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The Best Essential Foods to Eat to Lose Weight

These foods look unassuming, but hide impressively powerful health benefits.

Google "best foods for weight loss" and you'll get 48 million different opinions. But we know that it's not about what you find online—it's about what actually makes it on your plate.

And here, we've collected the essential list.

We call these best foods to lose weight "superfoods" because, like Clark Kent, they look unassuming but hide impressively powerful health benefits. That's right, the secret to lose weight by eating has been in front of you this whole time: simply shop at your local grocery store, grab the below and make sure they make the meal plan week after week.

Meet the best weight loss foods ever. And while you're making healthier choices, be sure to check out these 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.


Leafy Greens

leafy greens kale spinach

We don't expect you to suddenly convert to the Kale Cult. It's bitter, tough to eat raw and just so disgustingly pleased with itself. Good news: We found 10 greens healthier than kale so you can pick something that suits your needs. Love smoothies? Go with spinach. Want something no-nonsense? Even plain 'ol leafy lettuce stacks up as more nutritionally-dense than the current king of greens. And remember: Sometimes, the healthiest plants aren't even the ones you eat. When you just need something to sip on, but you're looking to get the biggest nutritional bang for your buck, try these teas that help you lose weight.


Healthy Fats

soft boiled egg avocado toast

Repeat after us: fat is not the enemy. No, that's not your carte blanche to dive into the bacon. There are plenty of healthy fats—delicious ones—that make our list of foods that will help you lose weight. You don't have to eat straight avocados to get the benefits, either. Grab an egg and cheese combo to go from our list of healthy fast food breakfast options. Welcome to the tastier side of weight loss.




We're going to go out on a limb here and wager a guess that the luck of the Irish has nothing to do with actual luck. Like most things in life, it has to do with being prepared—and Ireland has a longstanding tradition of starting their days with the breakfast most likely to get you through the day at the top of your game. Waking up to a big bowl of oats, in addition to giving you all-morning focus, tops our list of the 10 daily habits that blast belly fat. Need more motivation? You'll see rapid weight loss results—in just 14 days.


Red Fruits

strawberries in plastic container

If you want to lose weight, see red. Red fruits are richest in flavonoids called anthocyanins—compounds that give them their color—which boast special zero belly properties. Which means, if you're picking Gala over Golden Delicious, you're choosing the best fruit for weight loss. But before you swap your green juice for red, check these tips on how to lose weight. One of the biggest: Eat, don't drink, your fruit! The fiber will keep you full while the anthocyanins whittle your waist.


Lean Protein

Grilled chicken

Americans have a duel obsession with snacking and eating more protein. So when a study revealed that spacing your protein evenly throughout the day actually helps you build more muscle—without a workout—we knew we had to round up good snacks packed with the stuff. Though we're still very pro lean chicken and fish dishes, there's no denying that grab-and-go protein suits our modern lifestyles much better. Looking for something a little more indulgent? See if your favorite brand makes our list of the best yogurt for weight loss for a creamy, protein-packed snack.


Bonus: Water


Drinking water is sort of like the flossing of the dieting world: You don't really think about it until someone reminds you, but it's integral to your health—and weight loss plan. Just keeping a full water bottle at your desk to sip on throughout the day is enough to keep your metabolism humming; in fact, it's one of our favorite easy ways to lose weight. Feeling like an overachiever? Add some sliced lemons and oranges to your water for a cleansing boost straight out of our exclusive one day detox. A compound in the peel helps flush toxins from the body and give your sluggish bowels a kick.

Eat This, Not That!
Inspired by The New York Times best-selling book series, Eat This, Not That! is a brand that's comprised of an award-winning team of journalists and board-certified experts, doctors, nutritionists, chefs, personal trainers, and dietitians who work together to bring you accurate, timely, informative, and actionable content on food, nutrition, dieting, weight loss, health, wellness, and more. Read more about Eat This