weight loss:

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