By Kris Gunnars, BSc , Not all calories are created equal.
Different foods go through different metabolic pathways in the body.
They can have vastly different effects on hunger, hormones and how many calories we burn.
Here are the 20 most weight loss friendly foods on earth, that are supported by science.
Once feared for being high in cholesterol, whole eggs have been making a comeback.
What’s more… they are among the best foods you can eat if you need to lose weight.
They’re high in protein, healthy fats, and can make you feel full with a very low amount of calories.
One study of 30 overweight women showed that eating eggs for breakfast, instead of bagels, increased satiety and made them eat less for the next 36 hours (3).
Another 8 week study found that eggs for breakfast increased weight loss on a calorie restricted diet compared to bagels (4).
Eggs are also incredibly nutrient dense and can help you get all the nutrients you need on a calorie restricted diet. Almost all the nutrients are found in the yolks.
2. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens include kale, spinach, collards, swiss chards and a few others.
They have several properties that make them perfect for a weight loss diet.
They are low in both calories and carbohydrates, but loaded with fiber.
Eating leafy greens is a great way to increase the volume of your meals, without increasing the calories. Numerous studies show that meals and diets with a low energy density make people eat fewer calories overall (5).
Leafy greens are also incredibly nutritious and very high in all sorts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. This includes calcium, which has been shown to aid fat burning in some studies
Oily fish like salmon is incredibly healthy.
It is also very satisfying, keeping you full for many hours with relatively few calories.
Salmon is loaded with high quality protein, healthy fats and also contains all sorts of important nutrients.
Fish, and seafood in general, supplies a significant amount of iodine.
This nutrient is necessary for proper function of the thyroid, which is important to keep the metabolism running optimally (7).
Studies show that a huge number of people in the world aren’t getting all the iodine they need (8).
Mackerel, trout, sardines, herring and other types of oily fish are also excellent.
4. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts.
Like other vegetables, they are high in fiber and tend to be incredibly fulfilling.
What’s more… these types of veggies also tend to contain decent amounts of protein.
They’re not as high in protein as animal foods or legumes, but they’re high compared to most vegetables.
A combination of protein, fiber and low energy density makes cruciferous vegetables the perfect foods to include in your meals if you need to lose weight.
They are also highly nutritious, and contain cancer fighting substances (11).
5. Lean Beef and Chicken Breast
Meat has been unfairly demonized.
It has been blamed for all sorts of health problems, despite no good evidence to back it up.
The truth is… meat is a weight loss friendly food, because it’s high in protein.
Studies have shown that increasing your protein intake to 25-30% of calories can cut cravings by 60%, reduce desire for late-night snacking by half, and cause weight loss of almost a pound per week… just by adding protein to the diet (19, 20).
6. Boiled Potatoes
White potatoes seem to have fallen out of favour for some reason.
However… they have several properties that make them a perfect food, both for weight loss and optimal health.
They contain an incredibly diverse range of nutrients, a little bit of almost everything we need.
There have even been accounts of people living on nothing but potatoes alone for extended periods of time.
They are particularly high in potassium, a nutrient that most people don’t get enough of and plays an important role in blood pressure control.
What this means is that by eating white, boiled potatoes, you will naturally feel full and eat less of other foods instead.
If you boil the potatoes, then allow them to cool for a while, then they will form large amounts of resistant starch, a fiber-like substance that has been shown to have all sorts of health benefits… including weight loss (22).
Sweet potatoes, turnips and other root vegetables are also excellent.
Tuna is another low-calorie, high protein food.
It is lean fish… so there isn’t much fat in it.
Tuna is popular among bodybuilders and fitness models who are on a cut, because it’s a great way to keep protein high, with total calories and fat low.
If you’re trying to emphasize protein intake, then make sure to choose tuna canned in water, but not oil.