5 Weight Loss Promoting Foods That Should Be In Your Grocery Cart Each Week

I think we can all agree that shopping and preparing our own food is more effective at promoting weight loss than eating out.  However, even if you are grocery shopping regularly, it can be challenging to know what types of foods you should be purchasing to promote weight loss.  Clients often tell me that they find themselves putting foods in their grocery cart that they think will help them lose weight but end up submarining their efforts.  

The truth is you can find a variety of foods at the grocery store that, when eaten in moderation, can help you lose weight.  However, in this article, I’ll share with you five staple foods that should be in your cart every time you hit the grocery store.  These foods have certain characteristics that help you to feel full while limiting your calorie intake.  This combination is what leads to significant and sustainable weight loss.  

As you’ll notice, every food mentioned in this article has specific properties that help you achieve satiety and lose weight.  The nutritional components that best promote weight loss are protein, water, fiber, and healthy fats.  Each one of the five foods mentioned below offers at least one of these characteristics, and most offer two or more.  In fact, the first weight loss-promoting food that should be in your grocery cart each week is nuts, which are packed with protein, good fats, and fiber.  

Food # 1: Nuts 


Why is this food weight loss promoting: 

On the surface, nuts look like they’d impede rather than accelerate weight loss.  They are high in fat, high in calories, and don’t take up much room in your stomach.  However, nuts are chalked full of fiber, protein, and healthy fats, which are all key nutrients that keep you feeling satisfied for hours on end. 

In fact, nuts are so satiating that numerous research studies have shown their ability to enhance weight loss.  One such study compared a group that ate a low-calorie diet supplemented with almonds to a second group that ate a low-calorie diet supplemented with complex carbohydrates. Both groups consumed equal amounts of calories, protein, cholesterol, and saturated fat, and by the two-month-long study, the group who supplemented with almonds had a 62 percent greater reduction in weight, a 50 percent greater reduction in waist circumference, and a 56 percent greater reduction in fat mass1.  

Nutrition Facts:  

Calories: 170

Protein: 6 grams

Fiber 2 grams

Good fats: 12 grams 

Saturated fats: 2 grams

Sugar: 1 gram 

How To Stretch Your Dollar  

Nuts can be on the expensive side.  One way to cut down on cost is to buy in bulk.  Wholesale stores like BJs, Costco, and Sam’s Club all offer lower-cost bulk purchasing options and store brand nuts, which often cost $3 less than Planters.  Another way to cut down on the cost of nuts is to buy peanuts.  They are about half the price of mixed nuts and offer the same weight loss promoting benefits.  

Advanced Tip:

Since nuts contain fats and salt, they can be used to satisfy many of our cravings.  Try eating nuts when you are craving foods like chips, baked goods, or ice cream.  Your brain will feel satisfied with this choice, and your waistline will thank you.  

Food # 2: Greek Yogurt 

Why is this food weight loss promoting: 

Eating protein, particularly lean protein, is one of the most calorie-efficient ways to feel satisfied.  Feeling satiated by eating fewer calories is at the heart of any sustainable weight loss plan, which is why eating protein-packed Greek yogurt is a great way to reach your goals.  

Greek yogurt generally contains 12-20 grams of protein and as few as 100 calories per serving.  Eating foods containing these levels of protein helps you lose weight by suppressing your hunger hormones and by delaying gastric emptying, both of which keep you feeling full for long stretches of time.  In particular, eating a protein-packed breakfast has been shown to lead to weight loss, making low-fat Greek yogurt the perfect way to start your day.  

Nutrition Facts:  

Calories: 100

Protein: 15 grams

Fiber: 3 grams

Good fats: 0 grams 

Saturated fats: 0 grams

Sugar: 5 grams 

How To Stretch Your Dollar  

Individually packaged, six-ounce Greek yogurts are sold for ~$1.25 a piece.  However, if you are open to measuring your own portion size, you can get a tub of Greek yogurt for a much better price.  Additionally, by changing brands from time to time, you’ll be able to buy individually packaged Greek yogurts for $1.00 as they go on sale frequently.  

Advanced Tip:

Greek yogurt can frequently be used when baking.  If you are interested in improving your meals’ and baked goods’ nutritional value, try substituting Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, buttermilk, or oil.  This substitution will boost the protein and slash the fat content of your recipes. 

Food # 3: Seltzer Water 

Drinking plenty of water helps you feel full and speeds up your metabolism.  Drinking seltzer water helps to boost this feeling of satiety as its carbonation makes your stomach expand, even more so than drinking regular water.  

Research has shown that drinking a glass of water right before a meal helps you to feel more full and eat less.  If you drink water before or during your meal, it will take up room in your stomach, stretching it and causing it to alert your brain that it is full. This simple act of drinking water before each meal can have a significant impact on weight loss.  In fact, these studies indicate that drinking water before each meal may increase weight loss by three to four pounds in over just twelve weeks 2,3.  In addition to increasing feelings of satiety, drinking water can speed up your metabolism. 

Drinking adequate amounts of water each day has been shown to increase your metabolic rate4,5.  This increase in metabolism speed after drinking water happens due to your body expending energy to heat the water to match its core temperature. Studies show that individuals’ resting metabolic rate increases by 24-30% within 10 minutes of drinking water and that this increase in metabolism speed lasts for at least 1 hour after consuming water4,5,6.  


Nutrition Facts:  

Calories: 0

Protein: 0 grams

Fiber: 0 grams

Good fats: 0 grams 

Saturated fats: 0 grams

Sugar: 0 grams 

How to stretch your dollar: 

Seltzer water can be stored for long periods of time without spoiling.  So, when it goes on sale, stock up!  During a good sale, you will be able to buy twelve-packs of seltzer water cans for as little as $2.50.  If you prefer to drink from the bottle, one-liter seltzer bottles routinely go on sale for $.50-$.69 a piece.  

Advanced Tip:

To maximize your ability to increase your metabolic rate through water consumption, plan to:

  • Drink cold water
  • Drink water throughout the day 
  • Drink 8-10 (8 oz) cups of water daily

Food # 4: Berries 

Why is this food weight loss promoting: 

Berries come in a small package, but they are a powerful little weight-loss promoting food.  Berries get their power from two main nutrients; fiber and water.  The combination of water and fiber work together to make you feel full even when eating a small number of calories.  

When we eat, our stomach stretches until it pushes on nerves which sends a signal to our brain indicating that it’s reached capacity and that it’s time to stop eating.  Water and fiber contain a grand total of 0 calories but take up a lot of room in our stomachs.  As a result, eating foods like berries that are high in fiber and water help to make you feel full even though they are low in calories.  


All berries are high in fiber, raspberries containing the most, and water so you can’t make a bad choice.  I used the example of mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries) to depict their nutrition facts.  

Nutrition Facts:  

Calories: 70

Protein: <1 g

Fiber: 6 grams

Good fats: 0 grams 

Saturated fats: 0 grams

Sugar: 10 grams 

How To Stretch Your Dollar  

If you’re shopping for organic berries can get pricey.  The good news is that most berries are just fine to eat, even if they aren’t organic.  The one exception is strawberries, which easily absorb pollutants.  In addition to not buying organic, you can also find reasonably priced frozen berries all year long.    

Advanced Tip:

Berries spoil quickly and are expensive when they aren’t in season.  However, frozen berries can be used year-round in smoothies, overnight oats, oatmeal, and whole wheat pancakes.  Berries add nutritional value to these foods and also add a nice touch of sweetness. 

Food # 5: Edamame 

Why is this food weight loss promoting: 

In my opinion, edamame is one of the most overlooked weight loss-promoting foods.  Rarely discussed, one cup of edamame offers as much protein as a serving of fish and double the amount of fiber in a baked potato. 

The combination of protein, fiber, and even good fats that edamame offers allows for a serving of edamame to be quite filling.  Edamame is filling enough to be a meal in and of itself, but it can also be served as a healthy appetizer or side dish.  

Nutrition Facts:  

Calories: 189

Protein: 17 grams

Fiber: 8 grams

Good fats: 5 grams 

Saturated fats: 1 gram

Sugar: 3 grams 

How To Stretch Your Dollar  

Edamame is offered at the best price when it comes shelled.  Don’t let the shell intimidate you, edamame when steamed, easily separates from the shell.  Plus, having the shell also allows you to dip the edamame in soy sauce before eating if that suits your palate. 

Advanced Tip:

Edamame makes a great appetizer.  Try serving edamame on a night that you are having pizza prior to the meal.  You’ll be surprised how full you get from enjoying edamame and how helpful this feeling of satiety becomes when you are contemplating having a second slice.  

Summary 

For most people to achieve significant and sustainable weight loss, grocery shopping on a regular basis is a must.  However, it can be challenging to know what types of foods you should buy at the grocery store in order to achieve your weight loss goal.  The five weight loss promoting foods that are recommended in this article are:

  1. Nuts
  2. Greek yogurt
  3. Seltzer water
  4. Berries
  5. Edamame 

Purchasing (and eating) these foods regularly will help you to feel full while eating fewer calories, which is what leads to long-lasting weight loss.  To learn more about what types of foods can help you to please weight, please check out my latest book: Weight Lost: 5 Steps to Achieving Your Ideal Weight and Gaining the Life You’ve Always Wanted.

References 

  1. Wien, M. A., Sabate, J. M., Ikle, D. N., Cole, S. E., and Kandeel, F. R., “Almonds vs Complex Carbohydrates in a Weight Reduction Program,” International Journal of Obesity, 27(11) (2003):. 1365-1372.
  2. Parretti, H. M., Aveyard, P., Blannin, A., Clifford, S. J., Coleman, S. J., Roalfe, A., and Daley, A. J., “Efficacy of Water Preloading Before Main Meals as a Strategy for Weight Loss in Primary Care Patients with Obesity,” RCT. Obesity, 23(9) (2015): 1785-1791
  3. Dennis, E. A., Dengo, A. L., Comber, D. L., Flack, K. D., Savla, J., Davy, K. P., and Davy, B. M., “Water Consumption Increases Weight Loss During a Hypocaloric Diet Intervention in Middle‐Aged and Older Adults,” Obesity, 18(2) (2010): 300-307
  4. Dennis, E. A., Dengo, A. L., Comber, D. L., Flack, K. D., Savla, J., Davy, K. P., & Davy, B. M. (2010). Water consumption increases weight loss during a hypocaloric diet intervention in middle‐aged and older adults. Obesity, 18(2), 300-307.
  5. Boschmann, M., Steiniger, J., Hille, U., Tank, J., Adams, F., Sharma, A. M., … & Jordan, J. (2003). Water-induced thermogenesis. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 88(12), 6015-601
  6. Müller MJ, Bosy-Westphal A. Adaptive thermogenesis with weight loss in humans. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013 Feb;21(2):218-28. doi: 10.1002/oby.20027. PMID: 23404923.

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