They’re watching you.
It’s embarrassing when the cashier, Facebook marketers, and your friends know.
You want foods and weight loss supplements that work.
But you don’t want to set off alarm bells that you’re trying to lose weight or pay a fortune for questionable diet pills.
What if there was a secret food or supplement that could exercise and burn calories for you?
Well, the good news is that what you eat is far more important for weight loss than exercise.
And the best weight loss foods and supplements taste better and cost less than you think. But they won’t tell the world your secret or kill your budget.
Learn the truth about diet pills, and find out what natural supplements work even better.
In this article, you’ll learn the foods that can decrease your appetite, burn fat, and add zest to your life.
17. Healthy Foods that Taste Good
The best foods for weight loss have high water content, are rich in fiber, or are nutrient-dense.
Water and fiber have zero calories and help stretch your stomach to signal your brain that you’re full.
Fiber, or prebiotics, feeds your good bacteria. Your Good bacteria promote a healthy weight and make you want to eat healthy foods. But bad bacteria make you crave sugars and unhealthy fats and compete with your good bacteria.
Lastly, nutrient-dense foods have high amounts of vitamins and minerals relative to calories. These foods solve nutrient deficiencies that cause you to overeat without adding excess calories.
1. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds help you lose weight by making you feel full.
Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, protein, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids. But what is their weight loss superpower? They absorb up to 10-12 times their weight in water.
In one study, researches gave 77 overweight individuals either two tablespoons of ground chia a day for six months or a fiber supplement. The chia group lost more weight and belly fat than the control group.
Chia seeds are perfect for smoothies, soups, or salads.
Check out the 10 Best Vegan Protein Sources For Weight Loss.
One study found that curcumin can reverse symptoms associated with obesity including insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, and hyperlipidemia.
You can also get turmeric from curry powder which has another weight-loss food you’ll learn about soon.
3. Sea Vegetables
Sea vegetables, or seaweed, are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet.
Each type of sea vegetable has a unique set of nutrients that support healthy weight loss. Some are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, and iodine.
Spirulina is an excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Nori, wakame, and kombu are rich in iodine, (Nori: 25% RDI, wakame: 93% RDI, and kombu: 1682% RDI). Iodine supports your thyroid gland which helps control growth and energy production.
They also have a rare sugar called sulfated polysaccharides which supports your healthy gut bacteria.
Because sea vegetables are so nutrient-dense, you only need a small amount, especially those with high iodine content. Be careful, as too much iodine can damage your thyroid.
Click here to check the current pricing of the spirulina I use for a low-calorie nutrient-packed snack.
4. Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are a nutrient-dense food with a buttery texture and nutty taste.
An ounce (28 g) of brazil nuts contains 4.1 grams of protein and 2.1 grams of fiber. Brazil nuts are also an excellent source of healthy fats, Vitamin E, and minerals.
Brazil nuts are one of the best sources of selenium, containing 777% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) per ounce. One brazil nut contains about 175% RDI!
Selenium supports your thyroid health. If you’re deficient in selenium you could develop hypothyroidism. Symptoms of hypothyroidism are fatigue, weight gain, and muscle and joint pain.
You should limit your daily intake to one to three brazil nuts a day to avoid selenium toxicity while still getting the benefits.
Quinoa is designed perfectly for healthy weight loss.
It’s rich in fiber, protein, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, B vitamins, Vitamin E, flavonoids, and antioxidants.
Quinoa is a complete vegan protein unicorn because it has significant amounts of all nine essential amino acids.
Quinoa contains 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per cup, more than most grains. High protein can help boost your metabolism, and both fiber and protein can help you feel fuller.
Because quinoa is a pseudo-cereal, a seed that’s prepared and eaten as a grain, it’s gluten-free.
Surprisingly, almost a third of the US population is trying to reduce or avoid gluten. And about 5% of the US population is vegan or vegetarian. Lastly, about half of the US population is trying to lose weight!
Quinoa’s qualities make it a perfect food for vegetarians, vegans, people with gluten intolerance, and anyone trying to lose weight or eat healthily.
The best part is quinoa tastes good and goes with almost anything. Check out these vegan quinoa recipes at Healthier Steps for inspiration.
Flaxseed is an excellent source of fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, and lignans.
Researchers are still unraveling the benefits of lignans. But lignans may help lower blood pressure and support weight loss.
A meta-analysis of 45 flaxseed studies found that it can help reduce about 2.2 pounds and about a third of an inch of waist size. But in two of the studies, participants lost about 20 pounds.
You must grind or buy ground flaxseed meal for it to be absorbed. But flaxseed is a good flour alternative for baking and is easy to add to smoothies and, soups, and salads.
Further Reading: How To Lower Blood Pressure
Lentils have a secret weight-loss weapon.
Yes, lentils are an excellent source of fiber, minerals, vitamins, and vegan protein. And studies show that lentils can help lower blood pressure, help prevent cancer, and manage blood sugar, and support weight loss.
But lentils have a superpower called the “second meal effect.” Lentils are rich in resistant starch that escapes digestion in your small intestine. Similar to fiber, resistant starch helps feed your good bacteria in your gut, which then feeds you.
So eating lentils and beans helps you feel full even the next day.
Beans need to be cooked before eating. And unfortunately, heating can destroy most resistant starches. But you can “recapture” the resistant starch by allowing it to cool.
Other beans and legumes that can help you lose weight are chickpeas, peas, kidney beans, black beans, soybeans, pinto beans, and navy beans.
More healthy sources of resistant starch are oats, rice, beans, potatoes, and green bananas.
Arugula is a lesser-known cruciferous vegetable with similar benefits to broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and Kale.
Arugula ranks among the top 10 foods on the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI score). The ANDI score measures a food’s vitamin, mineral, and phytonutrient content relative to its caloric content. The higher the score, the better.
Kale, mustard greens, and collards are all tied for the highest ANDI score of 1,000.
Other good sources of nitrates are beets, garlic, dark chocolate, spinach, and kale (again).
Not only can arugula provide vital nutrients with very few calories and help you exercise longer, but it can also help prevent cancer and diabetes.
Arugula has a unique tangy taste, so what healthy and tasty food can you eat with it?
Raspberries are one of the best tasting healthy foods for weight loss.
Although sweet in flavor, an ounce of raspberries contains only 0.2 grams of fat, 3.3 grams of carbohydrates, 1.2 grams of sugar, and 14.6 calories. But it has 1.8 grams of fiber and 12% RDI of Vitamin C.
Raspberries are a good source of the antioxidants alpha and beta-carotene, choline, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Also, they are rich in polyphenols such as anthocyanin, ellagitannins, and flavonols.
Raspberry ketone extracts are becoming popular, but there aren’t any human studies showing they are effective. Why not eat fresh raspberries for the flavor and the ketones?
Fresh raspberries are perfect for oatmeal, salads, or a healthy snack.
But frozen raspberries last longer and are ideal for smoothies. Studies show that freezing foods preserves the nutrients of foods as good or better than storing fresh.
Blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries offer similar low-calorie sweetness and have their own unique blend of nutrients.
Why not keep a bag of frozen berries on hand for when you’re craving something sweet?
Carob is a sweet and healthy alternative to dark chocolate.
Compared to cocoa, carob has more fiber, less fat and sugar, and no caffeine, and tastes sweeter. Because carob is naturally sweet and has little sugar, it’s a healthy way to satisfy sugar cravings.
Like cocoa, carob is a good source of polyphenols and other antioxidants. But carob has twice the amount of calcium as cocoa.
The unique tannins in carob can help remove toxins from your body and prevent unhealthy bacterial growth in your intestines. Unhealthy bacteria make you crave unhealthy and unremoved toxins are stored as fat.
Carob can help you replace unhealthy sweets from your diet without feeling deprived. You can use carob powder in your smoothies or carob chips in your baking.
Click here to check the current pricing for the organic carob powder I use in my smoothies.
Fenugreek seeds contain a water-soluble fiber called galactomannan.
Galactomannan can help slow down the rate that your stomach empties and delay carbohydrate and fat absorption. Slow absorption allows you to feel full longer and prevents blood sugar spikes.
A study of 18 obese people found that consuming eight grams of fiber from fenugreek helped participants feel fuller and eat less at their next meal.
Another study of 12 healthy men found that taking 1.2 grams of fenugreek decreased daily calorie intake by 11.7% and daily fat intake by 17.3%.
Fenugreek is one of the most underrated healthy foods with little or no side effects. Like turmeric, it’s a common ingredient in curry powder.
12. The Miracle Berry
The miracle berry contains a molecule called miraculin which binds to receptors on your taste buds. When eaten, it causes sour foods to taste sweet for a short period.
At a low pH, miraculin binds proteins that activate sweet receptors. Your tongue perceives sour (acidic) food as sweet until this protein is washed away (about 30 minutes).
Greens and vegetables are slightly sour, or acidic. Chew a miracle berry at the tip of your tongue for 30 seconds. Then all the healthy greens and vegetables you eat for about 30 minutes will taste sweet!
The miracle berry, also known as Ledidi berry, has a mildly sweet taste, but it has low sugar content.
Learn more about the Ledidi berry I use on my resources page.
Now you know what feeds help you feel full and satisfied. Do you want to know which foods help you burn fat?
Foods That Burn Fat While You Sleep
Here are plants with active ingredients that help increase your metabolism, block fat absorption, or improve insulin sensitivity. Unlike diet pills, these foods are safe, healthy, and inexpensive.
13. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can help you burn fat and feed your good bacteria.
It activates an enzyme called AMPK which speeds up your metabolism and signals your body to stop storing fat and start burning fat.
Apple cider vinegar is also rich in polyphenols that support your healthy gut bacteria.
In one study, overweight participants who took two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar per day for 12 weeks lost five pounds. They also lost an inch off their waist size.
What about a drink that tastes good and helps you lose weight?
14. Dark Roast Coffee
Light roast coffee has more antioxidants, but the dark roast is better for reducing body weight.
In one study, participants were randomized to drink either two cups of light or dark roast coffee a day for a month. Both the light and the dark roast were roasted from the same batch of green coffee beans.
Overweight participants drinking dark roast lost about six pounds more than the light roast group.
How does drinking coffee help you lose weight?
Limit yourself to one to two cups of coffee a day to avoid the health problems of too much caffeine, such as high blood pressure. And for the best results, keep the sugar and cream to a minimum.
Avocadoes are rich in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat (MUFA) that can help control blood sugar, burn belly fat, and make you feel full.
Avocados are also a good source of fiber, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, folate, potassium, B vitamins, and minerals.
The fiber and fat in avocados make you feel full longer by slowing the release of food from your stomach.
In one study, participants who ate half an avocado with lunch had a reduced appetite for up to five hours. They also felt 23% more satisfied compared to when they ate a meal without it.
16. Chili Peppers
Chili peppers including cayenne, habañero, or jalapeño peppers, contain a compound called capsaicin
Capsaicin can help you lose weight by boosting your metabolism, relieving pain, supporting your good bacteria, and helping you feel satisfied.
One study of 36 participants found that the consumption of 2.56 mg capsaicin per meal promotes fat oxidation by boosting metabolism.
And you only need a pinch of cayenne pepper to spice up any dish.
17. Oolong Tea, Green Tea, and Black Tea
Oolong tea may offer the best of both green and black tea.
Oolong tea, green tea, and black tea are traditional Chinese teas made from the Camellia sinensis plant. The difference between them is how long they are allowed to oxidize.
Green tea undergoes minimal oxidation, black tea is oxidized until it turns black, and oolong is oxidized somewhere in the middle.
Green tea is rich in catechins, antioxidants that can increase your metabolism and fat burning.
For example, one study put 60 obese people on a standardized diet while drinking green tea or a placebo for 12 weeks. Those who drank green tea lost 7.3 pounds more than the placebo group.
Black tea is rich in flavonoids, which may be responsible for the weight loss benefits of black tea.
One study of 111 people found that drinking three cups of black tea per day over three months stopped weight gain and reduced waist size.
Similar to green tea and black tea, oolong tea can boost metabolism and reduce body weight.
For instance, one study found that oolong tea can increase metabolism between 2.9 and 3.4%, or the equivalent of 281 and 331 calories per day.
Oolong tea may also improve fat metabolism. For example, another study had 102 overweight or obese people drink oolong tea for six weeks. Researchers found that oolong tea can help reduce body weight and fat.
Similar teas are Puerh, Earl Grey, English breakfast, and white tea.
Related: Learn about the foods and tips that give you energy in How To Have More Energy | The Ultimate Guide.
Should I Take Diet Pills?
Studies show that at best, diet pills provide little short-term weight loss. But they have side effects, and over the long-term, the weight returns.
A review of common “slimming supplements” found that not even one worked better than a placebo.
Why don’t diet pills work long-term? The side effects are too unpleasant to continue.
The $13 Billion weight loss supplement industry is motivated to make a drug or supplement to get quick results and deal with problems later.
Even the “natural” supplement industry isn’t regulated by the FDA. And a supplement may not be removed from the market unless it causes problems.
What about FDA approved drugs?
If a drug is approved by the FDA it doesn’t mean it’s safe. The FDA approves drugs that appear safe in the short-term, but have serious side effects in the long-term.
The FDA will remove a drug when its risks outweigh its benefits. By the time the FDA removes a drug the harm is done and millions of dollars are made selling it.
Aminorex, a widely prescribed appetite suppressant, was pulled from the market for causing lung damage.
For drug companies, side effects are an expense.
A drug company will make a drug even if it may injure or kill people if they expect it to cost only $80 million dollars in legal costs for claims. Because if it’s successful, they expect it to make over $100 million in sales.
The solution is to eat whole foods. Even the most expensive drugs can’t beat whole foods for long-term weight loss.
Multiple studies show that your body absorbs the active ingredient better in its whole food form.
For example, eat turmeric instead of taking curcumin supplements. Or eat raspberries instead of taking raspberry ketones. They cost less, work better, and taste good too.
Follow your health care provider’s advice. But ask questions about what they prescribe and ask about whole food alternatives.
To Take Or Not To Take
Now you have a long list of foods and supplements for healthy weight loss.
Not only do they work better than diet pills, but they also have almost no side effects and cost a fraction of the price.
The best part is these foods won’t leave you feeling empty, tired, or deprived. They can sweeten or spice up your life with every bite.
What will you take, a questionable supplement with unpronounceable ingredients?
Or will you find a new favorite food on this list and share it with a friend?