Weight Loss

Tuna for Weight Loss: How Effective is it Likely To Be?

Parul Dube

October 11, 2022

Marine organisms continue to amaze researchers with their physiological adaptations that enable them to survive and thrive in the largest undiscovered habitat known to humankind. In addition, they are great for health. For example, both sweet and saltwater fish are good sources of omega-3 and omega-6. The majority of saltwater fish are well known for their health benefits. Tuna is one species that is commonly known and gets consumed worldwide. 

There is always an abundance of delicious seafood available to those who reside near a country’s water coastline. Whether fresh fish or fish-based dishes like sushi, one is lucky to have such simple and quick access to the powerhouse of benefits.

You can try different tuna or tuna-based recipes and plan a unique menu for your kids, guests, lunch, and dinner. Tuna-based dishes such as baked spicy tuna or tuna rolls or served with vegetables with a delightful seasoning are the perfect dish for enjoying holidays with family and friends. However, did you know that you can enjoy tuna without worrying about calories? Were you aware that tuna can assist you in your weight loss journey? Yes, tuna is quite tasty and low in calories, helping you maintain a slim figure. In addition, it is one of the most healthy and widespread species of saltwater fish. 

Read on to explore the incredible health advantages of consuming tuna and why you should add it to your weight loss diet plan.

How to Include it in Your Diet? 

It is no secret that moderation or portion control is vital for well-being. According to the FDA, tuna should be consumed at a moderate level of around 85 to 140 grams every week to acquire the essential nutrients and support weight loss. 

Eating tuna helps you control your weight. A single serving of fresh tuna has half the protein you need daily. The protein will make you feel fuller and keep your insulin levels steady. Eating more protein leads to a slower release of insulin and glucose, effectively minimising your appetite. Overall, it will make you eat fewer calories and aid in healthy weight management.

Tuna not only improves the metabolic rate in individuals but also increases bodily functions to keep you energetic, active, and healthy. For example, eating tuna after a workout will help you to maintain your energy while reducing belly fat due to the high-thermic effect.

This fish is a complete protein. Which means it has all nine essential amino acids. These play a critical role in bodybuilding and muscle maintenance in individuals. Moreover, it also ensures better growth, muscle tone, metabolic efficiency, and quick healing from wounds and illnesses.

Tuna is low in calories and carbs and rich in protein, which promotes rapid weight loss. But unfortunately, consuming tuna alone will cause nutrient deficiency. In addition, fresh tuna is the best for weight loss, but canned tuna packed in oil has more calories and unhealthy fats, leading to weight gain.

The HealthifyMe Note

Tuna is rich in protein, an essential building block of muscles, bones, cartilage, blood, and skin. The protein content helps lose weight. In addition, when it uses protein for energy, our bodies burn more calories. Therefore including tuna in your daily diet can help balance the ratio of calorie intake-calorie burn, assisting in weight loss.

Healthy Tuna Recipes for Weight Loss

Tuna is a popular lunchtime staple due to its sustainable source of protein aiding in weight loss. There are various types of recipes to fit tuna into your diet. Here are some of the quick recipes for tuna that are easy enough to prepare with the ingredients you may already have on your shelf.

Tuna and Avocado Toast

There is no need to go for plain avocado toast when tuna is here. The simple combination of tuna and avocado is easy to prepare, and the taste will excite your taste buds for more. Besides tuna’s low calories, it is a source of healthy carbs and fibres, making the dish a definite addition to the weight loss diet.

Servings- 2

Preparation time- 5-8 minutes


  • Whole-wheat bread: 4 slices
  • Ripe avocado: 1 
  • Fresh lemon juice: 2 tsp
  • Kosher salt: ¼ tsp
  • Freshly ground black pepper: ⅛ tsp
  • Cooked tuna: 42 g
  • Chopped red onion: 2 tbsp
  • Hot sauce (optional)


  • Place the wheat bread in the toaster oven and toast it for 3 minutes until it reaches light brown.
  • Add the avocado, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to a bowl.
  • Mix the ingredients using a fork. Now divide the mixture evenly and top it on the toast.
  • Then add tuna, onion, and hot sauce over the mixture before serving.

Open-faced Classic Tuna Melt Sandwich

The tuna melt sandwich is indeed a classic recipe for weight loss. The dish becomes delicious with the use of simple seasoning. Whole-wheat bread is used in the recipe since it provides more fibre than white bread. In case you have tomatoes, you can add them to the slice.

Servings: 2

Preparation time: 20 minutes


  • Whole-wheat baguette, sliced: 1
  • Cans tuna in water, non-salted and drained: 99 g
  • Italian salad dressing (if not olive oil and vinegar): 2 tbsp
  • Kosher salt: 1 pinch
  • Black pepper freshly ground: 1 pinch
  • Arugula or other leafy greens freshly picked: ¾ cup


  • First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Now lay the baguette slices on the baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Please place it in the preheated oven and toast it for 2 minutes, until the bread turns slightly golden brown.
  • Then place the tuna, salad dressing, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl and stir it well to combine.
  • Divide the tuna mixture equally to spread in the toasted bread pieces
  • Wait until the tuna gets cooked.
  • Top the dish with arugula leaves before serving.

The HealthifyMe Note

Eating fresh fish is better for your health. Therefore, tuna fish that is canned, frozen, or pickled does not lead to the best weight reduction outcomes due to the additives. Consequently, you cannot lose weight if you eat tuna drenched in oil. It can have preservatives too, which can cause health hazards too. 

Possible Downsides of Eating Tuna

Tuna is rich in protein, and several studies have shown that protein is crucial for weight loss. However, tuna can have some adverse effects too.

 Here are some disadvantages of consuming excess tuna.

  • Insufficient Calories: Tuna has no calories, which might cause calorie deficit, resulting in a slower metabolism, loss of muscle mass, and extreme hunger.
  • Mercury Poisoning: Overconsumption of tuna fish might increase the chances of mercury positioning, accompanied by harmful effects on kidneys, the immune system, and brain health.
  • Short-term: Losing weight by consuming only tuna makes the long-term health benefits questionable. Moreover, rapid weight loss can inhibit the sustainable success of your goals.


Weight loss is a challenge for many people. One can simplify this weight loss process by providing easy-to-follow guidelines that fit an individual’s lifestyle. Including tuna in your diet will simplify the complicated process of weight loss. As a lean fish, tuna is a high-protein food preferred among bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts. However, rapid weight loss is not sustainable and is not a good long-term solution.

The best way to achieve the desired results is to adhere to a balanced meal plan. You can, of course, include tuna fish, but you need sufficient calories and nutrients to meet your health and fitness needs. Thus, embarking on healthy lifestyle changes and regular exercises will support your weight goals in the long term.

About the Author

Parul holds a Masters of Medical Science in Public Health Nutrition from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and has worked across the globe from the U.K to New Zealand (NZ) gaining her License with the Health Professionals Council (HPC, UK) and the NZ Nutrition Council. From being a Gold medalist in Clinical Nutrition to being awarded an internship with World Health Organisation (WHO, Cairo, Egypt) and Contracts with CDC Parul has had a wide spectrum of work experiences. She is very passionate about Nutrition and Fitness and holds strong to her guiding mantras ‘ Move more’ and ‘Eat Food that your grandmother can recognize’!

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