Leslie Beck's Q and A on weight-reducing super foods
Published Wednesday, October 12, 2011 8:14AM EDT
Canada AM nutrition expert Leslie Beck helps you choose the right super foods to lose those pesky pounds.
Leslie, many of us over ate a lot this past weekend -- turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie. Give us three easy things we can do this week to get our diets back on track and lose those Thanksgiving pounds.
Yes, many people are buckling down this week and watching their diets. To help people get back on track -- and lose that water weight from a weekend of overindulging -- there are a few easy things you can do.
- Drink 2 glasses of water before every meal. Not only will this help you meet your fluid requirements, it also will fill your stomach so you will be more likely to eat less at your meal.
- Forgo carbs at dinner. For one week, skip the starchy sides like rice, potatoes, pasta, even quinoa. Instead double up on your vegetables. You'll save calories and increase your vegetable intake.
- Write it down. For one week keep a food diary. Write down everything you eat and drink. This is a strategy that really works. When you have to document your food intake on paper, you tend to make healthier choices. It makes you think twice about grabbing that cookie or having seconds.
What super foods can help us stay trim or lose weight?
Some of these foods might surprise you. Some you might actually try to avoid for fear they are not good for weight control. Let's start with eggs. Eggs are a great source of protein that slow digestion and keep you feeling full longer. Eating lean protein in the morning keeps you satisfied longer than if eaten at other times of the day. In fact, one study found that women who ate eggs at breakfast lost more weight than those who ate low-fat bagels -- and their cholesterol level did not go up.
Include one egg at breakfast -- boiled and poached require no added fat. If you don't want the cholesterol, two egg whites can replace one egg.
You have bananas here, really? Don't they have a lot of sugar?
Yes, like all fruit they do have sugar. But they are incredibly healthy because they provide potassium which helps keep blood pressure in check. They also contain something called resistant starch to help you feel full and boost metabolism.
Eat a banana for an afternoon snack to prevent becoming too hungry before dinner. Eat it with a source of protein (yogurt) or healthy fat (almonds, walnuts) to keep your blood sugar level stable longer.
Does eating grapefruit burn body fat?
They just might. According to one study eating half a grapefruit with meals can result in weight loss. Individuals who ate grapefruit had significantly lower levels of insulin after eating which was thought to control hunger. The researchers speculated that natural plant compounds in grapefruit were responsible. Red grapefruit also provides lycopene, an antioxidant linked with cancer prevention.
What other super foods can help us manage our weight?
Black beans.These are an incredibly healthy food to add to a weight loss diet. Thanks to their dark colour they have more antioxidants than any other bean. But they also deliver plenty of protein and fibre which keeps you feeling full longer -- and they don't have any of the saturated fat that meat does.
Three-quarters of a cup of black beans replaces 3 ounces of meat. With that you get is 11 grams of protein and 11 grams of fibre. Add black beans to a salad instead of meat or chicken. Or add them to tacos instead of ground meat.
Dark chocolate. Yes. you can have chocolate and lose weight too! Research suggests including a small portion in your diet can help prevent cravings for sweet and salty foods. For some people, eating a square of dark chocolate each day can help them stick to their meal plan. Choose dark chocolate -- at least 70 per cent cocoa solids -- to get more antioxidants. Studies suggest the antioxidants in dark chocolate may help keep your heart healthy too.
If you typically want something sweet after dinner, have one square of dark chocolate. One small square has 50 calories -- you can sneak that into your diet. But if you eat two or three squares you'll need to account for those calories elsewhere in your diet.