Eat more to weigh less. Has a lovely ring to it, no? Well, the right foods can help us lose up to 2 pounds a week by bumping up calorie burn and banishing your cravings. Have a look at these 20 super foods to get started!
An apple a day can help you keep keep the weight off. People who snacked on an apple before eating a pasta meal, consumed fewer calories than people who had a different snack. And the antioxidants in apples can help combat metabolic syndrome, a condition that involves excess belly fat or an apple shaped belly. Enjoy an apple on it’s own or if you want a special treat, chop up an apple, sprinkle it with 1/2 tsp of all spice and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and pop it in the microwave.
Steak has a bad reputation but it may actually work to help you shed pounds. Aim for local and organic beef, it is better for the environment and better for you. Grill or broil a 4 ounce serving of top round or sirloin and put it on a salad or get some veggies ready and make a fajita.
Eat your eggs, yolk and all. They won’t hurt your heart and they can help you lose weight. Omelets and scrambles are obvious ways to eat them up but if you find yourself pressed for time in the mornings, make a frittata on Sundays, keep it chilled and just warm it up at work for up to a week.
1 cup chopped raw kale contains 34 calories and about 1.3 grams of fiber, as well as a hearty helping of iron and calcium. There are lots of fun ways to enjoy kale, slice it thinly and sauté in vegetable broth and top with orange slices. Or you make it into a meal by tossing it with quinoa. The options are actually endless.
Go for steel cut or the rolled variety as these are the least processed. They can have up to 5 grams of fiber per serving versus the instant oats with only 3-4 grams. To work more oats into your diet, try adding them to a meat loaf instead of breadcrumbs.
Lentils are a real deal belly flattener. Eating lentils prevents insulin spikes that cause your body to create excess fat, particularly around the middle. Consider adding cooked lentils to a pasta sauce to make it a little heartier. They are mild in flavour so they will blend in perfectly. And because they are so high in protein, you can skip the meat.
Fish fats are good for your heart AND your waistline. Salmon has omega-3s which improve insulin sensitivity helping to build muscle and decrease belly fat. Choose wild salmon as it likely has fewer pollutants. Salmon doesn’t need much help to taste good. Season a piece with salt and pepper and cook it in a hot pan with 2 tsp of oil for 1-3 minutes on both sides.
Berries are good for you but the ones with the blue hues are the best. They have the highest level of antioxidants among common fruit and they have 3.6 grams of fiber per cup. Like to put berries on your cereal in the morning, why not mix it up? Full your bowl with blueberries and sprinkle with cereal, then add your milk.
Pomegranate seeds are loaded with folate and antioxidants. They are also high in fiber and are low in calories. So, they give you that hit of sweet without destroying your diet. You can snack on the seeds on their own or you can add them to the top of a salad instead of using nuts. They go really well with baby spinach and lemon poppy seed dressing.
Adding spice to your meals can crank up your metabolism. Chiles contain a compound called capsaicin which has a thermogenic effect meaning your body burns more calories for 20 minutes after you eat them. If you need to mellow the heat a little bit you can grill them until they are almost black, peel the skin and puree it. Add the puree to pasta sauces or soups to kick them up a level. Or, you can add red pepper flakes to just about any dish.
Yogurt contains carbs, protein and fat and it can keep hunger at bay by keeping your blood sugar steady. Try using a low fat or plain yogurt instead of mayo when making a potato salad or skip sour cream and top your baked potato with a dollop of Greek yogurt.
Don’t let the fact that avocado is high in fat scare you away. Avocado contains monosaturated fat that is great for your heart and leads you to feel satiated. Because they are high in calories, you need to watch your portions but try adding a slice to your sandwich in place of mayo.
Olive oil contains healthy fats that can help tame your hunger. Research shows that it has anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation is linked to metabolic syndrome. Toss your pasta with olive oil, basil and garlic for a tasty meal or you can drizzle it on your salad which, according to a study in British Journal of Nutrition, can increase the antioxidant power of your vegetables.
How many of these superfoods are you already eating? Tells us your favourites!