Whether you're pureeing them into a flavorful hummus or snacking on a handful of ones you've roasted at home, chickpeas are one of the healthiest sources of vegetarian protein and can make losing weight easier than you'd ever imagined. In fact, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that chickpeas and other legume seeds can aid in weight loss efforts even among people who aren't intentionally reducing their caloric intake. And if you need more incentive to add some to your diet, discover these 40 Reasons to Eat More Beans.
Almonds are a great source of both protein and fiber and might just be the key to losing weight and keeping it off. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that dieters who ate almonds had more consistent weight loss and had lost a greater amount by the time the trial concluded.
Kale's high fiber content and versatility make it a smart, easy, and filling addition to any diet. Thanks to its high levels of calcium, it can also help you lose weight—according to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, regular consumption of calcium-rich food is associated with lower levels of body fat.
One of the healthiest sources of vegetarian protein, avocado isn't just adding richness to your meals, it's could also help you slim down. Every avocado you eat is giving you a healthy dose of oleic acid, a fatty acid that can help you feel fuller and aid in weight loss, according to research published in the International Journal of Obesity.
Almonds aren't the only nut that can help you whittle down your waistline—walnuts can have a major effect on belly fat and weight. Research published in The Journal of Nutrition reveals that walnuts may help reverse abdominal obesity, and they're also an excellent source of omega-3s. And for more fat-fighting tips, check out these 14 Ways to Lose Your Belly in 14 Days.
If you're looking to turbocharge your metabolism, you might want to try adding some health-boosting citrus to your diet. Oranges contain high levels of vitamin C, an essential nutrient for fat oxidation, making them a powerful tool in the fight against belly fat.
- Wild Salmon
Although not all fish are created equal, with many farm-raised varieties posing a host of health risks, wild salmon might just help you ditch those unwanted pounds. Research published in Scientific Reports shows that consumption of fish oil, like that found in wild salmon, reduced study participants' body fat and weight.
Just a squeeze of healthy citrus here and there could help you stay healthier and slimmer in the long run. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition reveals that lemon may help reduce the obesity-causing effects of a high-fat diet while stabilizing blood sugar levels. And for more reasons to enjoy your favorite fruit, discover these 20 Ways Citrus Can Make You Healthier.
Oatmeal has long been known as a diet-friendly food, and with good reason: from its prebiotic properties to its satisfying combination of protein and fiber, it's an excellent tool in your arsenal against weight gain. According to a study in the Journal of Nutrition, oats go one step further, reducing cholesterol and systolic blood pressure, as well.
- Coconut Oil
Don't let coconut oil's high fat content scare you off—it might help you beat your belly fat into submission once and for all. Coconuts are an excellent source of phosphorus, which has been shown to aid in weight loss, according to research published in Nutrition & Diabetes.
Paprika does more than flavor your food: it might also help you slim down. Research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that mice who consumed paprika lost more weight and metabolized glucose more effectively than the study's control group.
- Raw Honey
Honey's probiotic and antimicrobial properties, which can make your gut healthier and reduce inflammation, make it an effective ally in your quest for a healthier, leaner body.
- Peanut Butter
Don't count out that PB and J as part of your weight loss plan just yet. A study conducted by researchers at Purdue University found that peanuts can actually help you lose more weight than a diet that doesn't contain them and they may even reduce your diabetes risk. And before you brush off your health woes once again, make sure you know these 20 Diabetes Symptoms You Can't Afford to Ignore.
- Olive Oil
Olive oil might just be your ace in the hole when it comes to weight loss. A study conducted by researchers at the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences found that the polyphenols in olive oil may positively influence weight loss as well as reducing your heart disease risk.
While the days of the all-grapefruit diet are long gone, grapefruit can still play a major part in your weight loss plan. A study published in Nutrition & Metabolism found that consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice before meals helped participants reduce weight and visceral fat.
The key to making your diet healthier might be sitting inside your spice cabinet. Researchers from Penn State University found that eating inflammation-fighting foods and spices like cinnamon after a fatty meal reduced the level of dangerous triglycerides in the bloodstream by nearly a third as well as reducing weight gain-causing insulin response.
- Brown Rice
While some dieters are scared to ever let a carb cross their plate again, brown rice should definitely factor into your healthy eating plan. One of the healthiest sources of vegetarian protein with nearly four grams of fiber per cup, and an excellent source of betaine, which can help turn off your genes for insulin resistance, brown rice is one grain you don't have to be afraid of. And for more carbohydrates that will fill you up without filling out your waistline, check out the 20 Best Carbs for a Zero Belly.
Garlic might not be a great food to load up on before a big date, but when it comes to your health and weight loss, it can play a hugely beneficial role. A study conducted at Kuwait University found that administering garlic to rats influenced weight loss and helped reverse many diabetic symptoms, including higher-than-normal blood sugar levels.
- Red Grapes
Grapes are a near-perfect snack: they're light, they're portable, they're tasty, they're inflammation-fighting and antioxidant-rich, and they may help fight obesity. Red grapes are a good source of resveratrol, a compound that has been found to fight colonic inflammation, which may be a contributing factor in obesity, according to a study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology.
If you think that salty foods can't be effective weight loss aids, think again. Research from the University of Copenhagen suggests that consuming seaweed may help dieters lose both body fat and mass.
- Chipotle Peppers
Bring on the chipotle salsa, it might just help you shed that unwanted belly fat. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that study participants consuming foods rich in capsaicin, like chipotles, saw greater breakdown in their fat stores even after the study had concluded than those given placebos. And for more reasons to bring on the heat, discover these 40 Healthy Reasons to Spice Up Your Cooking.
Sprinkled on your favorite vegetables and whole grains, this salty, soy-based sauce may help you lower your weight and fight inflammation. According to research published in Obesity, soy may help obese individuals lose weight without sacrificing muscle mass.
- Black Beans
Black beans are one of the healthiest sources of fiber and protein, making them a satisfying way to fill up. Fortunately, they're versatile as well—puree them with olive oil and spices into a rich spread for sandwiches, add them to your favorite vegetable dishes, or simply sprinkle them on a salad.
Watermelon's high liquid content makes it a great food to add to your diet if you're looking to lose weight. A study published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics found that increased water consumption helped participants lower their total calories. And for more reasons to indulge, discover these 40 Ways Red Fruit Burns Fat and Boosts Health.
Cumin might just be nature's secret for a healthier weight. Research published in Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism found that taking cumin helped study participants lose as much weight as a popular, FDA-approved diet pill.
Meat substitutes aren't the only ways to get waist-friendly protein into your diet. Edamame, or soybeans, are a satisfying, protein-rich snack found on the menu at nearly every Japanese restaurant, and better yet, they're a tasty way to lose weight. Just make sure you check the label before digging in or you could accidentally add a huge amount of sodium to your diet.
As a prebiotic, antioxidant-, protein-, and fiber-rich food, flaxseed is already a pretty great addition to your diet, and for those hoping to lose weight, it could be a lifesaver. In fact, research in The Journal of Nutrition shows that eating flaxseeds along with a healthy diet reduced cholesterol, blood sugar, weight, and belly fat.
- Dark Chocolate
You don't have to do much convincing to get most people to add more chocolate to their diet. However, those rare individuals for whom it's a hard sell should consider this: in a study conducted by researchers at Rio de Janeiro State University, the consumption of dark chocolate was shown to contribute to weight and body fat loss.
Ginger does more than settle an upset stomach: it can also help you feel more satisfied after eating. A study published in Metabolism found that subjects were less hungry and less likely to continue eating after consuming ginger.
- Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes may be carbohydrate-rich, but that doesn't mean eating them is a misstep when you're trying to lose weight. A study published in the Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin found that eating sweet potatoes improved glucose tolerance, and the high fiber content, as well as their antioxidant content and inflammation-fighting potential, can make them a weight loss-friendly food. And for more anti-inflammatory meals, turn to these 40 Foods That Fight Inflammation.
Staying fit as you get older could be as easy as adding olives to your diet. Research published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that black olives helped reduce bone loss, meaning you can maintain an active lifestyle for longer.
Rich in resveratrol, delicious, and an easy way to reduce your risk of diabetes, there's no reason cherries shouldn't be a regular part of your weight loss plan. If you're not sure how to incorporate them into your diet, try using them in your Zero Belly granola, quinoa stuffing, or your favorite smoothie.
Now that quinoa is nearly as ubiquitous a pantry staple as rice, it's easier than ever to eat healthy, even when you're dining out. Not convinced? A study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology found that rats who consumed quinoa ate less food in total and had reduced levels of hunger hormone ghrelin. And for more foods to always have on hand, check out these 20 Foods You Should Always Keep in Your Pantry.
Asparagus' unique high-fiber, high-water, low-calorie composition makes it a powerful weapon in any weight loss arsenal, keeping you full for longer without adding tons of calories to your diet.
Whether in its oil form or whole, coconut's high phosphorus and magnesium levels can help your metabolism work more effectively. Better yet, it can help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and may assist in your weight loss efforts.
We all know that eating breakfast gives us the fuel we need to face the day, but the food we choose to consume in our morning meal could also be what helps us achieve a healthy weight. Unlike many sugar- and salt-laden breakfast foods, eggs may just be the key to better health. Researchers from the Saint Louis University Department of Psychology found that individuals who ate eggs at breakfast consumed fewer calories throughout the rest of the day.
Strawberries are a terrific source of weight-loss enhancing resveratrol. They also just so happen to be the perfect complement to other satisfying, anti-inflammatory hunger-fighters, like oatmeal, dark chocolate, and even balsamic vinegar.
Beets are an excellent source of magnesium, which can help you maintain more stable blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing cravings and achieving weight loss. Even if you don't feel like topping your salad with them, you can enjoy one in a tasty Zero Belly smoothie.
Pumpkin's satisfyingly sweet flavor and high fiber make it a filling, inflammation-fighting addition to your diet. However, it's not just the flesh you should be snacking on: research published in Food and Chemical Toxicology found that pumpkin seeds helped reverse certain symptoms of diabetes, including kidney damage. And for more insight into your bulging belly, discover these 30 Reasons Why You're Getting Fat.