Fat-Burning Foods - Part 1
What makes Greek yogurt a delicious tool for weight loss is its protein content. It has twice as much as other yogurts. "Protein takes longer to leave the stomach," says sports nutritionist Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD. "That keeps you satisfied longer." As a bonus, the body burns more calories digesting protein than carbs. Non-fat, low-fat, and low-sugar types keep a slim profile.
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is a nutritional all-star that belongs in your weight loss plan. This whole grain has 8 grams of hunger-busting protein and 5 grams of fiber in one cup, plus it's as easy to cook as rice. It's also packed with nutrients such as iron, zinc, selenium, and vitamin E. For a quick and interesting dinner, mix in some vegetables, nuts, or lean protein.
Studies suggest cinnamon may have a stabilizing effect on blood sugar levels. This could curtail appetite, particularly in people with type 2 diabetes, Bonci says. Nearly everyone can benefit from cinnamon in its traditional role. Stir some into your coffee, tea, or yogurt to add sweetness without adding calories.
Hot peppers contain a flavorless compound called capsaicin. It's more plentiful in spicy habaneros, but also occurs in jalapeños. This compound appears to curb appetite and speed up the metabolism slightly, but only for a short time. Nutritionists doubts that this has a significant impact on weight loss. But, they say, people tend to eat less when their food is spicy.
Several studies suggest green tea may promote weight loss by stimulating the body to burn abdominal fat. Green tea contains catechins, a type of phytochemical that may briefly affect the metabolism. To get the most benefit, you may need to drink green tea several times a day. Take your tea hot, because it takes longer to drink, slowing your calorie intake and providing a soothing, mindful experience.
While grapefruit doesn't have any magical fat-burning properties, it can help dieters feel full with fewer calories. Bonci attributes this to the plentiful amounts of soluble fiber, which take longer to digest. Having half a grapefruit or a glass of grapefruit juice before a meal may help fill you up, so you eat fewer calories during the meal.
Foods that are high in water content take up more room in the gut. This signals the body that you've had enough to eat and leaves less room for other foods. Many raw fruits and vegetables are chock-full of water and nutrients, but low in calories. Watermelon is a great example. It's a rich source of the antioxidant lycopene and adds some vitamins A and C to your day, too.
Pears and Apples
Pears and apples are also high in water content. Eat them with the peels for extra fiber, which will keep you full longer. Nutritionists recommend whole fruits rather than fruit juice. Not only do you get more fiber, you have to chew the fruits. This takes longer and requires some exertion. You actually burn a few calories chewing, as opposed to gulping down a smoothie.
Like other fruits, berries are high in water and fiber, which can keep you full longer. But they have another benefit - they're very sweet. This means berries can satisfy your sweet tooth for a fraction of the calories you would take in gobbling cookies or brownies. Blueberries stand out because they're easy to find and loaded with antioxidants.