Spring has arrived! Are you hoping to shed a few pounds before putting on your shorts and t-shirts? If so, you might want to skip the costly diet pills and try including these fat fighting foods in your daily diet.
Hot Peppers: Capsaicin in jalapenos and other hot peppers boost metabolism for about a half an hour, helping you burn more calories. Add hot peppers to eggs, stir fry dishes, or sprinkle foods with cayenne pepper.
Salsa: Use salsa as a condiment on foods to get the metabolic boost from hot peppers and to add a lot of flavor with very few calories. As a bonus, salsas are a great source of lycopene and other disease fighting antioxidants. Use salsa on baked potatoes, eggs, chicken or fish. (1/4 cup salsa has about 25 calories.)
Sweeten The Deal: Sweet spices and flavorings can naturally take the edge off a sweet tooth without adding the calories from sugar. Add a touch to your coffee, tea, hot cereals or other foods to help curb satisfy that sweet tooth. A great alternative if you’re not a fan of artificial sweeteners. As a bonus, spices like cinnamon help to regulate insulin and blood sugar levels.
Lean Protein: Protein foods “stick to your ribs” and make you feel satisfied for longer periods between meals. Have a good protein source at each meal and you will eat less overall. Lean meats (loin and round cuts of beef and pork), skinless chicken breast, fish, eggs, and soy foods (tofu), and low-fat cottage cheese are great protein rich foods. (One ounce lean protein has about 60 to 70 calories.)
Cottage cheese: Reduced fat cottage cheese contains whey protein that stimuilates the release hormones that tell your brain to stop eating. Low-fat versions have all the whey protein with little fat and calories (about 80 calories per 1/2 cup).
Food With Fiber: Whole grain cereals (like Flax Plus and Oatmeal), pastas, whole wheat bread, fruit, vegetables and foods fortified with fiber, like granola bars will make up feel fuller faster. Fiber tends to pull more water into our stomach so we actually feel fuller longer and will eat less. The average person needs between 25 and 35g fiber each day.
Green Tea: Catechins (antioxidants) found in green tea may contribute to weight loss by stimulating the body to burn calories and decreasing body fat. Unlike black tea, green teas are not fermented and contain higher levels of catechins. The down side, you’ll need about 13 cups everyday to get the full metabolic effect. However, a cup or two of green can compliment your weight loss effects with the added bonus of disease fighting antioxdants
Other Fat Fighting Food Tips:
- Use low-fat plain yogurt instead of mayonnaise in tuna salad and other dishes. Two tablespoons plain yogurt has about 15 calories vs. two tablespoons reduced fat mayonnaise with 90 calories (you save 75 calories!)
- Fudgesicles are chocolatey and creamy, so they feel like a treat and are perfectly portion controlled! One regular fudgeicles has about 90 calories (sugar free versions have about 40 calories). No deprivation!
- Hummus is high in healthy fat and a good source of protein so it will stick with you between meals. Keep it low calorie by using hummus as a dip for vegetables like carrots, broccoli, celery, and mushrooms. Mmmmm
- Part-Skim String Cheese: Fast, portable and convenient! With only 80 calories per stick, you get protein and some calcium. Adding a few whole-grain crackers would hold off hunger even longer.
Posted on Mon, April 6, 2009
by Healthy Living Dietitians filed under