Greek yogurt is an extremely satiating breakfast or snack, thanks to its thick, creamy texture and a whopping 17 grams of protein (nearly three times more than is in an egg, in fact). A study from the journal Appetite found that people who ate a high-protein yogurt snack three hours after lunch felt fuller and ate dinner later than the other participants. And on top of that, other studies suggest that the acids produced during yogurt fermentation might help increase feelings of fullness.
Protein is also important for preserving muscle mass as you lose weight. If you cut back dramatically on calories and drop weight too fast, your muscles can suffer. Your body starts pulling from lean tissue like muscles and organs to fuel itself, and your metabolism slows to conserve energy. That’s why super restrictive diets that have you dropping weight fast aren’t healthy over the long run.
Notes: Chop the sweet potatoes and halve the Brussels sprouts, and place on a sheet pan. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Roast at 450°F (230°C) until tender, about 15 minutes. Season the steak with salt and pepper. In a frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 teaspoon olive oil. Cook the steak until done to your liking, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. (Consuming raw or undercooked meats may increase your risk of foodborne illness.)
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“This is a great way of eating that I highly recommend to many clients, and I even model in my own life,” says Elizabeth Shaw, RDN, who is in private practice in San Diego and is the co-author of Fertility Foods Cookbook. “Since the premise of the diet is designed to help people who have high blood pressure, low-sodium foods are recommended. However, considering that most Americans exceed their daily sodium levels anyway, it’s not surprising that dietitians recommend this style of eating for treating many different conditions, such as heart disease and obesity.”
“Stepping on the scale frequently makes you aware of small changes and helps you quickly react to those changes. The National Weight Control Registry, a large group of people who have successfully lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for 5 years, found that successful ‘losers’ weigh themselves often and make adjustments accordingly. When you begin to understand that sodium, carb intake, hormones and alcohol intake can impact weight and that it isn’t possible to gain 2 pounds of fat overnight, you will begin to better understand your body. The key is to pay attention to overall trends; don’t obsess over day-to-day numbers! — Jennifer McDaniel, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD, food and nutrition expert
Like protein, fiber slows the rate at which your body plows through carb calories so you feel full for longer and maintain steadier blood sugar levels, one reason why research consistently links fiber intake to weight loss. That means fibrous whole grain bread tends to be a better choice than white bread and also explains why fruits, which contain fiber and valuable vitamins in addition to sugar, beat straight-up candy every time.
Greens like spinach are low in calories so you can eat cups of them, allowing you to fill up on a variety of nutrients (vitamins A, K, C, E, copper, manganese, iron, calcium, and many others) while consuming few calories,” Zeratsky says. Spinach is an incredibly versatile vegetable, but it’s also a powerful weight-loss food. A spinach extract containing green leaf membranes called thylakoids boosts weight loss by 43 percent and is able to curb food cravings by up to 95 percent, according to a Lund University in Sweden study. The extract bolsters your body’s production of the satiety hormone, which curbs hunger, and promotes healthier eating habits.
Australian researchers randomized 204 obese adults to either a 12-week rapid weight loss diet (with Nestlé's Optifast) or a 36-week gradual diet. A weight loss of 15% was the goal of both diets. Participants who lost at least 12.5% of their weight then participated in the second phase of the study, in which they were placed on a 144-week maintenance diet.
Buy an iced tea maker. During warmer months, drinking hot tea may not sound like fun; however, you can still consume just as much tea by using an iced tea maker. Like the electric teakettle, simply fill the machine with water; add ice (according to the manufacturer’s directions) and teabags. Turn it on and begin drinking fresh iced tea in a matter of minutes.
Before you head out to dinner, pour yourself a cup of green tea. The active ingredient in green tea, EGCG, boosts levels of cholecystokinin, or CCK, a hunger-quelling hormone. In a Swedish study that looked at green tea’s effect on hunger, researchers divided up participants into two groups: One group sipped water with their meal and the other group drank green tea. Not only did tea-sippers report less of a desire to eat their favorite foods (even two hours after sipping the brew), they found those foods to be less satisfying.
“You can’t just say, ‘I want to lose weight…someday.’ It’s that kind of loose talk, without a fence or guideline, that discourages you from getting started and prevents you from succeeding. The way I did it was by tying it to an upcoming event in my life. I never focused on a number and I didn’t set out to lose a certain number of pounds per week or overall. I merely found a target date a year away and I proclaimed to myself that I’d be in better shape by then. — Maria Menounos, author of The Everygirl’s Guide to Diet and Fitness, on how she lost 40 pounds
Does forskolin work? Uses, risks, and benefits Forskolin is a plant-based product that is used as a weight loss supplement. It is thought to help people lose weight by creating certain enzymes, and it may also have a range of medicinal uses. It has recently experienced a surge in popularity, but does it really work? We look at the benefits and risks of forskolin. Read now
Is there anything avocados can't do? This creamy superfood (loaded with monounsaturated fats, potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamins C and E) has been linked to improved vision, good heart health, and a reduced risk of certain cancers. And avocados can also help whittle your middle: according to one study, people who regularly consume them weigh less and have smaller waists than those who do not. Another study found that women who eat half an avocado at lunchtime might experience reduced food cravings later in the day.
Drink a whole cool glass of tea right before dinner. Drinking one glass of tea before dinner fills up part of your stomach, which means that you'll be less hungry when it comes to food. (Of course, eating a healthy dinner is still important.) Cool tea is important, too. Cold tea needs to be heated up by the body in order to be metabolized; this expends extra calories, meaning more weight loss.
Maintain a consistent exercise program. Even though intense exercise is effective for weight loss, hard workouts put your body at a higher risk for injury and burnout. And you're not likely to burn enough calories for weight loss while you're recovering on the couch. Easy workouts are usually safer for your body and may allow you to be more consistent, week to week and month to month.
Authors’ Contribution:Study concept and design: Damoon Ashtary-Larky; field, experimental, and clinical work, and data collection: Damoon Ashtary-Larky, Nasrin Lamuchi-Deli, Mehdi Boustaninejad, Seyedeh Arefeh Payami, and Sara Alavi-Rad; data analysis and interpretation: Matin Ghanavati and Amir Abbasnezhad; preparation of the draft, revisions or providing critique: Meysam Alipour; overall and/or sectional scientific management: Reza Afrisham.
All meals are important, but breakfast is what helps you start your day on the right track. The best, heartiest breakfasts are ones that will fill you up, keep you satisfied, and stave off cravings later in the day. Aim to eat anywhere between 400 and 500 calories for your morning meal, and make sure you're including a source of lean protein plus filling fat (e.g., eggs, beans, unsweetened Greek yogurt, nuts, or nut butters) and fiber (veggies, fruit, or 100% whole grains). Starting your day with a blood sugar-stabilizing blend of nutrients will help you slim down without sacrifice.
Speaking of standout breakfast foods, Greek yogurt is another option worthy of the spotlight thanks to its high-protein content. Per study in the journal Appetite, researchers from the University of Missouri compared the satiety effects of high-, moderate-, and low-protein yogurts on women aged 24-28, and found Greek yogurt, with the highest protein content, to have the greatest effect. What’s more? Probiotics in items such as yogurt and fermented foods, like pickles and sauerkraut, help good bacteria in the gut process food more efficiently. Hello, weight loss! If you want to get even more protein in your yogurt, check out Icelandic yogurts, which can have two to three more grams of protein per serving compared to Greek.