It would be great if we lived in a world where all the food we really loved eating contained absolutely no calories.
Unfortunately, that kind of utopia doesn’t exist yet, but it’s not all bad. There are definitely plenty of foods you can really enjoy digging into without having to worry that you’ll be piling on the pounds as a result.
Here are 20 foods to help you lose weight, and the science behind why:
Nutritionist Dr. Lisa Young explains that such low-calories foods usually fall into either of these two categories: vegetables and non-starchy fruits. And why do we not gain weight after eating these kinds of foods? Well, because they’re usually made up of water, plenty of nutrients and they contain fiber, which helps you feel fuller for longer.
So, without further ado, here are 14 foods you can eat to your heart’s content and not have to worry about weight gain.
Kale is very low in calories – in fact, a whole cup of raw kale contains a minuscule 33 calories. However, in spite of its low-calorie content, it contains almost three grams of protein and 2.5 grams of fiber per serving. It also contains rare and healthy nutrients such as omega-three fatty acids, which a lot of people assume you can only get from fish. It’s also high in folate and vitamins.
One of the healthiest things about blueberries is their high antioxidant content. Fun fact: blueberries have more antioxidants than any other fruit. Plus a cup of blueberries contains 14% of your recommended daily fiber intake and only contains about 85 calories.
Cucumbers mostly consist of water and contain only around 16 calories per serving. However, you shouldn’t underestimate the skin and seeds as they contain most of the fruit’s nutrients. They are a good source of fiber and a type of vitamin A known as beta-carotene which is good for your vision.
Tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene, a carotenoid, which helps to protect the body against chronic diseases and also gives it its famously vivid red color. Aside from lycopene, tomatoes are also rich in vitamins A, C B2, chromium, folate, fiber, and potassium. It’s packed with nutrients and yet a medium-sized tomato only has about 25 calories.
Oranges are known to be an excellent source of vitamin C, but that’s certainly not the extent of its many health benefits. Vitamin C plays a crucial part in the production of collagen which means that the citrus fruit helps to restore the skin and keep it looking smooth and healthy. And again, it’s pretty low in calories – a medium-sized orange contains about 80 calories.
But if you have a habit of peeling off the white bits – known as pith – underneath the fruit’s skin, you may want to refrain from doing that. That’s because pith has a great deal of fiber which helps to lower your blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Move aside oranges, because when it comes to vitamin C content, strawberries sure know how to give the citrus fruit a run for their money. And in addition to that, strawberries are packed with polyphenols, a kind of antioxidant. They’re also rich in potassium and fiber, plus they’re completely free from cholesterol, fat, and sodium which means they’re great for your heart. A cup of strawberries only has about 50 calories.
Dieticians have always said that including grapefruits into your diet can help you to lose weight. And why is that? Well, they’re extremely high in fiber, which lessens the hunger you would ordinarily feel by keeping your blood sugar levels at a stable level. Also, there are only about 50 calories in a half a grapefruit.
Broccoli is an incredible source of vitamins A, C, E, and K and one serving of it contains up to 20% of your daily recommended fiber intake. And there are approximately 31 calories in a serving.
Cantaloupe is one of the best sources there is for a kind vitamin A called beta-carotene. In one cup of the fruit, you will find more than 100% of your daily recommended intake of vitamins A and C.
Cauliflower is made up of phytochemicals and antioxidants which both help to protect the body against chronic diseases. Plus it’s also high in fiber, folate, and vitamins C and K. There are about 25 calories in a serving.
Lettuces usually have about 10-20 calories per serving which is insanely low! It’s also rich in vitamins A and C and nutrients such as iron and folate.
12. Honeydew melon
Honeydew melons have more than half of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C and copper which helps to keep your skin healthy.
Celery is about 95% water and also contains plenty of potassium, fiber, folate and vitamin K. And there are only about six calories in a serving.
Like most berries, this fruit is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants such as bioflavonoids. There about 60 calories in a serving.
So there you have it: eating healthily does not necessarily have to mean ridding your diet of all the foods you really love. Ultimately, it all boils down to maintaining a balanced diet.