Some foods make it really difficult to lose weight. They create their own self-sustaining cravings (“Betcha can’t eat just one!”) and play havoc with your blood sugar and, ultimately, your waistline. But other foods do just the opposite. You might have heard that certain foods can help you shed pounds. It’s true! Here are some other tasty options that will fuel you up and generate weight loss. Make these foods a part of your daily diet and watch the pounds come slipping off.
1) Grapefruit. Ever tried the grapefruit diet? Turns out there may be some good research to back up grapefruit’s reputation as a fat fighter. In a 2004 study at the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California, researchers investigated the effect of grapefruit on weight loss and found that eating half a grapefruit before a meal can actually help people drop weight. The researchers studied the effect of grapefruit capsules, grapefruit juice and real grapefruit. All three seemed to help, but the folks eating the real grapefruit got the best results. The mechanism isn’t completely understood, but the results speak for themselves. As an added benefit, grapefruit contains cancer-fighting compounds like liminoids and lycopene, and red grapefruit has been shown to help lower triglycerides. And half a grapefruit has only 39 calories.
2) Sardines. Sardines might just be one of the greatest health bargains of all time, and they’re a boon to anyone wanting to lose weight. First of all, sardines are loaded with protein, which helps stabilize blood sugar, makes you feel full and helps stimulate metabolism. Second, they’re a great source of omega-3s, which not only strengthen the cardiovascular system but also are helpful in boosting mood. (And when you’re in a good mood, you tend to crave less junk food!) Third, sardines are convenient, easy to find and cheap. And because they’re very low on the food chain, they’re remarkably free of contaminants, such as mercury and heavy metals.
3) Pumpkin. You may know this vegetable for its central role in Thanksgiving celebrations, but it’s also one of the greatest weight-loss foods ever. Plain old canned pumpkin is absolutely loaded with fiber and has a mere 40 calories. Dozens of studies confirm that high fiber intake is associated with a host of health benefits, including weight management. Pumpkin is also among the easiest food in the world to prepare. You can sweeten it with your favorite low or 0-calorie sweetener, sprinkle it with blood-sugar-lowering cinnamon and nutmeg for good measure, throw in some healthy almonds and make it one of the best tasting weight-loss treats around. It’s filling and delicious.
4) Grass-Fed Beef. Meat is a great diet food — if it doesn’t contain antibiotics, steroids and hormones. Eat grass-fed beef and avoid the health concerns that go along with eating meat while getting all the terrific benefits. Buffalo burgers are a good alternative if you can’t find grass-fed beef. High-protein diets are associated with weight loss for a variety of reasons: Protein stimulates metabolism, helps you feel full longer and helps decrease the desire to overeat. Grass-fed beef has a high omega-3 content, giving you multiple health benefits into the bargain.
5) Green Tea. This natural weight-loss stimulant might not be a food, but green tea is still a great slimming solution, not to mention that it’s rich in antioxidants, promotes heart health, aids digestion and regulates blood sugar and body temperature. It raises the metabolic rate and speeds up fat oxidation, thus helping people lose weight. Drink it daily to boost your metabolism. Some research has shown that five cups a day is the magic number for fat loss. As an added benefit, the theanine in green tea is also a great natural de-stressor.