Trying to stick to your weight loss plan can be challenging, especially if you’re someone who’s mainly focused on what foods you “can’t eat” or “should avoid.” While each weight loss strategy may have their own individualized sets of goals and guidelines, it’s helpful to concentrate on the foods you can enjoy that can provide you with a delicious boost of fiber, protein, antioxidants, vitamins, and more.
When it comes to choosing the best foods to help you reach your weight loss goals, one way you can help yourself is to make sure your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer are always stocked with a few key items that you can grab whenever you want. Having these items on hand can aid in limiting how often you are able to reach for less nutrient-dense munchies or resisting the urge to open up that food delivery app on your phone.
Read on to learn about which foods dietitians say you should keep in your kitchen if you’re trying to lose weight—then, check out 6 Best High-Protein Foods for Weight Loss.
One of the best fruits you can always have stocked in your fridge is a carton of delicious, antioxidant-rich blueberries.
“Blueberries are super healthy, filling, and versatile. They are low in calories and contain plenty of fiber, so you feel satisfied,” says Lisa Young, Ph.D., RDN, author of Finally Full, Finally Slim: 30 Days to Permanent Weight Loss One Portion at a Time, and member of our medical expert advisory board. “You can enjoy them plain; add them to yogurt; freeze them and enjoy them as a treat; or even heat them in the microwave for a minute for that warm, berry pie taste.”
If you find that you can’t finish a package of blueberries before they go bad, try buying a bag of frozen berries instead.
Having a box of old-fashioned or steel-cut oats in your pantry can help you on those mornings when you need a boost of fiber, especially since an increase in fiber intake has been associated with greater weight loss.
“Oatmeal is a healthy and filling breakfast option and takes just a few minutes to make. [Oats] contain fiber, which will keep you full,” says Young. “You can throw in assorted fruit, add milk or water, and top with nuts or seeds.”
“Walnuts are an incredibly satiating food, thanks to their combo of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Including satiating foods in your diet can potentially help people eat less and ultimately lose weight,” says Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, and author of The First-Time Mom’s Pregnancy Cookbook and Fueling Male Fertility.
In fact, walnuts are known to have incredibly high concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids—which are not only linked to weight loss but also can help improve heart health when used as a substitute for unhealthy fats.
Frozen vegetables are a great food item to stock up on because you don’t have to worry about finishing them before they go bad.
“While I love fresh veggies, if you are traveling, busy, or don’t have lots of time to shop, you can always take out the bag of frozen vegetables and add them to your lunch, dinner, or snack,” says Young.
You can pick out your favorite individual veggie or add a little variety to your plate by buying a bag of assorted veggies. Either way, all veggies are great for weight loss because, according to Young, they’re “low in calories and high in fiber and antioxidants.”
If you’re a seafood lover, you might benefit from keeping your supply of salmon well stocked. Whether frozen or fresh, the health benefits associated with salmon might prove advantageous to your diet as you work toward your weight-loss goals.
“Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which is linked to promoting satiety and weight loss. This fish also contains protein, which offers a satiety factor, as well,” says Manaker. “Including salmon or other fatty fish in your diet two times a week may help people lose weight when it is a part of an overall balanced and healthy diet.”