When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s easy to assume that cutting items out of your diet will provide the quickest path to your goal. But after speaking with a panel of nutritionists, INSIDER discovered that addition can be even more effective for weight loss than subtraction. For a quicker metabolism, an increase in vitamins and minerals, and a higher level of energy, consider adding these eight foods to your meal plan.
1. Cayenne pepper
(Flickr photo by Chris Potako)
Adding a dash of cayenne to your plate allows for bolder flavor, a punch of heat, and plenty of weight-loss-friendly side effects.
“Spicy cayenne pepper is a natural appetite suppressant,” explained teacher and wellness consultant Vince Massara.
Fretting over the fat content in avocados has become a regular occurrence, but these delicious fruits come packed with vitamins, minerals, and plenty of good fats.
“Avocados are so nutrient-dense and satisfying that including a few slices in your sandwich or salad will make you feel satiated and satisfied so you’re not hungry. They’re full of healthy omega-3 fats and fiber, which keep you fuller longer,” New York-based dietician Laura Burak told INSIDER.
Because it’s rich and texturally luxurious, avocado feels decadent without derailing your diet, making it an ideal addition to your pre-summer grocery list.
3. Coconut oil
(Photo by Meal Makeover Moms)
Coconut oil includes beneficial compounds like MCT (medium chain triglycerides), which avoid the digestive tract after consumption and head straight for the liver, where they’re instantly converted into energy.
“The more energy you have, the more calories you burn throughout the day, which leads to weight loss,” NYC nurse and wellness coach Rebecca Lee advised.
Eggs frequently get a bad rap from dieters, due to a misconception about their calorie count and cholesterol level. However, they’re actually a lean source of protein that boost energy levels and keep you full and satisfied.
“I would recommend eating eggs for effective weight loss because they are rich in vitamins, minerals, high-quality protein, and healthy fats. They are low in calories, keep you fuller for longer, and can also boost your metabolism,” NYC wellness specialist and Pilates coach Melanie Kotcher told INSIDER.
If you’re really committed to cutting calories, just ditch the yolks and stick with egg whites.
“Egg whites are a great way of incorporating more protein in your diet without the extra calories that are found in the egg yolk. Protein keeps you feeling satiated longer and also helps to preserve muscle when losing weight, which is important for achieving that toned look,” insists Mary Weidner of Strongr Fastr.
5. Cruciferous vegetables
(Photo by Meal Makeover Moms)
Veggies in the Brassicaceae family, also known as cruciferous vegetables, are excellent options if you want your food to really work for you.
“Not only are cruciferous vegetables — like kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts — bursting with good-for-you ingredients, they’re also some of my favorite fat-burning foods,” Dr. Josh Axe of Ancient Nutrition said. “That’s because they’re some of the most nutritionally dense vegetables around. The benefits your body gets for the amount of calories contained in these vegetables means you’re getting more bang for your nutritional buck. Packed with vitamins, you can chow down on these veggies guilt-free.”
6. Fermented foods
Fermented dishes like sauerkraut and kimchi are known for their bold and tangy flavors, but they also contain valuable bacteria that promotes gut health and keeps your digestive tract in great working condition, all of which can help with weight loss, according to Shape.
“Including fermented foods on your plate is the good gut secret to weight loss through a healthy microbiome. You need all that great bacteria throughout the day to keep your digestion humming,” certified wellness expert Robyn Youkilis told INSIDER.
7. Chia seeds
(Photo by Stacy Spensley)
A long-time favorite of health-food aficionados, chia seeds are easy to incorporate into smoothies, yogurt parfaits, and other diet-friendly dishes, and they come with a plethora of nourishing advantages.
They’re full of fiber which can keep you fuller longer, all while reducing constipation and regulating your bowel movements. Just be sure to limit your doses.
8. Bone broth
Simple, slow-cooked bone broth is an on-trend these days, but it can also a great addition to any weight-loss-oriented eating plan.
“Bone broth provides our body with very digestible forms of magnesium and calcium. Glycine found in bone broth promotes proper stomach acid production, while collagen helps to improve and maintain healthy digestion by ensuring that the stomach lining is healthy,” cardiologist and weight-loss expert Dr. Luiza Petre told INSIDER.
Keep in mind more research is needed to backup many of these health claims, but experts told Kitchn there’s nothing wrong with giving bone broth a try.