Comfort food typically isn’t viewed as being diet friendly. In fact, these hearty, warm, and filling foods are often associated with being fattening, calorie-packed, and loaded with carbs. Surprisingly, that’s not always the case. These 6 comfort foods have the ability to help your body burn fat and lose weight. Go ahead and help yourself to a warm cup of cocoa, bowlful of chili, or a cup of chicken noodle soup — they’ll provide you with protein, fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, causing your body to rev up and shed pounds. Isn’t that comforting?
When you sit down to sip a warm cup of cocoa, you’re also loading up on antioxidants. The antioxidants are able to reduce your levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that causes your body to hang on to belly fat, according to Health. There happens to be a high concentration of antioxidants in cocoa, making it the perfect food to help ward off stomach fat.
In fact, Health writes that a Cornell University study showed that the concentration of antioxidants in hot chocolate is up to five times greater than it is in black tea. While it’s working to fight off fat, its combo of carbs and protein can also help your muscles recover after a strenuous workout. According to Newsmax, this sweet and rich hot drink can also help fight cravings, eliminating your urges to chow down on pastries, candy, and other high-sugar foods.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Is there anything better than sitting down to a steamy bowl of soup? Kitchen Daily writes that broth-based chicken soups are able to fill you up quickly, preventing you from overeating. It’s smartest to eat your soup at the beginning of the meal; it can help you with portion control. Additionally, Health reports that people who eat a broth- or vegetable-based soup before their meal consume fewer calories overall. Let’s not gloss over the nutrients a bowl of chicken noodle soup offers, either. A tasty bowl of soup is filled with protein, fiber, and vitamins.
If you’re planning to make your own bowl of chicken noodle soup, there are a few things you can do to make it as nutritious as possible. SFGate says that you should flavor your soup with minced garlic, onion, parsley, and bay leaf, rather than using salt. Additionally, use boneless, skinless chicken, trimming away any fat you can see. Finally, be sure to load up on veggies. Celery and carrots are two common soup ingredients and provide your body with calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium. The more veggies you can add in, the better it will be for you.
Pot Roast (Beef)
As soon as you eat protein, it immediately begins acting as a fat fighter. According to Medical Daily, your body burns calories just by digesting protein because it must work harder to break down the protein and use it for energy. Protein also takes longer to leave your stomach, causing you to feel full for longer and eat less later in the day. Women’s Health writes that a study published in The FASEB Journal shows that dieters who double their protein intake lose more fat and maintain more muscle mass than dieters who eat the recommended amount.
In the study, a group of people followed a 31-day weight-loss diet that contained either the recommended daily amount of protein, twice the RDA, or three times the RDA. While everyone lost about the same amount of weight, the study revealed that people who doubled up on protein lost the most fat, about 70 percent of their total weight loss. So go ahead and enjoy that warm plate of pot roast — your body burns more fat with each bite you take!
Poor potatoes are often avoided because they’re high in carbohydrates, but research suggests that potatoes can actually get your body to burn fat like a pro. Shape writes that in addition to providing fiber and C and B vitamins, once potatoes cook and cool, they become loaded with resistant starch, a unique carb that’s been shown to cause your body to rev up and burn fat.
Here’s how it works: Your body can’t digest or absorb resistant starch, so instead it ferments it when it reaches the large intestine, triggering your body to burn fat instead of carbs. Livestrong recommends eating your potato with a source of lean protein. Consider topping your potato with beans and fat-free cheddar cheese, tuna salad made with fat-free yogurt, or diced chicken breast and sliced mushrooms. It will help lower the glycemic index of your meal, making it an even better fat-burning option.
A hearty bowl of chili is packed with protein and nutrients that will leave you feeling full and satisfied, according to Medical Daily. Its ingredients work well together, creating the perfect fat-burning dish. The fiber from the tomatoes and the protein in the beef and beans combine to curb your cravings and ensure you feel full and satisfied long after you’ve eaten.
In addition, Health writes that capsaicin, the compound that gives cayenne, chili peppers, and jalapeños their heat, is often found in chili. It just so happens that this hot and spicy compound has been linked to torching fat. The benefits attached to spices are endless. In this case, capsaicin triggers your sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for spice-induced sweating, and can increase your daily calorie burn by about 50 calories, according to Health.
There’s nothing better than sitting down to a warm and hearty bowl of oatmeal, particularly on a chilly day. But a warm and cozy bowl of oats provides much more than comfort. According to Kitchen Daily, this breakfast is a high-fiber choice that keeps you feeling full longer, fights off cravings, and ensures your blood sugar levels remain stable.
Livestrong writes that this nutrient-packed breakfast is filled with fiber and complex carbohydrates, and can reduce your risk of diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. One cup will serve you up 4 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. Settle down to a bowl of old-fashioned, quick, or instant oats in the morning: It will do your body a whole lot of good!