Are Apples Good for Weight Loss?

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a commission for purchases made through links at no extra cost to you. See my disclosure policy for more information.

A close-up of shiny red apples with leaves, freshly picked and full.

Yes, apples are good for weight loss because they are low in calories and high in fiber. These two characteristics in any food are weight loss friendly.

Plus there are multiple studies that show if you substitute apples for less healthy options this can lead to weight loss.

I do want to clarify that it’s not the act of eating apples alone that leads to weight loss; rather, it’s about choosing them over unhealthy snacks.

The low-calorie content of apples helps prevent calorie overload, while their high-fiber content helps satisfy your hunger cravings.

If you’re interested in understanding why apples are friendly to weight loss efforts, as well as the potential downsides, stay tuned. I’ll go into each aspect in detail throughout this article.

Nutritional Value Of Apples

As per the USDA, when you eat 1 medium-sized apple you get the following nutrients:

Serving Size: 1 cup (169 g)

  • Calories: 96

  • Carbohydrates: 23 g

  • Fat: 0.2 g

  • Protein: 0.4 g

  • Fiber: 4 g

Potential Benefits Of Apples For Weight Loss

The potential benefits of eating apples for weight loss are the following:

They are Low in Calories

An apple with a "Low Calorie Food" stamp on it.

A medium-sized apple contains only 96 calories, making it an excellent choice for anyone on a weight-loss diet.

Losing weight requires you to consume fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight, a state known as a caloric deficit.

For example, if you’re a 35-year-old woman, 5.4 ft (165 cm) tall, and weigh 70 kg, you’d typically need around 1900-2000 calories daily to maintain your weight. To lose weight, you’d need to eat less than that.

So, to lose weight, it’s important to eat foods that are low in calories but give you a lot of nutrients. Apples are perfect for this.

Think about it: if you’re used to eating a candy bar, candy, or a bag of chips when you’re hungry between meals, choosing an apple instead can make a big difference.

Studies support this too. For example in a study published in the journal called Appetite researchers worked with 49 women who were a bit heavier than what is considered healthy. These women were split into three groups.

One group added three apples to their diet every day, another group added three pears, and the last group added three oat cookies.

For 10 weeks, these women continued to eat their normal diet but included either the fruit or the cookies.

The researchers checked how this change affected the amount of energy (calories) the women ate and their body weight.

In the end, they found that women who ate apples or pears ate fewer calories overall and lost weight.

The apple group lost about 0.93 kg (around 2 pounds), and the pear group lost about 0.84 kg (around 1.85 pounds).

However, the women who ate oat cookies didn’t see much change; they ate slightly more calories and their weight stayed the same.

This shows that using apples to satisfy your hunger, especially at the right times like between meals, can help you keep your calorie intake low.

This way, you can stay on track with your weight loss by keeping your hunger under control and sticking to your calorie goals.

They are High In Fiber

An apple on a scale with "High in Fiber" marked on it.

There are two kinds of fiber in food: soluble and insoluble. Apples have both.

When you eat soluble fiber, it mixes with water in your gut and turns into a soft, gel-like stuff. This gel makes digesting food slower, which means the sugar from the food goes into your blood more slowly.

This is good because it helps keep your blood sugar level from going up and down too quickly and makes you feel full for a longer time.

Insoluble fiber is different because it doesn’t turn into a gel. Instead, it helps make your food waste bigger and softer, so it can move more easily through your stomach and intestines.

Having fiber in your stomach can also slow down how quickly food leaves your stomach and goes into your small intestine. This slower movement means that sugar is released more slowly into your small intestine and then into your blood.

So, by eating apples, you get two big benefits. First, the sugar in the apple goes into your blood more slowly, so you don’t get a big sugar spike and then a crash, which can happen when you eat foods that have a lot of carbs but not much fiber, like muffins.

Second, because breaking down fiber takes a while, it helps you stay full longer, which means you’re less likely to feel hungry again soon.

Slowing down glucose absorption through a high-fiber diet helps with weight loss by making you feel full longer, reducing overall hunger, and leading to lower calorie intake.

Plus, it helps maintain stable blood sugar levels, preventing energy spikes and crashes that can lead to overeating.

They are Water Rich

An apple sliced in half surrounded by water droplets, highlighting its water content.

Yes, mentioning hydration might seem like an unusual benefit when talking about weight loss, but let me explain.

If you consider a medium-sized apple, weighing around 169 grams, about 145 grams of that is water. This isn’t just a guess – these are official numbers from the USDA.

This means roughly 85% of an apple is water. You might wonder why this matters for weight loss. Here’s a brief explanation.

Imagine you’re hungry, and there aren’t any “healthy foods” available, but you’re experiencing strong hunger pangs.

As a nutritionist, I’d advise you to drink some water or have green tea. Why? Because consuming water can fool your brain into thinking it’s receiving food, which in turn, can lower the levels of hunger hormones in your blood.

Now, consider the other benefits of apples in the context of weight loss. When you’re craving a snack, instead of reaching for a cookie or chips, choosing an apple can be a smarter choice. Apples are not only low in calories and high in fiber but also rich in water.

Eating an apple can help you: a) satisfy your snack craving, b) conserve your daily calorie allowance, and c) keep you feeling fuller until your next main meal, be it lunch or dinner.

It’s a Low-Glycemic Load of Food

An illustrative comparison between an apple and a bottle of apple juice.

To understand glycemic load, you first need to get what glycemic index is. The glycemic index (GI) is like a score that tells us how quickly a food can make your blood sugar level go up.

If a food has a high score (close to 100), it means it can quickly raise your blood sugar. Foods with low scores (closer to 0) don’t make your blood sugar go up as much.

Glycemic load (GL) is another score but it tells us more. It doesn’t just look at how fast food can raise your blood sugar (like GI does), but it also looks at how much of that food you’re eating. To find the GL, you multiply the food’s GI by the amount of carbs in one serving of the food, then divide that number by 100.

For example, an apple has a GI of 40 and contains 15 grams of carbs. (40 x 15)/100 = 6, so the glycemic load of an apple is 6.

Why is GL a better indicator? Let’s take watermelon as an example. It has a high GI of 76, which might make us think it’s not good for our blood sugar.

But, a normal serving of watermelon doesn’t have a lot of carbs because it’s mostly water. So, its GL is actually 8, which is quite low.

This means it won’t really spike our blood sugar much. That’s why GL is useful – it shows us how a typical serving of food will affect our blood sugar, not just how fast it can happen.

Knowing this, let’s talk about an apple with a GL of 6. How does this help with weight loss? Basically, an apple causes a slow and steady release of blood sugar.

If your blood sugar quickly rises and then crashes, you might feel tired and hungry soon after eating.

Which is exactly what we want to avoid. So, eating foods like apples can help in your weight loss efforts by avoiding quick spikes in blood sugar.

Downsides Of Apples For Weight Loss

Here are some potential cons of apples to keep in mind:

Not Good In Juice Form

An illustrative comparison between an apple and a bottle of apple juice.

Who doesn’t enjoy a glass of fruit juice? I believe many of us, myself included, would agree.

However, when it comes to weight loss, the advantages of eating apples can quickly disappear if you choose to drink apple juice instead.

The key issue is the fiber. As soon as you blend apples to make juice, the fiber is removed, leaving behind a drink that’s high in calories and sugar.

While apples do contain sugar, the fiber in whole apples helps slow down the sugar’s absorption into your bloodstream. This slow-down effect is lost in juice form because the fiber is gone.

Drinking apple juice means the sugar heads straight to your liver, where most of it ends up being stored as fat.

This is because apples have fructose, a type of sugar that can’t be immediately used by our cells.

The liver has to convert fructose into glucose first, but the high levels of fructose in juice, it can overwhelm the liver and lead to fat storage.

Another downside to apple juice is its calorie content. To make a glass of apple juice, you’d need about 3 to 5 medium-sized apples, which equates to roughly 300 to 500 calories—making it far from a low-calorie option.

Therefore, for weight loss, consuming whole apples is far more beneficial than drinking apple juice.

Potential To Eat Too Much

A man sitting in a living room, smiling as he takes a bite from a green apple.

We’re naturally inclined to overindulge in sweet foods. This inclination stems from our evolutionary past, where finding sweet foods like fruit was a rare event that required hours of foraging.

Consequently, our brains develop to release pleasure signals upon consuming sweet items because of their scarcity. However, in the modern world, access to any kind of food is much easier.

So, when it comes to apples, if you’re hungry and enjoy their taste, you might end up eating more than necessary.

Your emotional state plays a role as well; if you’re feeling stressed or down, you’re more likely to overeat than you would otherwise.

Tips for Adding Apples to a Weight Loss Diet

Here is how you can add apples to your weight loss diet.

Eat it as a Snack

A man joyfully surrounded by a large pile of apples, laughing as he holds two apples.

Apples are a great snack when you’re trying to lose weight. They don’t have many calories, and they help fill you up because they’re rich in fiber.

So, if you’ve had your lunch and it’s going to be a while until dinner, but you’re feeling hungry, apples are a smart choice.

Many times, people want to eat something quick and tasty like chips or cookies. These snacks might seem small and harmless but are not the best choice.

Choosing an apple instead means you don’t use many of your daily calories and you keep hunger away until dinner time.

Keep Your Intake to 1 – 3 Apples a Day at Most

A nutritionist holding an apple with a speech bubble "Eat Apples In Moderation".

Yes, apples are good for weight loss, but eating too many isn’t a good idea. Remember, having too much of anything can backfire.

In terms of weight loss, if you end up eating 5 – 6 apples a day for snacks, that’s about 500 – 600 extra calories your body has to deal with.

So, it’s best to eat about 1 – 3 apples a day. The right amount depends on your total daily calorie needs.

For example, someone who’s on a 1500-calorie diet might fit in an extra apple compared to someone on a 1300-calorie diet aiming for a calorie deficit.

Add Apples to Your Salads

A woman is adding apple slices to a fresh garden salad.

When people think about losing weight, they often think it means they have to eat salads all the time, which can seem pretty dull.

But, as a nutritionist, I’m here to tell you that’s not the whole truth. If you’re someone who enjoys salads, slicing up an apple and mixing it into your salad can make it taste so much better.

Just make sure that adding the apple fits within the amount of calories you’re aiming to eat in a day.

Make Apple-Infused Water

A jar of infused water with apple slices and mint leaves.

It’s common knowledge that staying hydrated is key, but let’s be honest, drinking plain water all the time can get really boring.

I understand this; actually, I often add lemon to my water because it makes the plain taste of water more interesting.

You can do the same thing with apples. Just slice up an apple and add the slices to your water bottle.

Give it a good shake to blend the flavors of the apple with the water, and there you have it—water that tastes like apples.

Add Apples to Smoothies

A woman is putting apple slices into a blender with other fruits for a smoothie.

I’ve mentioned before that when you juice apples, you lose a lot of their fiber, and you’re pretty much left with sugary water.

But smoothies are a different story. When you use whole fruits in smoothies, you keep a lot of that important fiber.

You can even throw in some chia or flax seeds to bump up the fiber content even more. Just make sure you’re drinking your smoothie at a time when it can really benefit you, like in the morning or about 30 minutes before you work out, to make sure you get the most energy from it.

Alternatives To Apples For Weight Loss

Here are some fruits that offer similar benefits for weight loss like apples.


Oranges are an excellent weight loss food due to their significant fiber content and low energy density.

A medium-sized orange contains only about 60-80 calories but offers around 3-4 grams of dietary fiber.

This fiber helps slow digestion and increase satiety, reducing the urge to snack frequently. Additionally, the bulk of an orange is water, which adds to its ability to make you feel full.

This combination of low calories, high fiber, and high water content makes oranges a powerful ally in weight management, as they can be consumed as a filling snack that doesn’t contribute excessively to daily calorie intake.

Also Read: Are Oranges Good For Weight Loss?


Kiwis are a nutrient-dense fruit, meaning they provide a high amount of nutrients for a relatively low number of calories.

One medium kiwi has about 42 calories and 2 grams of fiber.

Including kiwis in your diet can aid in digestion and help maintain a feeling of fullness, making it easier to stick to a calorie-controlled diet.

The combination of low-calorie, high-fiber, makes kiwis an excellent fruit for supporting weight loss.

Also Read: Are Kiwis Good For Weight Loss?


Grapes, particularly when eaten fresh, can be a deliciously sweet snack that’s also low in calories. A cup of grapes contains approximately 100 calories and 1 to 1.5 grams of fiber.

While they may have more sugar than some other fruits, the key to incorporating grapes into a weight loss diet is portion control.

Eating grapes can satisfy a sweet tooth without the high-calorie load of processed sweets, and their water content helps contribute to hydration and fullness.

They’re a practical choice for a snack that’s both nutritious and portion-controlled, offering a natural way to manage cravings and support weight loss.

Also Read: Are Grapes Good For Weight Loss?


Watermelon is one of the lowest calorie fruits, with a cup of diced watermelon containing under 50 calories, thanks to its high water content (over 90%).

This makes it an excellent option for volume eating—a strategy where you eat larger volumes of low-calorie foods to help you feel full.

The act of eating watermelon also provides sensory satisfaction due to its crunch and juiciness, which can help fulfill the desire for more substantial eating experiences without a high caloric cost.

Additionally, watermelon’s water content can aid in hydration, which is often beneficial for weight loss as sometimes thirst is mistaken for hunger.

Also Read: Is Watermelon Good For Weight Loss?


Strawberries offer a sweet, satisfying eating experience with very few calories. A cup of whole strawberries contains about 50 calories and 3 grams of dietary fiber.

This combination makes strawberries a filling, low-calorie option that can help manage hunger and reduce overall calorie intake.

Their high fiber content not only aids in digestion but also slows down the absorption of sugars, providing a steady energy release and keeping hunger at bay.

Strawberries can be particularly beneficial for those looking to reduce their calorie intake without feeling deprived, as they can be eaten in relatively large quantities without significantly affecting weight loss efforts.

Also Read: Are Strawberries Good For Weight Loss?


So, apples are indeed beneficial for weight loss, thanks to their low-calorie content and high fiber.

However, it’s natural for us to overindulge in sweet foods, so it’s important to be mindful of how much you consume.

A good guideline is to stick to about 1 to 3 apples a day. If you’re not a fan of eating apples raw, there are other ways to enjoy them.

You can chop them into salads, blend them into smoothies, or even make apple-infused water to drink throughout the day.

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a commission for purchases made through links at no extra cost to you. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Rahul is a professional nutritionist certified by the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) and a personal trainer certified through the American Council of Exercise (ACE). He has a special interest in the science of nutrition and how it can impact the body.

Sharing is caring!