When it comes to losing weight, rather than restricting calories or certain food groups, it’s more important to focus on the foods you are eating regularly to support overall weight loss.
There’s no magic pill, special formula, or miracle food for losing weight, but there are foods found in nature that can help you burn fat more efficiently, and speed up the weight loss process.
These 10 foods are not only helpful for promoting weight loss, but they’re jam-packed with nutrients which means they should be a part of any healthy diet.
The 10 Best Weight Loss Boosting Foods
1. Coconut Oil
It was only a few years ago that coconut oil was demonized for being a saturated fat and contributing to obesity and heart disease – but this information was all wrong. While it’s true that coconut oil is a saturated fat, it’s made up of medium chain triglycerides, which are metabolized differently than other fatty acids.
You see, medium chain triglycerides don’t get stored as fat, but are sent straight to the liver to be converted to energy right away. Not only does this provide your body with an immediate source of energy, but studies show medium chain fatty acids (MCT’s) may actually help your body burn fat more efficiently (1).
How to Add Coconut Oil to Your Diet:
Coconut oil can withstand medium-high heat, which makes it a great oil to cook with – thick savory stews and skillet dishes. Personally, I love adding 1 Tbsp to my coffee in the morning, and using it in place of butter in my baking recipes.
These Coconut Oil Fat Bombs are also an amazing and delicious way to get more of the healthy fats from coconut oil in your diet.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar’s active compound, acetic acid, may help stimulate stomach acid production to help you better digest and absorb nutrients from the foods you eat (2). Since weight gain can be caused by a buildup of waste and undigested food in your GI tract, one way to tackle sustainable weight loss is by improving your digestion with ACV (3).
How to Add Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Diet:
Apple cider vinegar makes the best tangy salad dressings, and you can also add 1 shot of ACV to your lemon water 20 minutes before meals to help improve digestion.
3. Organic Eggs
Balancing your blood sugar levels is one of the most important things you must do to achieve sustainable weight loss. When your blood sugar levels spike and crash due to eating refined sugar and carbohydrates, your body releases a hormone called insulin – a fat storage hormone (4).
Protein is the ultimate blood sugar balancing nutrient that helps prevent excess insulin from being released. And since it’s a slower nutrient to digest, protein also keeps your appetite satisfied for longer periods of time (which is why it’s so important to have protein at breaky!).
Whole organic eggs are one of the best dietary sources of quality protein that also provide other nutrients to support weight loss, such as choline (5).
How to Add Eggs to Your Diet:
Is there a more versatile food than eggs? If you’re looking to change it up from scrambled and over-easy, take a peek at our epic list of 43 egg recipes.
4. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, swiss chard, arugula, watercress, and romaine are excellent sources of insoluble fiber, which promotes weight loss by moving food through the digestive tract, and balancing blood sugar levels (6). Since low fiber diets are linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes, plant foods such as leafy greens are one of the most important foods to include in your diet to promote sustainable weight loss (7).
Dark leafy greens are also rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that help reduce inflammation, and support detoxification and cellular health, which are other important factors for weight loss (8).
How to Add Leafy Greens to Your Diet:
Whip up side dishes like creamy collard greens, blend them in your smoothies, and make it a goal to eat a leafy green salad every day.
An avocado a day may keep the belly fat away, studies suggest (9).
Diets rich in monounsaturated fats, the primary fat in avocado, have been shown to lower blood sugar levels and reduce conditions related to obesity, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (10). Monounsaturated fats also provide the building blocks for healthy hormones which regulate every function in your body, from digestion to metabolism (11).
The nutrients in avocados make them one of the most beneficial foods to eat to support weight loss.
How to Add Avocado to Your Diet:
We love using avocados to make smoothies, pasta sauce and Coconut-Crusted Avocado Fries. But there’s nothing wrong with sprinkling some sea salt and pepper on half of an avocado and eating it with a spoon, either (extra kudos if you add a baked egg).
Collagen is a protein that’s found in bones and connective tissue. It’s known for its ability to help improve digestion and digestive conditions (such as leaky gut syndrome) by ‘healing and sealing’ the gut lining, which contributes to better nutrient absorption and promotes sustainable weight loss (12).
Leaky gut syndrome is thought to affect most people who experience digestive symptoms, and can contribute to weight gain by causing inflammation and weakening the digestive tract (13).
How to Add Collagen to Your Diet:
Bone broth is a powerful food source of type II collagen, which is the type of collagen that’s been studied for healing and supporting gut health. However, you can take type II collagen in a powdered supplement form as hydrolyzed collagen peptides.
Collagen is flavorless and dissolves in any liquid, so it can be used in smoothies, desserts (like lemon curd), blended with coffee, and can even be used to make healthy homemade marshmallows and gummies.
7. Green Banana Flour
While green banana flour may not be your average pantry staple, it contains a type of resistant starch called RS2, which is linked to sustainable weight loss (14). This is because the RS2 in unripe banana flour is shown to improve satiety and balance ghrelin levels — which is the hormone that tells your body you’re hungry and need to eat (15).
Since resistant starch is also an indigestible form of starch, it feeds the beneficial bacteria in your colon, which helps promote bowel health and improves digestion. Having an adequate supply of beneficial bacteria in your colon is also linked to a lower BMI (16).
How to Add Banana Flour to Your Diet:
You can swap banana flour with other grain or nut flours in your baking recipes, such as pancakes, energy bars, and muffins.
8. Cruciferous Veggies
Cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and cabbage, help assist your body with phase II liver detoxification, which is the stage of detoxification where your body is getting ready to safely eliminate toxins from your body (17). A buildup of toxins in your system prevents your cells from functioning optimally, and can allow fat to be stored in your cells, which is what causes fat gain (18).
Additionally, one study showed that an increased intake of cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens directly supported weight loss (19).
How to Eat More Cruciferous Veggies:
The options are endless for adding cruciferous vegetables to your diet: Grilled Cauliflower with Turmeric, Cream of Broccoli Soup with Coconut Milk, and Asian Style Cabbage Wraps are a few of our favorites.
9. Wild Salmon
Chronic inflammation is linked to weight gain, difficult weight loss, and obesity. It’s caused by many factors in the modern day lifestyle, such as stress, a diet high in refined sugar, and excessive alcohol consumption (20). The Omega-3 essential fatty acids found in wild salmon act as a natural anti-inflammatory, and can help reduce the negative impact that chronic inflammation has on your body. And the lower your levels of inflammation, the easier weight loss becomes.
How to Eat More Wild Salmon:
Give these wild salmon recipes a try if you’re looking to make a change from traditional baked or plain grilled salmon: Sweet Thai Chili Glazed Salmon, Salmon Eggs Benedict (With Sweet Potato “Muffins”), and Italian Salmon with Tomato Sauce.
10. Green Tea
Some studies suggest green tea can help improve weight loss in those who are overweight, due to its caffeine and antioxidant content (21). And while research is still emerging on the effect of green tea and metabolism, the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties may contribute to weight loss indirectly, by improving overall cellular health (22).
How to Drink More Green Tea:
Swap sugar-laden beverages for hot or cold brewed green tea. This will not only reduce the amount of refined sugar you consume, but will further contribute to your weight loss efforts.
The Bottom Line
While adding these 10 foods to your diet promotes sustainable weight loss, it’s important to remember to keep it simple when it comes to losing weight. As long as you make sure at least 80% of your diet is full of the real, whole foods found in nature, the weight will come off naturally (and effortlessly) as the rest of your health begins to improve.
(Read This Next: How to Lose Weight by Balancing Your Gut)