4. Green Tea
Sip yourself slim. In a Phytochemistry-published review of green tea health research, it’s been shown that drinking green tea daily can be beneficial for good health, including weight management. It’s mainly due to its catechins, which are plant compounds with antioxidant properties. A recent Korean study conducted on obese mice suggests that green tea EGCG, a particular catechin, effectively reduces body fat. What’s more, a French study found that after moderately obese patients (humans) consumed green tea extract for three months, body weight decreased by 4.6 percent. All together, refreshing news!
Tip: Drink a cup of unsweetened green tea daily. Consider eating it, too. For instance, poach chicken in green tea when making chicken salad or use green tea to replace some of the oil in vinaigrette. Try other flavor varieties, too, like jasmine green tea – my personal favorite! 1 cup unsweetened green tea = 0 calories.
5. Beet juice
Need energy? UK-conducted research published in Journal of Applied Physiology suggests that beet juice boosts stamina. Nitrate, a nutrient found naturally in beet juice, seems to make exercise less exhausting. In fact, it might actually help you exercise for 16 percent longer. The longer you’re able to exercise, the more body fat you’re able to burn, of course. Though this study was conducted on men, I think it’s worth a shot for us ladies! But you can’t just drink beet juice to get these potential effects. You do need to exercise.
Tip: Since beet juice isn’t readily available, simply eat beets. Roast a beet in your microwave oven like you might a potato; peel, cool and slice; and splash it with balsamic vinegar. Enjoy as is or toss onto your favorite salad. 1 beet = 35 calories.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, so goes the saying. But will it keep the dietitian away? It might! When it comes to fruit, eating it whole rather than drinking or eating it pureed as a sauce is a key to satiety – that feeling of fullness so important when trying to stick to a reduced-calorie eating plan. Results of a Pennsylvania State University study published in Appetite, found this to indeed be the case. Additionally, eating an apple at the beginning of lunch led to a 15 percent calorie drop at that meal. Now that’s something to take a bite out of!
Tip: Hide the candy dish and keep a bowl of apples in sight. I call that the “see food” diet. Nibble an apple a day at the beginning of the meal in which you tend to eat the most calories. 1 apple = 90 calories.
Eat chocolate, lose weight. Really! There’s now research suggesting that eating your favorite “guilty pleasure” may in fact help you slim down, guilt-free. A study published in Appetite concluded that confronting temptations (i.e. eating chocolate) doesn’t necessarily undermine self control and may help you meet your long-term goals (i.e. lose weight).
Tip: Purposely plan chocolate into your weight-loss endeavors. After you exercise, enjoy 1 ounce of chocolate to help to replenish your energy supply while helping you reach your weight loss goals. 1-ounce bar Seeds of Change Organic Dark Chocolate = 140 calories.
Jackie Newgent, RD, is a New York City-based nutritionist, author of Big Green Cookbook and The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook, and healthy cooking instructor at The Institute of Culinary Education. Follow her @jackienewgent.