Healthiest Meals For Weight Loss


Each of these healthiest meals for weight loss has been carefully selected to contribute towards your dieting goals. Aimed at those who want to lose body fat, these meals will take the guesswork out of what you should be putting on your plate and help you get started with a plan that works for you.

What is considered ‘healthy’ food? 

On the note of making healthier food choices, one may wonder what exactly is considered healthy food? The best diet for losing weight while working out is one that includes high-quality foods that are unrefined and minimally processed. A balanced diet should include plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy (unsaturated) fats, and healthy protein sources. Foods that are high in fibre, protein, and good fats promote feeling satiation, making you less prone to overeating and indulging in those late-night snacks.

Nutritious Foods for Weight Loss

To help you shed those extra kilos, we have listed some of the best weight-loss friendly foods that you should consider adding to your diet:

Whole eggs

Eggs are a high-quality source of protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, Folate, B5, B12, B2, Phosphorus, and Selenium. While naturally high in cholesterol, eating them in moderation will only raise high-density lipoprotein levels, otherwise known as the “good” cholesterol, high levels of which are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. This food will keep you full for longer due to its protein content, and its versatility makes the ideal breakfast food; you can eat them poached, benedict, boiled, scrambled, fried, you name it.

Leafy greens

Leafy greens such as microgreens, kale, spinach, collards, swiss chards, etc., are part of a nutritious and vitamin-loaded food group that is great for weight loss. They contain very few calories and carbohydrates, yet are high in fibre, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals such as calcium. This food group is additionally great for losing weight since it can help to add more volume to your meals without adding a crazy amount of calories to them.

Cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables such as bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower have a high fibre content, they are low in calories, and contain a decent amount of protein, making them a filling food that is perfect for weight loss.

Fatty fish

Fatty fish, salmon especially, are an excellent source of lean protein-a main macronutrient which helps to build muscle when combined with exercise. They are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which the body doesn’t naturally produce, therefore we must get it from food. These are shown to play a role in preventing heart diseases and reducing inflammation, which can also contribute to weight loss.

Lean beef and chicken breast

Meat in general has a bad rep when it comes to a healthy diet, however lean meat cuts that are lower in fat content are a great source of protein and contain a lower and healthier number of calories. In comparison to red meat, chicken breast has less fat and more protein, but red meat is richer in zinc, iron, B vitamins, and selenium, therefore if you prefer meat in your diet, these two are a great weight loss-friendly option.


Oatmeal is known in and outside fitness communities as a fibre-rich food that is amazing for your health. Its fibre content aids the digestive system and makes you feel full longer. Moreover, oats help to lower inflammation and bad cholesterol (LDL), prevent high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and weight gain. You can combine them with berries, bananas, and nut butter for the perfect breakfast meal. 

Whole grains 

Fibre-rich whole grains besides oats such as brown rice, quinoa, barley, and buckwheat are a fantastic food group that can help with weight loss. Besides fibre, they are high in protein, antioxidants, B vitamins, and trace minerals, which makes them highly nutritious food that is worth adding to your daily meals.

The best foods and beverages for healthy weight loss

To lose weight in a healthy way, eat foods that provide the most nutrition and satiety for the fewest calories.

Additionally, choose foods that you enjoy, are easy to find and prepare, and fit the type of diet you prefer. All of these things are important for long-term satisfaction, sustainability, and success.

Dark greenLight greenYellowOrange-redRed
Protein percentage51 to100%31 to 50%21 to 30%10 to 20%Less than 10%
Energy density0.1 to 1.0 calories/gram1.1 to 2.3 calories/gram2.4 to 3.5 calories/gram3.6 to 5.0 calories/gramMore than 5.0 calories/gram

For healthy weight loss, choose mostly foods with protein percentages and energy density ranges in the green columns.

Keep reading to learn all about the best food and beverage options for healthy weight loss.

Meat and poultry

Do you love eating steak, chicken, pork, or lamb? Then you’ll be happy to hear that these foods — which are loaded with protein and other essential nutrients — are excellent for losing weight. 

Eating more meat or poultry has been found beneficial for weight loss in several studies.

To get the best results, consider leaner cuts most of the time. They provide more protein, vitamins, and minerals for fewer calories than fattier meats.

For instance, fattier pork ribs are only 23% protein, while leaner pork tenderloin is 71% protein. This means you’ll get more than twice as many calories per serving of ribs compared to an equal serving of tenderloin.

So while eating pork ribs can certainly make you feel full, you’ll end up taking in far more calories to get that satisfied feeling than if you choose a leaner cut of meat. Remember, your goal for healthy weight loss is to maximize satiety per calorie.

By all means, feel free to enjoy ribs, ribeye steak, and prime rib occasionally. But try to choose meats from the list below most of the time. These meats are in the green zone for both protein percentage and energy density:

  • Chicken or turkey breast, thigh, drumstick, and wings (with or without skin)
  • Ground chicken and turkey
  • Chicken and beef liver
  • Lean steaks, such as eye of round, top sirloin, and filet mignon
  • Lean ground beef or pork
  • Pork tenderloin, chops, and roast
  • Lamb tenderloin, leg, and shank
  • Bison, buffalo, and other game (all cuts)
  • Veal (all cuts)

Protein percentage range


Skinless turkey breastSkinless turkey breast 85%


Pork bellyPork belly


Energy density range (calories/gram)


Skinless turkey breastSkinless turkey breast 1.4


Pork ribsPork ribs 3.6

What about processed meats like bacon, sausage, and salami? The truth is that most processed meats are too low in protein and other nutrients to make this list. Here are some delicious green-zone (weight-loss-friendly) options to enjoy instead: 

  • Canadian bacon
  • Lean deli meats (chicken, turkey, roast beef, and ham)
  • Pastrami
  • Prosciutto, chicken, turkey sausage or turkey bacon
  • Corned beef

Protein percentage range


Canadian baconCanadian bacon 77%


Hot dogHot dog


Energy density range (calories/gram)


Canadian baconCanadian bacon 1.5





Fish and shellfish are rich in protein and several essential minerals, including iodine. They’re also prized for their delicious flavors, which span from delicate to robust. 

Including seafood in your diet can be a winning weight loss strategy. That’s because seafood provides lots of protein with little fat and carbs, no matter what type you choose. 

Although most shellfish and white fish have extremely high protein percentages and low energy densities, fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and herring have solid values, too.

For example, even farm-raised Atlantic salmon (the type of salmon that’s highest in fat) is still a good choice, with 43% protein and about 200 calories per 100-gram serving. Plus, salmon and other fatty fish provide high amounts of essential omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to health benefits.

Make fish and shellfish selections based on the types you like, what’s available in your area, and your budget. (Canned fish is a great, inexpensive option). Just stay away from seafood that’s been battered or breaded and deep-fried. Also, avoid or limit high-mercury fish like bigeye tuna, King mackerel, swordfish, and shark.

Here is our list of the best seafood for healthy weight loss – all of which are in the green zone for protein percentage and energy density:

  • White fish, including flounder, sole, halibut, snapper, tilapia, cod, bass, trout, and light tuna
  • Fatty fish, including anchovies, salmon, sardines, herring, and ahi tuna 
  • clams
  • crab
  • lobster
  • mussels
  • octopus
  • oysters
  • scallops
  • shrimp
  • squid

Protein percentage range


ShrimpShrimp 97%




Energy density range (calories/gram)


ShrimpShrimp 1.0


MackerelMackerel 2.6

Non-starchy vegetables

Non-starchy vegetables are considered great for weight loss, and for good reason. First, vegetables are the least energy-dense of all foods, which means you can eat large amounts for very few calories.

Although non-starchy vegetables don’t provide as much protein per serving as other healthy weight loss staple foods, they provide a lot of protein and nutrients per calorie. However, they’re also low in at least one of the essential amino acids that your body requires to stay healthy.

Vegetables are also a good source of fiber, which can help you feel full.

Finally, non-starchy vegetables are an excellent fit for all diets, including keto, Mediterranean, and vegan, among others.

Choose your favorites from this extensive list of low-carb vegetables:

  • asparagus
  • broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • green beans
  • leafy greens (including spinach)
  • zucchini

Protein percentage range


SpinachSpinach 57%


Yellow bell peppersYellow bell peppers


Energy density range (calories/gram)


LettuceLettuce 0.1


Brussels sproutsBrussels sprouts 0.4


Beans, peas, lentils, and soy

Legumes — beans, peas,  lentils, and soy — are a good source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

In trials, boosting legume intake has been found to help people lose weight.

Why are legumes considered a healthy weight loss food? Many of them provide a lot of satiety per calorie due to their high protein percentages and fiber content. They also rank well on the energy density scale. 

Beans, peas, and soy are enjoyed by many people, and they’re a major source of plant-based protein in vegan and vegetarian diets. However, with the exception of soy, legumes are low in one or more of the essential amino acids that your body needs.

Because they’re higher in net carbs than most healthy weight loss foods, beans, peas, and lentils aren’t a great fit for a strict keto diet unless consumed in very small amounts. 

We recommend eating minimally processed foods no matter what type of diet you follow. However, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan who wants to minimize carbs and maximize satiety, consider occasionally supplementing with plant protein powders, such as pea protein.

The best healthy weight loss beans, peas, lentils, and soy have protein percentages and energy densities in the green zone:

  • lupini beans
  • black beans
  • lentils
  • split peas and green peas
  • tofu (extra firm)
  • tempeh
  • nattō
  • edamame beans
  • canned black soybeans
  • plant-based protein powder made from peas, hemp, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds

Protein percentage range


Lupini beansLupini beans 55%


ChickpeasChickpeas or garbanzo beans


Energy density range (calories/gram)


 lupini beansExtra-firm tofu, lupini beans, lentils 1.0


TempehTempeh 2.0

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