35 Healthy Weight Loss Meals and Snacks
Foods that fight fat
Losing weight—and keeping the pounds off—isn't a quick or easy process, but a few simple diet tricks can be a big help along the way. Our favorite? Eating lots of protein, fiber, and healthy carbs, which boost your metabolism and keep you feeling energized and satisfied.
If you're not sure how to work these calorie-burning ingredients into your daily menu, start with these recipes. They all include at least one weight-loss superfood, and, best of all, they can be made in 30 minutes or less!
Broccoli and feta omelet with toast
This easy breakfast recipe, which takes just 15 minutes start to finish, packs a one-two punch that will leave you feeling satisfied yet energized.
The broccoli provides filling fiber (and just 30 calories per serving), while the protein-loaded eggs curb appetite and will help stave off those late-morning cravings.
Try this recipe: Broccoli and feta omelet with toast
Grilled chicken cutlets With summer succotash
You can burn up to 300 extra calories every day just by eating the right foods. This chicken recipe with summer succotash is a perfect weight loss meal: It burns fat and calories, helping you to slim down faster. Plus, it only takes 5 minutes to make!
Try this recipe: Grilled Chicken Cutlets with Summer Succotash
Spiced Green Tea Smoothie
Green tea is one of the top fat-burning foods, thanks to a metabolism-boosting compound known as EGCG. In one study, drinking four cups of green tea a day helped people shed more than six pounds in eight weeks!
This rich smoothie is perfect if you get tired of sipping hot green tea. Flavored with cayenne spices, lemon, and agave nectar, it provides all the nutritional benefits of green tea and will fill you up, to boot.
Try this recipe: Spiced Green Tea Smoothie
Honey grapefruit with banana
You can't go wrong with this tangy tropical fruit salad, perfect for breakfast or as a colorful side dish at brunch. Grapefruit is one of the best foods for weight loss, studies show—perhaps because of the effect it has on insulin, a fat-storage hormone.
What's more, grapefruit is deceptively filling. It has one of the highest water concentrations of any fruit (about 90% of its weight is water), and all that juice fills you up fast and prevents overeating.
Try this recipe: Honey Grapefruit with Banana
White bean and herb hummus with crudites
Tired of bland supermarket hummus? It only takes five minutes to whip up a batch of this flavorful, fiber-rich version in your own kitchen. All you need is four ingredients: lemon, hearty-healthy olive oil, chives, and—last but not least—white beans, which contain nearly 4 grams of resistant starch per serving.
Pair with assorted raw vegetables, like broccoli, to get even more fiber and fat-burning resistant starch from this wholesome snack.
Try this recipe: White Bean and Herb Hummus with Crudites
Chocolate-dipped banana bites
Dessert doesn't have to erase a healthy meal! The bananas in this easier-than-pie dessert—all you need is a knife and a microwave—are a rich source of resistant starch, a type of healthy carbohydrate that helps you burn calories and eat less.
As an added bonus, the semisweet chocolate contains healthy fats to further rev your metabolism.
Try this recipe: Chocolate-Dipped Banana Bites
BBQ turkey burgers
This fresh spin on burgers is a delicious new way to cut back on beef and eat more turkey, an excellent source of lean protein and a favorite weight-loss food of Jillian Michaels. "Lean protein helps you stay fuller for longer," Michaels tells us. "It has the amino acids that are the building blocks for muscle."
Try this recipe: BBQ Turkey Burgers
Middle Eastern rice salad
This 20-minute dish, which works equally well as a side or a stand-alone meal, is filled to the brim with nutritious ingredients. When it comes to fat burning, though, they're all outshined by the chickpeas.
Just one half-cup of cooked chickpeas—a staple of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine—contains roughly 7 grams of protein and about 6 grams of fiber, enough to fill you up without weighing you down.
Try this recipe: Middle Eastern Rice Salad
RELATED: 22 Mediterranean Diet Recipes
Quinoa is one of the trendiest foods around, and for good reason: This earthy whole grain, which hails from South America, is packed with protein and fiber—a perfect combination for those who are looking to stay energized and keep their metabolism humming.
Black beans (another excellent source of fiber), fresh veggies, and fragrant spices round out this satisfying dish. Make it as a main meal for lunch or as a side dish with dinner.
Try this recipe: Energy-Revving Quinoa
Breakfast barley with banana and sunflower seeds
Looking for a healthy start to your day? Tired of oatmeal? Switch things up with this crunchy breakfast bowl. The combination of barley and banana provides nearly 8 grams of resistant starch, plus metabolism-boosting fiber, making this an ultra-satisfying morning meal.
And trust us, it's not nearly as boring as it looks: A spoonful of honey and a sprinkling of sunflower seeds give this hearty dish a delicious sweet-and-salty finish.
Try this recipe: Breakfast Barley with Banana and Sunflower Seeds
Curried egg salad sandwich
Eggs are an ideal food for weight loss meals. They're tasty, low in calories (about 80 per egg), and filled with satisfying protein that helps curb cravings. In fact, it's a shame to eat them only at breakfast.
This egg salad recipe, a zesty twist on a classic, offers a healthy new way to work eggs into lunchtime. The low-fat Greek yogurt used in place of mayo dials down the fat and calories, while the curry powder provides a jolt of antioxidants.
Try this recipe: Curried Egg Salad Sandwich
Salmon noodle bowl
This 30-minute weight loss meal offers a bounty of nutritious and metabolism-boosting ingredients in a single bowl. The salmon and avocado are loaded with healthy fats, and the noodles and veggies are high in fiber.
The asparagus are the unsung hero of this dish, providing a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and C, folate, and iron.
Try this recipe: Salmon Noodle Bowl
Greek yogurt fruit parfait
If you're trying to shed a few pounds, this parfait might just be the perfect breakfast. Each layer—nectarines, plums, nuts, yogurt, puffed rice—provides a healthy dose of slimming fiber or protein.
Heck, this 5-minute dish is filling enough to have for lunch, thanks to the Greek yogurt, which is thicker, creamier, and more satisfying than regular low-fat yogurt.
Try this recipe: Greek Yogurt Fruit Parfait
Black bean and chicken chilaquiles
This traditional Mexican breakfast food requires only eight ingredients, including chicken, queso blanco, and corn tortillas. It may look sinful, but because it's baked (rather than fried), it comes in under 300 calories and 2 grams of saturated fat per serving.
The key ingredient for weight-conscious eaters? Black beans. Their high protein and fiber content make them another weight-loss superfood.
Try this recipe: Black Bean and Chicken Chilaquiles
Spicy Southwestern black bean chili
Did someone say black beans? This hearty soup, which delivers 17 grams of protein and 13 grams of fiber per serving, is a delicious showcase for these super-healthy legumes.
What's more, this recipe features two types of hot pepper: chili powder and jalapeños. As with all spicy foods, eating these peppers lights a fire under your metabolism, increasing your calorie burn rate.
Try this recipe: Spicy Southwestern Black Bean Chili
Creamy avocado cups
Put down the chips and dip! These simple bites will quell those mid-afternoon hunger pangs—and at just 30 calories a pop. (They're also perfect as party hors d'oeuvres.)
The source of this snack's appetite-suppressing power is oleic acid, a compound found in avocados' healthy monounsaturated fats. Oleic acid triggers the production of another compound in the small intestine, oleoylethanolamide, which send fullness signals to the brain.
Try this recipe: Creamy Avocado Cups
Pan-grilled salmon with pineapple salsa
Lean protein is essential to any successful weight-loss meal plan. And there's no better source of lean protein than salmon, which has the added benefit of being filled with monounsaturated fats (MUFAs).
These healthy fats have been shown to be a natural aid to weight loss. A 2001 study, for instance, found that people eating a MUFA-rich diet lost an average of nine pounds, while their counterparts on a low-fat diet gained six, on average.
Try this recipe: Pan-Grilled Salmon with Pineapple Salsa
Italian garbanzo salad
This vegetarian salad is a textbook example of the Mediterranean diet, which has become renowned for its ability to promote overall health, including a healthy weight.
This salad features some of the diet's key pillars: low-fat dairy (represented here by feta cheese), fresh vegetables (tomato, onion), healthy fats (olive oil), and lean protein (chickpeas). Best of all, one serving (1 cup) is only 159 calories!
Try this recipe: Italian Garbanzo Salad
Raw kale, grapefruit, and toasted hazelnut salad
Grapefruit—the scene-stealer of this salad—has a long-standing reputation for spurring weight loss. In fact, eating it at every meal was the basis of a fad diet that began in the 1930s and has made something of a comeback lately.
Guess what? It might actually work. In a 2006 study, overweight people who ate half a grapefruit at the beginning of each meal lost more weight than their fellow participants.
Try this recipe: Raw Kale, Grapefruit, and Toasted Hazelnut Salad
Dark chocolate and oat clusters
These tasty clusters offer up two appetite-suppressing ingredients: The oatmeal contains 1.7 grams of resistant starch, and the dark chocolate is full of healthy fats to help curb cravings.
Peanut butter—the glue that holds the clusters together—also provides satiating protein. The result? One satisfying and guilt-free treat.
Try this recipe: Dark Chocolate and Oat Clusters
Sick of guacamole? Try this even creamier alternative, which gets its distinctive flavor from tahini and takes just five minutes to prepare.
Serve it as a dip for veggies, or use it as a spread on sandwiches. Either way, you'll get plenty of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats to help speed metabolism and keep you feeling full.
Try this recipe: Avocado Whip
Crisp chickpea slaw
Make this slaw for your weekday lunch or weekend picnic. Trust us: You—and your picnic buddies—won’t be able to tell how healthy it is.
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are loaded with slimming resistant starch. They’re also a great source of protein and fiber, which will help keep you full until dinnertime.
Try this recipe: Crisp Chickpea Slaw
Lentils are a great substitute for chickpeas when it comes to making hummus. The red lentils used in this dip are a nice change of pace, but you won't lose any of the metabolism-boosting benefits associated with traditional hummus.
Lentils are loaded with filling fiber and protein, so just a little will go a long way in keeping you full. Enjoy this dip with raw broccoli or toasted whole-grain pita wedges.
Try this recipe: Red-Lentil Hummus
Ham, sliced pear and Swiss sandwich
This recipe is drooling with flavors and textures: Swiss cheese, pear, lean ham, yogurt-dill sauce, and pumpernickel bread. And it's loaded with filling fiber! One sandwich provides nearly one-third of your recommended daily intake of fiber, with the pear alone providing 15%.
Tip: Don't peel the skin; that's where most of the fiber-goodness is found. If you're looking for a hot meal, lightly spray the outsides of the bread with olive oil spray and press in a pan to make a grilled panini.
Try this recipe: Ham, Sliced Pear and Swiss Sandwich
Sunflower lentil spread
Try this spread in a veggie wrap or on whole-grain pita wedges for an afternoon snack. Either way, the mix of sunflower seeds and lentils will keep your belly satisfied. Lentils are a powerhouse provider of resistant starch, and in this recipe, they help you get nearly one-third of your way to your daily 10-gram goal.
Try this recipe: Sunflower Lentil Spread
Spiced banana-almond smothie
This satisfying smoothie is the perfect post-workout snack to cool you down and help soothe sore muscles. You'll get double the appetite-suppressing ingredients, with protein-rich almonds and bananas, which are loaded with resistant starch.
Try this recipe: Spiced Banana-Almond Smoothie
Egg and Rice Salad To Go
This 10-minute salad-to-go combines fresh flavors and colors from green beans, a hard-boiled egg, plums, walnuts, and brown rice.
Brown rice is a hearty, fiber-packed grain that's low in calories and high in resistant starch. A protein-packed hard-boiled egg and walnuts, which contain healthy omega-3 fats, pair together to help keep you full.
Try this recipe: Egg and Rice Salad to Go
RELATED: Are Eggs Actually Good for You?
Eggs Benedict With smoked salmon and avocado sauce
Eggs Benedict is a delicious and classic brunch dish. But English muffins topped with buttery hollandaise sauce isn’t exactly the kindest combo for your waistline. For a healthier twist on your favorite savory a.m. treat, try this recipe for eggs benedict with smoked salmon and avocado. In this version, we swap the empty-carb English muffins for portobello mushrooms, and pile on an omega-3-packed serving of smoked salmon. And instead of hollandaise, we use a creamy avocado sauce, which also adds a dose of healthy fat.
Try this recipe: Healthy Eggs Benedict
RELATED: 35 Brunch Recipes That Wow
Asian rice noodle salad
This super-easy Asian rice noodle salad is the perfect healthy weight loss meal to whip up when you’re short on time. It’s really light, but still packed with filling and fat-burning brown rice, along with heart-healthy cabbage. Bonus: If you have leftover coleslaw, you can sauté it with garlic and ginger, then add a protein for a faster-than-takeout mu shu.
Try this recipe: Asian Rice Noodle Salad
This comfort-food favorite has two killer fat-burning ingredients: red kidney beans and a generous two teaspoons of chili powder.
The kidney beans are chock full of protein, helping this dish deliver a whopping 29 grams per serving (not to mention a full 8 grams of protein). The chili powder, meanwhile, gets its kick from capsaicin, a fiery compound found in chili peppers that literally heats up your body, spurring it to burn more calories.
Try this recipe: All-American Chili
Banana and almond butter toast
This simple yet tasty morning pick-me-up features no fewer than three of the best foods to eat for breakfast. The bananas and whole-grain rye bread are high in resistant starch, to help boost metabolism, while the almond butter adds hunger-curbing protein and healthy monounsaturated fats.
One slice contains just 280 calories, but it's guaranteed to keep you full until lunchtime.
Try this recipe: Banana & Almond Butter Toast
Citrus salad with crispy quinoa
When the weather gets chilly, a salad likely isn’t the first thing you crave. Instead, you’re probably tempted to indulge on not-so-healthy comfort foods. But good news: There are plenty of ways to make your meals both nutritious and satisfying. When it comes to salad, try topping your greens with some warm quinoa for a boost of protein (and comfort). No matter what time of year, this citrus salad with crispy quinoa and avocado is sure to hit the spot.
Try this recipe: Citrus Salad With Crispy Quinoa