Some foods are delicious and not healthy, but others are delicious and healthy.
These delicious and versatile nuts contain filling protein and fiber, not to mention vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. They’re also a good source of magnesium, a mineral your body must have in order to produce energy, build and maintain muscle tissue, and regulate blood sugar. “A stable blood-sugar level helps prevent cravings that can lead to overeating and weight gain,” says David Katz, MD, a professor at the Yale University School of Medicine. But what makes almonds most interesting is their ability to block calories. Research indicates that the composition of their cell walls may help reduce the absorption of all of their fat, making them an extra-lean nut.
Try for: An ounce a day (about 23 almonds), with approximately 160 calories. An empty Altoids tin will hold your daily dose perfectly.
Thanks to the flavonoid antioxidant quercetin (which reduces swelling) and a high water content of 96%, cucumbers “can definitely help prevent bloating,” says Gans. This crunchy veggie is also extremely versatile: eat it in a chopped salad, sprinkle on top of yogurt, or munch on cucumber slices with homemade hummus.
3.Burn fat with yogurt
Eating regular and Greek yogurt is a great way to banish belly flab. The probiotics in yogurt balance out the good bacteria in your gut, and this keeps things moving along your digestive tract.
One to three cups of low-fat or fat-free yogurt also counts toward your recommended calcium and protein servings for the day.
4. Green Tea
Consumed for thousands of years, green tea is an incredibly healthy drink that offers a number of benefits, including a leaner waistline. Green tea is packed with various polyphenols and antioxidants that combat inflammation, increase metabolism, and burn fat. Chief among these polyphenols is EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) which mobilizes stored fat to be burned for energy, by increasing noradrenaline in the body. EGCG inhibits an enzyme that breaks down norepinephrine, so by stopping the actions of that enzyme, EGCG preserves noradrenaline, leading to greater fat burning and weight loss.
Never heard of it? Pronounced KEEN-wah, this whole grain contains 5 grams of fiber and 11 grams of protein per half cup. Cook it as you would any other grain (although some brands require rinsing). Quinoa’s nutty flavor and crunchy-yet-chewy texture are like a cross between whole wheat couscous and short-grain brown rice.
Try for: At least one half-cup serving (a third of your whole-grain requirements) per day. Try substituting AltiPlano Gold brand instant quinoa hot cereal (160 to 210 calories per packet), in Chai Almond and Spiced Apple Raisin, for oatmeal. Look for it in health-food stores.
As a member of the super-nutritious pulse family, lentils—along with other seeds that grow within pods like chickpeas, white beans, and dried peas—are packed with protein and fiber, which increase satiety. They’re also a good source of iron; this is important because studies have shown that being deficient in the mineral could slow down your metabolism.
“Add lentils to salads or use in place of whole grains like brown rice,” says Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, Health‘s contributing nutrition editor. “They also make a great ‘bed’ for a serving of lean protein, along with a generous portion of veggies.”
Avocados aren’t just for making a tasty dip for fried tortilla chips. They’re also great in salads, on sandwiches, or even layered in an omelette. Avocados contain lots of fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, which keeps hunger at bay and supports gut health. Additionally, studies show that people who regularly eat the tasty fruit have smaller waistlines than those who don’t.
8.Make meals colorful with this Rainbow Yogurt Bowl
If you’ve made a resolution to eat more plant-based foods, here’s an easy way to get in a whole day of fruit — and a whole rainbow, too!
Bright and simple, honeyed Greek yogurt is topped with an array of fresh fruits. Feel free to use whatever toppings you have in the house, but keep in mind One Green Planet’s advice that “consuming different color foods plays a role in insuring you are getting enough essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and more.”
Here’s how to make this delicious, nutritious fruit-topped yogurt bowl at home:
Rainbow Yogurt Bowl
Yield: 1 serving
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
• 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, vanilla
• 1-2 Tablespoons honey
• 2-3 strawberries
• 1/4 cup raspberries
• 1/4 cup mango and/or fresh pineapple
• 1/2 green apple, sliced
• 1/4 cup blueberries and/or blackberries
• 1-2 Tablespoons sliced almonds
• 1 Tablespoon chia or hemp seeds (optional)
• 1/2 lime or lemon (optional)
1. Place yogurt in a bowl. Swirl in honey.
2. Top with berries, mango, and/or pineapple, apple, almonds, and seeds. Drizzle with lime or lemon juice, if desired.
Researchers at Pennsylvania State University found that people who ate broth-based (or low-fat cream-based) soups two times a day were more successful in losing weight than those who ate the same amount of calories in snack food. Soup eaters also maintained, on average, a total weight loss of 16 pounds after one year. “Plus, it’s a simple way to get your vegetables,” says Susan Kleiner, PhD, RD, author of Power Eating(Human Kinetics, 2001).
Try for: At least one cup of low-calorie, low-sodium vegetable soup every day.
This perennial herb offers some serious benefits for your belly. “For centuries, fennel has been used to improve digestion, relieve GI spasms, and reduce bloat,” says Stephanie Middleberg, RD, founder of Middleberg Nutrition in New York City.
You can eat fennel raw or cooked (try sprinkling it on pizza or making Tomato-Fennel Soup). And fennel seeds have slimming properties, too: In a previous interview, Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, recommended sipping on fennel tea to de-puff your stomach before a big event.
Well almost every food in this list is delicious, if you are looking for workout clothes check out our fitness and yoga leggings page.