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10 Surprising Foods That Can Help You Lose Weight

Sabrina Russo author image
10 Surprising Foods that Can Help You Lose Weight
If you feel like you’re constantly being inundated with lists of “superfoods” that can help you lose weight, you’ll be happily surprised that ordinary ingredients may be all you need. By now, you’ve all heard enough about kale and oats and chia seeds.

This is a list of ten approachable, everyday foods which you probably never knew could help you slim down. For more comprehensive weight loss solutions, be sure to check out our list comparing the best weight loss programs out there.

1. White Potatoes 

Most dieters these days avoid potatoes, especially white potatoes. You may not know that potatoes are actually a relatively low-calorie food, containing fewer calories per gram than pasta or rice. They are low in fat and a good source of Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, especially if you eat the skin. The fiber and water content help keep you fuller longer, which may lead to weight loss. 

A recent study demonstrated that participants on low-calorie diets could lose weight regardless of whether or not they ate potatoes. Just keep in mind, not all white potatoes are on the same playing field. Put down those chips and French fries, and opt for baked, roasted, or boiled potatoes instead. Remember to pair your potato with a small amount of fat and a good source of protein to keep you full. Factor’s Italian Sausage Oreganato is a great option.

2. Chili Peppers

Pass the hot sauce, please! Chili peppers are high in capsaicin, an active chemical compound that brings the heat. Studies found an association between eating foods high in capsaicin with a lower rate of obesity. Capsaicin can help boost your metabolism and burn fat. In one controlled trial, results showed that the participants given capsaicin had a higher body temperature, increased use of oxygen, and burned fat longer, which all contributed to weight loss.

If you’re looking for the best source of capsaicin, the spicier, the better. This compound is concentrated in the ribs of hot peppers, so make sure to cook with the entire pepper. Dried chilies and hot sauce are also good sources. Try Factor’s Keto Chorizo Chili for that spicy kick you’ve been looking for.

3. Cherries

Don’t feel guilty about asking for that gratuitous cherry on top. Cherries have actually been associated with weight loss. Cherries are high in fiber and water like many other fruits, which fill you up with fewer calories. They are also rich in antioxidants, called anthocyanins, which can promote weight loss.

Studies show anthocyanin-rich foods may help with weight maintenance for healthy individuals and weight loss for obese individuals. These antioxidants have many other benefits as well. They can reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels and improve obesity-related diabetes and inflammation.

Tart cherries contain more anthocyanins than sweet cherries, but they may be trickier to find. Fresh, tart cherries have a very short growing season, but you may be able to purchase them dried or frozen. If sweet cherries are more your thing, try Nutrisystem’s Cherry Cheese Roll. It’s the perfect, guilt-free Danish. It’s high in fiber and protein, low in fat and calories, and studded with delicious cherries. 

4. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is such a popular spice in both sweet and savory foods. Many of us love this sweet, warming spice but don’t usually associate it with weight loss. A meta-analysis study found that cinnamon supplementation was associated with a significant amount of weight loss and shrinking waistlines in participants.

Cinnamon helps your body respond better to insulin, which reduces fat storage and can curb sugar cravings. A compound in cinnamon called cinnamaldehyde has also been found to boost metabolism and help burn fat. So, maybe you shouldn’t feel as guilty about indulging in a cinnamon roll from time to time, especially if it’s from Nutrisystem.

5. Black Pepper

Make sure you have your pepper grinder handy. Piperine is a compound in black pepper, which is linked to weight loss. Piperine actually interferes with fat production in the body. 

One study conducted on rats showed that piperine supplementation in conjunction with a high-fat diet led to a significant reduction in body weight, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and bad cholesterol. It also increases good cholesterol levels. Another study at Purdue University found that black pepper was more effective than a piperine capsule in reducing fat cells. The effects were more significant in those that typically avoided spicy, peppery foods and may only be temporary. Try Nutrisystem’s Santa Fe Style Chicken with some extra pepper on top for the fat-fighting boost.

6. Beans

Now, we’ve all heard that beans are good for the heart, but did you know they may help you lose weight? The popular low-carb diets may not have beans on the menu, but they are certainly a great option to control calories. 

Beans are not only high in fiber, but they’re also a great source of protein, B vitamins, iron, copper, zinc, and phosphorus. The combination of protein, fiber, and slowly digested carbohydrates fills you up and keeps you fuller, longer. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, adults who regularly consumed a variety of beans and legumes tended to have significantly lower body weights than those who didn’t. Whether or not you’re vegetarian, I suggest trying Factor’s Jackfruit Carnitas served with a side of Charra beans.

7. Eggs

Eggs were previously considered less than diet-friendly, but the tides have turned. Several studies show that incorporating eggs into the diet may be a good weight-loss strategy. Eggs are high in protein and contain a moderate amount of fat, which both help keep you full. 

One study compared the effects of an egg breakfast versus a bagel breakfast over the course of a couple of months. Despite the fact that participants were all on low-calorie diets, those that ate eggs lost more weight and more inches than those who ate bagels every morning. 

Another similar study compared two groups that consumed an equally caloric breakfast of eggs versus a bagel. Those that consumed the egg breakfast ate significantly less fat and calories at lunch, most likely because the protein helped keep them fuller. Check out Nutrisystem’s Turkey Sausage and Egg Muffin for a satisfying breakfast treat.

8. Garlic 

Garlic lovers, rejoice. This flavor-packed allium has more health benefits than you may be aware of. Studies show that allyl-containing compounds in garlic may increase your body temperature and help burn more fat. One study conducted on mice compared high-fat diets with and without garlic. The mice supplemented with garlic saw a significant reduction in weight and in lipid and liver blood markers. Other studies showed that both garlic powder and garlic oil could also help promote weight loss.;  

Garlic goes well with just about everything from pasta and vegetables to meat and fish. You really can’t go wrong. One particularly tasty option is Factor’s Keto White Cheddar Beef Bowl with Celery Root Puree and Garlic Green Beans.

9. Mustard

Often thought of as just a salty condiment, mustard actually contains antioxidants and metabolism-boosting compounds. Similarly to garlic, mustard has been shown to increase body temperature, which can help burn calories. One study focused on mustard seeds showed one tablespoon of seeds can boost metabolism up to 25% for three to four hours following consumption.  Another study showed mustard oil reduced body weight, fat-related hormones, and cholesterol. 

Mustard isn’t just for your hot dog. There are many ways to incorporate mustard into your cooking through sauces, salad dressings, and grain and vegetable dishes. If you want to leave the cooking to someone else, try Factor’s Apricot Mustard Grilled Chicken with Smashed Potatoes. 

10. Lean Pork

Red meat often gets a bad rap, but it can certainly be part of a healthy diet and even help you maintain or lose weight. Cuts of pork such as pork tenderloin or pork chops are high in protein and low in fat. High-protein diets have become increasingly popular over the years as proven weight loss strategies. In comparison to carbs and fat, protein is the best at keeping you full on fewer calories and also can help regulate blood sugar levels.  

Not only is pork a great source of protein, but it’s also a great source of B vitamins, iron, and zinc. Try Factor’s Chile-Spiced Pork Chops for a serving of lean pork along with fat-fighting beans, potatoes, and chilies. 


Weight loss and diet-related recommendations can be hard to sift through and fully understand. Above all else, a balanced diet is key. If you want to take the guesswork of meal planning, Factor and Nutrisystem have you covered with delicious, ready-made meals.

Sabrina Russo author image
Sabrina Russo, RD, graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a BS in Nutritional Sciences. Sabrina is a registered dietitian, having worked at top NYC medical centers, and is a culinary arts graduate from Johnson & Wales University. Sabrina blends her dietary knowledge with her passion for the culinary arts in her contributions to Top10.com. Sabrina's writings have appeared in ELLE, POPSUGAR, The Spruce Eats, and Shape Online.

The information on this site is based on research, but should not be treated as medical advice. Before beginning any new diet plan, we recommend consulting with a physician or other professional healthcare provider. Results may vary based on various health factors, individual weight loss plans and adherence to the meal plan.