9 Must-Eat Foods for Your New Year Diet

salmon burger
(Photo: Food52/James Ransom)

It's time for a change; start with your diet! Stock your pantry and refrigerator with these powerful foods to make it easier to snack healthy and see success in weight loss. Whether your main goal is to slim down, maintain or get lean in the New Year, these smart foods will help you hit it!

1. Greens

Green vegetables are low in calories and full of fiber, protein and water so you'll fuel your body without having hunger pangs too quickly. They are also rich in minerals and antioxidants. Ready to eat them? The best greens for weight loss are broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, collard greens and kale.

2. Mushrooms

Mushrooms, especially portobello mushrooms, have a meaty texture making them a low-calorie, low-fat substitute in place of beef. One cup of mushrooms contains fewer than 20 calories and nearly any fat. They are a perfect full-favor swap for burgers, meatballs, meatloaf and stir-fry!

3. Fish

Fish is low in calories and packed full of Omega-3 acids. Fish is also low in saturated fat and generally not too high in cholesterol, making it a great substitute for fatty proteins like beef and pork. Try salmon, rainbow trout or halibut for a full-flavored protein that's ideal for weight loss. The salmon burger (pictured above) is a tasty recipe you won't believe can be cooked in your own kitchen!

almonds
(Photo: Shutterstock)

4. Raw almonds

Almonds are full of healthy monounsaturated fats and they also contain protein and fiber that help you stay full. Try carrying a serving of about 15-20 almonds as a snack to curb food cravings during snack time. They also make a great pre-workout snack!

5. Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is considered a fat-fighting food because it is high in calcium and protein and low in carbohydrates. Research has shown that eating Greek yogurt daily helps to reduce belly fat and it also provides half the recommended daily value of protein! Yogurt is also easy to dress up with fresh fruit, granola, seeds or nuts for a healthy treat!

6. Avocado

Avocados are considered a healthy fatty food, much like fish and almonds. They are a healthy addition to any meal to help cure hunger and the fatty make-up helps you stay full longer. Be careful not to eat too much avocado though; stick to about ½ an avocado a day! 

drinking green tea
(Photo: Shutterstock)

7. Green tea

Green tea does not produce immediate weight loss effects but if regularly consumed, it has been show to stimulate metabolism over time. And higher metabolism means more natural fat burning! These same antioxidants that help burn fat also reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. If tea drinking is not for you, try green tea extract; it comes in a daily pill form!

8. Whole grains

Whole grains, are an essential part of a healthy diet. Grains are low in fat and have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Opt for oats, quinoa, brown rice or bulgur. None of them are better than the other; each grain has different benefits, so eat a variety of them for optimum nutrition.

9. Lean meats

Meats are considered lean when they have less than 2 grams of fat per serving. The best lean meats to incorporate in your diet are chicken and turkey breasts as they are low in fat but offer a high protein content, keeping you full longer and building your muscles.

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