A big chunk of weight loss success has to do with your diet, so it makes sense to get advice from an expert on healthy eating. We asked certified dietitian Leslie Langevin, MS, RD, CD, of Whole Health Nutrition to share the top foods she recommends to clients who are trying to slim down.
The Foods List:
- Zucchini: Leslie told POPSUGAR this veggie is the perfect noodle replacement to keep carbs and calories low. She recommends spiralizing and sautéing zoodles in garlic and a little olive oil for the best flavor. Get this: it’s 25 calories a cup vs. 200 calories for regular pasta!
- Avocados/olive oil: Leslie says healthy fats are essential for weight loss because they “keep us full and satisfied since they are digested slower than carbohydrates.” Avocados are rich in fiber as well, which will also help with satiety. Spread some on toast, add it to smoothies, or use it as a butter replacement.
- Sweet potatoes: These are rich in fiber, vitamin A, and complex carbohydrates to help balance blood sugar levels. Enjoy baked sweet potatoes for breakfast topped with almond butter and banana, or add roasted cubes to salads or Buddha bowls. She recommends keeping portions to one cup a day.
- Eggs: “Eggs are high in protein so they keep hunger in check and keep blood sugar levels steady,” Leslie said. Hard boil a dozen on Sunday so you have them for the week.
- Oats: High in B vitamins and rich in complex carbs, oats, particularly steel cut or rolled, are also a great source of filling fiber, and “eating lots of fiber can help with weight loss.”
- Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, walnuts, cashews, and sunflower seeds, are great snacks for weight loss since most are high in good fats, protein, and fiber. “These keep you full and satisfied so you can avoid processed, unfilling snacks!” Leslie told POPSUGAR.
- Flaxseed and chia seeds: These little seeds are rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber, and just a tiny portion will fill you up, thanks to the solid amount of soluble fiber. Try sprinkling them in smoothies or on top of oatmeal, or add them to baked goods or pancake batter to help you stay fuller for longer. For breakfast or dessert, try this gingerbread chia seed pudding. However, Leslie advises you start slow, as eating fiber takes time to get used to. “Start at one teaspoon per day and move up to one tablespoon,” she suggested. Also keep in mind that flaxseed needs to be ground to absorbed into the body efficiently.
- Berries: An excellent source of fiber and antioxidants, fruits like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries have the lowest amount of sugar, which is great for losing weight. Blueberries have also been shown to reduce belly fat.
- Cauliflower: This low-carb veggie can be used in so many ways: as a rice substitute, an easy pizza crust, or mashed potatoes. You can find it frozen and riced to save time. There is even a frozen low-carb, gluten-free cauliflower pizza crust on the market to make weight loss easy.
- Beans: An easy source of complex carbs, Leslie says “beans are rich in fiber, B vitamins, and protein” — everything you need to support weight loss. The fiber especially is “helpful for weight loss and keeping full.” Throw beans in your blender when you make smoothies, mash them in your oatmeal, add them to salads and soups, or roast them for a healthy snack.
- Greens: Greens, like kale, spinach, lettuce, and Swiss chard, are rich in vitamins C and A, as well as folate and magnesium, which can help with proper digestion. Greens are incredibly nutrient-dense and packed with fiber to help keep you full. Leslie said, “With about 15 calories per cup, you can really eat as much as you want!” Enjoy greens in a salad or blend them in your smoothie if you’re not into eating them with a fork.
- Greek yogurt: This protein-rich snack can keep hunger at bay between meals, and probiotics can help with digestion and belly bloat. If you don’t eat dairy, go for almond or soy yogurt.
- Dark chocolate: Leslie believes that everyone needs a treat! “Dark chocolate is low in sugar and high in antioxidants, and having a sweet treat planned in your day can prevent binges later on!”