Foods That Do the Weight-Loss Work for You
Pictured Recipe: Mango-Almond Smoothie Bowl
For most of us, it's a sad fact of life: Gaining weight is easy, losing weight is hard. Those innocent morning lattes, take-out dinners and late-night snacks can pack on the pounds in nothing flat. Before you know it, you're wondering where exactly those love handles came from, anyway.
But here's another fact: Eating high-fiber foods help you feel full longer, so you eat less and potentially shed pounds. In a 2015 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers found that simply getting 30 grams of fiber a day can help you lose weight just as well as other, more complex diets.
So give it a try. Here are six high-fiber foods plus some easy ways to use them. See how they can help you budge the bathroom scale.
One caution: Most Americans don't get enough fiber. If you're ramping up your fiber intake, take it slow so your body has time to adjust.
1. Whole-Wheat Pasta
Pictured Recipe: One-Pot Greek Pasta
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, that whole-grain fiber may have more weight-loss benefits: a 2017 study from Tufts University suggests that replacing refined grains with whole grains may boost metabolism and help you absorb fewer calories.
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. Add your favorite sauce and you'll soon be hooked.
More best bets: Oat bran, barley, quinoa.
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. In a recent review of more than 20 clinical trials, researchers found that simply eating a daily serving of lentils or other legumes helped people lose just over half a pound in six weeks-without cutting back on other foods.
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.
Related: Healthy Lentil Recipes
Pictured Recipe: Artichokes with Lemon & Dill
Supplements made from artichoke extract have recently 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.
Related: How to Cook Fresh Artichokes
Pictured Recipe: Raspberry, Avocado & Mango Salad
As if you needed another reason to love raspberries, here's one more: One cup delivers 8 grams of fiber-more than any other berry. They also have a whopping 54 percent 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
Pictured Recipe: Peanut Butter & Chia Berry Jam English Muffin
With 10 grams of fiber per 1-ounce serving (about 2 tablespoons), chia seeds are tiny but mighty. Just one serving delivers 40 percent of your total daily recommended fiber. They also pack protein, calcium, magnesium and other minerals-and 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.
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. In a 2015 study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers found that simply swapping a daily high-carb snack for 1.5 ounces of almonds can help reduce belly fat.
Sneak them in: Sprinkle slivered almonds over fresh fruit, yogurt or a green salad for extra crunch. Just don't go nuts with them-like all nuts, almonds are high in calories.
More best bets: Pistachios, pecans, peanuts.