The healthiest foods for a weight-loss diet represent all five food groups in their least processed form, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This means choosing more whole grains than refined grains such as white flour and eating more vegetables and lean cuts of meat, fish and poultry.
USDA's Choosemyplate.com website guides users to create a sensible weight-management diet which balances nutritional and energy needs. WebMD notes that the ease of the Choose My Plate guide is that users can use their plates to visualize proper portion control: half the plate is fruit and vegetables, ideally close to their natural form; the other half of the plate is whole grains and lean proteins. Whole grains include brown rice, and lean proteins include lean cuts of beef, fish, or legumes. USDA recommends low-fat dairy to provide calcium, and advises dieters to avoid the empty calories of sweets and the added sugars of processed food.
In addition to diet, physical activity is a crucial part of a weight-management strategy. USDA recommends between two and a half hours of exercise a week, and up to five hours for those who want to lose weight. Other weight-management strategies include cooking more often at home, and reducing screen time.