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Smart Foods to Eat When You're Trying to Lose Weight



What are the foods you should consume when trying to lose weight? Use this list of important nutrients and types of foods to look for when trying to slim down. Find out which foods are likely to fill you up, provide essential nutrition, and keep you satisfied during your weight loss journey.

Lean Protein Foods with protein help you in several different ways when you're trying to lose weight. First, protein will help you to maintain muscle mass as you lose fat. And if you start a strength-training program when you're trying to lose weight, protein-rich foods help you to build muscle.

Protein foods are also satisfying to eat. Many people prefer to enjoy a traditional meat and potatoes meal from time to time during the dieting process. It might help you to feel less deprived. While you may not be able to eat the same kind of indulgent dinner that you enjoyed before weight loss, eating a lean protein with vegetables may help you to get the same enjoyment.

Lastly, protein foods help you to burn (slightly) more calories due to the thermic effect of food. The thermic effect of food (TEF) contributes to your daily metabolism—or the number of calories you burn each day. Your body requires energy (calories) to chew, digest, and process the food that you eat. Protein requires more energy to process than other foods.

So which protein-rich foods are best? Look for choices that are naturally low in saturated fat and calories, those that are portion-controlled, and foods that you enjoy.

  • Cottage cheese

  • Eggs

  • Greek or traditional yogurt

  • Green peas

  • Ground or sliced lean turkey

  • Lean cuts of beef

  • Lean cuts of pork

  • Lentils

  • Skinless chicken breast

  • Spinach

  • Tuna

If you have a difficult time getting enough protein in your diet during weight loss, you can also make a smoothie with a protein powder supplement.


Fiber-Rich Foods You'll be able to manage cravings better if you eat foods with more fiber.3 On this list you'll find delicious foods that help you to feel full longer after eating so you consume fewer calories. Most of these foods also provide other nutritional benefits that you'll enjoy during the weight loss process, like vitamins and minerals. Fill your shopping cart with some of these foods.

  • Brown rice

  • Chickpeas or hummus

  • Pears

  • Plain popcorn

  • Radishes

  • Whole wheat bread

  • Whole wheat crackers

  • Whole wheat pita or tortillas

Keep your fridge and pantry stocked with some of these staples to keep your hunger at bay.


Fruits and Vegetables It's easy to find "diet foods" at your local supermarket. You'll find fat-free foods, low-calorie foods, and foods that advertise other health claims on the label. But some of these foods are not necessarily good for everyone who is trying to lose weight.

For example, some fat-free foods are higher in sugar than their full-fat versions.4 Some salad dressings, sauces, condiments, and other foods remove fat but add sugar for flavor and consistency. They may not necessarily be lower in calories and if you are trying to reduce your sugar intake they can do more harm than good. So should you avoid low-calorie foods? No! Just try to find foods that are naturally low in calories, such as fruits and vegetables. Consider some of these options.

  • Asparagus

  • Beets

  • Blueberries

  • Broccoli

  • Brussels sprouts

  • Cauliflower

  • Celery

  • Cucumber

  • Grapefruit

  • Jicama

  • Kale, arugula, or other