By David Zinczenko, with Matt Goulding – Posted on Tue, Jan 05, 2010, 10:05 am PST
If you’re like most Americans, you’ve gained about 5 pounds since Thanksgiving. Each small holiday-season indulgence may have seemed like no big deal at the time, but added all together, they created the perfect storm for a juggernaut of jiggle. Don’t believe us? Consider the caloric damage of typical holiday activities—weekly parties, with buffet tables lined with goodies and treats; cookies and cakes delivered by your well-intentioned neighbors; and seasonal beverages, from holiday lagers to rum-spiked eggnogs, that had you washing down those hundreds of extra calories with, well, hundreds of extra calories. It’s no wonder Baby New Year always makes her debut toting a gargantuan gut!In 2010, vow to eat better—not less, just better. Add these 9 best foods for weight loss to your daily (or weekly) diet, and watch as the pounds melt away. The best-selling weight loss series Eat This, Not That! shows you how to make a weight-loss resolution worth sticking to.
This dairy product is an excellent source of casein protein– one of the best muscle-building nutrients you can eat. What’s more, Danish researchers found that even when men ate 10 ounces of full-fat cheese daily for 3 weeks, their LDL (“bad”) cholesterol didn’t budge.
Bonus tip: See which cheese won the distinction of “best” in the annual 125 Best Supermarket Food Awards.
Per gram of protein, pork chops contain almost five times the selenium–an essential mineral that’s linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer–of beef, and twice that of chicken. And Purdue researchers found that a 6-ounce serving daily helped people preserve their muscle while losing weight.
Coffee reduces your appetite, increases your metabolism, and gives you a shot of antioxidants. A study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior found that the average metabolic rate of people who drink caffeinated coffee is 16 percent higher than that of those who drink decaf. Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system by increasing your heart rate and breathing. Honestly, could there be a more perfect beverage? Plus, frequent mini servings of caffeine (8 ounces of coffee or less) keep you awake, alert, and focused for longer than a single jumbo one would, according to sleep experts. When you quickly drink a large coffee, the caffeine peaks in your bloodstream much sooner than if you spread it out over time. Start your day with an 8 ounce coffee (the “short” size is available by request at Starbucks). Or, ask for a large half caf. Then keep the caffeine lightly flowing with a lunchtime cappuccino (it’s got only 75 mg, which is about one quarter of what you’d get in a 16 ounce coffee).
Bonus tip: Don’t derail your diet. See our indespensible list of the 20 Worst Drinks in America.
In a recent study, Louisiana State University scientists discovered that people who ate half a grapefruit three times a day lost 4 pounds in 12 weeks, even though they hadn’t deliberately altered any other part of their diets. Although the mechanism isn’t clear, the researchers speculate that grapefruit’s acidity may slow your rate of digestion, helping keep you full longer.
Turns out, an apple a day may also keep the extra weight away. Penn State researchers discovered that people who ate a large apple 15 minutes before lunch took in 187 fewer calories during lunch than those who didn’t snack beforehand. (The apples had around 128 calories.) What’s more, they reported feeling fuller afterward, too. Sure, the fruit is loaded with belly-filling fiber, but there’s another reason apples help you feel full: They require lots of chewing, which can make you think you’re eating more than you really are, says study author Julie Obbagy, Ph.D.
Skip the cold cereal: Eating eggs and bacon in the morning can help you control your hunger later in the day. Indiana University scientists determined that dieters who consumed their biggest dose of daily protein at breakfast felt full longer than those who ate more of the nutrient at lunch or dinner. The upshot: “They were less likely to overeat the rest of the day,” says study author Heather Leidy, Ph.D. To fend off hunger, shoot for at least 20 to 30 grams of protein at breakfast.
Bonus tip: Just because it’s made with eggs doesn’t make it good for you—see our worst omelet in the list of 20 Worst Restaurant Foods in America 2009.
If you’re not a legume lover, consider this: In the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, scientists found that people who consumed beans were 23 percent less likely to have large waists than those who said they never ate them. The bean eaters in the survey also tended to have lower systolic blood-pressure measurements, says research Victor Fulgoni III, Ph.D. Legumes are rich in belly-filling fiber as well as potassium, which helps fight hypertension. Aim for half a cup of cooked beans 3 or 4 days a week.
Fish isn’t just good for your heart; it’s good for your gut, too. That’s because omega-3 fatty acids help you feel full longer, report scientists from Iceland. In the study, dieters who ate salmon felt fuller 2 hours later than those who either didn’t eat seafood or had cod, a fish with little fat. The researchers found that eating foods high in omega-3s (like the ones to the left) increased blood levels of leptin, a hormone that promotes satiety. Hate fish? Take a fish-oil capsule every day – one that has 500 milligrams of the omega-3s DHA and EPA. It offers the same benefits as salmon.
Instead of fruit juice, reach for moo juice in the morning. Drinking milk at breakfast can help you eat less at lunch, Australian scientists say. In their study, overweight people who downed about 2 1/2 cups of skim milk in the morning consumed 8.5 percent fewer calories at an all-you-can-eat lunch spread than people who drank the same amount of fruit juice. Both beverages had an equal number of calories, but the milk contained 25 grams of protein while the fruit juice had virtually no protein and 63 grams of sugar. Those may be big servings, but the principle remains: Protein helps you feel fuller throughout the morning.
For thousands of great tips like these, be sure to download the Eat This, Not That! iPhone app—it’s like having your own personal nutritionist always at your fingertips!