50 Healthy Foods To Lose Weight
When you’re trying to lose weight the first step is most often altering your diet but it can be hard to know what foods will help you shed the pounds and lose those extra inches, especially if you’re used to high calorie fast food like I used to be. With that in mind, that’s why I’ve lovingly researched and created this list of fifty healthy foods that will help you lose weight and, more importantly, keep it off! These foods are great for preventing water retention, speeding up your metabolism plus they’ll keep you feeling fuller for longer and help fight off those horrible cravings! They’re full of nutrients, vitamins and tasty goodness too, meaning they’e good for you all round. What more could you want? Enjoy, ladies, and don’t sniff at any of them if you haven’t tried them, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised, I certainly was!
Beans are a fantastic source of fibre and protein as well as various other nutrients which are essential to a balanced diet. As well as this, they’re really low in calories and a great source of slow release energy which keeps your metabolism up all day long. You get so many different types of beans too and all of them are good for you. Kidney beans, black beans, chick peas, whatever you like! While they may not be a meal on their own, try mixing them into a salad, adding some to your main meal, making a stew of them or throwing them in a wrap or burrito – you can be as creative as you like!
2. Green Tea
Green tea is fantastic when it comes to losing weight, stopping bloating and ridding your body of harmful toxins. It’s well known for helping the body to flush out excess fluids and speeding up the metabolism, both of which are great for helping you to lose those extra pounds. Personally, I’m not a fan of green tea but luck for me it comes in lots of variations. You can get it with a hint of lemon, peppermint, camomile – the supermarket shelves are lined with various types to suit everyones’ tastes. For extra goodness, try to buy your green tea organic too.
Tomatoes are a fantastic fat-fighting food. They reduce water retention and inflammation as well as reversing leptin resistance, something which is vital for helping to regulate our appetite and metabolism, especially if we want to lose those extra pounds. Even better, you can cook them in countless ways, add them to stews, pasta, sandwiches, you name it! Virtually any meal can be made healthier with just a small portion of tomatoes. They come in all shapes and sizes too meaning they range in flavour so they’re not always the same old taste. Personally I prefer cherry tomatoes but there’s also beef tomatoes, baby tomatoes, home grown tomatoes as well as many more! Why not stick a pot on your windowsill and you get get joy out of growing them as well as eating them?
Oranges are in fact one of the healthiest foods you can eat. As well as being low in calories. the have absolutely no fat in them. That’s right, NO fat – zero, zilch! Plus, per serving, they provide 160% of your daily serving of Vitamin C. Oh, and did I mention they’re filled with potassium? I’ll admit I didn’t know all this until I did my research for writing this but now I do I’ll be filling my fruit bowl with them later today! Sure, they’re pesky to peel but suddenly that little inconvenience seems trivial when you look at the much bigger (and much healthier!) picture.
5. Reduced Fat Milk
For some of us it’s extremely hard to give up a bowl of cereal for breakfast or forgo lots of milk in our tea just because it’s high in calories and fat. Well, the good news is that you don’t have to – there are plenty of alternatives. Whole milk (often known as ‘full fat milk’ – see the problem there?) is full of fat and calories so it’s something best avoided if you’re trying to lose weight. Instead, try swapping it for semi-skimmed milk or, even better, skimmed milk. If these lower fat milks aren’t what you’re used to then the taste may seem odd at first but don’t worry, after a few cups of tea you’ll wonder how you ever did without it! While we’re on the subject of milk, you can also try things like soya milk or almond milk too – they’re delicious and full of natural goodness too, a great alternative to whole milk or even reduced fat milk.
6. Reduced Fat Cheese
If you’ve just read the last point and are wondering about other low fat dairy products then wonder no more. Reduced fat cheese does exist and I can tell you from experience that it tastes exactly the same as normal cheese! I’m a sucker for a slice of cheese on toast or a slab of lasagne but if I’m cooking with reduced fat cheese then they’re no need to feel guilty about it. Different brands gave different stats but, for the most part, the reduced fat alternatives have less than half the calories and half the fat in them and, like I said, you honestly can’t taste the different!
Oats are incredibly filling which makes a lot of people think they can’t be good for weight loss. In fact, they’re incredibly good! Eating just one bowl with reduced fat milk is a great way to start your day. It will fill you up and provides a form of slow release energy to keep you going all day long. This slow release energy also helps to speed up your metabolism helping you to burn off calories and keep your weight loss on track. Oh, and did I mention how incredibly tasty they are? If oats and milk is a bit bland for you then check out some of the other foods on this list such as fruit and nuts which you can mix in to make the dish more exciting.
Peppermint is widely known for it’s great digestive qualities so you can guess why it’s great for helping you to lose weight. You can use it as a spice but personally my favourite way to get peppermint into my system is drinking it in the form of tea. Peppermint tea tastes lovely, is very relaxing and I love knowing that I’m drinking myself healthy by drinking it too. For best results, try drinking just three cups per day – this will help to kick your weight loss into check and, as an added bonus, it’s a fantastic way to get clear skin and a glowing complexion.
Lemon grass is a key ingredient in a lot of Thai foods, and no wonder, it tastes delicious. It’s a fantastic additive that brings your taste buds alive as well as being incredibly healthy and helping your body to burn fat.
Yes, I hear you. Almonds are high in calories, right? Right but that doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. Despite their high calories content, they’re not known for forcing you to pile on the pounds and they have loads of great health benefits. They’re really high in fibre which is great as it helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer so you’ll snack less and they’re filled with Vitamin E with is great for a glowing complexion. If you feel like snacking, try simply eating a handful of almonds, they weight will be falling off of you in no time.
Bananas are fantastic as a quick snack or something you can mix in with other foods to give them extra flavour. They’re wonderfully low in fat and cholesterol as well as being full of Vitamin C, B6 and fibre. You can eat them as they are, mash them up, mix them into cereal, yoghurt or even made a smoothie from them!
12. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a great quick fix body detox. Just a few capfuls of it stirred into your meals or cooked into your veggies acts as a digestive tonic which helps to stay off any harmful bacteria, relieves water retention in your system and flushes out the toxins in your body. It tastes lovely, is easy to use in cooking and has loads of great weight loss and body benefits, I recommend you give it a try!
Kale is officially one of the healthy foods out there and is an amazing fat fighter with hardly any calories per serving. It’s incredibly versatile too as you can juice it, boil it down, eat it raw – whatever you like! This leafy green really is taking over the salad world.
Low fat yoghurt is fantastic if you’re trying to lose weight as it’s a delicious yet still extremely healthy snack. It has virtually no fat, lots of protein and just one serving of low fat yoghurt contains roughly half of your recommended calcium intake per day. There are lots of flavour variations when it comes to yoghurt too – you can have natural, plain, greek, flavoured, it’s really up to you! I love eating plain yoghurt but if that doesn’t sound like you then how about mixing in some fresh fruit or perhaps a vanilla flavouring? Another great trick I learned was to mix in a dash of fresh fruit juice for a lovely, unique taste.
15. Cranberry Juice
For a healthy digestive and excretion system, cranberry juice is one of the best things you can drink. It’s a great antioxidant due to it’s high levels of vitamin C and is filled with helpful diuretic properties. It will help to rid your body of excess fluids and prevent bloating too. Just one glass of sugar free cranberry juice will have you losing weight in no time!
An apple a day keeps the doctor a way! Well, they saying’s an old one but it’s a goodie. Apples contain absolutely no fat and hardly any sodium or cholesterol. Plus, they’re bursting with vitamin C and fibre, making them a wonderfully healthy fat that won’t impact your diet at all. It’s worth pointing out that apples are far from boring too – each different brand has it’s own unique taste ranging from sweet to sour so there’s a type for everyone. I love using them to make my own apple juice or mixing into oats too.
It’s time to spice it up and kick start our weight loss by adding a little chilli into our diets. Adding just a little fresh chilli to your food is a fantastic way to boost your metabolism, something we need to help our bodies burn fat faster. Each single chilli pepper also contains twice your recommended allowance of vitamin C which is an essential antioxidant and is great for battling toxins in your body.
I love strawberries! They’re one of the sweetest fruits out there and intensely satisfying. They’re super healthy, rich in vitamin C, low in calories and saturated fats, plus they’d filled with lots of potassium and fibre. Oh, and did I mention how great they taste? With the summer fast rolling around, they’ll soon be in full season so you can buy them fresh from the shops or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even visit a farm where they let you pick those delicious strawbs yourself!
Bananas may well be filled with potassium but that’s nothing compared to melons. Half a melon has almost twice as much potassium in it than a single banana and it’s filled with anti-oxidants that are great for removing excess fluids from the body. It’s low calorie, filled with water and bursting with vitamin C. Each unique type of melon tastes utterly different so you can try out all the different flavours and not get bored too.
20. Leafy Greens
Lettuce, kale, spinach, cabbage – they’re all leafy greens and they’re all amazingly low in calories. Studies show that eating a portion of leafy greens with every meal is a great way to lose weight seeing as they’re so low in calories, filled with various other nutrients and vitamins which are good for you and still manage to fill you up.
I mentioned melons earlier but (fun fact!) I bet you didn’t know that cucumbers are in fact a part of the melon family. That said, they’re filled with much of the same goodness as have all the same great slimming properties. They ease water retention, stop bloating and are a natural diuretic too.If you find cucumber a little bland then try using it as a tasty additive to a salad, a side to your meal or even throw it in a sandwich or wrap for lunch.
Apricots are another fantastic fruit to help you lose weight. They’re extremely low in calories and, unlike a lot of fruits, are very low in sugar too. If you’ve got a high cholesterol then I suggest you start eating raw apricots to help rebalance your system. As well as all of this, they’re full of vitamin A, vitamin C and are bursting with fibre.
Watercress is good for so many reasons I’m not sure where to start! It’s filled with nutrients including vitamins B1, B2, B6, C and E and also is bursting with minerals such as carotene, potassium and manganese. All this together makes watercress into a powerful cleansing agent which ultimately improves digestion and nourishes your skin giving you a glowing complexion. It flushed out toxins and excess fluids to help you look and feel great while losing weight. Even better, it’s an amazing source of iodine to help you boost your metabolism. Did I get everything?
Cherries are another fabulous fruit for our list. They’re low in calories, low in sodium whilst being high in vitamin C and fibre too. They make for a fantastic snack or an addition to a fruit salad. If you want to burn a few extra calories, go an explore the countryside for some cherry trees and pick them fresh to fuel your journey – it’s what I do every summer!
Cinnamon is my absolute favourite spice so you can imagine how delighted I was when I realised how incredibly good for me it was too! The sweet spice is great to help regulate blood sugar levels seeing as it stimulates insulin production. Evidence suggests that just a small sprinkling of cinnamon could help make your fat cells more responsive to insulin too and as a result they’re much less likely to hold onto excess energy and will burn your existing fat stores instead.
You may or may not have heard all the rage about blueberries lately but, either way, there’s no denying how incredibly good for you they are. In fact, they’re supposed to be one of the healthiest foods for you. They’re incredibly low in calories, fat, sodium and cholesterol, not to mention they’re filled with all the goodness of potassium and vitamin C too! Even better, they’re also one of these mythical super foods meaning they’re amazing at boosting your metabolism!
Artichokes are an extremely underrated food if you ask me. They’re rich in fibre which helps to speed up the digestive process, they help to relieve bloating and contain very few calories. If you stubble with digestion or have a digestive disorder such as IBS then nutritionists highly recommend artichokes to ease your system.
Yes, it’s true, those little green trees are fantastic when it comes to losing weight. They’re bursting with vitamin C (each portion has 135% of your daily value, in fact!), plenty of vitamin A, B6, E and K as well as being an amazing source of fibre. As kids we may have hated them but as adults I’m sure we can all appreciate how good for us those little green trees actually are.
29. Brown Rice
Don’t worry if you love your rice dishes but are trying to lose weight, rice doesn’t have to be off the menu! Simply switch to brown rice for a tasty and healthier alternative. It’s rich is proteins and vitamins which are great for strengthening your muscles and it’s high supply of B vitamins help to burn off calories faster, making it much better for you than white rice. It tastes much the same as white rice but the health benefits make the swap well worth it.
Carrots are listed as one of the healthiest foods you can eat and seeing as they have only 5 calories per serving it’s little wonder! They have hardly any fat in them and are amazing at helping to lower your cholesterol too. When it comes to what they do have in them, they’re filled with iron, fibre, vitamins A, B6, C and K – wow! You can eat them raw or cooked and they taste delicious either way so you can eat them as a snack or as part of a meal. The down side? I’m afraid that no matter how many carrots you eat you still won’t be able to see in the dark (though they will improve your overall eyesight!).
I hear you, nuts are terrible when it comes to losing weight, right? Well, yeah, in a sense. But it’s also true that everything is good for you in moderation too. Just a small handful of peanuts between meals could stop you from snacking and overeating. Plus, they’re rich in protein, fibre, omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E too.
If you don’t know what asparagus is or have never tasted it then get your self to the shops now! Not only does it taste lovely as an accompaniment to your meals (or dipped into yoghurt for a healthy snack) it’s packed full of vitamins, potassium and zinc. In each spear you’ll find vitamins A, B-complex, C and E – how many other vegetables have that much goodness in each bite? It’s unbelievably healthy and is great for clearing your skin and removing and excess fluids from the body.
33. Sweet Potato
French fries? Nah, I’ll have sweet potato fries instead. If you haven’t said those words yet then I highly advise you do. Sweet potatoes are full of vitamin A – just 200g of them contains 769% of the vitamin A you need per day which makes them one of the healthiest foods available! Saturated fat and cholesterol may as well be non existent in sweet potatoes and there’s hardly any sodium in them too! You really can’t go wrong with a sweet potato and you can use them just the same as you would a regular potato too – mash them, bake them, stew them. Personally, I think they taste miles better than regular potatoes too. While we’re on the subject, I highly recommend sweet potato and onion soup for an utterly delicious and healthy meal, you won’t regret it!
I’m a sucker for an onion, raw or cooked, even if they do make me cry. If you are too then you’ll be pleased to know that raw onions are fat and cholesterol free and have low amounts of sodium and virtually no sugar in them too. They’re filled with various vitamins, folate and fibre as well, meaning that eaten raw they’re great for aiding weight loss. It’s when you cook them that they become fatty so if you do be careful what oils and butters you add to them.
While I’m afraid to say that celery isn’t technically a negative calorie food, you do burn calories while eating and digesting it so it’s easy to see where that myth came from. Celery is filled with all kind go goodness, especially when it’s uncooked, and cane eaten as a healthy snack or added to salads. To get it’s full goodness, keep it uncooked and you’ll see the pounds falling off of you.
36. Sunflower Seeds
Just a handful of sunflower seeds makes for a deliciously healthy snack which helps to keep you full for longer, aids digestion and keeps your cravings at bay. They’re filled with dietary fibre and the antioxidant vitamin E, protein and an abundance of complex carbs. Keep a small bag of them in your purse to nibble on when you get peckish – it’s tasty and will see you through to your next meal.
Eating lots of oily fish is great for toning up your stomach while you lose those excess pounds. Mackerel is high in protein while being low in saturated fats, making it tremendously good for you. It’s also rich is omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which are absolutely crucial for proper brain function so not only will eating mackerel help make you slimmer but it may also make you smarter. Win, win!
38. Whole Wheat Bread
Just because you’re on a diet doesn’t mean you have to cut out bread completely. Simply switch to whole wheat instead to get the same great taste with an abundance of health benefits. Whole wheat bread is much less processed than while bread meaning it had a higher fibre content. It also takes longer for your body to break down as it’s a complex carbohydrate, meaning you’ll feel fuller for longer and won’t be tempted by tasty snacks. Even after you’ve reached your weight loss target, you’d do well to stick to eating whole wheat bread and make it a lifestyle change.
39. Whole Wheat Cereals
If you only just jump out of bed ten minutes before you need to leave the house, then it’s likely that cereal is the easiest breakfast option for you. That said, too many cereals out there are filled with sugars and are processed so there’s very little goodness left in them. Instead, look out for whole wheat cereals. They’re filled with vitamins, complex carbs and fibre so they’re great for you. Personally, I don’t think you can beat a nice, soggy bowl of Kellog’s Bran Flakes! If you’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth, you can mix in some dried or fresh fruit to curb the craving, just whatever you do remember to use your reduced fat milk!
Like mackerel, salmon is a great source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and lean protein meaning it’s great to help you cut down on belly fat. It’s best for you if you grill or steam it and you can serve it up with lots of the other foods we’ve mentioned such as chilli or asparagus for a truly healthy meal. Salmon is utterly delicious and oh so good for you, making a great addition to any diet whether you’re trying to lose weight or not.
41. Skinless Chicken Breast
If you’re a fan of chicken but are worried it may not be helping your weight loss then I have a simple solution to help you – simply peel of the sin and voila, it’s instantly healthier! Most of the fat in chicken is in the skin you see so once you peel it off your chicken breast becomes a low fat nutrition piece of meat. You can cook it in virtually any way possible but personally my favourite way to eat chicken while trying to lose weight is stir fried with a side of delicious veggies or in a steaming bowl of home made soup. Yum!
We all need a little treat now and again, even if we are trying to lose weight and blast away those inched. That’s where popcorn comes in. Yes, you heard me, popcorn. Believe it or not, it can actually be a very nutritious and filling snack which can kill your cravings while not damaging all your healthy progress. Plain or lightly salted popcorn is high in protein, fibre and is low in calories and a good source of whole grain. So long as you stay away from the calorific, sinful flavours like butter, caramel, cheese and chocolate, there’s no reason you can’t indulge in a little popcorn now and again.
I mentioned peanuts before but now it’s time to take a broader look at things. Nuts may well be high in calories and fat but that doesn’t mean they’re not good for you. In fact, they’re absolutely bursting with nutritional goodness, making them an amazing snack food which is filling, staves off over-eating, and not to mention tasty too! I like to carry little bags of nuts around with me to eat in those moments when the cravings start or I deem it to be snack time. Nuts are rich in vitamin E, folic acid, magnesium, protein, fibre, copper, monounsaturated fat – need I go on? Peanuts, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, the choice is yours!
Seeds have virtually all the same great nutritional properties as nuts as well as the added benefits as being rich in zinc and minerals too. They’re best eaten raw but of course you can buy them roasted which is still very healthy too. Even better, you can mix them in to your bag of nuts for a tasty, varied, nutritional snack.
45. Trail Mix
Leading on from nuts and seeds, trail mix is an amazing snack or great for mixing into your morning bowl of cereal or oats. You can buy lots of different ready made bags at the shops but I suggest making up your own bag, that way you can see exactly what goes into it and can choose all your favourite flavours. You can mix up nuts, seeds, dried fruit, a dash of granola and even chunks of dark chocolate which has it’s own great healthy benefits. Personally, I think trail mixes are the ultimate snack. They’re nutritional, tasty and so easy to make too! Just be sure to monitor your portions however as these tasty treats can be oh so addictive.
46. Canned Tuna In Water
Despite what you may think, canned tuna can in fact be very good for you. It’s a healthy food choice which is low in calories when it’s packed in water opposed to brine or sunflower oil. It’s also rich in omega 3 fatty acids meaning it’s great for helping to lower high blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and increase HDL cholesterol. If you’re having your tuna on a sandwich or in a salad that’s fine, just be sure not to mix it with lots of full fat mayonnaise – there are plenty of lighter options available, my favourite of which is a simple splash of lemon juice.
47. Lean Beef
I love beef but sadly it’s extremely fatty which means it’s terrible for us if we’re trying to lose weight. Despite that, it’s a great source of zinc, iron, selenium, protein and vitamin B12 so it does fill you with lots of goodness too. If, like me, you can’t imagine life without things like lasagne, burgers, or spaghetti bolognese then lean beef is a great healthy option. It’s got all the same nutritional benefits as regular beef just without all the fat and cholesterol. I honestly don’t know why people aren’t buying it as a replacement to regular beef even if they aren’t trying to lose weight, it’s just seems a much better option to me. I’ll admit, some people do say it doesn’t taste quite so good but honestly I can’t tell the difference! One thing I will say is, no matter how lean it claims to be you’ll always be able to drain some fat off to make it that bit better for you.
Yes, pumpkins are good for more than just carving come Halloween. Cooked pumpkin is extremely good for your body seeing as it doesn’t have a great deal of cholesterol, saturated fats, sodium or sugar in it. It’s full of good vitamins too which makes it great for aiding weight loss. You can cook it and use it in various different ways but personally I recommend pumpkin soup. Yum!
Avocado is great for soothing the digestive system, especially after it’s been heated by spicy foods. It also contains lots of potassium which regulates fluid balance and magnesium which prevents constipation. With that said, bring on the guacamole!
Okay, okay, so water isn’t a food but I can’t stress how important it is in any diet – it’s one of the key factors to whether or not your weight loss will be a success or not so it’s important we drink plenty. Drinking just eight glasses of water per day gives our bodies a detox, rids us of bad toxins, speeds up our metabolism, improves our complexion, has absolutely no calories, makes us feel full so we snack less – need I go on? In addition to eating all the foods I’ve just suggested, make sure you drink plenty of water per day to keep your body in tip top condition and the pounds falling off.
So there you have it, ladies, fifty foods (and a few sneaky drinks!) to help you to lose weight. They’re all great additions to any diet and all of them make for a tasty way to help you to shed those extra pounds. And remember, while you may be trying to lose weight now, a diet shouldn’t be a diet. It should be a lifestyle change and you should be able to keep up the good work long after you’ve shed that list pound so you’re able to maintain your new trim figure. If you’d like some extra help, why not check out some of my other helpful articles which are full of tips and tricks to help you lose weight? 10 Diets For Women That Work, How To Lose Belly Fat Fast and How To Lose Inner Thigh Fat Fast For Women are three of my favourites and they’re tried and tested tips by me and lots of other real women.
If you’ve enjoyed this article then I’d love to hear from you! Please, let me know what you think and if any of these foods have helped you shed some pounds or if you’re intending to try them. Also, if you’ve got any great recipes for these foods I’d love to try them!
Happy dieting, ladies, and good luck! Just remember – it’s a lifestyle change, not a diet. That’s the best way to ensure all your hard work doesn’t go to wast once you reach your target weight.
(All images sourced via pinterest.com)