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8 Secret Weapon Foods for Weight Loss

Eating Well - January 7, 2015

Secret weapon foods to boost weight loss.

Want to boost your efforts to lose weight? Of course the foundation for successful weight loss is eating well and exercising, but if you want to power up your efforts, check out this diet cheat sheet of foods that do a little of the work for you. Research shows that these 8 secret-weapon foods can help you lose weight. Find out what they are and how they can help you shed pounds.

1. Mushrooms

Research reports that when people ate mushroom-based entrees, they felt just as satisfied as when they’d eaten those same dishes made with beef—though they’d taken in a fraction of the calories and fat. Swap mushrooms for meat in a Portobello “Philly Cheese Steak” Sandwich and more marvelous mushroom recipes.

2. Eggs

In one study, dieters who ate eggs for breakfast felt full for longer and lost more than twice as much weight as those who got the same amount of calories from a bagel for breakfast. Think beyond breakfast, too: eggs boost a salad’s staying power and make for a satisfying snack. Here are two dozen easy recipe ideas for eggs.

3. Apples

For a mere 95 calories, a medium apple contains 4 grams of fiber. And recent research, published in theJournal of Nutrition, suggests that boosting your fiber intake may help you to prevent weight gain—or even encourage weight loss. Find 15 fiber-rich recipes to lose weight here.

4. Low-Calorie Desserts

OK, so this isn’t exactly a “health food,” but we welcome the news that it may be easier to stick to your diet if it includes a little sweet treat. According to a new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, banning sugary foods could lead to overeating. One reason may be that removing access to sweet foods stimulates the release of a molecule in your brain called corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), produced when you’re afraid, anxious or stressed, says Pietro Cottone, Ph.D., lead study author. And increased stress levels may lower your motivation to eat more nutritious foods, making it more likely that you’ll binge on junk food. (Indulge a little with these 100-calorie sweet treats.)

5. Soup

Research published in the journal Appetite has shown that people who start a meal with vegetable soup eat 20 percent fewer calories over the course of their meal. Here are 7 recipes to start your meal with and help you lose weight.

6. Oatmeal

Eating a breakfast made with “slow-release” carbohydrates, such as oatmeal or bran cereal, three hours before you exercise may help you burn more fat, suggests a recent study in the Journal of Nutrition. Here’s why: in the study, eating “slow-release” carbohydrates didn’t spike blood sugar as high as eating refined carbohydrates, such as white toast. In turn, insulin levels didn’t spike as high and because insulin plays a role in signaling your body to store fat, having lower levels may help you burn fat. Want options beyond oatmeal? Here are 10 breakfast recipes to help you fight fat.

7. Hot Chile Peppers

In one study, consuming a little hot pepper (in tomato juice or in capsules) 30 minutes before a meal helped study participants feel less hungry and eat about 10 percent less. Turn up the heat with these spicy recipes.

8. Almonds

Chew more to curb hunger. That’s what researchers concluded in a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in which they asked participants to chew a 2-ounce serving of almonds 10, 25 or 40 times. Participants got maximum satisfaction—they felt fuller longer—from the nuts when they chewed 40 times. Chewing more may cause a greater release of fat from the almonds, which triggers hormones that curb hunger, speculates Rick Mattes, Ph.D., R.D., professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue University, study author and an EatingWell advisor. (Find more energy-packed snacks here.)

© Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission


10 Comments so far
  1. Christine Lutz - January 12, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    I really like getting this type of info. I find it very helpful and I’m in the process of losing weight. This good even when your at a stable weight to help maintain it.

  2. Travis O'Neal - January 12, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Thanks for the help of what foods are better to eat to lose weight.

  3. Pam Stewart - January 13, 2015 at 10:02 am

    I liked all the suggestions except the mushrooms. I hate mushrooms. I especially agree with the snack suggestion. I have recently started counting calories & I have a terrible sweet tooth. So I have switched to fruit bars instead of ice cream (The pineapple & peach are delicious!), I even eat an occasional cookie, a small serving of chocolate, Twizlers are good, too. Quantity is what’s important. You can still have sweets, just in small doses!

  4. Harriet Lowell - January 13, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    I like this list of foods to help curb appetite. I am trying to cut back on chocolate, but almost daily, I have to have some of my candies or cookies. Potato chips are another problem. It’s easy to grab the bag and eat a few. I’m supposed to be on a low cholesterol diet. I’m now getting Meals on Wheels, but they have a lot of veggies I won’t eat cooked. My favorites are corn, peas, beans. It’s a hard to change my diet totally without help from family. They don’t like diets and won’t eat what I do.

  5. Susan Mix - January 13, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Five Jordan Almonds are 2 Weight Watcher points. Even if you are not on that plan, they seem to fit a couple of these categories. They give you just a little sweet for dessert and they give you the chewing, the protein and the fuller feeling.

  6. Glenn Palcowski - January 13, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    Love the info. I’m a truck driver who sits for hours on end each day. Snacks are my downfall, at least the sweets and chips. Will be looking more towards the almonds and maybe some apples.

  7. Connie Glantschnig - January 14, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Being recently retired I’m trying to eat healthier and stay within my budget. Any low cost tips like these are greatly appreciated!

  8. Gloria G. Space - January 17, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    You made me feel good because I think I follow the ingredients you mention quite well. No sweets, I don’t even like them. Thank you

  9. Carla Sharp - January 20, 2015 at 1:55 am

    Thanks. Some great info.

  10. Billie ann Beard - March 16, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    Thank you for the valuable information you sent about healthy lifestyle eating to help us keep our bodies in good shape! Please send more information

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