Wouldn’t it be great if you could wave a magic wand and watch as your belly fat completely disappeared? But since we can’t count on a fairy godmother to show up anytime soon, we have to keep ourselves in check via healthy foods like these!
Grapefruit: Want to ingest fewer calories during meal time? Eating half a grapefruit prior to gathering around the dinner table can help fill you up enough to where you are able to resist that second helping of tortellini. The plentiful amounts of soluble fiber in grapefruit slow down the digestion process.
Watermelon: Everyone has experienced the stuffed feeling that comes from this colorful fruit. The water invades the space that your stomach leaves open for food, thus making you less likely to pig out. Apples and pears produce a similar result, too.
Berries: If Hollywood still made horror films based around foods, The Attack of the Killer Sweet Tooth could easily be the name of a new thriller. Instead of allowing yourself to succumb to the temptation of a cookie, pop some blackberries or strawberries into your mouth. Frozen blueberries also provide the illusion of enjoying a cold, high-calorie treat (step away from the Häagen-Dazs!).
Cucumber: Refreshing and crunchy, is there anything better? Cucumber has very few calories and helps to stave off liver disease and pancreatic cancer, and even keeps your nails looking amazing due to the high mineral content. Keep a few slices in the fridge for a nourishing bite!
Hot peppers: Although they haven’t been directly linked to weight loss, spicy habaneros or jalapeños aid in curbing the desire to gorge since we typically eat less when our food has a fiery flavor. Hot peppers also comprise the compound capsaicin, which speeds up the metabolism.
Celery: If you’re a self-proclaimed snacker, celery will be your best friend. Not only does it satisfy the need to eat something, but it has virtually no calories (one cup of celery equals a measly nineteen calories). Tip: instead of adding cream cheese or peanut butter to the stalk, give fat-free cottage cheese or fat-free black bean dip a go!
Greek yogurt: Some of us can’t stand traditional yogurt, but when it’s this thick and creamy we will race down to our favorite market just to stock up on it. Besides its wonderful texture, Greek yogurt “keeps you satisfied longer,” according to sports nutritionist Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, because all proteins take their sweet time leaving your stomach.
Eggs: Start the day off right with seven grams of protein! Having an egg in the morning will keep your body busy because digesting eggs burns more calories than a carb-infested breakfast.
Fish: It has been engrained in our brains that fish is full of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. But did you know that wild salmon, tuna, and sardines all make your body more responsive to the fat-burning hormone leptin, which is responsible for suppressing your appetite? If you won’t eat fish, turkey can also help you ditch the extra pounds, as it encourages the release of tryptophan, which helps you sleep. Remember: lack of sleep wreaks havoc on your waistline!
Quinoa: Say it with me, keen-wa! This is a great substitute for rice because it is as simple to prepare and possesses the same oddly satisfying quality. With five grams of fiber per cup and eight grams of hunger-rejecting protein, you will pat yourself on the back when sitting down to a nice bowl of quinoa and veggies (or a lean protein).
Oatmeal: If the label reads “Trader Joe’s Maple and Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal,” put it back. Add cinnamon or nutmeg to give your fiber-rich hot cereal a dash of sweetness instead of undoing all of your hard work. That steaming bowl of goodness will make you feel full and keep you hydrated.
Crispbreads: Whole grains, as opposed to refined grains, such as those found in rye crackers, are the key to keeping belly fat at bay. The next time you’re headed to a get-together bring a package of Ryvita Crispbreads and some apples along with you!
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