Since losing more than
100 130 (updated 1.27.22) pounds with Noom, I’ve been asked over and over, “What foods do you eat to lose all that weight?” Well, you might be surprised at some of my answers. Here are 10 foods that I eat regularly that have helped me lose weight and keep it off.
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1. Mixed berries are foods that will help you lose weight with Noom
Since the very beginning our weight loss journey in 2019, mixed berries have been a staple in our diet. Our fridge is always stocked with blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries. During the cooler months, we eat them on old fashioned oatmeal (with a teaspoon of brown sugar). During the warmer months, we’ve enjoyed them for breakfast with Oikos Greek yogurt (80 cal) and a tablespoon of Grape Nuts (25 cal) for a little crunch.
Mixed berries are a good mid-morning or mid-day snack and are fantastic on summer salads. I also like using mixed berries as a sweet topping on desserts like vanilla ice cream, frozen yogurt and angel food cake.
2. Red grapes are an easy food to lose weight
Not only are red grapes a fantastic snack or side, they are very low in calories (about 2 calories each). We eat grapes almost every day with breakfast or lunch. And we take them with us on road trips in place of the Pringles or Dots Pretzels we used to bring along. They fit easily into a red Solo cup that we put in the cup holders of our car and they satisfy our cravings for munchable snacks while we drive down the road.
Grapes are low in calories, but they also fill us up. The small amount of peanuts below (there are 8 if you put the halves back together) have the same calories as the 22 grapes. It’s easy to see that the grapes will fill you up more and keep you feeling full longer.
Finally, grapes are also a great “comparison” food for me. Once I was visiting my grandma in the nursing home and went to grab a Hershey Nugget chocolate from her candy jar. I really wanted a sweet snack and decided I was going to have one and log the calories in my Noom food tracker. I was shocked to find out that each tiny Nugget was 50 calories! So I stopped myself and compared that to red grapes. I asked myself, “Would you rather have ONE Hershey Nugget or 25 grapes?” That day, the answer was easy and I opted for the grapes.
PIN FOR LATER
3. A variety of salads
A variety of salads are foods to lose weight with Noom and feel more satisfied. Because it can get really monotonous to have the same salad every night, we try our best to mix things up a bit. Here are a few of our favorite variations:
Southwest Salad – Chopped romaine, corn, black beans, green onions, avocado, bell peppers and light sour cream and salsa dressing. It is a perfect salad to serve with Key Lime Grilled Chicken and brown rice.
Protein and fruit salad ideas
Chicken or Shrimp and Fruit Salad – Spring greens or romaine lettuce topped with grilled chicken or shrimp and fresh fruit such as sliced strawberries, blueberries, mango slices, or mandarin oranges. We like these salads with a little feta cheese and we’ve been known to throw a few walnuts on it occasionally. If we’re having one of these salads as our dinner entree, we also may add a low-cal English Muffin topped with grated Parmesan cheese and our favorite Greek seasoning. Just put the open-faced muffins (with the toppings) in a 400-degree oven for 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and the muffin is crisp.
Basic Dinner Salad – A dinner salad is a perfect, low-calorie accompaniment to any meal. We like iceberg, spring greens or romaine lettuce mixes topped with sliced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, radishes, onions, and banana peppers. Sometimes we also add a little grated Parmesan cheese or feta (cheddar takes up too many calories). Over time, I’ve needed less and less salad dressing and typically use Olive Garden Light, which has just 15 calories per tablespoon.
A caution (and tip) about croutons
If I have extra calories, I also add a few croutons but I cut them in half to make it seem like I’m having more. Be sure to weigh out the croutons as their calories add up quickly. The ones we get from Sam’s Club are about 70 calories in 5-6 pieces (well, 10-12 pieces after I cut them).
4. Brown rice – a versatile food to lose weight
At the beginning of my journey, I didn’t eat a ton of carbs. Every time I looked up the calories and colors of my favorite carbs (white bread, white rice, flour tortillas), I decided they just weren’t worth using up my “yellow” or “red” calories. Then, we found brown rice. While it has the same amount of calories (102 in half a cup) as white rice, it is a “green” food on our Noom weight loss app because it has more fiber and leaves us feeling full longer. Starting to see how this Noom app works?
Now, we eat brown rice at least once a week. Brown rice is great with stir-fried vegetables, Indian food, grilled fish, and fajitas. I’ve also come up with lots of variations like adding cilantro and the zest and juice of a lime when we have it with Mexican dishes. I also stir-fry brown rice with just a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil and lots of diced vegetables to make a pilaf.
5. Broth-based soups are foods to lose weight with Noom
Broth-based soups were another staple during the fall and winter months and are foods to lose weight with Noom. Why? Because they fill us up without a ton of calories. We had a hard time finding low-calorie broth based soup recipes, so I spent more than a year creating my own. CLICK HERE for my “12 Low-Calorie and Delicious Soup Recipes” eBook.
Most of my homemade soups can also be stored in the freezer in plastic containers, so I typically make a big batch each time. And if you don’t have time to make homemade soup, Progresso makes some delicious lower-calorie (and lower sodium) soups, as well.
Also, look for broth-based soups when you’re ordering from a restaurant menu. We love all of the soups at Olive Garden and the minestrone soup (which is delicious) has only 110 calories per serving. We often have two bowls of soup accompanied by a salad with our favorite Olive Garden Light salad dressing. (Ask for it on the side and save even more calories). And, if we have enough calories in our daily budget, we also ask for one breadstick each (not a basket with 6) for another 140 calories.
6. Fish and shrimp
Once I figured out that fish and shrimp have waaaaaaay fewer calories than most meats, I was hooked. I mean, I love seafood. The fact that saving calories on my protein means I can have more wine and dessert made this one a no brainer. Steve, however, doesn’t eat anything that lives in an ocean, river, or lake. As a result, we typically have the same side dishes for dinner but each have our own protein. For example, if he’s grilling a pork chop, I’ll just throw on a piece of salmon or grouper for me. It makes dinner prep easy and we each get to eat what we enjoy most.
A 5 oz serving of grilled cod is just 116 calories, whereas a 5 oz ribeye steak is 417 calories. Since we live mostly in landlocked Nebraska, fresh fish isn’t easy to get. Instead, I buy most of my seafood at Sam’s Club. I especially like a large piece of skin-on salmon and the cod. When I get it home, I cut it into smaller pieces and seal them in a bag with my Foodsaver. This makes them easy to store in the freezer for several weeks.
If you don’t already have a food saver, we recommend THIS ONE. The cod is fantastic on the grill (just wrap it in aluminum foil with a little lemon juice and seasonings) or lightly breaded and baked in the oven.
I’ve also found shrimp to be a great substitute for beef or chicken in Indian and Mexican dishes. I’ve fallen in love with shrimp vindaloo and Carmarones a la Diabla. I also use it often at home in fajitas.
Like brown rice, potatoes are also a “green” food on Noom because they do fill you up without too many calories. The extra calories in potatoes typically come from adding things like sour cream, butter, cheddar cheese, and bacon. We’ve figured out ways to enjoy potatoes without all the oil and extra toppings we’d grown accustomed to over the years. Now, we grill potatoes, put them in the air fryer, or else we bake them and limit the toppings we add.
One of our favorite ways to have potatoes is sliced and grilled. I just slice the Russet potatoes on a mandolin, steam them in the microwave for a few minutes, and then toss them in a bowl with a small amount of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and our favorite seasonings. Then, we lay them flat on a grill pan and cook on medium heat on our outdoor grill for about five minutes on each side. They are a perfect side dish with burgers, pork chops, or barbecued chicken. This recipe can also be done in an air fryer if you have the kind where you can spread the potatoes out across a sheet pan.
More ways we enjoy baked potatoes on Noom
We also like baking potatoes in the oven. First, I poke some holes in the potatoes with a fork. Then, I use my hands to coat the potatoes with a small about of EVOO and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. I bake them right on the oven rack at 400 degrees for 40-60 minutes. The length of time depends on how big the potatoes are. Also, I like to put a cookie sheet or a large piece of aluminum foil on the next rack down (not the one you the potatoes are on) to catch any drips of oil.
For toppings, I typically skip the 100 calorie-a-tbsp butter and top my baked potato with a tablespoon of Daisy Light Sour Cream (50 cal). I also add a half teaspoon of Hormel Real Bacon Bits (13 cal). A 5 oz. baked potato prepared this way has fewer than 200 calories.
8. Bell peppers are foods that will help you lose weight with Noom
Before Noom, bell peppers were usually among the produce items that looked good at the grocery store but ended up rotting in our vegetable drawer. Now, we consume 10-12 bell peppers every week. We eat them on salads and sandwiches and keep a container of sliced ones in the fridge all the times. We also use bell peppers for fajitas, taco bowls, stir fry, and stuffed peppers.
When we occasionally have bell peppers in the fridge that are about to go bad, I dice them and put them in the freezer for later use. We add those to scrambled eggs, soups, and sauces. Bell peppers are also great as an appetizer with hummus and on a relish tray for game day during college football. A whole bell pepper is only about 23 calories and they add tons of flavor (and bulk) to our meals. They’re even a good source of vitamin C! Now, we can’t imagine going a day without them.
9. Wine: a surprising food to lose weight
Yes, wine is included in my list of foods to lose weight with Noom. A good glass of dry red wine is one of my favorite things in life. Honestly, if you told me I had to give up wine to lose weight, I’d probably still be 130 pounds heavier. With Noom, though, I’ve learned how to regularly incorporate wine into my diet and still lose weight. I don’t have it every day, but usually every week.
Occasionally, I will plan to have a glass or two of wine so I find a way to fit it into my calorie budget. Maybe it means I have a lower-calorie snack that day (like grapes) or I skip dessert later that night. Often, I will incorporate more movement into my day to add extra calories to my daily calorie budget.
Some people track the miles they walk, the steps they take, or number of reps they do a certain exercise. I measure in wine. I need to walk about 1.2 miles to burn the calories in one glass of red wine. If I go two and a half miles, then I say that I walked off two glasses of wine. Totally worth each step.
10. Ice cream
Like wine, ice cream has always been one of my favorite foods. Cookies and cream, mint chip, mocha almond fudge – I love them all. So, I also plan ahead to get ice cream into my diet at least five days a week when we’re home. The difference now is that I don’t eat a large portion of ice cream with lots of toppings like hot fudge, nuts, or Oreos. Instead, I have a smaller, measured amount of ice cream or frozen yogurt and limit or skip the high-calorie toppings.
For instance, instead of adding 1 oz of peanuts (161 calories), I top vanilla ice cream with 1/2 cup of fresh strawberries (27 calories). Not only do the strawberries have 131 fewer calories, they also taste great and are more filling. We’ve also enjoyed frozen yogurt places when we’re traveling (just watch the toppings) and keep a stock of Yasso frozen yogurt bars (chocolate fudege is my favorite) in the freezer. We get them at the grocery store and they are just 100-130 calories.
Ice cream helps me not feel deprived
By having ice cream regularly, I don’t feel like I’m on a diet or deprived of one of my favorite foods. Noom taught me that it’s OK to enjoy food, even if it is higher in calories and fat. Having a few “orange” foods each day satisfies my cravings and helps me be less likely to binge and overindulge.
I hope this helps you out on your weight loss journey. What are your favorite foods that have helped you lose weight? Let us know in the comments section below.