Published October 15, 2012
The following food choices are nutrient dense and have been scientifically proven to fill you up, shrink your appetite, or help you drop pounds
When you get bored with leafy greens (and that can happen easily when you’re counting calories), artichokes are the way to go. They make an ideal appetizer—one has just 60 calories, and frontloading all the fiber they contain will help you consume fewer calories during the rest of your meal. When you can get chokes fresh (in the spring), they’re delicious steamed; just sprinkle with salt, pepper, or a squeeze of lemon juice and eat the leaves one by one. Canned artichoke hearts, a staple in any slim-calm-sexy pantry, come in handy when you need a simple but satisfying snack. Just puree them in a blender or food processor with a little olive oil and fresh rosemary.
2. Chili Peppers
Spicy chilies increase your burn thanks to an antioxidant called capsaicin. A study from the University of California at Los Angeles found that in the few hours following a meal containing capsaicin, calorie burn nearly doubled. The antioxidant also significantly increased fat oxidation, pushing the body to use more fat as fuel. Some studies have even found that meals flavored with capsaicin can diminish appetite. Experiment with a few different fresh premade salsas and read the ingredients carefully to get a sense of which peppers speak to you.
This citrus fruit won weight-loss fame after a study found that people who ate half a grapefruit with each meal lost 3.6 pounds, while those who drank a serving of grapefruit juice three times a day lost 3.3 pounds. Many people in the study lost more than 10 pounds without making any other changes to their diets! If downing that much tartness leaves you puckered, try grapefruit as a delicious low-cal dessert: Add a tiny bit of honey, sprinkle on some cardamom, and leave it under the broiler for two to three minutes.
Get more proven strategies for mind-body bliss: Learn more about the Slim Calm Sexy Diet!
Apples may get all the nutritional glory, but a pear a day is a good idea too. Pears have especially high levels of a kind of fiber called pectin, which is known to help promote weight loss. Poached, they make a tasty warm dessert; raw, their creamy-gritty texture pairs nicely with cheese for a snack.
Fiber and a high volume of water ensure that tomatoes fill you up for few calories. They’re also loaded with lycopene, and researchers have found that the higher the level of this antioxidant in people’s blood, the lower their level of heart disease and other chronic illnesses. Plus, tomatoes increase in nutritional power when cooked, so sauté or roast them, make sauce, or blend up tomato soup—on a low-energy day, it’s a true comfort food.