Tuesday, February 23, 2010

11 Surprising Foods for Weight Loss

A Good Egg Overweight adults who ate two eggs for breakfast lost 65 percent more weight (and felt more energetic) than those who started the morning with an equally caloric bagel, recent studies show. Other findings reveal that egg eaters consume 300 fewer calories per day, adding up to a loss of three pounds per month. “Eggs help level out blood sugar, provide energy-boosting protein and are full of nutrients,” says wellness coach Jessica Smith. “If you can’t stomach eggs in the morning, eat them for dinner instead.” Sauer Power Sauer power. The fermented cabbage called sauerkraut contains a “friendly” bacteria proven to enhance digestion, speed up weight loss and boost immunity, according to Smith. Rich in vitamins and potassium, sauerkraut has a mere 27 calories per serving. Stuff it in your sandwich, heat it as a side dish or load it onto a baked potato. This Spud's For You “Potatoes got a bad rap during the low-carb craze, but they are a perfect weight loss food – a blend of nutrients, fiber and protein with a low-calorie price tag,” says Smith. One baked white potato (with skin) offers six grams of protein, and over 1,500 mg of potassium, for under 300 calories. Top it with salsa or veggies and low-fat cheese for a starchy side dish or snack. Go Greek Rich, creamy, filling…and healthy? Once you go Greek (as in Greek plain yogurt) for breakfast or dessert, it’s easy to forego those midnight fridge raids (not to mention the midmorning snack attack). “It’s so delish that I like to cap off the night with yogurt instead of ice cream,” says Kara Wiley, star of the “Element: Slim and Tone Pilates” DVD. Opt for the version with two-percent fat; it’s more satisfying, with heaping doses of calcium, protein and good bacteria. Quinoa is King Deemed “the supergrain of the future” by Deborah Klein, author of 200 Superfoods That Will Save Your Life (McGraw Hill), quinoa is a high-fiber and high-protein replacement for rice that’s packed with nutrients (and gluten-free, to boot). “Since this grain is so high in fiber, giving you more satiety per chew, quinoa can help prevent overeating and thus help with weight loss,” says Klein. Artichoke Folk “Artichokes are the perfect weight loss food, an amazing source of fiber,” says Klein. One boiled artichoke has 150 calories, with over 10 grams of protein and plenty of calcium and folic acid. “For a great snack, have a steamed artichoke with your favorite flavoring—mayo, hummus, or Italian dressing—as the fat source,” Klein suggests. Barley's Back As you’ve probably concluded, fiber is your friend when it comes to weight loss. Barley’s packed with the stuff, helping food digest smoothly as it curbs hunger for hours. The whole grain has promoted weight loss for 2,500 years, even impressing ancient physicians who endorsed it for shedding pounds way back in the day. Lean, Mean Black Beans “Beans are the healthiest food on earth,” declares Klein. Above and beyond their antioxidants, they regulate blood sugar to stave off cravings and bouts of overeating. “It’s a perfect balance of fiber, fuel and protein for increased satisfaction.” So don’t knock the “meatless” burrito or burger till you’ve tried it – most are loaded with black beans. Taste the Paste “It might sound off the wall,” says Klein, “but canned tomato paste is a great weight-loss food, providing five grams of dietary fiber per half-cup.” She recommends cracking open a can to thicken spaghetti sauce and tortillas. “It’s a great fat-free satisfier,” she says, “plus an excellent source of fuel.” Flax to the Max Here’s where a little addition to your food results in subtraction…on the scale. “Ground flaxseed is the number-one key food for weight loss,” says Klein, pointing to its high amount of fiber. “Sprinkle two tablespoons a day on top of cereal or fat-free yogurt to give you more for your chew.” Almond Joy Eating more (and better snacks) is key to any weight-loss strategy, making you far less likely to gorge on belt-busting meals. So enjoy 10 almonds with a piece of fruit, suggests Klein. “These nuts are high in fiber, quick to grab and excellent on the go.”

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