Foods That Do the Weight-Loss Work for You

Trying to lose some weight? These six high-fiber foods help keep you feeling full and satisfied. Here's the science behind them, plus simple ways to add them to your meals.

For many, it's a fact of life: Gaining weight is easy, but losing weight is hard. But here's another fact: Eating high-fiber foods helps you feel full longer, so you eat less and potentially lose weight. In a 2019 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers found a strong association between increased fiber intake and weight loss, as well as a greater chance of adhering to a prescribed diet.

Before you start loading up on fiber-rich foods, it's important to note that most Americans don't get enough fiber. So, if you're ramping up your fiber intake, take it slow so your body has time to adjust. And be sure to drink plenty of water to help prevent all that fiber from backing you up.

Here are six high-fiber foods plus some easy ways to use them to help you achieve your weight loss goals.

1. Whole-Wheat Pasta

Hearty Minestrone soup

Pictured Recipe: Hearty Minestrone

With more than 6 grams per 1-cup serving, whole-wheat pasta is higher in fiber than many other whole grains. Besides helping you stay full, consuming whole-grain fiber has been linked to a lower risk of diabetes, heart disease and even some cancers.

Sneak it in: Whole-wheat pasta has a heartier flavor than regular. If you're not ready to make a complete switch, try mixing whole-wheat pasta with white and serve it with your favorite sauce.

More best bets: Oat bran, barley, quinoa.

2. Lentils

Roasted Root Veggies and Greens over Spiced Lentils

Pictured Recipe: Roasted Root Veggies & Greens over Spiced Lentils

This versatile (and cheap!) little legume packs a punch with fiber (15.6 grams per 1-cup serving), plus protein, iron and other nutrients. Compared to many animal-based proteins, legumes have fewer calories and fat and are packed with antioxidants and micronutrients.

Sneak them in: Try adding lentils to your favorite soups and stews. They're great in veggie burgers, too.

More best bets: Split peas, black beans, chickpeas.

3. Artichokes

Artichokes with Lemon & Dill

Pictured Recipe: Artichokes with Lemon & Dill

Supplements made from artichoke extract have gotten some weight-loss buzz, but beware—there's no real evidence they work. Instead, skip the supplements and make friends with the real thing. Low in calories and high in fiber (10 grams per 1-cup serving)—plus iron, vitamin C and other nutrients—artichokes are a great choice for healthy weight loss.

Sneak them in: Jazz up a spinach dip or your favorite spaghetti sauce with chopped cooked artichokes. Use frozen instead of canned to save on sodium.

More best bets: Broccoli, cabbage, avocados.

4. Raspberries

muesli with raspberries

Pictured Recipe: Muesli with Raspberries

As if you needed another reason to love raspberries, here's one more: One cup delivers 8 grams of fiber, which is more than any other berry. They also have a whopping 54% of your daily vitamin C.

Sneak them in: Use fresh raspberries to garnish a fruity drink or top your morning yogurt or cereal. Or do what we do and enjoy them all by themselves.

More best bets: Blackberries, pears, mangoes.

5. Chia Seeds

Cocoa-Chia Pudding with Raspberries

Pictured Recipe: Cocoa-Chia Pudding with Raspberries

With 10 grams of fiber per 1-ounce serving (about 2 tablespoons), chia seeds are tiny but mighty. Just one serving delivers 40% of your total daily recommended fiber. They also pack protein, calcium, magnesium and other minerals—all for under 150 calories.

Sneak them in: Add chia seeds to pancakes, waffles or oatmeal to give your breakfast a healthy fiber boost.

More best bets: Flaxseed and sunflower seeds.

6. Almonds

Cranberry Almond Granola Bars

Pictured Recipe: Cranberry-Almond Granola Bars

Talk about a nutrient powerhouse. One handful of almonds (about 23 almonds) has more than 3 grams of fiber, plus protein, calcium and iron. A 2021 review published in Nutrients found that consuming around 1/4 cup of almonds per day decreased LDL cholesterol and heart disease risk.

Sneak them in: Sprinkle slivered almonds over fresh fruit, yogurt or a green salad for extra crunch. Just be mindful of serving sizes—like all nuts, almonds are high in calories.

More best bets: Pistachios, pecans, peanuts.

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