السبت، 2 أبريل 2011

Healthy Foods That Boost Metabolism

Turn up the heat on weight loss by eating foods that actually burn calories while you chew. Blast off belly fat, curb your appetite, and drop 2 sizes fast.
By Leslie Bonci, RD


Calories. You count them. You save them. You burn as many of them as you can. But is your strategy working? If you're like 67% of women who are constantly (and not so successfully) trying to lose weight and keep it off, the answer is no. The reason: What you think you know about calories is simply not true.


Ever since you learned what a calorie is, you've been told that they are all alike: Whether you eat 500 calories' worth of celery stalks or creme brûlée, your body will burn or store them equally. Right? Wrong. New science shows that when it comes to weight loss, calories are nowhere near alike.


Some foods take more work to eat--and therefore burn more calories while you're digesting them. Just the act of chewing foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean cuts of meat can increase your calorie burn by up to 30%! And then your stomach and intestines do their jobs. In a Japanese study, researchers found that women who ate the foods that required the most work had significantly slimmer waistlines than those who ate the softest, easiest-to-eat foods. The fiber and protein in such foods take so much effort to digest that your body doesn't absorb some of their calories.


Still other calories from sources you might never consider--that are so easy to add to your meals!--can give you an even bigger burn. Caffeine and other compounds in coffee, tea, and spices such as chiles, cinnamon, and ginger fire up your central nervous system and can boost your metabolism by as much as 12%.


Put these foods and drinks together and you get the Active Calorie Diet--a smart plan that takes advantage of all the new knowledge about calories. By choosing more Active Calories and fewer Couch Potato Calories , you'll set your fat-burning engines on high all day long so you'll lose more weight-without feeling hungry. When 15 women tried the diet, they lost up to 14 pounds and 4 inches off their waistlines in just 4 weeks!


Fire Up Your Meals


Eating requires lots of energy if you choose the right foods. These four types of Active Calories stimulate your body to burn more calories. (Bonus: They also curb your appetite.)


Chewy Foods (lean meats, nuts, whole fruits and vegetables)
These calories make your body work right off the fork. To maximize the chew factor, choose food in its most whole state--a tuna steak instead of canned tuna, apples instead of applesauce.


Hearty Foods (fruits, vegetables, brown rice, whole grains and cereals)
In addition to being chewy, these Active Calories are packed with fiber, take up more room in your belly (compared with other foods of the same number of calories), and leave less room for second helpings.


Energizing Foods (coffee, black and green tea, dark chocolate)
You can get metabolism-boosting caffeine in coffee and black tea; just be careful not to load them up with milk, cream, or sugar. Green tea doesn't have much caffeine but does contain catechins, an antioxidant that raises resting metabolism by 4% (about 80 calories a day). Dark chocolate contains both catechins and caffeine, but stick to 1 ounce per day to limit fat and calories.


Warming Foods (peppers, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, cloves, mustard, vinegar)
Dieters taking capsaicin, the chemical that gives peppers their burn, doubled their energy expenditure for several hours after eating, according to a new study from UCLA. Even mild peppers contain compounds that help erase up to 100 calories a day by binding to nerve receptors and sending fat-burning signals to your brain. Not much of a pepper person? Cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, and garlic help too.


Power Up Your Plate


Despite all the talk about calories, you won't be counting them on this diet plan


You should consume all four types of Active Calories each day. You'll eat mostly Chewy and Hearty foods, plus at least one Energizing or Warming food. You can have a daily snack that contains at least one type of Active Calorie food. Healthy fats such as nut butters, avocados, and salad dressings can also help boost fat burn; just limit them to 1 tablespoon for nut butters and salad dressings and 1/8 of an avocado. And drink two glasses of water with every meal to prevent digestive problems from all the protein and fiber.


Your 5-Day Meal Plan is on the next page. Remember, the more Active Calories you include in your diet, the more calories you'll burn and weight you'll lose.


Protein (1/4 of your plate) boosts postmeal calorie burn by 25 to 30% and keeps you satisfied longer than carbs or fat. The result: You can lose nearly a pound a week without doing anything else.


Fruits and vegetables (1/2 of plate) up your calorie burn by 20%. They're also lower in calories and higher in fiber than other carbs, so they digest more slowly to keep you full longer. Vegetables are so rich in Active Calories that you can eat as many as you want.


Foods high in fiber (1/4 of plate)--whole grains, legumes, and starches such as potatoes and corn--fill you up faster and give you a bigger bump in calorie burn (10%) than refined carbs like white bread.


Your 5-Day Meal Plan


DAY 1


BREAKFAST: 6 oz Greek yogurt with 1/4 c almonds, 1/2 c berries, 1/3 c high-fiber cereal, 3/4 c fat-free milk; coffee or tea


LUNCH: Tuna sandwich: 3 oz can of tuna, 1/2 c cannellini beans, and 1 tbsp feta cheese on sm whole wheat pita with 2 Tbsp bottled vinaigrette; 1/2 c grape tomatoes; 1 orange


SNACK: 1/4 c wasabi-roasted soybeans with popcorn (100-calorie serving)


DINNER: Orange-Sesame Chicken


DAY 2
BREAKFAST: 1 hard-boiled egg, 1 apple with 1 Tbsp peanut butter, 3/4 c high-fiber cereal (at least 5 g fiber), 3/4 c fat-free milk; coffee or tea


LUNCH: Tropical salad: 2 c spinach, 1/2 c cut-up mango, 3 oz cooked chicken, 2 Tbsp nuts (any kind) with 1 Tbsp balsamic vinaigrette; 10-15 whole grain crackers


SNACK: 4 oz vanilla Greek yogurt, blueberry Soyjoy bar


DINNER: Bean burrito: 1 c vegetarian refried beans or black beans, 1/4 c shredded reduced-fat Cheddar, and 1 c lettuce on corn tortilla, topped with 1/4 c salsa


DAY 3


BREAKFAST: 1/2 c oatmeal (made with 1/2 c 1% milk and cinnamon to taste), 3/4 c cottage cheese with 3 Tbsp almonds, 1 banana; coffee or tea


LUNCH: Healthy Choice, Weight Watchers, or Lean Cuisine meal; 4 oz Greek yogurt with cinnamon; 6-7 baby carrots; 1 apple




SNACK: 4 oz Greek yogurt with honey (mixed with a splash of lemon juice and vanilla, if desired), 2 Tbsp slivered almonds


DINNER: 4 oz cooked-weight steak, 2 c broccoli (sautéed with garlic), 1 sweet potato with 2 tsp butter; green tea


DAY 4


BREAKFAST: Breakfast burrito: 2 scrambled eggs; 1/4 c shredded reduced-fat Cheddar; 1/2 sm green bell pepper, chopped; and 1/4 c salsa wrapped in 6" high-fiber tortilla; 1 orange; coffee or tea


LUNCH: Black Bean Burger


SNACK: 2 mini Babybel cheeses, 1 med apple


DINNER: 4 oz cooked-weight fish (any kind), 1/2 c fire-roasted tomatoes and 1 1/2 c green beans sautéed with 2 tsp olive oil and hot pepper to taste, 1/2 c brown rice; green tea


DAY 5


BREAKFAST: 2 frozen whole wheat waffles topped with 1/2 c part-skim ricotta and 1 Tbsp fruit spread, mixed; 1/2 c berries; 1 Tbsp slivered almonds; and sprinkling of cinnamon; coffee or tea


LUNCH: Fast-food meal: Sm Wendy's chili and 1/2 Wendy's baked potato, plain


SNACK: 1/4 c mini bocconcini (fresh mozzarella balls) and 1/2 c grape tomatoes topped with balsamic vinegar to taste


DINNER: Shrimp Scampi Linguine
Couch Potato Calories


These foods are so easily digested that you're likely to absorb every calorie and store it as fat. The result: Even if you don't overeat, you may still gain weight.


The Pantry Stuffers


Refined and sugary foods take zero energy to digest. Check packaged foods for added sugar that goes by other names, most ending with -ose, such as fructose, maltose, and sucrose. Also watch out for corn syrup, molasses, honey, and juice concentrate.


Candy bars and candy
Fruit punch or fruit juice cocktails
Sweetened cereals
Soda
Sweet tea


The Impostors


Beware of processed foods that are advertised as the real thing but are anything but. There's really no meat or substance left, and they're fattened up with fillers.


Breaded chicken patties
Chicken nuggets
Burgers that aren't 100% beef or turkey
Veggie burgers (okay on occasion, but don't make them a frequent meal)
Bologna
Salami
Hot dogs


The Binge Brigade


Once you start, you just can't stop eating these starchy, high-carb foods.


Pasta
White rice
Refined bread
Muffins
Bagels
French fries
Potato chips
Biscuits
Cookies, pie, pastries
Doughnuts
Ice cream

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