Trimming your waist size requires a proper diet and exercise. Initially though, diet is the key. There is no amount of exercise that can overcome a bad diet. As my Doctor told me once, you lose weight with diet and you keep it off with exercise.
While there is no magical food that will target weight loss in a specific area of the body, there are certain foods that contain a lot of fiber that will help to curb cravings. Some foods encourage weight loss in two ways: by speeding up your metabolism and by helping you feel fuller longer so you are not tempted to binge later.
So what are some of the healthiest foods you can eat to feel fuller longer and lose weight over time?
Hot peppers have been shown to boost a person’s metabolism by as much as 25 percent after they eat for up to three hours. The active ingredient in peppers is capsaicin which has been shown to have a long list of benefits for the body.
Studies on mice have been even more promising because not only does it boost metabolism but it was shown to suppress the body’s mechanism for storing fat.
Peppers are easy to get into your diet. I typically dice an assortment of them and throw them in with chicken or any type of meat with a little coconut oil. Later, when they are on your plate, they are great with a little extra virgin olive oil.
Typically the smaller and more pointed the pepper, the hotter the taste.
Chia seeds are well-known for their weight loss properties in the health and fitness industries They work by reducing cravings and preventing certain types of foods that you eat from being absorbed into the digestive system, essentially blocking calories, and not storing extra food in your system which would lead to bloating.
They can absorb up to 10 times their size in water which will make you feel fuller longer. If you want to see what happens with chia seeds in your stomach, place some in a small bowl and pour some water over it. After a few minutes it will become a gel-like substance. For this reason they are often used by endurance athletes to store water for hydration later.
They are also high in Omega-3s which protect against inflammation in the body. Most
Chia seeds can be eaten as snacks or added as a topping on salads, cereal or anything really. I like to add a spoonful to my smoothies.
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Because of their sweet taste, berries, particularly blueberries, raspberries and strawberries can help to curb cravings for dessert. For example, a cup of raspberries contains 8 grams of dietary fiber with only 64 calories which make them one of the highest fiber foods out there. To put that in perspective, you would have to eat 100 calories worth of black beans to get that much fiber.
Although berries do contain natural sugar, they are high in vitamins and minerals and their high fiber content slows digestion making them a reliable source of energy as well as leave you feeling fuller when snacking on them throughout the day.
It is worth mentioning that certain types of berries have been show to fight cancer cells by inhibiting the growth of tumors in animal research.
However, you should never buy them in cans because those typically contain other ingredients and preservatives.
Many people had never heard of Kale until recently but it has become the go to vegetable for the healthy eating crowd. It is not hard to see why because it is considered by nearly every nutritionist to be a nutrient powerhouse. It is a rich source of vitamin K which is anti-inflammatory and thus can help you feel less bloated after meals. Just two cups of Kale contains about four grams of protein and three grams of fiber helping you to stay energized and feeling fuller longer.
Along with helping with weight loss, kale is ranked number 1 by the USDA in their list of the food with the most antioxidant capacity and their ability to fight free-radicals.
In my own diet, I try to eat either kale or broccoli every day. I prefer kale in my smoothies as it can have a rough taste in the mouth. Let's just say it does not feel or taste like romaine lettuce. However, I have eaten it alone many times with olive oil, tuna or chicken.
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Quinoa is a good side dish to any meat because it gives you a fuller feeling, like rice, but without adding too many calories. It is also high in iron, protein and fiber. Just one cup of quinoa contains 16 mg or iron and five grams of fiber.
One point about quinoa though: It is not pronounced like you think it is. The proper way to say it is “keen-wa”.
It is actually a popular South American dish, thus the difference in pronunciation. You can call it what you want, just try some of it. I think it tastes better than brown rice.
How to Cook Quinoa
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Upping your protein intake is critical to losing weight because as you exercise, you will be building muscle, muscle that needs protein for growth. And those bigger muscles that you are feeding with protein will burn more fat when you are at rest.
To determine how much protein you need daily, multiply your current weight by 0.4. Thus for a 150 lb person, that would mean you need 60 grams of protein each day for muscle growth.
There are lots of sources of protein, some of which are listed above, but eggs pack a wallop and have gotten a bad rap in recent decades. Just two eggs in the morning can start your day off with as much as 14 grams of protein. Eggs are not going to give you a heart attack, so eat them.
If you like mustard, go for the hot, spicy kind rather than plain old yellow mustard. Much like the effect hot peppers have on the body, eating just one teaspoon of brown or spicy hot mustard can boost the metabolism 20 to 25 percent for several hours after eating.
I eat it on nearly every type of sandwich. Skip the mayo and opt for spicy mustard instead. You will save on calories and keep your metabolic rate revved for hours.
I try to get each one of those items in my diet every day. There are so many other items that could go on this list, but if you are really interested in losing weight, and keeping it off, focus on natural foods that are high in fiber, so that you will feel fuller longer. You may want to try combining these foods with an intermittent fasting strategy.
This article will give you a good start to make small changes in your diet that will lead to big positive changes in your overall life if you are consistent with your eating and exercise habits.