What foods can I eat a lot of if I want to lose weight?

Judy Caplan
Nutrition & Dietetics

Foods that contain lots of water! This would be fresh, frozen or canned vegetables. This does not include starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, or peas. Lean protein is also another food you can eat a lot of. However, too much protein can be hard on your kidneys. It is also high in artery clogging fats. Think veggies dipped in salsa, a yogurt based dill dip or even some hummus. Remember though, when trying to lose or maintain weight, you never want to eat too much.

Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics

If you want to eat a lot of food but still lose weight, you will need to choose foods that are low in calories are even better yet, contain 0 calories. The list is not long, as many foods contain calories and the calories do add up if you are consuming many servings. Zero calorie beverages like diet soda, 0 calorie flavor packets, plain tea or plain coffee are possible low calorie choices. Raw vegetables are a lower calorie food group with about 25 calories per serving of 1 cup of raw vegetables or ½ cup cooked vegetables.

F. Michael Gloth, III
Geriatric Medicine
Some foods -- such as celery -- can be eaten without much concern about weight gain. These foods are generally either very low in calories, or the available calories are quite complex and provide fewer effective calories, or both. Other foods that are generally so low in calories that you can eat them without concern include most stalk vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, and cauliflower), as well as other vegetables that are typically served as appetizers (peppers, carrots, cucumbers, and mushrooms). Additionally, these foods are high in the complex carbohydrates called fiber. High-fiber foods, including cereals (grains, etc.), have also been linked to reductions in the risk for cardiovascular disease. Most vegetables in the legume family, which includes beans and peas, contain useful amounts of protein, but some also contain more calories as vegetable fats and are not as useful for unlimited consumption.

In addition to raw or steamed vegetables that can be eaten in relatively large amounts without substantially contributing to your effective calorie count, good snacking choices include sugar-free flavored gelatins (which can be combined with fat-free whipped topping for a guilt-free snack or dessert), fat-free popcorn, and rice cakes. Tea, coffee, broths, and artificially sweetened beverages are also on the list, and sugar- and fat-free hot chocolate is a good treat for people who like chocolate.

Foods that are high in protein and low in fat and simple include shrimp, crab, some fish, and lean meats (chicken, venison, ostrich, bison, certain cuts of beef, and most wild game). Although relatively high in fat content, the high proportion of protein in salmon makes it a good example of a relatively high-calorie food that is acceptable, because of the energy needed to break down the protein and beneficial fats. Some fats are essential, and deep sea fish is an excellent choice; it is also one of the few natural sources of vitamin D.
Fit at Fifty and Beyond: A Balanced Exercise and Nutrition Program (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

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Fit at Fifty and Beyond: A Balanced Exercise and Nutrition Program (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

As people reach their fifties, the body’s metabolism slows. Without a change in eating or exercise habits, it’s common to put on weight and become less able to perform routine physical...

Continue Learning about Nutrition and Weight Loss

Nutrition and Weight Loss

Nutrition and Weight Loss

You've probably heard 'you are what you eat' at least a hundred times, but next time you do, don't dismiss it. Nutrition and weight loss are inextricably linked and without the proper diet plan, it won't matter how much exercise y...

ou do. Some foods, like hemp seeds, cinnamon and curry leaves are nutrient-dense and can help bust belly fat, while other seemingly healthier choices like 100-calorie bags of chips and boxed granola bars can sabotage weight loss. The key is to arm yourself with information and the questions below can help.

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.