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Foods That Help You Lose Weight

Foods that are low in calories can help you with weight control.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the healthiest way to lose weight is to reduce your daily food intake by at least 500 calories. Your meal plan should be divided like this: 20 to 35 percent of calories from fat, 45 to 65 percent of calories from carbohydrates, and the remainder from protein.

What to add

Here are some ways to add volume to your diet while lowering the number of calories:

  • Add whole grains. Whole grains contain more fiber than refined grains and have slightly fewer calories.  

  • Eat your nonstarchy vegetables. Not only are they good for you, they also can help you lose weight.

  • Have a green salad. Starting lunch or dinner with a simple green salad topped with low-calorie or fat-free dressing can help you feel fuller, so you will eat fewer calories during that meal.

  • Include fruit. Fruit is generally low in energy density because it’s high in water.

  • Don't forget protein. Eating enough protein-rich, lower-calorie foods increases satiety and slightly increases metabolism.

  • Switch to water. Water is the number one weight-loss choice when it’s chosen as an alternative to beverages containing lots of calories. You can get your water via unsweetened tea or coffee, flavored unsweetened mineral water, tap water with lime or lemon, or calorie-free soft drinks.

You don’t have to change your entire diet to lose weight. By eating meals and snacks that are lower in calories, you can still enjoy reasonable portions of your favorite higher-calorie foods.