Hold this thought: To lose weight effectively and permanently, you need to eat. And eat smart. Happily, nature designed a lot of delicious edibles to turn up your fat-burning furnace, flatten your belly, and take a big bite out of your appetite. Here are 11 of the get-slim food gems we’re talking about.
Mmmm. This creamy, tangy snack is loaded with calcium — and studies show that calcium may curtail weight gain by hindering the absorption of fat in the small intestine.
Turn breakfast into a fat-burning morning boost by skipping the stack of pancakes and feasting on a couple of eggs instead. According to a study, huevos beat out carbs when it came to helping folks feel full longer and helping them beat back snack attacks later in the day.
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Nuts may be high in fat, but it’s the healthful unsaturated kind of fat found in pistachios. And like all nuts, pistachios offer lots of hunger-curbing protein and fiber. All of these qualities together explain why adding pistachios to the diet helped dieters in a study curb their appetites and lose more weight.
Of all the foods rumored to boost weight loss, grapefruit is likely the most famous. And research confirms that this fruit’s get-slim celebrity status is for real. One study in particular revealed that eating half a grapefruit before each meal helped dieters shed more pounds than people who skipped the tart appetizer.
This green goddess of heavenly, creamy taste can help you whittle your waist. It’s true! Researchers suspect that the unsaturated fat in avocados may ratchet up body levels of the hunger-halting hormone called leptin — a hormone that lets your brain know that you’re full, so you stop eating.
If you want to try an easy and tasty calorie-cutting trick, then replace the meat in your favorite recipes with mushrooms. You’ll automatically cut about 420 calories out of a meal, partly because you’ll skip all the belly-padding saturated fat contained in meat.
7. Olive Oil
This rich-tasting oil found in salad dressings and marinades contains a hunger-busting monounsaturated fat called oleic acid — which triggers a complicated process in the gut that ultimately tells your brain you’re full and makes you want to stop eating.
8. Whole Grains
Ready to trade your belly bulge for a flat tummy? Then toss your refined grains into the garbage, and eat more whole grains instead. Research shows this one move can help whittle your middle. We’re talking brown rice, quinoa, steel-cut oats, whole-grain cereal, and 100% whole-wheat bread and pasta.
9. Red Pepper
Add some heat to your meals and you’ll boost not only the taste but also the effectiveness of your weight loss diet. A dash of cayenne pepper or some diced jalapeno or red peppers will do the trick. They all contain capsaicin — the heat-inducing compound in red peppers that, according to research, tamps down appetite and curbs food intake later in the day.
10. Fava Beans
Creamy and hearty, fava beans are a lean protein source bursting with flavonoids. And in a 14-year study, these special antioxidants were shown to help hinder the accumulation of extra belly fat.
11. Rice with Veggies
Adding some high-fiber vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and kale to your rice will obviously help lower the calorie count. But not only that. Adding veggies to rice at lunchtime appears to slow stomach emptying, according to research. The end result? You feel full longer. In fact, people in a study ate much less at dinner when they added veggies to their rice at lunch.