Blog Weight Loss Food For Weight Loss Best Fish for Weight Loss: 22 Fish to Eat While Losing Weight

Best Fish for Weight Loss: 22 Fish to Eat While Losing Weight

Incorporating fish into your diet can be a balanced and nutritious approach to supporting overall health, regardless of your specific goals. Fish is a versatile protein source that can be included in meals to help with muscle gain, weight maintenance, or weight loss. It’s important to choose the right type of fish based on your nutritional needs and health objectives.

The best fish for weight loss reveals a shocking truth: not all fish are created equal. Many tasty fish exist and are ideal for weight loss journeys. However, some fish might leave the scale stagnant when in excess. Let’s discover which fish you can eat for weight loss to get the scale moving again.

What Is the Lowest-Calorie Fish?

The lowest-calorie fish has fewer than 100 calories with under two grams of fat in a 100-gram serving and is the best fish for weight loss, including:

  • Atlantic COD (13
  • Australis Barramundi (27)
  • Boiled or steamed shrimp (41)
  • Flounder (14)
  • Grouper (15)
  • Haddock (16)
  • Sole (14)
  • Steamed crab (34)

However, low-calorie fish isn’t the only consideration for weight loss. Let’s dive deeper into what makes the best fish for weight loss.

What Is the Healthiest Fish to Eat?

The best fish for weight loss includes healthy options and a few considerations, depending on what you mean by healthy. Ultimately, the best fish for weight loss will follow the evidence to support the best diet interventions for weight loss. Let’s see what the evidence suggests. 

What Fish Can I Eat for Weight Loss?

First, let’s look at the desirable conditions for losing weight. The Seoul National University Bundang Hospital reviewed over 90 studies to discover the optimal conditions and diet strategies for weight loss (37). The research found a few optimal strategies to lose weight. 

Various studies on keto, Mediterranean, and other diets indicated similar conditions that promote weight loss. For starters, a low-calorie diet, with the occasional ultra-low-calorie intake, is the first diet strategy that works for weight loss. 

However, low-fat and low-carb calorie intakes showed the most promise across studies. A Netherlands Review in the Seoul research showed protein was responsible for satiety induced by thermogenesis (9). 

See also
10 Exercises to Flatten Stomach, and What Else You Should Do to Lose Belly Fat

Thermogenesis is a metabolic process that occurs when the body burns calories for heat. 

Interestingly, another critical outcome from this research indicated that high-protein meals caused lower calorie consumption and higher thermogenesis after eating (46). 

Various reviews confirm the low-fat, low-carb, and high-protein but low-calorie, was the golden weight loss ticket. Furthermore, a review at the University of Connecticut suggests exercise also aids weight loss, but there’s no agreement about duration, intensity, or type (7). 

Fortunately, the Mayo Clinic suggests 150 minutes of moderate-intensity workouts weekly, with two strength training days as a general guideline (26). Exercise for weight loss is up to you. However, eat low-fat, low-carb, and low-calorie fish for weight loss. 

Reasons why BetterMe is a safe bet: a wide range of calorie-blasting workouts, finger-licking recipes, 24/7 support, challenges that’ll keep you on your best game, and that just scratches the surface! Start using our app and watch the magic happen.

Is Fish Good for Belly Fat Loss?

A critical review by Harvard didn’t find enough evidence to suggest that high-protein meals could help burn fat (46). However, omega-3 in fatty fish is often the epitome of studies related to burning tough visceral belly fat. That would mean fatty fish is better for belly fat.

Unfortunately, a randomized controlled trial of 50 overweight men at the University of Sydney showed no significant evidence that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) reduced visceral adipose fat around the belly (11). 

The argument isn’t over yet. A later study in Turkey on 40 overweight individuals revealed that omega-3 PUFA combined with a weight-loss diet reduced abdominal fat (45). Further studies are necessary to determine whether omega-3 aids fat burning. 

However, it may help to burn fat with a proper weight loss plan. Keep in mind, you can’t target weight loss to specific areas. However, overall weight loss will contribute to belly fat loss. 

See also
How Much Weight Can You Lose in a 24-Hour Fast?

Ultimately, both types of fish can support your weight loss journey.

best fish for weight loss  

How You Cook Fish for Weight Loss Matters

The cooking method used with fish also determines the nutritional values. Let’s use salmon as an example of how cooking methods alter the nutrients within fish. The table shows the macros for a 100-gram piece of salmon cooked in different ways (28, 40, 36). 

Cooking Method Calories Carbs Fat Protein
Grilled 196 0g 9.42g 24.64g
Baked/Broiled 160 0.1g 5.54g 25.82g
Steamed/Poached 160 0g 5.5g 25.8g

Grilled salmon has more calories and higher fat because you add fat like oils or butter when preparing it. This can suit the higher omega-3 portions. However, baked, broiled, steamed, or poached have the best macros per serving if you’re opting for a low-fat portion. 

You’ll also notice the macro quantities available with a few air-fried weight-loss fish options.

Different Fish Sources Also Have Different Macros

Farmed versus wild-caught fish also differ in nutrients. Let’s compare a 100-gram piece of wild-caught and farmed Atlantic salmon to see which provides better macros (20, 35). 

Salmon Source Calories Carbs Fat Protein
Wild-Caught 142 0g 6.34g 19.8g
Farmed 206 0g 12.4g 22.1g

Wild-caught salmon is lower in calories, fat, and protein for low-fat diets, whereas farmed salmon has higher calories, fat, and protein suitable for higher-fat, higher-protein diets. However, farmed salmon has greater vitamins and minerals if you seek that (20, 35).

Salmon Source Thiamin Riboflavin Vitamin A Vitamin B6 Vitamin C
Wild-Caught 0.226mg 0.38mg 12mcg 0.818mg 0mg
Farmed 0.34mg 0.14mg 69mcg 0.65mg 3.7mg

Best Fish for Weight Loss

Let’s look at the best fish for weight loss for different people, including white fish, frozen fish, and the ultimate fish. Please note that any fish in this article without cooked preferences refers to the fish macros in raw form. 

Best Frozen Fish for Weight Loss

Let’s discover fish or seafood you could use from frozen, focusing on lower calories. Also, take note of the specified cooking methods for some seafood macros. The table shows the macros in the best 100-gram frozen fish portions for weight loss (13, 27, 41, 16, 34):

Fish Calories Carbs Fat Protein
Atlantic COD 82 0g 0.67g 17.8g
Australis Barramundi 80 0g 0.88g 20.35g
Boiled/Steamed Shrimp 91 1.16g 1.29g 17.37g
Haddock 74 0g 0.45g 16.3g
Steamed Crab 82 0g 0.74g 17.8g

best fish for weight loss  

Which White Fish for Losing Weight?

Always prepare fish the way specifically mentioned in these tables to get the same macros per serving. However, the best white fish for weight loss includes the following 100-gram portions (17, 33, 14, 15, 22):

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Fish Calories Carbs Fat Protein
Air-Fried Halibut 111 0g 1.61g 22.5g
Air-Fried Whiting 116 0g 1.7g 23.5g
Flounder & Sole 70 0g 1.93g 12.4g
Grouper 92 0g 1.02g 19.4g
Snapper 100 0g 1.34g 20.5g

Read more: Do Vegetarians Eat Fish

Best Fish for Weight Loss and Muscle Gain

Muscle gain becomes possible with high-protein food. The British Heart Foundation (BHF) states that protein is essential for muscle growth and repair (30). The BHF recommends eating 0.75 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight while exercising to gain muscles. 

The table below shows high-protein 100-gram fish portions to eat for weight loss and muscle gain while exercising (19, 21, 23, 25, 29):

Fish Calories Carbs Fat Protein
Air-Fried Mahi-Mahi 109 0g 0.9g 23.7g
Air-Fried Sea Bass 124 0g 2.56g 23.6g
Air-Fried Tilapia 128 0g 2.65g 26.2g
Canned Tuna, Drained 116 0g 0.82g 25.5g
Mullet 118 0g 3.53g 18.82g

Best Fish for Weight Loss at Night

Fatty fish are better for dinner because of the omega-3 fatty acids. A randomized controlled trial at Northumberland University found that omega-3 PUFA, specifically the DHA and EPA kinds, can promote better sleep quality in children (10). 

More evidence is necessary to confirm whether omega-3 or fatty fish can improve sleep. However, let’s look at the fatty fish with more omega-3 PUFA. The table shows 100-gram fatty fish portions you can eat for weight loss and other possible benefits (18, 12, 32, 24, 38, 20):

Fish Calories Carbs Fat Protein PUFA
Air-Fried Herring 203 0g 11.6g 23g 2.74g
Canned Anchovies 210 0g 9.71g 28.9g 2.56g
Canned Sardines 208 0g 11.5g 24.6g 0.98g
Farmed Rainbow Trout 141 0g 6.18g 19.9g 1.51g
Oysters 51 2.72g 1.71g 5.71g 0.52g
Wild Atlantic Salmon 142 0g 6.34g 19.8g 2.54g

Best Fish for Weight Loss in the World

Flounder and sole are the best fish for weight loss in the world if you want low-calorie and low-fat fish to eat on a diet (14). However, wild Atlantic salmon is the best fish for weight loss in the world if you want more omega-3 from fatty fish while on a weight loss plan (20).

Top 10 Fish to Eat to Lose Weight

The top 10 fish to eat for weight loss include the fish shared in tables with 110 or fewer calories, no carbs, and less than two grams of fat per serving. Here’s a summary of the top 10 fish to eat for low-calorie and low-fat weight loss strategies:

  1. Air-Fried Mahi-Mahi (19)
  2. Atlantic COD (13
  3. Australis Barramundi (27)
  4. Boiled or steamed shrimp (41)
  5. Flounder (14)
  6. Grouper (15)
  7. Haddock (16)
  8. Snapper (22)
  9. Sole (14)
  10. Steamed crab (34)
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Read more: 13 Types of Fish To Eat for Good Health

5 Healthy Fish Recipes for Weight Loss

Let’s discover the top five healthy fish recipes by sticking to the low-calorie options with lower-macro cooking methods with or without healthy oils for fatty fish. 

Air-Fried Halibut Recipe

Sizzle Fish has a delicious air-fried halibut recipe using olive oil to increase fat content (1). The smoked paprika, garlic powder, and black pepper with lemon wedges sounds tasty with halibut. Note, the macros are for the fish alone, so add vegetable recipe macros used.

Macros per serving: 284 calories, 0 g carbs, 17 g fat, 28 g protein, and 0 g fiber (1)

Air Fryer Salmon Recipe

Feel Good Foodie has an incredible salmon recipe for an air fryer (2). It only has one gram of carbs per serving but gives you an enormous 34 grams of protein and 14 grams of fat. However, this recipe also only calculates the fish macros and no side dishes. 

Macros per serving: 276 calories, 1 g carbs, 14 g fat, 34 g protein, and 1 g fiber (2)

Crispy and Flaky Air Fryer COD Recipe

Daily Yum inspires this mouth-watering, low-fat, and low-calorie COD air fryer recipe (4). The recipe only counts the macros per fish serving, without any side dishes. However, the crispy and flaky aspects make this a weight-loss treat with a low-calorie count. 

Macros per serving: 180 calories, 1 g carbs, 2 g fat, 40 g protein, and 0 g fiber (4)

Simple Broiled Haddock Recipe

All Recipes has a simple recipe for broiling haddock for a low-fat and low-calorie option (42). The recipe adds the garlic, butter, and lemon combo, ideal for most fish recipes. Still, it doesn’t add side dish macros, and you should calculate those with this recipe.

Macros per serving: 229 calories, 1 g carbs, 5 g fat, 43 g protein, and 0 g fiber (42)

SouthWestern Shrimp Recipe

Finally, Eating Well has a shrimp recipe with cauliflower rice, avocado, and vegetables for a complete meal (43). The carbs seem higher, but the fiber content brings the net carbs to only 18 grams. In addition, the calorie count is acceptable for a full-fish meal.  

See also
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Macros per serving: 402 calories, 28g carbs, 20 g fat, 32 g protein, and 10 g fiber (43)

BetterMe app will provide you with a host of fat-frying fitness routines that’ll scare the extra pounds away and turn your body into a masterpiece! Get your life moving in the right direction with BetterMe!

4 Fish You Should Limit

The four worst marine fish to eat include:

  • Swordfish
  • Some long-living tuna 
  • Older orange roughy from the Atlantic
  • Some mackerel from the Gulf coast 

Some fish contain high amounts of mercury, which you should avoid. A 2003 study at the California Pacific Medical Center examined mercury levels in 123 patients consuming 30 different types of fish (31). Swordfish caused the highest mercury (Hg) levels. 

Meanwhile, a 2023 Polish analysis found that tuna, particularly yellowfin tuna and bluefin tuna, had the highest levels of mercury in marine fish (3). Nile perch, pike perch, and pike had the highest mercury levels in freshwater fish. 

The same study found the lowest marine mercury levels in Atlantic salmon and brown trout for freshwater fish. Mercury levels rise the longer fish are exposed to the toxic metals and other harmful elements in their natural environments. 

A Norwegian study found dangerously high mercury levels in older Atlantic orange roughy fish but lower levels in younger specimens (6). Also, Cape Canaveral Scientific research found that Spanish and King mackerel from the Gulf Coast had extreme mercury levels (39). 

For more healthy seafood reading:

best fish for weight loss  


  • What Is the Top 10 Healthiest Fish?

The top 10 healthiest fish for weight loss have the lowest fat and calorie counts. Air-fried mahi-mahi, Atlantic COD, Australis barramundi, boiled or steamed shrimp, flounder, grouper, haddock, snapper, sole, and steamed crab have fewer than 110 calories and two grams of fat in 100-gram servings (19, 13, 27, 41, 14, 15, 16, 22, 14, 34).

  • What Fish Is a Superfood?

Harvard suggests superfoods are defined by high levels of desirable nutrients, albeit there’s no scientific definition of superfoods (44). Fish high in omega-3 would be a superfood by that definition. Wild-caught Atlantic salmon has 2.54 grams of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids per 100 grams (20). 

  • Is Fish Healthier Than Chicken?

Based on calories and nutrients, fish is healthier than chicken because it has fewer calories per 100 grams, and more nutrients. The USDA shows a 100-gram piece of roasted chicken has 239 calories and 13.6 grams of fat (5). On the other hand, a 100-gram portion of flounder has 70 calories and 1.93 grams of fat (14).

  • Can I Eat Fish Every Day?

Eat fish 2-3 times a week to follow dietary recommendations and benefit from the Omega-3 fatty acids and protein-rich sources. The FDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend at least eight ounces of fish a week on a 2,000-calorie diet (8). Pregnant or breastfeeding women should eat 8-12 ounces of low-mercury fish a week on a 2,000-calorie diet.  

The Bottom Line

The best fish for weight loss depends on a few factors, like whether you want more protein, omega-3 fatty acids, or a low-fat, low-calorie option. Nonetheless, you have 20+ fish options to eat to lose weight. Choose the fish suitable for your weight loss diet, and start enjoying the other benefits of fish. 


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


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  2. Air Fryer Salmon (Under 10 Minutes!) (2020,
  3. Analysis of the Mercury Content in Fish for Human Consumption in Poland (2023,
  4. Best Damn Cripsy and Flaky Air Fryer COD (2023,
  5. Chicken, Broilers or Fryers, Meat and Skin, Cooked, Roasted (2019,
  6. Concentrations of Mercury and Other Toxic Elements in Orange Roughy, Hoplostethus atlanticus, From the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (2011,
  7. Diet and Exercise for Weight Loss: A Review of Current Issues (2005,
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  11. Effect of Fish Oil Supplementation on Hepatic and Visceral Fat in Overweight Men: A Randomized Controlled Trial (2019,
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  14. Fish, Flatfish, (Flounder and Sole Species), Raw (2019,
  15. Fish, Grouper, Mixed Species, Raw (2019,
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  19. Fish, MahiMahi, Cooked, Dry Heat (2019,
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  21. Fish, Sea Bass, Mixed Species, Cooked, Dry Heat (2019,
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  25. Fish, Tuna, Light, Canned in Water, Without Salt, Drained Solids (2019,
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  27. [Historical Record]: Australis Barramundi (2019,
  28. [Historical Record]: Grilled Salmon (2019,
  29. [Historical Record]: Whole Mullet (2020,
  30. How Much Protein Do I Need to Gain Muscle? – BHF (2023,
  31. Mercury Levels in High-End Consumers of Fish (2003,
  32. Nutrition Facts for Canned Sardines (n.d.,
  33. Nutrition Facts for Cooked Whiting (n.d.,
  34. Nutrition Facts for Crab Hard-Shelled Steamed (n.d.,
  35. Nutrition Facts for Farmed Atlantic Salmon (n.d.,
  36. Nutrition Facts for Salmon Steamed or Poached (n.d.,
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  38. Oysters, Raw (2020,
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  40. Salmon, Baked or Broiled, No Added Fat (2020,
  41. Shrimp, Steamed or Boiled (2019,
  42. Simple Broiled Haddock Recipe (2024,
  43. Southwestern Cauliflower Rice Bowls With Shrimp and Avocado Crema (2023,
  44. Superfoods or Superhype? | The Nutrition Source (n.d.,
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