If you’ve tried everything to lose weight and aren’t achieving results, maybe you should examine your overall approach. Some people who try strict calorie reduction may end up ravenous and then binge at the end of the day. Others insist that eating several small meals throughout the day is the key to losing weight.
While not every approach is designed for every person, science shows having the right kind of snack throughout the day may help you lose weight. So stop starving yourself and enjoy snacks in moderation. Pay close attention to No. 5, as this snack is going to make you smile.
Stop dieting and start living
Researchers found no specific diet delivers the magic bullet for weight loss. However, they did identify some key factors from a number of diets that were vital to weight loss and health, according to The Atlantic. The best approach is a diet comprised of mainly plant-based food and a reduction of processed fare for optimal health and disease prevention.
Consume a variety of not only fruits and vegetables, but also whole grains, nuts and seeds. As New York Times writer, Michael Pollan pointed out, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants” seems to be the key to a healthy life.
Next: Want to know which snack foods will get you on the right track? Read on.
In addition to being low in calorie (78 calories per large egg), eggs are nutrient dense and high in protein, Healthline reports. Eggs also make you feel fuller faster, which may help you avoid overeat in the long run.
Next: Sauerkraut may be one secret to weight loss.
2. Fermented foods
This could include sauerkraut, but also miso, kombucha or yogurt. The thought is fermented foods aid with digestion and give your immune system a kick. “Eating them might lead to weight loss, but it really depends on which fermented foods you are eating, how often and how much,” Jill Nussinow, registered dietitian said to Shape. “With so many people taking antibiotics in their lives, they kill the good bacteria. We need something to replace it. If you eat a lot of fiber and whole foods, that helps, but often we need an infusion of the good bacteria to get our system back in order.”
Next: Beans, beans they’re good for your heart.
Beans and legumes may destroy cravings and even burn fat, Reader’s Digest reports. Chickpeas, beans, legumes and lentils fall under the legume category, which Australian researchers found helped dieters lose more pounds than those who did not.
Next: This food was Popeye’s favorite.
One amazing aspect of spinach is it contains thylakoids, which boost the hormone leptin. Leptin signals the brain to stop eating and regulates body weight. Other foods that increase leptin include some dairy products, healthy oils, grains and vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale.
Next: You can even treat yourself.
5. Dark chocolate
While this may sound counterintuitive, nibbling on a tad bit of dark chocolate can actually reduce cravings and prevent you from storing fat, according to Prevention. “Chocolate is high in flavonoids, plant nutrients that can help stop fat storage, reduce appetite, and lower blood sugar to help curb hunger and cravings,” Lori Shemek, PhD and author told Prevention. If chocolate isn’t your hang, try other sweet treats like frozen cherries, chia seed pudding, honey roasted almonds and even chocolate milk.
Next: Turn up the heat.
Red (hot) chili peppers, which contain the compound capsaicin, can help you further your weight loss goals. One Purdue University study found that those who consumed just a small amount of dried ground pepper burned more calories, plus study participants who didn’t normally eat spicy foods reported a decrease in appetite and cravings.
Next: The doctor was right.
An apple a day may keep the pounds away. Apples contain about 85% water and water dense foods can fill you up, according to Healthline. A medium apple has only 95 calories and is also high in fiber, which slows your digestion and makes you feel fuller quickly.
Next: Get a little nutty.
Eaten in small amounts, almonds are nutrient dense and help you lose weight. A study in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders found those who consumed almonds during the 24-week study period lost more weight than the group who did not.
Next: This snack will start your day right.
Your morning brew may set you up for success, as coffee may reduce the hormone ghrelin (a hormone that actually boosts your appetite), according to Time. One study found both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee can help you trim your waistline and lower your risk for diabetes.
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