10 Best Foods for Weight Loss

Stock up on these healthy picks if you're looking to cut calories.

Losing weight and keeping it off is hard work. And with all the calorie-rich convenience foods readily available at all times, along with sneaky weight saboteurs like stress and lack of sleep, even the most health-conscious eaters can struggle.

But you can increase your weight-loss success odds by eating more foods with health benefits. To help you improve your eating habits, nutritionists recommended adding the following foods to your shopping list.

01 of 10


"An apple a day may keep extra pounds away," Katherine Brooking, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist and co-founder of Appetite for Health, told Health

One Honeycrisp apple has about 60 calories and two grams of filling fiber. The peels of Fuji apples are also a rich source of ursolic acid, a natural plant compound that may increase fat burning.

You can easily incorporate apples into daily choices by keeping them on hand for an on-the-go snack. Or you can chop them into pieces to add to oatmeal or salads.

02 of 10


Asparagus may help reduce bloating and shed excess weight, thanks to its diuretic properties and fiber content.

The veggie also contains many nutrients, like vitamins A, C, E, and K, and folate. Plus, asparagus is a good source of antioxidants, which help prevent cell damage. Antioxidants found in food, rather than supplements, also help reduce the risk of health conditions.

You can eat asparagus raw—chopped up in a salad, for example. Or you can roast, grill, or steam asparagus to serve as a side dish.

03 of 10


For a protein-packed choice, beans are one of the best foods to enjoy when trying to lose weight.

 "Beans are metabolized slowly, so they may aid in weight loss by keeping you feeling fuller longer," Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist and author of Read It Before You Eat It: Taking You from Label to Table, told Health.

One half of a cup of dry black beans provides about 12 grams of protein, more than the amount in the same amount of dry white beans.

Also, beans are a nutrient-rich superfood, providing antioxidants, soluble fiber, iron, potassium, and zinc. Soluble fiber has many health benefits, including:

  • Aids weight loss
  • Lowers cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Improves blood glucose control
  • Helps with immune function
  • Reduces inflammation

Choose canned beans that are low in sodium. Rinse them thoroughly to reduce the gas-producing effect. To enjoy, you can add beans to salads and soups or serve them as a side dish.

04 of 10


Want something sweet to enjoy that can help you stay full longer, too? Eat more berries, which have the highest amounts of fiber than other fruits.

Berries are low in calories, high in fiber, and will satisfy your sweet tooth without any added sugar. A study published in 2015 in Appetite revealed that eating 65 calories of mixed berries resulted in people eating 133 fewer calories at dinner than those who ate a 65-calorie sugary treat.

Also, a study published in 2015 in PLoS Medicine looked at the eating patterns of more than 130,000 adults for more than 20 years. The researchers found that berries were one of the best fruits for maintaining a healthy weight.

There are so many tasty ways to include berries daily. You can eat berries alone as a snack, add them as a topping for cereal or oatmeal, blend them into a smoothie, or mix them with yogurt.

05 of 10

Citrus Fruit

Sweet and juicy grapefruit and oranges are a tasty way to help maintain a healthy weight, suggested Brooking. 

Both fruits are low-calorie choices with a good amount of fiber. One navel orange has 72.8 calories, and half of one white grapefruit has 37.8 calories.

Due to their high water, citrus fruits have low glycemic index scores. Citrus fruits can help temper how high blood glucose levels after eating.

06 of 10

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese has a longstanding reputation for being a diet-friendly health food for good reason.

Some brands of low-fat cottage cheese have about 90 calories and 12 grams of protein per serving. High-protein foods like cottage cheese help keep you full for long periods, which can help you manage weight. 

Cottage cheese pairs nicely with sweet foods, like fruit and cinnamon, or savory foods, like salads and veggies.

07 of 10


Previously, many experts thought eggs were unhealthy because of their cholesterol content. However, research has found that eating eggs doesn't increase your risk of heart disease.

Plus, eggs pack plenty of good-for-you nutrients. For example, one large egg yolk, which contains about 56 calories, provides satiating protein.

You can eat eggs as part of a meal or as a quick, easy snack. Whether scrambling up some eggs for breakfast or dinner, making a veggie frittata for weekday lunches, or keeping hard-boiled eggs for a quick snack, eggs are a great staple on your grocery list.

08 of 10

Kale (And Other Dark Leafy Greens)

Nutrient-dense dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach, and arugula are low in calories and pack a lot of fiber that keeps you full, Malina Malkani, RDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told Health.

"It's important to focus on foods that provide the most nutrients per calorie, to help you feel your best while losing weight," noted Malkani.

You can use dark, leafy greens as the base ingredient for salads, add them to soups, blend them into smoothies, or sauté them with olive oil and spices

09 of 10

Greek Yogurt

Thanks to its high protein content and lower sugar counts, Greek yogurt and other strained yogurt are satisfying choices. Greek yogurt helps keep cravings at bay with about twice the protein and half the sugar of traditional yogurts.

For example, a study published in 2014 in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases examined more than 8,500 adults in Europe over six years.

People who reported enjoying a serving or more daily of European-style strained yogurt were 20% less likely to become overweight and 38% less likely to become obese than those who ate fewer than two servings of yogurt weekly.

You can combine Greek yogurt with berries to help you jumpstart your day with two of the best foods for weight loss. Also, you can add Greek yogurt to smoothies, eat them as a snack, and use them as a substitute for mayonnaise and sour cream.

10 of 10


Potatoes pack tons of fiber, especially in the skin, so you'll feel nicely stuffed after eating them.

One potato has about 80 calories and good amounts of potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6, with almost no fat.

In the United States, most people don't get enough potassium. But there's a good reason to add them to your diet. Potassium is important for many bodily functions, such as:

  • Kidney and heart function
  • Blood pressure
  • Muscle contraction

There are wide varieties of potatoes with different flavors and textures. So, if you're used to only eating Russet potatoes, give some other varieties a try. Potatoes are healthiest when baked or roasted and not fried. You can add potatoes to eggs (including frittatas) and salads. Or serve them on the side of the main dish. 

A Quick Review

Regularly choosing nutrient-rich, satisfying, and filling foods will help ensure you're getting the important nutrients needed for overall health while also losing weight. 

If you have any questions or concerns about the right weight loss plan, talk with a registered dietitian nutritionist or healthcare provider for individualized recommendations.

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19 Sources
Health.com uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Ko DY, Ku KM. Effect of Anti-Obesity and Antioxidant Activity through the Additional Consumption of Peel from 'Fuji' Pre-Washed AppleFoods. 2022;11(4):497. doi:10.3390/foods11040497

  3. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Antioxidants: In depth.

  4. Department of Agriculture. Beans, dry, black (0% moisture).

  5. Department of Agriculture. White beans, from dried, no added fat.

  6. Department of Agrigulture. Kidney beans.

  7. Surampudi P, Enkhmaa B, Anuurad E, Berglund L. Lipid Lowering with Soluble Dietary FiberCurr Atheroscler Rep. 2016;18(12):75. doi:10.1007/s11883-016-0624-z

  8. James LJ, Funnell MP, Milner S. An afternoon snack of berries reduces subsequent energy intake compared to an isoenergetic confectionary snackAppetite. 2015;95:132-137. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2015.07.005

  9. Bertoia ML, Mukamal KJ, Cahill LE, et al. Changes in Intake of Fruits and Vegetables and Weight Change in United States Men and Women Followed for Up to 24 Years: Analysis from Three Prospective Cohort Studies [published correction appears in PLoS Med. 2016 Jan;13(1):e1001956]. PLoS Med. 2015;12(9):e1001878. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001878

  10. Department of Agriculture. Oranges, raw, navels.

  11. Department of Agriculture. Grapefruit, raw, white, Florida.

  12. Visvanathan R, Williamson G. Effect of citrus fruit and juice consumption on risk of developing type 2 diabetes: Evidence on polyphenols from epidemiological and intervention studiesTrends in Food Science & Technology. 2021;115:133-146. doi:10.1016/j.tifs.2021.06.038

  13. Department of Agriculture. Low fat cottage cheese.

  14. Wang MX, Wong CH, Kim JE. Impact of whole egg intake on blood pressure, lipids and lipoproteins in middle-aged and older population: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trialsNutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2019;29(7):653-664. doi:10.1016/j.numecd.2019.04.004

  15. Department of Agriculture. Eggs, grade A, large, egg yolk.

  16. Food and Drug Administration. Greek yogurt.

  17. Martinez-Gonzalez MA, Sayon-Orea C, Ruiz-Canela M, de la Fuente C, Gea A, Bes-Rastrollo M. Yogurt consumption, weight change and risk of overweight/obesity: the SUN cohort studyNutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2014;24(11):1189-1196. doi:10.1016/j.numecd.2014.05.015

  18. Department of Agriculture. Potatoes, flesh and skin, raw.

  19. National Institutes of Health. Potassium.

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