Lose weight with fat burning foods

April 14, 2008 4:49:58 PM PDT
Five surprising foods that will help you burn off those extra pounds!

What to Eat to Help Your Drop a Few Pounds Fast

No food can single-handedly magically melt pounds of body fat, but there are some foods that have been shown to stack the odds of weight loss in your favor. Here are five surprising fat burners to help. Registered dietitian and Health.com contributor, Julie Upton, MS, RD, gives us the scoop on the five surprising fat burners.

  1. Grapefruit: According to researchers at Scripps Clinic in California, eating half a grapefruit before each meal may help you lose weight-up to one pound a week-even if you change nothing else about your diet. The researchers suggest that grapefruit may play a role in lowering insulin, a fat-storage hormone.

    Best way to work them: Eat half of a pink grapefruit (only 60 calories) with whole grain cereal at breakfast or peel and segment, then cut into chunks to add to a salad.

  2. Almonds: Eating 1-2 ounces of almonds a day, along with a healthy diet, might help jump-start your weight loss. Research published in the International Journal of Obesity found that those who ate almonds daily for six months lost 18 percent of their body fat. Those who followed a diet with the same amount of calories and protein but swapped almonds for an equal number of calories in complex carbs (like wheat crackers) lost only 11 percent. In addition, the almond munchers lost 50% more harmful belly fat than those not eating almonds.

    Best way to work them in: Almonds make a great at- your-desk snack-22 almonds add up to one serving. Another idea: chop them finely and add to salads. For a perfect portion, check out the sleek almond tins at www.almondsarein.com .

  3. Dark Chocolate: Flavonoid-rich dark chocolate is one of the richest sources of antioxidants. New research suggests that antioxidants may help prevent the accumulation of body fat. Portion control is key and other great options for antioxidants include fruits and vegetables, especially berries; tea; nuts and herbs and spices.

    Best way to work it in: Enjoy hot cocoa made with dark cocoa that is not Dutch processed (it removes the beneficial flavonoid antioxidants. To keep calories in check, choose portion-controlled options of dark chocolate like those from Dove.

  4. Beans: Beans are among the foods highest in fiber and antioxidants. A half-cup of cooked beans provides about 110-120 calories and 6-8 grams of fiber or one-quarter of what you need in a day. They are also loaded with resistant starch, a type of fiber that travels through the body virtually undigested so you don't' absorb as many calories from beans. Research shows that if you increase fiber by 14 grams per day, it resulted in four pounds lost in a few months.

    Best way to work them in: Sauté diced onion and garlic in olive oil or enjoy canned beans in salads or opt for vegetarian chili for lunch.

  5. Pears: If you want to lose pounds, reports a study out of the University of Rio de Janeiro. In the study, which was published in the journal Nutrition, women who ate three pears a day consumed fewer total daily calories and lost more weight than those who didn't. Rich in fiber (one pear packs 15 percent of your daily recommended amount), pears help you feel fuller so you're satisfied with fewer calories.

    Best way to work them in: Eat a pear before a meal to help curb hunger. Just ditch the peeler; the skin contains most of the fruit's beneficial fiber.

About Julie
Julie Upton, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and contributor to Health magazine and blogger at Health.com. As a past national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, Upton has been quoted in over 500 print articles and has been interviewed on the NBC Today Show, CBS Evening News and ABC World News Tonight. She is a frequent guest on news programs for CNN, ABC and Fox. For more information, visit www.julieupton.com.


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