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10 "Diet Foods" That Are Worth the Hype, According to a Dietitian

A diet expert dishes on the best foods for weight loss.
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

If you are trying to lose weight, figuring out the best foods to eat that will fill you up, give you the nutrients you need, and actually taste good can be tricky. Luckily, there are a bunch of options that check all three boxes. The Diet Diva, Tara Collingwood, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD/N, ACSM-CPT, a Board Certified Sports Dietitian, put together a list of 10 "diet foods" that are worth the hype. 

1. Protein Powder


Collingwood is a huge fan of protein powder, "especially whey based powder," she says. "But if you are a vegan or have an allergy to milk then plant based proteins are also great." She addds that "you can boost your protein intake easily by at least 20-30 grams with just one scoop added to a smoothie or mixed into other foods like baked goods or oatmeal."

Related: I Lost 45 Pounds With This Simple Meal Plan

2. Grapefruit

Juicy grapefruit pieces with fresh mint in a bowl, close up

Grapefruits, a "traditional diet food" is "tart yet sweet and refreshing," says Collingwood. "I love peeling a whole grapefruit and enjoying it section by section.  It is packed with antioxidants and Vitamin C."

3. Chicken Breast

fresh chicken breast raw on cutting board

Another traditional diet food, skinless chicken breast is "about as low in fat and high in protein as a meat can get," Collingwood says. "It is extremely versatile and can be included in just about any lunch or dinner!"

4. Broccoli

broccoli in hands. a wooden background. healthy eating concept.

Super high in antioxidants and fiber, broccoli is delicious and filling, Collingwood maintains. "You can eat a large volume without contributing a lot of calories and it is delicious raw or cooked."

5. Diet Soda


"With zero calories and lots of fizz, diet sodas don't have any nutritional value but they do have great taste and can satisfy that craving for a bubbly sweet beverage," says Collingwood. 

6. Lentils

Composition with bowl of lentils on wooden table.

"Part of the legume family, lentils along with other dried beans (black beans, chickpeas, etc) are a mix of fiber and protein with lots of B Vitamins and antioxidants," Collingwood reveals. "They truly are one of the healthiest foods on the planet."

Related: Want to Lose Stubborn Belly Fat Once For All? Stop Making These Common Mistakes

7. Cabbage

young cabbage grows in the farmer field, growing cabbage in the open field. agricultural business

There's a reason why the traditional cabbage soup diet has come and gone throughout the years as a go-to diet staple. "Mix cooked cabbage with a ton of veggies for a delicious and filling soup," Collingwood recommends. "Cabbage can also be made into sauerkraut which is an amazing fermented food good for the gut microbiome."

8. Green Tea

Japanese green tea

"Calorie free and high in antioxidants, green tea doesn't burn more calories like is sometimes claimed, but it can be a nice way to warm up and enjoy a morning hot beverage," says Collingwood. 

9. Oatmeal

Healthy Breakfast - Oatmeal with dried fruit s.

Oatmeal offers a lot of bang for the buck. "Oats are a whole grain and are really a comfort food and can be enjoyed hot or cold as overnight oats," says Collingwood. "Combine oats with milk for added nutritional value and top with fresh or dried fruit and a few chopped nuts."

Related: 5 Ways to Suppress Your Appetite Without Taking Ozempic

10. Chili Peppers

Raw Red Organic Hot Finger Peppers in a Basket

The claims are that hot peppers will raise your metabolism and burn fat. "While that might be true, the actual number of calories is insignificant. But hot peppers (if you enjoy spicy food) can add a lot of flavor to a dish without added calories," Collingwood says.

💪🔥Body Booster: Eating foods that are high in protein and fiber will fill you up and keep you feeling full longer, making them great dietary goals. 

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more
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