Is Kale 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 basket filled with fresh kale leaves.

Yes, kale is good for weight loss. Its low-calorie density means you can eat a larger volume without consuming many calories, helping you to feel full and satisfied.

Additionally, kale’s high fiber and protein content aids in hunger control and weight management.

When used as a substitute for higher-calorie foods, kale can contribute to a healthier, lower-calorie diet.

As a nutritionist, I think eating green leafy veggies is a smart move for losing weight. They don’t have anything in them that could slow down your weight loss, and actually, they’re full of good stuff that can help.

Let me explain why.

Nutritional Value Of Kale

As per the USDA, 100 g of raw kale contains the following nutrients:

Serving Size: 100 g

Calories: 43
Protein: 3 g
Carbs: 4.4 g
Sugar: 0.8 g
Fiber: 4 g
Fat: 1.5 g

Potential Benefits of Kale for Weight Loss

Its Low in Calories

Kale has a low-calorie density, meaning it provides fewer calories per volume compared to many other foods.

This property is beneficial for weight loss because it allows you to consume a larger portion without taking in many calories, which can help in creating a calorie deficit.

A calorie deficit occurs when you consume fewer calories than your body expends, leading to weight loss.

You Can Use It For Swap Unhealthy Foods

By substituting high-calorie snacks or side dishes with kale-based alternatives, you can significantly reduce your overall calorie intake.

For example, swapping out potato chips for kale chips reduces the number of calories consumed and decreases the intake of unhealthy fats often found in processed snacks.

This substitution approach is integral to weight management as it focuses on healthier eating habits without sacrificing satisfaction.

Also Read: Are Protein Pancakes Good For Weight Loss?

Rich in Dietary Fiber and Protein

The fiber content in kale (4 g per 100 g) contributes to satiety, which means it helps you feel fuller for longer.

Fiber takes longer to digest, slowing down the emptying of the stomach and prolonging the feeling of fullness, which can help in reducing overall calorie intake.

Additionally, the protein in kale (3 g per 100 g) will help you increase the protein content of your overall meal.

Protein is a key ally for your weight loss because it helps you build or preserve your lean mass while losing weight.

Remember when I say weight loss, I really mean fat loss. You don’t want to lose muscle along with fat, that’s why having a good amount of protein in your diet is important.

According to Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, you should be eating 1.2 to 1.6 grams/kilogram of protein daily.

Also Read: Are Protein Bars Good For Weight Loss?

Downsides of Kale for Weight Loss

Overestimations as a Superfood for Weight Loss

A man kissing a bunch of kale.

While kale is undoubtedly nutritious, it’s important to remember that no single food can be a magic solution for weight loss.

Some people might overestimate kale’s role in their diet, thinking that its inclusion will significantly impact weight loss.

In reality, successful weight loss is typically the result of a balanced diet combined with physical activity. Kale can be a part of this, but it’s not a standalone solution.

Relying too heavily on kale for weight loss could lead to neglecting other essential aspects of a healthy diet, such as protein, healthy fats, and other vitamins and minerals that kale doesn’t provide in large quantities.

Thinking Everything with Kale is Healthy

A confused woman looking at a kale pie.

Sometimes, because kale is healthy, people might think that any food made with kale is also good for them. This isn’t always true.

For example, desserts or sweets that have kale in them can still be full of sugar or fat. Just because something has kale doesn’t mean it’s always good for losing weight.

These foods can still have a lot of calories, which might not help with weight loss. It’s important to look at the whole food, not just the kale in it.

Tips For Incorporating Kale in a Weight Loss Diet

Use Kale in Salads

Start by choosing fresh, crisp kale leaves. Remove the stems, which can be tough, and chop the leaves into bite-sized pieces.

You can soften the leaves by massaging them with a little bit of olive oil, which makes the kale more palatable.

The key here is to use dressings that are low in calories but high in flavor. Lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, or balsamic vinegar are great choices.

You can add herbs like basil, parsley, or cilantro for extra flavor without adding many calories. A small amount of olive oil can be used, but be mindful of the quantity as it is calorie-dense.

Add other vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots for variety. For protein, consider grilled chicken, tofu, or boiled eggs. Be cautious with high-calorie toppings like cheese, nuts, and croutons.

Add Kale to Smoothies

Use fresh or frozen kale. Frozen kale can be more convenient and just as nutritious.

Balance kale with low-calorie fruits like berries, apples, or kiwi for natural sweetness and additional nutrients.

Adding a protein source like Greek yogurt or protein powder helps make the smoothie more filling and supports muscle maintenance, which is important in weight loss. Use water, unsweetened almond milk, or coconut water as a liquid base.

Kale has a strong flavor that can be balanced by the sweetness of the fruits. If the texture of kale is too coarse, blending it well or using a high-power blender can help.

Steam or Sauté Kale

Steaming is a simple and healthy way to prepare kale. Just rinse the leaves, chop them, and steam them for a few minutes until they are tender but still vibrant in color.

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a pan, add chopped garlic or onions for flavor, and then add the kale.

Cook until the kale is wilted but not soggy. Season with salt, pepper, and spices like chili flakes or smoked paprika.

Cooking kale helps in breaking down its fibers, making it easier to digest and reducing the chances of bloating and gas.

Kale Chips

Wash and thoroughly dry kale leaves. Tear them into chip-sized pieces, being careful to remove the tough stems.

Lightly spray or toss the leaves with olive oil. Add a sprinkle of salt, and if you like, other seasonings such as garlic powder, paprika, or nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor.

Spread the kale pieces on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake in a preheated oven at a low temperature until they are crispy. This usually takes about 10-15 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, as they can easily burn.

Add Kale to Soups and Stews

Add chopped kale in the last few minutes of cooking soups or stews. It cooks quickly and you want to preserve its color and nutrients.

Kale adds bulk and texture without many calories. It’s also a good source of vitamins and minerals, which can be beneficial in a balanced weight loss diet.

Kale pairs well with a variety of flavors. In a vegetable soup, it goes well with tomatoes, carrots, and beans. In meat-based stews, kale complements beef, chicken, or pork.

Alternatives To Kale For Weight Loss


Spinach is good for weight loss because it doesn’t have many calories. You can eat a big bowl of spinach and feel really full, but not have eaten a lot of calories.

This helps you not to eat too much during the day. You can throw spinach into lots of meals.

Put it in your morning scrambled eggs, mix it into a pasta dish for lunch, or have a big spinach salad for dinner. It’s easy to use and goes with many things.

Also Read: Is Spinach Good For Weight Loss?


Arugula has a spicy, peppery taste. This strong flavor makes your meals more interesting without adding extra calories from things like dressings or cheese.

It’s great in salads, but you can also put it on top of a pizza or mix it into a sandwich.

Plus, it’s full of vitamins which are important when you’re eating less to lose weight.

Also Read: Is Arugula Good For Weight Loss?


Watercress might help your body burn a bit more calories than usual. It’s not a big change, but every little bit helps when you’re trying to lose weight.

It’s crunchy and tastes fresh, so it’s nice to eat on its own as a snack or mixed into a salad.

It keeps you from getting too hungry between meals.

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is low in calories. You can eat a lot of it, feel full, and still not have eaten many calories.

Swiss chard can be cooked and added to soups, stews, or just sautéed as a side dish. It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals, which help keep you healthy.

Butterhead Lettuce

Butterhead lettuce has a lot of water in it, which helps you feel full and stops you from overeating.

It’s soft and easy to digest, so it’s a good choice if other greens make your stomach upset.


Kale is good for weight loss because it is low in calories and high in fiber. But as I say to all my clients. No one food can help you lose weight.

Your weight loss depends on your overall lifestyle.

Sure, foods like kale will help support your goals indirectly but on their own no food or drink can burn your stored fat and reduce the number that you see on your weighing scale.


Does kale help you lose belly fat?

No specific food, including kale, targets belly fat directly. Weight loss, including belly fat, generally occurs when you burn more calories than you consume.

Will I lose weight if I eat kale every day?

Eating kale every day can be part of a healthy diet, but weight loss depends on your overall diet and calorie intake, not just one food.

Is spinach or kale better for weight loss?

Both are excellent for weight loss as they’re low in calories and high in nutrients. The choice between spinach and kale depends on personal preference and variety in your diet.

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!