Food to Help Fight Fat

Posted by Samantha Rentz on April 13th 2012
  • Food to Help Fight Fat! Check out these fat busting foods!

Greek yoghurt

What makes Greek yoghurt a delicious tool for weight loss is its protein content. It has twice as much as other yoghurts. “Protein takes longer to leave the stomach,” says sports nutritionist Leslie Bonci. “That helps keeps you satisfied longer.” As a bonus, Bonci tells us, the body burns more calories digesting protein than carbs. Low-fat Greek style yoghurt types keep a slim profile.


Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is a nutritional all-star that belongs in your weight loss plan. This whole grain has eight grams of hunger-busting protein and five grams of fibre in one serving, plus it’s as easy to cook as rice. It’s also packed with nutrients such as iron, zinc, selenium and vitamin E. For a quick and interesting dinner, mix in some vegetables, nuts or lean protein.


Some studies suggest cinnamon may have a stabilising effect on blood sugar levels. Leslie Bonci says. Nearly everyone can benefit from cinnamon in its traditional role. Stir some into your coffee, tea, or yoghurt to add sweetness without adding calories.

Hot peppers

Hot peppers contain a flavourless compound called capsaicin. This compound appears to curb appetite and speed up the metabolism slightly, but only for a short time. Leslie Bonci doubts that this has a significant impact on weight loss. However, she says, people tend to eat less when their food is spicy.

Green tea

Several studies suggest green tea may help weight loss by stimulating the body to burn fat. Green tea contains catechins, a type of phytochemical that may briefly affect the metabolism. To get the most benefit, you may need to drink green tea several times a day. Leslie Bonci recommends taking your tea hot, because it takes longer to drink, slowing your calorie intake and providing a soothing experience.


While grapefruit doesn’t have any magical fat-burning properties, it can help dieters feel full with fewer calories. Leslie Bonci attributes this to the plentiful amounts of soluble fibre, which take longer to digest. Having half a grapefruit or a glass of grapefruit juice before a meal may help fill you up, so you eat fewer calories during the meal. Beware: grapefruit interferes with some medicines.


Foods that are high in water content take up more room in the gut, Leslie Bonci says. This signals to the body that you’ve had enough to eat and leaves less room for other food. Many raw fruits and vegetables are full of water and nutrients, but low in calories. Watermelon is a great example. It’s a rich source of the antioxidant lycopene and adds some vitamins A and C to your day, too.

Apples and pears

Pears and apples are also high in water content. Eat them with the peel for extra fibre, which will keep you full longer. Leslie Bonci recommends whole fruit rather than fruit juice. Not only do you get more fibre, you have to chew the fruit. This takes longer and requires some exertion. You actually burn a few calories chewing, as opposed to gulping down a smoothie.

Grapes vs. raisins

The value of water content becomes clear when you look at measures of grapes vs. raisins. Either choice has a little more than 100 calories, but the larger portion of grapes is likely to feel more satisfying. Still, Leslie Bonci says, dried fruit has an interesting texture. When used sparingly, a few raisins or dried cranberries can make a salad more appealing.


Like other fruit, berries are high in water and fibre, which can keep you full longer. However, they have another benefit — they’re very sweet. This means berries can satisfy your sweet tooth for a fraction of the calories you would take in with biscuits or cakes.

Raw vegetables

Raw vegetables make an outstanding snack. They satisfy the desire to crunch, they’re full of water to help you feel full, and they’re low in calories. A portion of diced celery has just eight calories. Leslie Bonci suggests coating celery with a little peanut butter or dunking carrots in salsa. When you’re in the mood for nachos and dips, try replacing the nachos with raw veg.

Sweet potatoes

Think of the typical toppings on your baked potato – butter, sour cream, maybe cheese and bacon bits. If you substitute a sweet potato, you might not need any of that. Baked sweet potatoes are so full of flavour, they require very little embellishment. This can save you loads of calories. As a bonus, sweet potatoes are packed with potassium, beta carotene, vitamin C and fibre.


Studies suggest eating protein in the morning will keep your hunger at bay longer than eating a bagel or other carbs. One egg has only 75 calories but packs seven grams of high-quality protein, along with other vital nutrients. Leslie Bonci adds that your body will burn more calories digesting eggs than a carb-heavy breakfast.


It sounds too good to be true – one of your favourite beverages may actually help rev the metabolism and help you lose weight. Leslie Bonci says coffee does stimulate the metabolism – a little. She cautions that the effect is small and is easily cancelled out by the extra calories in a mocha cappuccino.


Porridge has three things going for it: fibre-rich whole-grain oats, lots of water and it’s hot. Leslie Bonci says this is a very filling combination. Hot food takes longer to eat, and all that liquid and fibre will help you feel full longer. “Don’t buy the one that’s already sweetened,” Leslie Bonci says. “You can choose how to flavour it.” Stirring in cinnamon or nutmeg will give you a sweet taste with less sugar.


Whole grain rye crackers, sometimes called crispbreads, offer a low-fat, fibre-packed alternative to traditional crackers. Whole grains also provide a richer assortment of plant nutrients. This doesn’t just apply to crackers. You can get the same benefits by switching to whole-grain breads, cereals and pastas.


An outstanding whole grain is bulgur wheat, the type found in tabouli. It’s high in fibre and protein, but low in fat and calories. That helps you fill up with a minimum of calories. Leslie Bonci adds that the rich taste makes it satisfying. “It’s flavourful, so you don’t need to add a lot of oil,” she says. To turn this dish into a meal, she suggests adding beans and stirring in extra tomato, cucumber and parsley.


Soup – we’re talking broth-based, not creamy – is a dieter’s friend in several ways. It’s full of water, which fills you up with the fewest possible calories. It’s hot, which prevents you from guzzling it down too quickly. When eaten before a meal, soup can take up space that might have gone to higher calorie foods. You can also make a satisfying, low-calorie meal out of soup alone by adding chicken, fish, chopped vegetables or beans.


Another way to fill up before a meal is by eating salad. Lettuce has plenty of water content to take up space in the stomach. That leaves less room for fattier foods that might come later in the meal. Make your salad interesting by adding a variety of fruit and vegetables Be careful about dressing, which can add a lot of calories. Try salsa dip or balsamic vinegar as a dressing.


If you dress your salad with oil and vinegar, you may get another fat-fighting benefit. More research is needed, but some studies suggest vinegar may help the body break down fat. Whether or not this effect pans out, Leslie Bonci says vinegar is a good choice. It’s full of flavour that can make salad more satisfying – and it’s low calorie


Nuts are an excellent way to curb hunger between meals. They’re high in protein, fibre and heart-healthy fats. Studies suggest nuts can promote weight loss and improve cholesterol levels when eaten in moderation. The key is to “be careful with quantity,” Leslie Bonci tells us, a handful should be enough. “Choose something in a shell, so you have to work harder and slow down.”

Air-popped popcorn

A bowl of plain, air-popped popcorn may seem like a lot, but the calorie content is low. All that air adds volume without adding fat or sugar. “When people are looking to snack, they don’t stop at 10 crisps,” Leslie Bonci says. They want to have their fill, and a big bowl of popcorn delivers. “It’s visually satisfying, plus it takes time to eat.”

Skimmed milk

Skimmed milk provides plenty of protein and calcium with very little fat. Even though it’s very low in fat content, skimmed milk can help you feel full. It takes longer to leave the stomach than drinks with less protein, Leslie Bonci says. There’s also evidence that skimmed milk and other low-fat dairy foods may support weight loss, particularly around the mid-section. More research is needed to confirm this effect.

Lean meat

As we’ve seen, protein can help keep you full longer and burn more calories during digestion. However, you want to choose your protein carefully. Skinless chicken breast is a great choice. Some cuts of beef can make the grade. Sirloin and extra-lean have less than four grams of saturated fat per serving. Just stick with smaller portions and remove visible fat before eating.


One of the best sources of protein is fish. Studies show it’s more satisfying than chicken or beef, probably because of the type of protein it contains. Most fish is low in fat, and the exceptions usually have a healthy form of fat: omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s, which are found in salmon, herring and other oily fish, appear to help protect against the causes of heart disease and other chronic conditions.


Beans deliver a nutritional triple punch, Leslie Bonci says. They’re a vegetable, a protein and a great source of fibre. This means they’ll help you stay full for the price of very few calories. They’re also easy to prepare when hunger strikes. Open a can of beans and toss them into soup or salad or mash them up to use as a dip. One 164g serving of chickpeas packs 12 grams of fibre, just four grams of fat and 15 grams of protein.

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