If you read my post on Monday, you know that even during the summer months, it can still be challenging to lose weight. One of the first things people think of when losing weight is what they should cut OUT of their diet. Except I’m here to tell you to hit the grocery stores! There are tons of foods out there that will not only help you lose weight, but will also help curb hunger, boost metabolism, and ultimately lead to life-long health! Below I’ve provided just 5 examples of foods that will ultimately help you lose weight!
1. Grapefruit. Even though the famous “grapefruit diet” has come and gone, this super fruit is still shown to help your body burn calories! A 2006 study at the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic found that eating 1/2 a grapefruit or grapefruit juice ~3 times per day can result in weight-loss. The high fiber and water content of the fruit aid in keeping you feeling fuller for longer and the phytochemicals help decrease insulin levels. While I don’t feel that JUST eating grapefruit will lead you to lose weight, I do think its’ addition will help stave off hunger, causing you to eat less!
2. Hot Red Pepper. The magic ingredient in hot red pepper or cayenne pepper is capsaicin, which helps to suppress appetite. In a six week study at Purdue University, researchers found that cayenne pepper helped increase body temperatures and thus, the amount of calories burned! The participants who did not regularly use cayenne pepper before performing the study actually received the most benefits; decreased appetite and reduced cravings for salty, fatty, or sweet foods. While I don’t think you have to go out and start adding hot red pepper to all your meals, it could be a BONUS beneficial addition if you are a fan of spicy food!
3. Beans. I love eating beans and I know plenty of people who shy away from them…WHY!? They are so versatile and on top of that, help suppress your appetite. Beans contain a digestive hormone called cholecystokinin, which is a natural appetite suppressant. In a study from the University of California, it was found that after eating beans, your levels of this hormone, which slows the digestive process, were twice as high. Beans can also help keep blood sugar levels steady, so you can stave off hunger for longer! If that isn’t enough, just adding more foods rich in fiber can help lower your cholesterol!! Pass the beans please!
4. Cinnamon. I love cinnamon and after reading that it can help control post-meal insulin spikes (which leave you feeling hungry), I started incorporating it even more! ”Health bonus: One USDA study showed that just a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon a day lowered the blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in people with type 2 diabetes.” (source) Feel free to add cinnamon to your cereal, yogurt, popcorn, desserts, etc. Your waistline will thank you!
5. Pears. A medium sized pear contains ~6 grams of filling fiber. Pears (and apples) contain pectin fiber, which helps decrease blood sugar levels and will help fill you up! The longer you remain full, the less excessive between-meal noshing you will do! Add a pear to your lunch and be satisfied most of the afternoon!! Hello weight-loss! Pears also contain quercetin, a potent antioxidant that helps prevent cancer and artery damage! Pass the pears please!
Even if you don’t like to use any of the foods listed above, there are plenty of other foods that will help you fight off hunger and lead to weight-loss! Pick foods that are high in fiber and rich in antioxidants; think fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, etc. and you will naturally reach your “happy weight.” I guarantee it!
QUESTION: What are your favorite natural ”weight-loss” foods!?