Seeing all of the “miracle” diet products on infomercials can make a person wonder whether anything can actually promote weight loss.
Yes, say nutrition experts. What we eat or drink may keep us full and provide energy to stick to a diet.
However, there's no need to call a toll-free number and order expensive products, say dietitians.
Diet-enhancing foods are convenient, familiar and as near as the supermarket. Not only is it easy to find foods that deliver health benefits, but satisfying flavors that make dieting more pleasurable.
Here are 10 foods to make a part of any weight-loss regimen.
BeansBeans are loaded with fiber – 15 grams in a cup of cooked black beans, for example. Fiber-rich beans create a bulking sensation so you feel full; more fiber means less hunger, according to David Grotto, registered dietitian in the Chicago area.
Want more evidence?
“Bean eating cultures historically have been thinner,” says Grotto, author of “101 Optimal Life Foods” (Bantam Books, 2010).
Almonds or almond butter This nut, rich in monounsaturated fat, keeps blood sugar from spiking and provides satiety, according to Brittany Glassett, registered dietitian with Porter Adventist Hospital, Denver.
She recommends spreading almond butter on apple slices for a snack.
Whole almonds also score well.
Eating almonds reduces hunger and increases fullness, according to studies (reported several years ago in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition”).
Quinoa This trendy grain is high in protein and fiber to keep people feeling full and energized, Glassett says.
It’s also fast cooking, which is a virtue when a person is ravenous.
Old-fashioned rolled oats Again it’s the high-fiber content that helps oats score as a diet food.
The grain’s warm, comforting qualities are also assets, making you feel cozy as you eat less.
If you want a real treat within diet range, top a serving of oatmeal with a tablespoon of almond butter, suggests Glassett.
Soy nuts or edamame (fresh green soybeans) Soy’s combination of protein, fat and carbohydrates makes it an excellent snack.
“It’s loaded with B vitamins, which are needed in energy production,” Grotto says.
Water If you’re frequently exhausted, you may have a water – not calorie – deficit, according to Grotto.
To feel full and get relief from dehydration, make sure to drink enough water.
Whey The thin, watery liquid component of milk has special benefits for dieters.
“It provides signals [to the body] that affect both short- and long-term food intake regulation,” says Grotto, citing research.
Milk contains whey, of course, but you’ll get a higher concentration by eating cottage cheese, he says.
Avocado Although the fruit gets a “bad rap” for weight loss, it’s rich in monounsaturated fat, which is very satisfying, according to Glassett.
Limit yourself to a quarter of an avocado for a serving.
Spices Hot red pepper flakes promote fat burning and suppress hunger, Grotto says.
Add a pinch to a bowl of plain popcorn.
Chocolate And you thought dieting was all about deprivation.
Chocolate’s ingredients deliver the trifecta of diet support. The sugar increases energy; the caffeine is a stimulant and the flavonols (plant chemicals) in dark chocolate help boost blood flow throughout the body, Grotto says.