If you are looking to drop a few pounds, but don’t like to diet, you’re going to love what I’m about to tell you: By focusing on eating more of certain weight-loss superfoods, rather than obsessing about which nibbles are off-limits, you can reach your weight loss goal without feeling an ounce of deprivation or pang of hunger.
Pile these winners on your plate and watch the numbers on the scale plummet!
Practice that fork twirl! Turns out you can enjoy spaghetti, rigatoni and all the rest, and still drop pounds—as long as you opt for a 100-percent-whole-wheat version. Whole grains contain more fiber, so it takes a smaller serving to satisfy you than standard spaghetti would. Boil up a pot for a speedy supper—just stick to a 1-cup cooked serving topped with marinara and supplement with steamed veggies to keep a lid on calories. Check out these five recipes that’ll help keep your noodles nutritious.
Remember that corny joke about the “see food” diet? The vitamin D in fatty swimmers such as wild salmon may curb your appetite, according to research from the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis. Marinate your fave fillet in a mixture of lime juice, garlic and cumin; chill for 20 minutes, then grill for 10 minutes per inch of thickness, flipping once.
Putting a generous amount of low-calorie, high-fiber fruits and vegetables on your plate before adding a smaller portion of carbs fills you up without bulking you up. In fact, by eating at least 34 grams of fiber per day, you’ll absorb up to 6 percent fewer calories. Toss 1/4 cup navy beans on your salad (5 g), add a half cup of raspberries to your cereal (4 g), snack on an apple with the skin (3.3 g) or pair a baked sweet potato (3.8 g) with your dinner. Organic local produce often has more nutrients, so opt for pesticide-free when possible.
Yes, you read that right! Despite its name, not all fat will make you fat. In fact, the healthy kind helps you feel full, so you’ll eat less over the course of a day. It also aids your body’s absorption of the vitamins in other things you eat. Add a bit of healthy fat to each meal and snack, such as almond butter on an apple and olive oil on your greens, to stay satisfied and head off cravings. Looks like we should start calling fat “slim!”
Want to squeeze even more power from your sandwich? Choose bread that contains flax—these seeds have lignan, a phytoestrogen that may help you slim. Aim for a loaf that also has at least 3 g of fiber per 100 calories and is made from 100 percent whole grains (all the flour and all the grains should be whole). Four grams of fiber and fewer than 120 calories per slice, and is made from filling stone-ground wheat, says SELF contributing editor Janis Jibrin, R.D. Bored of the same old PB&J? Try one of these 6 souped-up sandwiches from top chefs.
Fueling up on a 150-calorie snack in between meals means you’re less likely to vacuum up your lunch and dinner. Stash smart, shelf-stable nibbles such as nuts, dried fruit, energy bars and whole-grain crackers in your desk drawer, and make hummus, sliced veggies and string cheese permanent fixtures in your fridge—they’re your edible insurance against overeating! Find more slim snacking tips in our guide.
Sunny-side up or over easy, an egg a day keeps the weight away! According to research, people who had eggs for breakfast ate fewer calories over the next 24 hours than those who scarfed predominantly carbs—yet they were more satisfied! Research shows you can have seven a week without raising your risk of heart disease. If you’re typically a bit, well, scrambled, in the morning, make a veggie frittata on Sunday and nuke a slice to eat each day during the week. Get cracking!
Want to curb hunger while adding flavor? Grab a shaker! Seasonings like cayenne, turmeric, cinnamon, rosemary and sage offer major flavor for almost no fat and calories, making good-for-you foods as delicious as they are healthy. And research shows 2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes on your pasta can help you eat fewer calories and fat at later meals. Make this spice and others a part of your life and you’l look hot, hot, hotter than ever!
For easy tweaks that make a big difference, try the Jump Start Diet plan at Self.com and lose big—no calorie math required!