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Foods That Do the Weight-Loss Work for You

Trying to shed pounds? Help is on the way. These six high-fiber foods help keep you feeling full and satisfied, so you’re less likely to overeat and gain weight. Here’s the science behind them, plus simple ways to add them to your meals.

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

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.

2. Lentils

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.

3. Artichokes

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.

4. Raspberries

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.