Thursday, March 24, 2011
Tips To Losing The Last 10 Pounds!
DE-JUNK YOUR SWEETS
Ditch the processed Frankencandy-many treats are made with unwanted additives, including refined sugar and partially hydrogenated oil (read: trans fat). A recent Wake Forest University study found that, even at the same calorie and fat level, a diet rich in trans fat led to four times more weight gain and 30 percent more belly fat than a diet without it. Our healthier picks: Theo Organic Fair Trade 70% Cacao Bars With Cherries & Almonds ($4; theochocolate .com) and Seeds of Change Santa Catarina Dark Chocolate With Mango, Toasted Coconut, and Cashews ($4; seedsofchangefoods .com for stores). You want to stick to a small piece, but that shouldn't be a problem: A new Danish study found that dark chocolate is more filling than the milk variety. Still, if you can't trust yourself with a big bar, Endangered Species Organic Dark Chocolate Bug Bites ($1 for two; wholefoods.com for stores) are one-third of an ounce, perfect for portion control.
EAT MORE SPINACH
One cup of this leafy green (about the size of a baseball) packs just 41 calories-five times less than a cup of cooked brown rice or whole-wheat pasta. This superfood may be light on calories and carbs, but it's rich in more than a dozen stress-fighting antioxidants. Try it sauteed in 1 teaspoon olive oil with chopped red bell pepper, garlic, and a dash of chili oil. Or serve it raw in a salad with strawberries and a little minced onion.
"C" YOURSELF SLIMMER
Summer vegetables and fruits--like strawberries, red peppers, and leafy greens--are rich in vitamin C, which can help you get more out of every sweat session. A study in Nutrition & Metabolism found that exercisers who skimp on the vitamin burn 25 percent less fat during workouts. "Vitamin C helps produce carnitine, an amino acid that helps you use fat for energy. If there is too little carnitine in your tissues, your body will use carbohydrates or protein for fuel," says lead study author Carol S. Johnston, Ph.D., R.D., professor and chair of the department of nutrition at Arizona State University, who published the study. "Not only does this reduce the amount of fat you burn, but you're also more likely to feel fatigued when exercising." Johnston advises aiming for at least 100 milligrams daily, the amount in 10 large strawberries, one small red pepper, or 1 cup of cooked broccoli.
TURN TO 'SHROOMS
According to research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, replacing ground beef with chopped mushrooms in a single meal saved more than 400 calories and 30 grams of fat, but the meal testers felt just as satisfied and didn't compensate by eating more food later in the day. Make mushrooms the main event at mealtime: Sliced or minced 'shrooms are a great stand-in for meat in burritos, sloppy joes, and wraps, or as a pizza topping.
INDULGE IN POTATO SALAD
Spuds are high in resistant starch (RS), a filling, fiber-like substance that, as it passes through your digestive system, releases compounds that enhance satiety and blast fat. "One study found that replacing about 5 percent of your total carbs with RS resulted in a 20 to 30 percent bump in fat burning after meals," explains Christopher Mohr, Ph.D., R.D., owner of Mohr Results, a nutrition consulting company in Louisville, Kentucky. RS forms when starchy foods are cooked, then cooled. The best sources are perfect for summer recipes: potatoes, beans, lentils, rice, and pasta. Add half a cup of chilled beans or cubed red potatoes to a salad; or toss lean protein, like shrimp, chicken, or tofu, with chopped veggies, light vinaigrette, and half a cup of brown rice or whole-grain pasta.
HAVE FRUIT FOR DESSERT
The enzymes bromelain (in fresh pineapple) and papain (in fresh papaya) ease digestion by breaking down proteins in meat, tofu, dairy, and beans, so food moves through your system faster, which can decrease bloating. So end your meals with one of these fresh, sweet treats.
SLICE UP AN AVOCADO
This fruit is rich in potassium, a mineral that helps you lose the pooch by flushing out excess sodium and reducing water retention. Per ounce, avocados pack 60 percent more potassium than bananas, and their healthy fats blunt hunger by keeping you fuller longer. Try serving avocado-mango salsa over chicken, fish, or tofu: Chop a quarter of an avocado and toss it with a quarter cup fresh mango, 1 tablespoon lime juice, fresh cilantro, and 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno. Or, for a double hit of potassium, try avocado-banana salsa: Chop a quarter of an avocado and half a small banana and combine with 1 tablespoon minced onion, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and freshly ground black pepper.