Eating nutrient-rich foods, such as lean protein and legumes, can support your overall health and help you manage your weight.

While weight loss is not a magic bullet for health and not everyone needs to pursue it, it may be something you want to work toward to feel your healthiest. Just make sure to talk with a healthcare professional before making drastic changes.

16 Foods to Eat to Help You Lose Weight

16 Foods to Eat to Help You Lose Weight

1. Eggs

Eggs are incredibly nutrient-dense and high in protein and fat, which help you feel full.

In a 2020 studyTrusted Source that included 50 people with overweight or obesity, researchers found that eating eggs and buttered toast for breakfast — instead of cereal, milk, and orange juice — increased the participants’ feelings of fullness for the next 4 hours.

Similarly, another studyTrusted Source involving 48 adults found that those who ate a breakfast containing protein from eggs, as well as high fiber foods, reported greater satiety (fullness) than those who ate low fiber cereal and milk.

2. Leafy greens

Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and collard greens pack fiber and nutrients that can help keep you satisfied and hydrated.

What’s more, leafy greens contain thylakoids, plant compounds that have been linkedTrusted Source with increased satiety and better appetite management.

However, more research is needed on the effects of thylakoids from food sources rather than supplements.

3. Fish

Fish is loaded with high quality protein, healthy fats, and other important nutrients. That combination keeps you feeling full and can helpTrusted Source you manage your weight.

What’s more, fish — and seafood in general — may supply a significant amount of iodine, which is necessary for maintainingTrusted Source thyroid function and metabolism.

4. Cruciferous vegetables

4. Cruciferous vegetables

Like other vegetables, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage are high in fiber and tend to be incredibly filling.

These types of veggies also containTrusted Source more protein than many other vegetables.

A combination of protein, fiber, and low calorie content makes cruciferous vegetables great foods to include in your meals if you want to lose weight.

5. Chicken breast and some lean meats

Skinless chicken breast and lean red meats such as tenderloin and flank steak pack protein and iron and have less saturated fat than other cuts of meat. All these qualities make them great options to support weight management and heart health.

Just be sure to enjoy red meat in moderation and opt for healthier cooking methods when possible to prevent any negative health effects.

Limiting smoke and wiping away drippings while cooking red meat can also help prevent the formation of harmful compounds that have been linked to cancer.

6. Potatoes and other root vegetables

6. Potatoes and other root vegetables

Potatoes and other root vegetables have several properties that make them wonderful foods for weight loss and optimal health.

On a scale called the Satiety Index, which measures how filling different foods are, boiled white potatoes scoredTrusted Source the highest of all the foods tested.

If you allow potatoes to cool after boiling, they will form large amounts of resistant starch, a fiber-like substance that has been linkedTrusted Source to weight loss in animal studies.

7. Beans and legumes

Beans and other legumes, such as lentils, black beans, and kidney beans, can be beneficial for weight loss.

Those foods tend to beTrusted Source high in protein and fiber, two nutrients that promote satiety. They also may contain some resistant starch.

8. Soups

Between the slurping, smelling, tasting, cooling, and chewing, soup may take you longer to eat than other foods. This may helpTrusted Source you eat more mindfully.

Incorporating a vegetable-based clear soup before your meal can also be a wayTrusted Source to feel fuller and eat less overall, which may promote weight loss.

9. Cottage cheese

9. Cottage cheese

Eating cottage cheese is a great way to boost your protein intake, which is importantTrusted Source for building and maintaining muscle. It’s also very satiating and high in calcium.

There may even beTrusted Source a relationship between calcium intake and body weight, but more research is needed in this area.

10. Avocados

Not only are avocados rich in heart-healthy fats, but they also containTrusted Source a lot of water and fiber, which make them very filling.

Additionally, they help your body absorb important fat-soluble vitamins and contain many important nutrients, including fiber and potassium.

It’s worth keeping in mind that avocados are energy-dense, so being mindful of portions is key when weight loss is your goal.

11. Nuts

Nuts are high in heart-healthy unsaturated fat and provideTrusted Source you with protein, fiber, and other plant compounds that benefitTrusted Source heart health.

Studies have shownTrusted Source that eating nuts can improve metabolic health and even promote weight loss.

But, as with any high fat food, it’s a good idea to be mindful of portion sizes when eating nuts and to eat only to the point of satiety.

12. Whole grains

Study provides new evidence that eating whole grains may reduce heart  disease risk in older adults | NHLBI, NIH

Recent studies show that a diet rich in whole grains can help supportTrusted Source healthy weight loss.

That’s because they’re loaded with fiber and contain a decent amount of protein. Notable examples include oats, brown rice, and quinoa.

13. Chili pepper

Chili peppers contain capsaicin, a substance that makes hot peppers such as chilis spicy.

Some studies show that capsaicin can improveTrusted Source how fast your body metabolizes fat and increase your sensation of fullness. Together, these may support your healthy weight loss journey.

Still, more research is needed to learn about this effect, especially regarding capsaicin from food sources.

14. Fruit

Most fruits have properties that make them great for helping you reach or maintain a healthy weight.

Even though fruits contain natural sugar, they have a low energy density and are loadedTrusted Source with micronutrients. Plus, their fiber content helps prevent sugar from being released too quickly into your bloodstream.

Whenever possible, it’s a good idea to consume a varietyTrusted Source of fruits of different colors, particularly those that are in season.

15. Chia seeds

Chia Seeds Are The Hydration Powerhouse You Need On The Go

Chia seeds are highly nutritious and rich in fiber, which can promote feelings of fullness.

In one small 2017 studyTrusted Source of 24 adults, those who ate either 0.33 ounces (7 grams) or 0.5 ounces (14 grams) of chia seeds with yogurt as a midmorning snack had increased feelings of satiety and ate less at lunch.

What’s more, chia seeds are highTrusted Source in omega-3 fatty acids, which may supportTrusted Source weight management.

16. Full-fat (whole) Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is great for weight management, as it containsTrusted Source a good amount of protein per serving.

What’s more, certain types of yogurt contain probiotic bacteria that can improve the function of your gut.

Consider choosing full-fat yogurt. While the evidence is still mixed, some studies show that full-fat dairy is associatedTrusted Source with a reduced chance of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes over time.