6 Tips to Skinny Up a Hamburger

I do love a juicy, hot-off-the-grill burger—and I love how you can skinny up this summer staple to actually help you to lose weight. The trick is picking the right ingredients:

1. Start with the best beef 

The better the meat quality, the better the burger will taste on its own without the need to add waistline-padding toppings. Ask your butcher to grind the beef fresh if you can. You'll then be able to make 3- or 4-ounce portions easily; otherwise, premade patties can add up to 200 calories per serving.

2. Use a fat-releasing bun

Switching from basic white to whole wheat can trim about 120 calories from your meal (source: EatingWell). Even better: a whole-wheat English muffin adds satisfying and fat releasing fiber. The more fiber you eat, the more full you feel, so there’s less temptation to go for more.

3. Melt belly fat with guac

Top your patty with a small dollop of this creamy topping and your belly will thank you. Avocados are a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids (called MUFAs) that may shrink belly fat.

4. Layer on fresh tomato slices

They have less sugar than ketchup, and are packed with the super-healthy antioxidant lycopene, which is linked to a lower heart disease risk. One cup of tomatoes also provides 38 percent of the daily value for vitamin C, which may prevent your body from clinging to fat, and almost 30 percent of your daily vitamin A. 

5. Include a few raw or cooked onions

They are also a surprisingly good source of vitamin C (one cup provides almost 20 percent of your daily value), and are rich in antioxidants called flavonoids and polyphenols. 

6. Add nutritious iceberg lettuce (you heard me)

Iceberg lettuce—often villfied in the health world for lacking nutritional value—is actually sneakily nutritious. Compared to darker greens like romaine or spinach, it has more alpha-carotene, an immune-boosting antioxidant similar to vitamin A (source: Men’s Health).

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