There are certain foods that get a bad rep, because of popular fad diets, and people avoid and almost fear them when they are on a diet. Fad diets are always short term and never manageable. You end up having major cravings on the forbidden foods then binging and ruining all your hard work. The trick to losing weight for good? Eating the correct portions of ALL nutritious foods and on the occasion having a little splurge (we all need a little treat). If you follow that, then long term, you will lose the weight feeling satisfied and not deprived. Remember portion control for any food that you eat, but these foods have been found to be especially hated by dieters, but shouldn’t. They are, in fact, GOOD for dieting!
Slim-Down Effect Contains carbohydrates, which boost brain chemicals that curb overeating Bread is an excellent source of carbs, which your brain needs to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes feelings of comfort and satisfaction, says Nina T. Frusztajer, MD, a Boston-based physician who specializes in nutrition and is coauthor of The Serotonin Power Diet. “As your body digests carbohydrates, it releases insulin, which helps channel tryptophan—an amino acid—into the brain. Tryptophan then gets converted to serotonin,” she explains. When serotonin levels are optimal, you feel calm and happy and have fewer cravings; when they’re low, you feel depressed and irritable, making you more likely to overeat. Breads containing whole grains are healthiest, and one serving equals one slice of bread, half an English muffin, or a small roll.
Slim-Down Effect Rich in healthy fats that help banish belly flab Studies show that diets high in mono-unsaturated fatty acids (abundant in peanut butter and nuts) prevent accumulation of fat around the midsection, boost calorie burn, and promote weight loss. In fact, women who eat one serving of nuts or peanut butter 2 or more times a week gain fewer pounds than women who rarely eat them, according to recent research from the Harvard School of Public Health. One reason: A snack that includes peanut butter helps you stay full for up to 2 ½ hours, compared with 30 minutes for a carb-only snack such as a rice cake, finds research from Purdue University. (Carbohydrates satisfy a craving, while nuts keep you feeling full.) Peanut butter and nuts are high in calories, so stick with a 2-tablespoon portion—about the size of a golf ball.
Slim-Down Effect Great source of calcium, which burns calories and fat At about 100 calories and 5 g of fat per ounce, cheese usually tops the no-no list, but its calcium improves your ability to burn calories and fat, according to a recent research review. Not getting enough of this mineral may trigger the release of calcitriol, a hormone that causes the body to store fat. Scientists at the University of Tennessee found that people on a reduced-calorie diet who included an extra 300 to 400 mg of calcium a day lost significantly more weight than those who ate the same number of calories but with less calcium. Scientists aren’t exactly sure why, but eating calcium-rich foods is more effective than taking calcium supplements—and cheese has about 200 mg per ounce. Just stick to 2-ounce portions, and choose light varieties to get health benefits for half the calories.
Slim-Down Effect Satisfies a common craving to prevent bingeing Up to 97% of women experience cravings, and chocolate is the most common and “intensely” craved food, according to a recent study. Having an occasional small serving of a favorite treat is better than depriving yourself, which may lead to a binge, says Greaves. In fact, people who tried to not think about chocolate ate two-thirds more of it than people who were told to talk about it freely, according to British research. Dark varieties are more satisfying than milk chocolate, say scientists at the University of Copenhagen, but measure your portion, and be mindful when you eat. Slowly savoring one or two squares of a high-quality dark chocolate bar will satisfy a craving more than wolfing down M&M’s in front of the TV.
By, Rachel Melzer Warren
For more foods that you should be eating, go to Preventions.com