10 Best Weight Loss Foods- Backed By Research

Whenever there is a talk about any weight loss diet, there is a sense of restriction attached to it. For example, a calorie-restricted diet cuts down calories, a low carb diet cuts down carbohydrates and so on.

So you are basically told what you are not supposed to eat.  Since with the kind of knowledge already available on what is bad for your weight, we thought of whipping up a list of top 10 foods that you have to eat when losing weight.

And you will be kind of surprised to know that you have a lot of options.

10 Must Have Foods When On A Weight Loss Mission

Here is a simple list of different food groups that you can have even while losing weight. This list should help you expand your food choices and also help in shedding a few pounds.

10 Best Weight Loss Foods

1. High fibre foods

Dietary fibre is a group of complex carbohydrates that remains undigested by the gut. It is only found in foods from plant sources.

The recommended intake of dietary fibre is 25-35g a day. However, most individuals do not get enough fibre from their diet.

In high fibre foods, topping the chart are cereals and grains followed by fruits, legumes and vegetables. So why dietary fibre:

  • It improves digestion and serves as a colon cleanse.
  • It is very satiating and curbs appetite.
  • It improves cholesterol levels and reduces risk of colon cancer.
  • It is rich in vitamins and mineral.

Whole grain consumption is preferred over refined grains since it is found to be associated with lower BMI and fatness.

A clinical trial demonstrated that consuming oatmeal brought about a decrease in waist circumference and cholesterol levels.

Inclusion of dietary fibres in regular foods like sausages reduces energy density of food and promotes satiety.

Vegetables and fruits are power packed bundles of nutrition and perhaps the easiest way to control appetite.
For example go for a whole fruit instead of juice and you will be full before you know it.

That is the reason why these foods are given the top priority in Volumetrics diet. (Read Lose weight while feeling full on Volumetrics).

What does this mean?
High fibre foods like whole grains, vegetables and fruits promote satiety and improve digestion. They are also low on calories.


weight loss food image 1Meat consumption plays a dual role in weight management. Since it is high in proteins it helps in building muscle mass and hence gain weight.

But at the same time it helps reduce body fat. Also replacing other food groups with protein in the form of meat is likely to make you lose weight.

Regular consumption of pork was found to induce weight loss within 3 months and the effect was persistent till 6 months.

White meat is preferred over red meat though research shows that weight loss results are almost the same. Though red meat cooked at very high temperatures can expose you to carcinogens.

Meat from grass fed animals , unprocessed meat, lean cuts and healthy cooking styles are different ways by which you can enhance the nutritional quality of meat included in your diet. For more details read: Meat Causes Weight Gain- Myth or Truth?

What does this mean?
Animal protein is extremely satiating and helps in building muscle mass while lowering body fat. Go for lean cuts of meat, grassfed origin and preferably white meat.


This comes as great news for seafood lovers. Fish is a great source of proteins and fatty fish contain extremely vital fats ( omega 3 fatty acids) which our body needs but can’t create.

Fish incorporated in a weight loss regimen improves weight loss outcome.  Consuming fish significantly controls appetite and reduces energy intake.

Salmon is an extremely good option if you are suffering from metabolic syndrome and want to turn down your body weight and inflammation.

Cod consumption is found to help with weight loss, decrease in waist circumference and improvement in cardiovascular risk factors.

Consuming fish controls appetite better than other sources of animal protein.  Fish oil also helps in weight loss.   (Read: Can Eating Fish Help In Weight Loss? )

What does this mean?
Fish protein is an excellent option for weight loss food.  Salmon and cod consumption is found to help with weight loss.

4.Dairy products

weight loss food image 2 Dairy products are rich in calcium which assists in weight loss. A high dairy diet without calorie restriction is found to reduce total fat and fat in trunk region.  Recent research shows that dairy fat does not lead to weight gain.

Whey protein, a popular bodybuilding, can accelerate weight loss effects of low calorie diet.  It helps in reducing fat and building muscle mass. Snacking on yogurt is a great way to control appetite and reducing abdominal obesity.

Apart from aiding in weight loss, dairy products can help reduce risk of heart diseases, improve bone health and serve as a good source of vitamin D.

What does this mean?
It is high time you gave up the myth that dairy fat leads to weight gain. For starters whey protein and yogurt are good dairy products to aid in weight loss.


Sprouts are nutrient dense foods and include a number of seeds like pulses, nuts, legumes etc. Low calorie diet supplemented with legumes and nuts is proven to improve weight loss outcome.

Soy protein consumption reduces body weight, fat and waist circumference.  In a study comparing different sources of protein and their effect on weight loss, it was found that legume consumption lead to maximum weight loss.

Grains and sprouts are rich in fibre and protein therefore they are very satiating.  Peanut sprouts, beans, almonds, chickpeas and lentils are few varieties of sprouts that you can try. (Read: Why Pulses Are Your Best Buddies In Weight Loss Journey? )

What does this mean?
Sprouts are a great package of proteins, fibre and nutrients and including them in meals improves your diet quality. Their satiating quality can reduce your calorie intake.


weight loss food image 3Nuts are energy dense foods but you can use them to lose weight. This is because consuming nuts promotes satiety and including them in diet helps to reduce the glycemic load. (the way food impacts blood sugar and can lead to weight gain)

A clinical trial was conducted wherein the effect of almond enriched low-calorie diet was compared to carbohydrate enriched low calorie diet on body weight. Almond enriched diet led to 62% greater reduction in weight in comparison to the carbohydrate enriched low cal diet.

Peanuts exhibit a great appetite control which warrants their use for weight loss.  Macadamia nuts consumption is also linked with a reduction in BMI.

The only thing you need to keep in mind when using nuts for weight loss is to watch out for the portion since they are high in calories.

Snacking on small portions of nuts or eating them prior to meals can assist in controlling hunger.

What does this mean?
Snacking on nuts is a good way to control appetite and they are also an abundant source of healthy fats.

7.Coconut oil

The nutritive value of fats present in coconut oil is highly debated upon. 92% of coconut fats are saturated fat. Previous research suggested that saturated fat is the reason behind heart problems and weight gain but recent research debunks this idea.

The saturated fats present in coconut oil are medium chain triglycerides. These are directly utilised as a source of energy and not deposited as fat.

Research studies prove that MCT oil promotes weight loss and gets rid of abdominal fat.

A clinical trial  demonstrated that using coconut oil with low calorie diet for 12 weeks resulted in significant decrease in waist circumference and improvement in blood lipid profile.

Virgin coconut oil is great for the heart.  (Read- Busted: Coconut is Bad For Health and Body Weight)

What does this mean?
Coconut oil is one of the healthiest oils that you can include in a weight loss diet.

8.Natural diet drinks

The market gives you great options for diet drinks which are low in calories or sugar free. But just because they are low in calories does not mean they are going to enhance your weight loss efforts.

So why not opt for what nature has in store? Green tea is perhaps the first name that pops up in your mind. Green tea boosts your metabolism and aids in burning of fats.

Few studies suggest that green tea enhances fat loss especially of the abdominal region when combined with low calorie diet and exercise.    (Read Green Tea For Weight Loss-Good But Do Not Expect A Miracle)

Next in line is oolong tea, a fermented version of green tea, which is far more superior than green tea in its weight loss property.

Clinical trials show that oolong tea results in significant fat loss.   It raises metabolism and prevents absorption of fats from diet.   (Read 5 Scientific Reasons: Why Oolong tea is Great For Weight Loss)

Drinks containing decent amount of caffeine like coffee and yerba mate can enhance exercise induced weight loss but too much caffeine is not good for health.

Ginger tea and cinnamon tea are also great weight loss drinks.

What does this mean?
Instead of opting for carbonated beverages or artificial drinks that are high in sugar, opt for nature’s low calorie drinks like green tea, oolong tea, coffee ( assuming that is not laden with sugar) , cinnamon tea which also have an anti-obesity effect.


One of the fruits, that has been highly researched upon for its anti-obesity effect is grapefruit. Half a grapefruit prior to meals curbs appetite and leads to weight loss.

Grapefruit juice is found to better than sibutramine, anti-obesity drug that promotes satiety.   Active constituents of grapefruit, nootkatone and naringenin, influence fat and carbohydrate metabolism and thereby suppress weight gain.

Grapefruit juice has blood glucose lowering properties comparable to anti-diabetic drug, metformin.

Half a grapefruit consumed prior to meals twice a day for 6 weeks, keeping in mind that the meals are low in calories, should help you with weight loss.

What does this mean?
Grapefruit has active anti-obesity ingredients and half a grapefruit prior to meals should help reduce energy intake.

10.Dark Chocolate

weight loss food image 4Chocolate has been labelled as the ‘bad guy’ for weight management but a detailed review of scientific literature shows us that is not really the case.

Antioxidants found in chocolate have an anti-obesity action and prevent fat accumulation.

A number of clinical trials demonstrate that consuming cocoa rich product or dark chocolate as a snack brings about decrease in body fat.

Dark chocolate consumption controls appetite, improves insulin sensitivity and promotes healthy gut bacteria.     It is advisable to have 28g of dark chocolate (70% cocoa) per day but only once or twice a week.

What does this mean?
Cocoa’s anti-obesity can be very well exploited by consuming dark chocolate. The darker the better. This is great for satisfying sweet cravings but make sure it’s free or low on sugar.


A quick glance at this list will make you realise that your food choices are not so limited even when you are on a diet.

The key is to avoid processed foods or foods rich in sugar and also to keep a watch on the serving size.

Additionally there are certain foods like grapefruit or natural brews like green tea that accelerate weight loss. Hope this list assists you in organizing your daily meals. For more resources, feel free to browse our site.

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