Let the science sway you to eat up these proven pound melters, some of the brightest stars of SELF’s new book, The Drop 10 Diet. They take center stage in a never-hungry, eat-anything (yes, anything!) meal plan that helps you slim down without boredom or deprivation. (Try it for free on SELF.com!)
Slimming superpowers This fruit’s 4 to 5 grams of fiber not only are filling but also help ferry out some of the fat and calories you take in from other foods. The amazing proof People who ate an apple 15 minutes before lunching on cheese tortellini consumed 187 fewer calories in total than those who snacked on nothing beforehand, a study from Penn State University in University Park determines. How about them apples?
Slimming superpowers These legumes are rich in resistant starch (RS), a carbohydrate that may encourage fat burning and shrink fat cells. The amazing proof When study participants enjoyed a meal with 5 g of RS—about what you get from 3/4 cup cooked lentils—they burned 23 percent more fat over 24 hours than when they had a meal without the starch, researchers at the University of Colorado in Denver say.
Slimming superpowers These spuds have RS, the same carbs found in lentils that may turn up the body’s fat-scorching furnace. RS may also increase production of peptide hormone compounds that signal the brain to stop eating. The amazing proof After a breakfast and a lunch containing RS, subjects ate about 10 percent fewer calories over the next 24 hours compared with when they had similar meals with a placebo, research from the University of Surrey indicates.
Slimming superpowers The breakfast staple is loaded with choline, a compound known to help block fat absorption. The amazing proof After eight weeks, dieters who ate two eggs, toast and jelly for breakfast five days a week lost 65 percent more weight than those who had a same-calorie bagel breakfast without eggs, according to a study in the International Journal of Obesity.
Slimming superpowers The green soybeans supply 17 g of protein per cup, and your body torches more calories digesting protein than it does processing carbs and fat. The amazing proof Researchers from the Federal University of Viçosa found that people burned about 70 more calories per day when their a.m. meal contained soy protein versus other types of protein. Cool beans!
Slimming superpowers A large kiwi has 84 milligrams of vitamin C—more than a day’s quota. C helps form carnitine, a compound that transports fat into cell mitochondria, where it’s burned for energy during exercise. The amazing proof People with low blood levels of C burned 10 percent less fat per pound of body weight while walking than did those with normal levels of C, a study at Arizona State University in Mesa shows. But when subjects got a dose of C, their fat burning increased fourfold.
Slimming superpowers The fish’s omega-3 fatty acids could help you fight flab more effectively. They alter the expression of certain genes, shifting your body to burn fat rather than store it. The amazing proof In a study analyzing the diets of 35,000 women, published in Public Health Nutrition, those subjects who ate oily fish such as salmon two to four times per week had the lowest basal metabolic indexes, a common measure of body fat.
Slimming superpowers Lowfat and nonfat Greek and regular yogurts contain 20 percent or more of your daily calcium needs. The mineral slows production of cortisol, a hormone that encourages belly-flab buildup. The amazing proof People on a low-cal diet that included yogurt lost 81 percent more belly fat than those on a similar but no-yogurt plan, a study from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville concludes. This dairy is a must-do.
Slimming superpowers A complete protein, quinoa has all the essential amino acids needed to build metabolism-revving muscle. The amazing proof Reduced-calorie dieters eating about 115 g of protein daily lost 22 percent more fat after four months than those who ate 70 g per day, The Journal of Nutrition reports.
Slimming superpowers Healthful monounsaturated fats found in olive oil could potentially switch on genes related to fat burning and storage. The amazing proof Dieters on a low-cal plan emphasizing monounsaturated fats, protein and complex carbs lost almost double the weight that dieters who ate the same calories but less total fat and protein and more carbs lost, a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine reveals.
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