15 Foods To Help You Lose
5. Pears. They're now recognized as having more fiber, thanks to a
corrected calculation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. At six grams
(formerly four grams) per medium-size pear, they're great at filling you up.
Apples come in second, with about three grams per medium-size fruit. Both
contain pectin fiber, which decreases blood-sugar levels, helping you avoid
between-meal snacking. This may explain why, in a Brazilian study that lasted
12 weeks, overweight women who ate three small pears or apples a day lost more
weight than women on the same diet who ate three oat cookies daily instead of
6. Soup. A cup of chicken soup is as appetite blunting as a piece of
chicken: That was the finding of a Purdue University study with 18 women and 13
men. Why? Researchers speculate that even the simplest soup satisfies hunger
because your brain perceives it as filling.
7. Lean beef. It's what's for dinner-or should be, if you're trying
to shed pounds. The amino acid leucine, which is abundant in proteins like meat
and fish as well as in dairy products, can help you pare down while maintaining
calorie-burning muscle. That's what it did for 24 overweight middle-aged women
in a study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Eating anywhere
from nine to 10 ounces of beef a day on a roughly 1,700-calorie diet helped the
women lose more weight, more fat, and less muscle mass than a control group
consuming the same number of calories, but less protein. The beef eaters also
had fewer hunger pangs.
8. Olive oil. Fight off middle-age pounds with extra virgin olive
oil. A monounsaturated fat, it'll help you burn calories. In an Australian
study, 12 postmenopausal women (ages 57 to 73) were given a breakfast cereal
dressed either with a mixture of cream and skim milk or half an ounce of olive
oil and skim milk. The women who ate the oil-laced muesli boosted their
metabolism. Don't want to add olive oil to your oatmeal? That's OK-it works
just as well in salad dressings, as a bread dip, or for sautéing.
9. Grapefruit. It's back! A 2006 study of 91 obese people conducted
at the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic found that
eating half a grapefruit before each meal or drinking a serving of the juice
three times a day helped people drop more than three pounds over 12 weeks. The
fruit's phytochemicals reduce insulin levels, a process that may force your
body to convert calories into energy rather than flab.
10. Cinnamon. Sprinkle it on microwave oatmeal or whole-grain toast
to help cure those mid-afternoon sugar slumps. Research from the U.S.
Department of Agriculture found that a little cinnamon can help control
post-meal insulin spikes, which make you feel hungry. Health bonus: One USDA
study showed that just a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon a day lowered the blood
sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in people with type 2 diabetes.