Health & Wellness

Foods That Flatter Your Waistline


Most of us have learned the hard way that there is no silver bullet or secret pill for long-term weight loss. Weight that’s lost too quickly is usually regained shortly thereafter – many times in greater amounts. All is not lost however; ample research has unveiled simple ways you can jump start your metabolism, reaching your goals for good.

Certain nutrients in foods may increase the rate at which your body burns calories and also help you regulate your appetite. By incorporating these so-called metabolism-boosting foods as a part of a well-balanced meal plan, along with consistent exercise, you will transform your body into an all-natural fat-burning machine. Cotton Candy contributor and Registered Dietitian Lisa Moskovitz gives us some effective, nutritive options.

No. 1 Fiber
Fiber is a zero-calorie, non-digestible carbohydrate that keeps you full for a longer period time. Fiber-filled foods stabilize blood sugar levels and slow digestion which can help control appetite as well as energy levels. Better blood sugar control means lower insulin levels. Insulin is commonly referred to as a “fat storing” hormone as it affects the body’s ability to metabolize fat.

Recommendations: 25-35g for adult women and up to 38g fiber for men.

Sources: Oats, barley, beans, lentils, fruits and vegetables.

TRY THIS: Grab an apple on your way out the door for a fiber boost, and add beans to your salad for a more filling, low calorie lunch. One serving of kidney beans provides up to 8gm fiber per 1/2 cup.

No. 2 Lean Protein
Most lean protein sources amp up metabolism due to the higher thermic effect of food, or simply put, more energy expended by the body as the protein is broken down during digestion. Increasing protein consumption also tames carb cravings, helping limit spikes in blood-sugar and appetite levels. Researchers found those who ate more protein than carbs increased fat-burning potential post-meal.

Recommendations: 1g protein/Kg body weight.

Sources: Eggs, lean beef, poultry, Greek-style yogurts, tofu, fish and other seafood

TRY THIS: Rev up your metabolism by topping starchy veggies with fish or turkey for dinner instead of making pasta. For more protein in your snack, stash part-skim string cheese or soy chips in your bag.

No. 3 Low Fat Dairy
Historically shunned by dieters for their high calorie or fat content, dairy foods can aid weight loss when low-fat versions are selected. Low-fat dairy foods are rich in calcium, which not only strengthens bones, but has been linked to increasing fat break down and to a lower BMI.

Recommendations: 1,000-1,300mg/day

Sources: Low-fat Dairy, salmon, tofu, broccoli.

TRY THIS:  Swap out your morning bagel for a yogurt with high-fiber cereal to save over 400 calories and get your metabolism running strong!

No. 4 Green Tea
ECGC, a naturally occurring substance in green tea, has been shown to help your body burn more calories and more fat, and can increase metabolism by as much as four percent in a 24-hour period. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition preaches ECGC, as the most effective naturally occurring metabolism booster. Green tea also contains caffeine which releases fatty acids stored in the body for energy.

TRY THIS: Green tea is a great substitute for high calorie, sugary or caffeinated drinks such as lattes, juices or milkshakes.

No. 5 Vitamin C
Your favorite cold-fighting vitamin helps fight fat too. The current recommendation for vitamin C is only 60mg per day, however studies show raising daily intake to 500 mg could boost fat-burning during exercise by up to 39 percent. Vitamin-C rich foods, particularly grapefruit, have been directly linked to aiding weight loss. Researchers at Scripps Clinic found subjects who ate ½ a grapefruit with each meal lost more than three-and-a-half pound in twelve weeks.

Sources: Citrus-fruits (oranges, grapefruit, etc.), strawberries, red pepper

TRY THIS: Slice open a grapefruit to enjoy with your coffee for a refreshing mid-morning snack.

Written by Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN, CPT

Moskovitz is a Registered Dietitian at Nutrition Energy, a private nutrition practice in New York City. She specializes in both weight loss & sports nutrition.  Moskovitz concentrates on helping clients manage chronic disease such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Cotton Candy Magazine®