Whether you want to jumpstart your weight loss journey or need a sustainable diet that works, I’ve got you! This post will guide you on the best foods for weight loss…with some awesome recipes too!
I’ve been there and tried everything, y’all.
The struggle was real for me back then. If you’ve read my weight loss journey, you know that I went to great lengths to make clean-eating and fitness fun, simple, and yummy… Because that’s just what makes it WORK.
Long-term and without needless suffering.
So after a few years, a wedding, some (beautiful) babies, and lots of trial and error, I decided I wanted to help more people too. You know, a life purpose of sorts!
My goal is to show you that having a healthy lifestyle isn’t painful or boring at all! It actually makes things simpler and cooler. So if you’re here to discover the best foods for weight loss, welcome! I’m here for it and here for you.
This post shares my top 5 favorite foods for shedding pounds (consistently, over time) plus super delish recipes you can try! Read on further so we can get you going on the fun fitness wagon. Let’s go!
What Are The Worst Foods to Eat When Trying To Lose Weight?
When it comes to food: you gotta lose some to win some. I know it feels especially hard at the start (when we have cravings and feel like we’re giving up more than we’re getting) but it’s going to make you healthier and happier in the long run.
Plus there’s often a healthier version for the “bad stuff”. Trust me! It’s why I started this blog.
But for now, below are some foods you’ll want to avoid:
- Potato chips: Duh. But, hello yummy and healthy alternatives (like these perfectly crispy homemade baked pita chips.) Traditional potato chips simply aren’t doing you any favors. These empty calories pack a lot of sodium which adds to water weight and weight gain.
- Processed meat: While I’m a big advocate of protein…highly processed meat (hot dogs, pepperoni, poor quality deli meats) is hurting you more than it’s helping. It’s high in sodium, additives, and calories which begin tipping to the scale fairly quickly.
* Read this post for the Top 10 Best Packaged Deli Meats (And Which Ones To Avoid!)
- Restaurant Desserts: Hard one, I know. But the servings are usually way too big! And they’re often made with highly processed milk and refined sugar. These increase your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
- Alcohol: A little alcohol here and there won’t derail your weight loss goals but you need to be mindful about it. A typical can of beer is about 100 calories (light) to 150+ (regular). A rum coke goes for around 185. And a glass of wine is around 130 per glass. If enjoyed regularly, it adds up.
- Granola bars: We’ve been conditioned to think these are healthy snacks. But most store-bought ones contain lots of added sugar, calories, and artificial ingredients. Some brands contain up to 15 grams of sugar per serving! And, guess what. There’s no nutrition in them either.
*If you’re looking for a healthier yummy option, try these No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls.
Replace these empty calories with healthy options like whole grains, nuts, fatty fish, and cottage cheese, and for those with a sweet tooth, I have 50+ Healthy Desserts That Are Shockingly Delicious. For realz!
How Do You Speed Up Weight Loss?
One of the most efficient ways to speed up weight loss is to rev up your metabolism. The faster it is, the more calories your body can burn (even while at rest). However, it tends to slow down as we age. But fear not, my friend. There are ways to get it up and running faster.
Below are simple ways to boost your metabolism:
- Eat spicy foods
- Drink more cold water
- Consume more protein in each meal
- Build more muscle
- Try high intensity workouts
- Lift weights
- Drink green tea
- Get enough sleep
Combining some of these simple tips with clean eating and portion control can truly make a difference.
What Foods Burn Belly Fat?
Getting rid of belly fat is a common goal alongside losing weight for most people. But sometimes, it can feel like a struggle to achieve this even if we seem to be shedding some pounds.
If you’re looking to flatten that belly once and for all, here are some foods that may help with that (take note of all of the yummy vegetables):
- Spinach and other leafy greens
What Are The Best Foods For Weight Loss?
A great way to lose weight and sustain awesome results is to eat better. That means choosing nutrient-dense foods, healthier ingredients, and portioning your food. All while enjoying it! Healthy weight loss will soon follow.
1. Chia Seeds
Adding a spoonful (or two) of chia seeds to your diet is a great way to get in nutrients and fill yourself up. They’re super low in calories, are high protein in relation to their mass (a little goes a LONG way), and have many health benefits! I personally love adding them to salads, smoothies, yogurt, and my favorite: pudding!
Chia seeds are a fabulous source of omega-3 fatty acids too. Try this Overnight Chocolate Chia Pudding, it’s so rich and decadent you’ll forget that it’s even healthy!
2. Squash Noodles
Did you know that the average American eats around 15.5 pounds of pasta yearly? That’s loads of calories and refined ingredients going into your system. Really, you want to avoid refined foods as much as possible to reduce inflammation and bloating. And think fewer calories but more taste!
I LOVE PASTA so not eating it as often was hard. Luckily, squash noodles are a great substitute and they’re low-calorie, low carb and gluten-free! Try this Spaghetti Squash with Pad Thai Sauce. Or these mouth watering Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Bowls.
There’s a reason why oatmeal has always been a popular alternative to your typical toast. It’s PACKED with fiber, which can help reduce cholesterol levels and aid with digestion.
Keep in mind that not all oats are created equally. I recommend steel cut oats because they are the least processed of their kind. They’re also chewier when cooked so it’s a win-win.
This Strawberries and Cream Steel Cut Oats recipe is my go-to dish whenever I want something warm and filling in the morning. Add a dollop of Greek yogurt for extra protein.
Eggs are amazing. Love them. They’re loaded with amino acids, antioxidants and healthy fats. And there’s absolutely no need to confine yourself to strictly hard-boiled eggs! There are many ways for you to really enjoy eating eggs without actually tipping the scale.
One egg has just over 6 grams of protein. Lean protein = muscle mass, so combine nutritional egg recipes and extra walking for a slimmer and stronger you.
5. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are the bomb. They’re an excellent source of beta-carotene, which promotes healthy skin, boosts immunity, and improves eye health and vision. They also fill you up well.
If you’re looking for a yummy snack packed with nutrients and flavor, try these Sweet Potato Nachos. And go all in with How To Cook Sweet Potatoes + 19 Easy Sweet Potato Recipes
That wraps up my best foods for weight loss list! I hope it inspired you to explore amazing recipes that don’t make you feel restricted. The key to sustainable weight loss is to enjoy the process. Eating clean and well can also mean more fun and delicious meals for you. Yay!
If you’re looking for an actual meal plan to jumpstart your fitness journey, check out my 30-Day Healthy Program. You’ll learn how to eat right, feel lighter, and even gain more energy while learning amazing recipes. Teaser: think salmon, avocados, chicken, brussels sprouts, and lentils. Almonds and dark chocolate too… I could go on and on, seriously!
This post contains affiliate links for products I use regularly and highly recommend.