Why, YES I AM!
Actually I just turned 45 a couple of months ago and with each year it gets harder and harder to keep my weight in check. Not that I'm the role model for nutrition and yes, I can certainly stand to lose QUITE a few pounds, but I do what I can to at least be aware of the food I am consuming and try to follow the parts of a Mediterranean diet I can and avoid adding prepackaged foods. So when I saw this article on foods that help slim you down in the March issue of Prevention Magazine, I just had to share it with all of you; especially now that warmer weather is on it's way.
Here are the top 10 foods they suggest will help to slim you down. It is better for you to eat these foods 'as is' as they will provide more health benefits when consumed that way, but I also included some links to recipes that I've created using these ingredients:
1. Chili Powder
Chili Powder contains capsinoids, which burn belly fat. Apparently there is also a pill form (capsinoid oil) you can take and according to a study, volunteers who took the pill lost 5 times as much fat as those who didn't take it. I think I would prefer the capsule since I don't like overly spicy things, but I have heard that eating spicy foods does help speed up your metabolism.
Try my recipe for Roasted Fennel and Three Bean Chili
When volunteers ate half a grapefruit before every meal, they lost an inch off of their waists. I really need to eat more grapefruit! I used to eat it for breakfast almost everyday when I was in college (uh hum over 25 years ago), but then I paired it with a plate of bacon drowned in maple syrup so I think it negated the healthy aspects of that meal! Now I can't eat grapefruit on it's own without it being sweetened, so I came up with this recipe for Roasted Pink Grapefruit with Mint and Honey and it was delicious!
Roasted Pink Grapefruit with Mint & Honey
2 Pink Grapefruit
1 tbsp. Fresh Mint
1 tbsp. Honey
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
1. Peel the grapefruit, then cut the fruit into bite sized chunks.
2. Add the grapefruit sections to a bowl, then add the mint, honey and salt; mix well.
3. Place the fruit on a baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for approximately 8-10 minutes. (You don't want the fruit to turn completely to mush). Allow to cool then refrigerate for up to 4 days. Serves 4.
*Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories 79, Carbs 20.7g, Fat 0g, Protein 1.2g, Fiber 6g, Sugar 14.3g *Calculations based on ingredients entered into Calorie Count and may not be 100% accurate.
3. Nonfat Ricotta
You lose muscle as you age, which can reduce your metabolism. Since ricotta is made from whey products, it can enhance muscle building as well as your metabolism.
Try my recipe for Low Fat Black Bean & Sun Dried Tomato Lasagna
4. Bell Peppers
Eating one bell pepper per day gives you twice your daily dose of much needed Vitamin C; which helps with weight loss.
5. Romaine Lettuce
By filling up on leafy greens, it can trim your overall number of calories by 10%. The article stated that eating 2 cups of romaine lettuce per day adds up to half of your daily fill of Vitamin A, plus 113% of bone building Vitamin K.
Try my recipe for Mixed Greens with Fresh Raspberries, Feta Cheese and Pecans
Nuts contain protein, healthy fats and fiber and can help slim you down. But be careful, raw nuts are always much better for you than those honey roasted or salted kind!
Try my recipe for Whole Wheat Apple Walnut Muffin Tops
Melon will satisfy your sweet tooth so next time you get that sweet craving (and you know you will!), try a cup of watermelon instead, it's only 46 calories per cup!
8. Canned Salmon
Eating protein requires more calories to digest and helps to keep you feeling full. Now the article specifically said "canned salmon"; however, per 3-ounce serving, other fish like tuna, salmon and halibut contain 22g of protein and lean poultry, like a chicken breast, contains 17g of protein.
Try my recipe for Grilled Chicken with Summer Fruit Salsa
Edamame are immature soy beans that are usually purchased in the shell. To prepare them, plunge them into boiling water for a few minutes until slightly tender or steam them over a double boiler. To eat edamame from the shell, squeeze the shell to pop it open and let the beans fall into your mouth. They are pretty easy to find in the grocery store and come in the shell or already out. Edamame contains protein, healthy fats and fiber and help you feel full and satisfied for hours.
10. Dark Chocolate Chips
The smaller pieces trick your body into thinking you're getting more, which helps you eat less, and satisfies that "must have" chocolate craving.
Which ones are you going to start to incorporate into your diet?
I'm fine with all of them except #3, #4 and #8 since I'm not that crazy about ricotta cheese to begin with and you all know how I feel about peppers and seafood! :)