Trying to lose weight is a lot like cleaning out the basement: It’s overwhelming and near impossible to know where to start—even when you don’t have a ton of weight to lose. But getting the body you’ve always wanted doesn’t have to be a source of stress. If the scale won’t budge and you’re looking to shed the last 10 pounds, there are plenty of ways to reach your goal. To help you get there, we spoke with a handful of celebs that have successfully slimmed down (and kept it off) and dozens of the fitness and diet industries top experts.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of 40 foods that have been proven to jumpstart weight loss and will help you get to your ideal physique. To jumpstart your weight loss, we’ve selected some nutritious eats, like salsa, that are lower-calorie substitutes for less healthy choices (we’re looking at you, ketchup). And others, such as watermelon, contain certain compounds that have been scientifically proven to reduce the size of your waist and help reduce body fat. Scroll down below for a list of a few dozen weight-loss wonders, and get even more health-conscious inspiration from this list of the 40 Things Healthy Cooks Always Have in Their Kitchen!
To study the efficacy of these three methods of cutting calorie density, Dr. Rolls and associates recently published research1 in which they recruited 62 healthy adults. (None was on a calorie-restricted diet, nor were they smokers, athletes in training, or taking drugs that could affect appetite.) They were between the ages of 20 and 45. Fifty-nine of them completed the study.
“Use a VersaClimber or take a VersaClimber class. These machines are still not that common, but in my opinion they are far more effective for weight loss than other forms of cardio. They require you to use a large portion of your muscles and it’s functionally better for you than other forms of cardio like spinning. Everyone is talking about Rise Nation in LA at the moment as they are the first dedicated VersaClimbing studio. There’s no harder cardio workout I have tried. To lose fat you have to put in the work. — Dan Roberts, celebrity trainer and creator of Methodology X
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Loads of research demonstrates people who log everything they eat — especially those who log while they're eating — are more likely to lose weight and keep it off for the long-haul. Start tracking on an app like MyFitnessPal when the pounds start sneaking up on you. It'll help you stay accountable for what you've eaten. Plus, you can easily identify some other areas of your daily eats that could use a little improvement when it's written out in front of you.

“Bananas contain a small amount of fiber and resistant starch, which have received recent attention for their potential role in boosting weight loss,” says Ellis. Snacking on bananas is easy, convenient, and low cal. They’re also a great source of potassium, which can be lost in sweat during tough workouts or on hot summer days. Plus they make for nice drinks, like the Jamba Juice Triple Revitalizer with carrot and orange juice.
It’s true that green tea can raise your metabolic rate, so you burn more calories, says David Nieman, Dr.PH., director of the human performance laboratory at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. Nieman, who has studied green tea extensively, says this effect is probably due to a combination of its caffeine and catechins—antioxidants that are plentiful in green tea and present in smaller amounts in some fruits, dark chocolate, and red wine.
Instead of constantly refilling the same throw-away bottle over and over, grab a BPA-free bottle, preferably one made of glass or aluminum. Not only is this better for your waistline, but carrying a bottle around with you will prompt you to drink more H2O throughout the day. Drinking more water means you’ll be less hungry, and you’ll give your metabolism a boost. For more hydrating health benefits to help you lose weight fast, check out What Happens to Your Body When You Drink Water.
“If weight loss is the goal, I recommend learning how to properly deadlift. Deadlifting recruits more muscle fiber at once than any other exercise. More muscle working equates to more blood flow, an increased heart rate, more metabolic demand and output. It’s compound, multi-joint and more bang for your buck, not to mention you’ll develop an excellent posterior from them.” — Victoria Viola, PN Certified Nutrition Coach, NSCA CPT, Co-Founder, Excelerate Wellness, LLC
At first, Samantha says she hated the bitter taste and had to force herself to drink it. But soon, Samantha was sipping on green tea and lemon every morning. She then began drinking one cup each hour at work and finished off the day with one while watching TV—a total of nine cups of green tea every day. After just one month of this regimen, Samantha dropped nearly 15 pounds.
When it comes to condiments, mustard is about as healthy and low cal as it gets, and the pungent yellow stuff that contains about 5 calories per teaspoon has also been found to stimulate weight loss. Scientists at England’s Oxford Polytechnic Institute found that eating just one teaspoon of mustard can boost the metabolism by up to 25 percent for several hours after it’s been consumed. Researchers attribute this to capsaicin and allyl isothiocyanates, phytochemicals that give the mustard its characteristic flavor. So instead of reaching for the sickeningly sweet ketchup, make sure you have mustard on hand at your next BBQ.
Where commercial weight loss programs go hands-on, the Mayo Clinic Diet goes streamlined. The vibrant, best-selling hardback (that looks a lot like a fun middle school health textbook) is the first resource for diet information, you can also employ the sleekly designed but minimalist app, plus a full website of tips, recipes, and workouts. Those patient enough to cycle through all of Mayo’s resources will find lots of solid health information.
This is the type of tea that's often served in Chinese restaurants and used to make iced tea. It’s fermented -- a process that allows it to change chemically and often increases its caffeine content. The tea has a strong, rich flavor. Whether it helps with weight loss isn't certain. But research done on rats suggests substances called polyphenols in black tea might help block fat from being absorbed in the intestines.
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“Anytime you’re stressed, you probably go for food,” Dr. Seltzer says. (Have we met?!) That’s because cortisol, the stress hormone, stokes your appetite for sugary, fatty foods. No wonder it’s associated with higher body weight, according to a 2007 Obesity study that quantified chronic stress exposure by looking at cortisol concentrations in more than 2,000 adults’ hair.

To prep his patients for success, Dr. Seltzer tells them to plan around a large evening meal by eating a lighter breakfast and lunch—NBD since most people who eat a meal before bed tend to wake up feeling relatively full, he says. Research suggests balanced bedtime meals may also promote steady next-day blood sugar levels, which also helps with appetite regulation.
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When it comes to weight loss, there is no substitute for healthy eating, reduced calories and increased exercise. Replace sugary beverages with unsweetened green tea to reduce calories, and enjoy drinking it for its possible cardiovascular benefits, but avoid costly and possibly dangerous supplements. Green tea can be enjoyed hot or iced and can be brewed with herbal or fruit teas for interesting alternatives to plain water and healthy alternatives to sugary beverages.
Abazarfard, Z., Salehi, M., & Keshavarzi, S. (2014, May). The effect of almonds on anthropometric measurements and lipid profile in overweight and obese females in a weight reduction program: A randomized controlled clinical trial. Journal of Research in Medical Sciences: The Official Journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, 19(5), 457–464. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4116579/
This study affirms, as many have before, that we can in fact cut calories and, at the same time, eat till we’re full and satisfied when we reduce the calorie density of the foods we eat. The research found that all three strategies to reduce calorie density led to a spontaneous reduction in ad libitum calorie intake, but the reductions in calorie intake were significantly greater with fat reduction.
“Mangoes are a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth and to help to ward off other cravings,” says Rania Batayneh, MPH, a nutritionist and owner of Essential Nutrition for You. Mangoes are high in fiber, magnesium, antioxidants, and iron (making them a great snack for women who may have iron deficiency or anemia), says Batayneh. “And because mangoes aid in digestion, you want to focus on eating the fruit versus just drinking the juice.”
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: fat is your friend! To be more specific, healthy fats will be your weight loss friends. Consider adding extra virgin olive oil to your diet and you might see the scale start to tip in your favor. One Journal of Women’s Health study discovered that an EVOO-enriched diet helped participants lose more weight than those on a low-fat diet. Like peanuts and avocados, extra virgin olive oil’s belly-blasting abilities are thought to be a result of the monounsaturated fats it contains.
Studies led by Dr. Barbara Rolls at Pennsylvania State University as well as those of Drs. James Barnard and Christian Roberts at UCLA, who are following people attending the Pritikin Longevity Center, are particularly enlightening. They have documented that one of the best ways of reducing calorie intake without triggering increased hunger is to reduce the calorie density of the foods consumed. Put simply, a bowl of pasta with veggies and marinara can fill us up just as well as a bowl of pasta with cheesy Alfredo, but for less than half the calorie cost.
Is there anything avocados can't do? This creamy superfood (loaded with monounsaturated fats, potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamins C and E) has been linked to improved vision, good heart health, and a reduced risk of certain cancers. And avocados can also help whittle your middle: according to one study, people who regularly consume them weigh less and have smaller waists than those who do not. Another study found that women who eat half an avocado at lunchtime might experience reduced food cravings later in the day.
As it turns out, almonds aren’t the only superstar nuts around. Studies have shown pistachios aren’t bad to snack on either. UCLA Center for Human Nutrition researchers divided study participants into two groups, each of which were fed a nearly identical low-cal diet for three months. One group was given 220-calories of pretzels as an afternoon snack, while the other sect munched on 240-calories worth of pistachios. About a month into the study, the pistachio group had reduced their BMI by a point and improved their cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while the pretzel-eaters stayed the same.
“Preliminary evidence suggests that if someone is already eating a low-fat, portion-controlled diet and then they get three servings of nonfat milk a day, they lose more weight than someone who eats the same number of calories but doesn’t have the milk,” Somer says. The theory is that calcium may inhibit the storage of fat, and it seems that the weight loss comes largely from the midsection.

“Before you begin to change your diet, spend a week recording everything you eat—and I mean everything. Before I made any changes to my diet, I journaled everything I ate each day for a week, including little things like gum or breath mints. If you have a piece of candy from your coworker’s desk, snag a few spoonfuls of your boyfriend’s ice cream, or finish the few bits of grilled cheese your kid left on her plate, write it down! It all adds up, and you just don’t realize how much you’re eating until you actually see it all on paper in front of you. I, for one, was stunned.” — Maria Menounos, author of  The Everygirl’s Guide to Diet and Fitness, on how she lost 40 pounds
Weight loss (WL) in obese patients, in addition to improving clinical conditions, will increase the recognition and quality of life (6, 7). In order to lose weight, various methods, such as diet, physical activity, drug therapy, and surgery have been suggested. Given the potential side effects of drug therapy and surgery, dietary interventions for WL have always been the first priority for the subjects (8). However, a variety of diets for WL have been suggested.

dChanges between groups, for normally distributed variables, paired-sample t test and independent-sample t test were used to investigate differences within and between groups, respectively. For non-normally distributed variables, the Wilcoxon signed rank and Mann-Whitney U tests were used to assess differences within and between groups, respectively.


Also some research shows that the human body is primed to consume most of its calories during daylight hours. But the lifestyle is problematic for many: Because family meals and dinners with friends often are scheduled for after sunset, “people who try to stop eating after 7pm can’t do it every day for the rest of their lives,” says Dr. Seltzer, who supports an alternative strategy: Eating a hearty meal at your regular dinnertime.

The glycemic and lipid profiles are shown in Table 3. Triglyceride and VLDL levels and insulin indices (FINS, HOMA-IR, and HOMA-S) showed a significant decrease in both groups. In addition, QUICKI increased significantly in both groups, yet no significant differences were shown between the 2 groups. Although the level of FBS and FINS changed significantly, especially in the rapid WL group, the drop in HOMA-B was not statistically significant. A significant reduction in LDL, FBS, and TC was seen in the rapid WL group. In addition, a significant reduction in HOMA-IR, HOMA-S, FBS, and LDL was seen in rapid WL group compared to the slow WL group.


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True tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, and comes in many different varieties. Green tea differs from the more popular black tea in that the harvested leaves are not exposed to air, and therefore not oxidized. Green tea originated in China, but is now produced in Japan and India as well. After harvesting, the leaves may be steamed, producing a bright green tea or roasted in a wok, which creates a pale green-colored tea.
While they may not be the most appetizing item on the list, if you can stomach them, pop open a can of sardines this summer! Sardines are full of fat-fighting compounds that help stabilize blood sugar. They’re rich sources of CO enzyme Q10, vitamin B12, selenium, omega-3 oils, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. Plus, sardines are satiating and packed with protein, says Richter.
I am skilled at losing 50 pounds in the slow and steady method, I have proven that rapid weight loss is doable if you focus on end results. I have lived everyday since March of 2006 with the knowledge that my escape from morbid obesity is fleeting as the blanket of low lying fog on a beautiful fall morning. If I don’t pay attention I will never know the moment it faded away. My workouts are the time I “sit and take in the beauty” it brings to every moment of my life.
Losing weight on autopilot is appealing. But in the age of meal-delivery services (Blue Apron happens to be Whole 30-approved) — is there really a market need for gimmicky Nutrisystem? Our taste buds tell us no. You could easily recreate its no-prep diet by stocking up on breakfast bars, Lean Cuisine lunches, and signing up with the likes of HelloFresh for fast, healthy dinners. (Rough calculations tell us this approach would be equal or less than the monthly price of Nutrisystem.)
Salmon is a rich source of high-quality protein and provides plenty of "good" fats: omega-3 fatty acids. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids helped people feel more satisfied when they were watching their calories, per a study in Appetite. Eating salmon can be a delicious and versatile way to get your recommended two weekly servings of heart-healthy fish.
YBP breaks into three parts: The first is your Goal, or what you consider to be finish line of your weight loss journey. That could be hitting a certain weight, dropping a dress size, or completing a 5k without walk breaks. Your Vision is self-explanatory — it’s what weight loss success looks like to you, and all the good things that come along with it. The Why is where you derive motivation. And it isn’t just the first reason you think of.
Both protocols of rapid WL and slow WL caused reduction in waist circumference, hip circumference, total body water, body fat mass, lean body mass, and resting metabolic rate (RMR). Further reduction in waist circumference, hip circumference, fat mass, and percentage of body fat was observed in slow WL and decreased total body water, lean body mass, fat free mass, and RMR was observed in rapid WL. Improvement in lipid and glycemic profiles was observed in both groups. Reduction of low-density lipoprotein and fasting blood sugar, improvement of insulin resistance, and sensitivity were more significant in rapid WL in comparison to slow WL.
The results suggest that WL could improve anthropometric status and lipid and glycemic profiles regardless of calorie restriction and the speed of WL. However, there could be some differences between the 2 protocol types of WL in terms of impact. The WL regardless of its severity could improve anthropometric indicators, although body composition is more favorable following a slow WL. Both diets improved lipid and glycemic profiles. In this context, rapid WL was more effective.
B is for breakfast. It really is the most important meal of the day. Don't leave home without eating something nutritious to get your metabolism perking and give you energy for the day ahead. It can be a banana, low-fat yogurt, cereal, last night's leftovers, etc. A small meal that contains both fiber and protein can keep you feeling satisfied until lunchtime.
“At a tiny 20 calories for every 3 cups, arugula provides an excellent source of folate, vitamins A and C, and more than 100 percent of your daily vitamin K needs,” says Rey. Not only is it a great weight-loss food, arugula can also help reduce your risk of bone fractures this summer: A recent Framingham Heart study found that people who consumed approximately 250 micrograms per day of vitamin K had a 35-percent lower risk of hip fractures compared to those who consumed just 50 micrograms per day, says Rey.
A sprinkling of cinnamon could be all that’s standing in the way of you and those washboard abs. The sweet spice helps to regulate soaring blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin production. There is some evidence to suggest that cinnamon extract also makes fat cells more responsive to insulin, which means they’re much less likely to hold on to excess energy, and far more likely to burn existing fat stores instead.
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