To lose weight as part of weight management, what foods can I eat?

To lose weight as part of weight management, you can eat a variety of foods and lose weight at the same time. Following a healthy diet can help you to eat fewer calories and stay healthy. You may be able stay at a healthy weight if you make this diet a part of your lifestyle. Below are a few ideas for a healthy diet:

  • Eat whole grain foods more often. A healthy eating plan should contain fiber. Fiber is the part of grains, fruits and vegetables that is not broken down by your body. Whole grain foods are healthy and provide extra fiber in your diet. Some examples of whole grain foods are whole wheat breads and pastas, oatmeal, brown rice and bulgur.
  • Eat a variety of vegetables every day. Eat dark, leafy greens such as spinach, kale, collard greens and mustard greens. Eat yellow and orange vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes and winter squash. Eat these vegetables along with other types of vegetables because they are good sources of vitamins and minerals.
  • Eat a variety of fruits every day. Choose fresh or canned fruit (canned in its own juice or lite syrup) instead of juice. Fruit juice has very little or no fiber.
  • Eat low-fat dairy foods. Drink fat-free (skim) milk or one-percent milk. Eat fat-free yogurt and low-fat cottage cheese. Try low-fat cheeses such as mozzarella or other reduced-fat cheeses.
  • Choose protein foods that are lower in fat. Choose beans or other legumes such as split peas or lentils. Choose fish, turkey, poultry or leaner cuts of red meat (for example, beef or pork). Before cooking meat or poultry (chicken), cut off any visible fat and remove skin.
  • Use less fats and oils. Try baking foods instead of frying them. Add less fat (margarine, sour cream, regular salad dressing and mayonnaise) to foods. Eat less of high-fat foods. Some examples of high-fat foods are potato chips, french fries, doughnuts and cakes.
  • Eat fewer sweets. Limit foods and drinks that are high in sugar. Some examples of sweets are candy, cookies, regular soda and sweetened drinks.
Marisa Moore
Nutrition & Dietetics

The good news is, when you’re trying to lose weight there’s really no list of “bad” foods. Instead, you should incorporate a variety of foods into your diet. With that being said, there are some foods that tend to give a little edge in weight management.

  • Choose foods that are high in water. Vegetables like leafy greens and fruits such as melons and berries are great choices among others.
  • Incorporate protein into each meal to help keep hunger at bay. Try eggs in the morning, lean chicken or fish at lunch and beans at night.
  • Choose whole grains over refined ones. They are more filling.
  • Drink plenty of water. You can even do unsweetened tea or sparkling water for variety.
Judy Caplan
Nutrition & Dietetics
Generally try to eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, legumes, and healthy fats. Cut back on processed carbohydrates like white bread, bagels, cookies, cakes, candy, alcohol, and soda. Substitute processed carbs for complex carbs like whole grain breads, brown rice, quinoa, whole grain crackers. However, when trying to lose weight, you need to limit all carbs, even whole grain carbs. Non starchy vegetables can be eaten in large quantities since they are low in calories and high in fiber. Choose salads, tomatoes, peppers, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, and celery.
Ruth Frechman
Nutrition & Dietetics
If you are trying to lose and maintain weight, it's important to make the most of your calories. Get the most nutrients for the least amount of calories. To be healthy, is essential to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean sources of protein, and low-fat or fat-free sources of calcium. No foods have to be eliminated. However, it's not so much what you eat, as it is how much you eat. Fried foods and sweets are calorie dense foods. If you want to eat sweets, limit the amount to 100-200 calories a day. That's about two bites of cheesecake.
Jessica Crandall
Nutrition & Dietetics

A great way to lose weight with food is to be sure you are consuming the appropriate amount of calories.  Six small meals throughout the day are suggested to keep your metabolism running.  Be sure to always include a protein and carbohydrate to maintain fullness longer.  Also be sure half of your plate is fruits and vegetables.  Adequate hydration is important as well.  A sample meal plan includes:

Breakfast- 2 egg beaters, 1 whole wheat English muffin, 1/2 banana

Snack- Apple slices and 2 tbsp. peanut butter

Lunch- Spinach Salad with Chicken, veggies, and low fat dressing

Snack- 10 whole wheat crackers and 1 laughing cow cheese

Dinner- 2/3 cup brown rice, 4 oz. salmon, 1 cup broccoli

64 fluid ounces of water


Meet with a Registered Dietitian to get an even more detailed meal plan to fit your personal needs.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.