When trying to lose weight, it’s easy to consider trying fad diets in an attempt to shed a few pounds quickly. Unfortunately, any weight loss plan that requires you to make dramatic changes to your diet offers a quick fix solution at best.
The problem with any diet that requires, for example, you to give up eating carbohydrates or to only consume special shakes is that once the program is over, you immediately go back to your old dietary routine, and generally end up putting the weight you loss right back on- plus a few extra pounds.
The best way to lose and keep weight off isn’t to stop eating, but rather to add more healthy food choices to your daily diet. With that in mind, here are a number of foods that can help you fight fat and beat back a bulging belly.
A nutritional super grain, every healthy weight loss plan should include several serving of quinoa a week. A whole grain bursting with five grams of fiber and eight grams of protein per cup, quinoa is as easy to cook as rice and will help keep you full for longer. Quinoa also contains plenty of vital nutrients such as vitamin E, selenium, zinc, and iron, making it the perfect compliment to any meal.
A number of recent studies have shown that cinnamon may help to stabilize a person’s blood sugar levels, which could help to reduce appetite, especially among individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes. However, you don’t need to be a diabetic to enjoy the benefits of cinnamon. Sprinkle a little into your coffee, tea, or cereal in the morning to help reduce afternoon cravings that can derail any diet.
Hot peppers such as jalapenos, banana, serrano and habaneros all contain the flavorless compound capsaicin, which studies have shown helps to increase metabolism and reduce appetite. While capsaicin has only a limited effect on weight loss, the spicier a dish the less likely you’ll be to overeat.
A number of studies have suggested that green tea can help to promote weight loss by stimulating the body to burn belly fat. Green teas contain catechin, a phytochemical that briefly boosts your body’s metabolism. To receive the biggest benefits from green tea, you’ll probably need to drink it throughout out the day. This will allow the caffeine in green tea to help curb your appetite, while the catechin burns belly fat.
While no scientific evidence supports the claims made by proponents of the Grapefruit Diet that eating the fruit helps to burn fat, adding more grapefruit to your diet can help you lose weight. Because grapefruit contains plenty of soluble fiber, which takes the body longer to digest, enjoying a slice or glass of grapefruit juice with a meal can help you feel full more quickly and consume fewer calories.
Foods, such as watermelon, that have a high water content take up more space in the stomach. When your stomach becomes full, the body begins producing chemicals that signal you’ve had enough to eat. Adding more raw fruits and vegetables to your diet is a great way to intake more nutrients, while also leaving less room for calories from foods higher in fat. In addition to having a high water content, watermelon also contains plenty of lycopene, an antioxidant, and vitamins A and C.
A number of studies have shown that eating lean protein in the morning keeps you full for longer throughout the day. While one egg contains only 75 calories, it also packs in seven grams of protein and other vital nutrients. Having an egg for breakfast will also help your body burn more calories throughout the day than one loaded with carbohydrates. However, if you suffer from high cholesterol, you should check with your doctor to determine how many eggs you can safely consume in a week.
Timothy Lemke is a freelance health writer. To read more of his work, visit the website of Dr. Joy Arend, a Portland dentist.