On a diet? Be sure to include these foods. Studies show that they can help control your sugar cravings and improve your metabolism, which in turn can help you lose weight. The best thing about these foods is that they are also very nutritious. In fact, quite a few of them have been associated with lower cholesterol levels and less risk for heart disease.
Eat eggs for breakfast
Eggs are rich in protein, which means that they provide more energy than other breakfast food (like a croissant or a bagel). They also take a bit longer to digest, so you feel more full and less likely to reach for a snack by mid-morning. So, even if they have the same number of calories as a sandwich, you feel better and more satisfied. Another bonus: some studies show that protein can help control increases in blood sugar, which has been associated with food cravings.
Munch on beans
Your body has a natural appetite suppressant: a digestive hormone called cholescystokinin. Well, studies show that eating beans can increase your levels of this hormone. And, like eggs, beans can control your blood sugar level. (Read our tips on how to break sugar addiction.) The high fiber in beans can also prevent constipation and bloatedness, and even lower your cholesterol.
Start each meal with a salad
Salad with a low-fat dressing can help you feel full, so you eat less of the fatty steaks and desserts. And, it’s packed with vitamins and important nutrients like folic acid and carotenoids. Tip: make it a vinaigrette. Research done in Sweden showed that vinegar can suppress appetite, because the acid content helps keep the food in the small intestine longer—so you feel full, and don’t get the urge to grab a snack hours later. Another study showed that vinegar can also control you sugar high.
If you don’t feel like a salad, reach for a light broth like chicken soup, which also tricks the brain into thinking that you’ve had a heavy meal.
Sip on green tea
Green tea has many health benefits (it’s even known to lower risk for cancer). And here’s another reason to reach for a cup: catechins in green tea can increase your metabolism and your body’s ability to burn fat. It can also control cholesterol, which tends to be higher among people who are overweight.
Have an apple (or a pear) a day
You’ve heard about an apple being healthy. But when it comes to keeping you full, it’s second to pears. Pears give six grams of fiber per gram, twice that of the apple. That makes it the perfect diet snack!
Have grapefruit before a meal
One study of nearly 100 obese people showed that those who ate just half a grapefruit before eating were able to lose 3 more pounds than the control group. The researchers believed that the grapefruit’s phytochemicals lowered insulin levels, which prompted the body to use the calories for energy rather than storing it as fat.
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