Chili Peppers - Goes great with pasta!
Spicy chilies increase your calorie burn thanks to an antioxidant called capsaicin. A health study from the University of California found that in the few hours following a meal containing capsaicin, calorie burn nearly doubled. The antioxidant also significantly increased fat oxidation, pushing the body to use more fat as fuel. Other studies have even found that meals flavored with capsaicin can diminish appetite. Experiment with a few different fresh premade salsas and read the ingredients carefully to get a sense of which peppers speak to you. And when in doubt, just add peppers to lots of your meals. I like chopped up pieces of pepper in my eggs.
Pears - Makes a great snack!
Apples may get all the nutritional glory, but a pear a day is a great idea too. Pears have especially high levels of a kind of fiber called pectin, which is known to help promote weight loss. Poached pears make a tasty warm dessert; raw, their creamy-gritty texture pairs nicely with cheese for a snack. I prefer them just plain and fresh!
Grapefruit - Great for breakfast!
Lots of vegans swear by grapefruit for breakfast. This citrus fruit won weight-loss fame after a study found that people who ate half a grapefruit with each meal lost 3.6 pounds, while those who drank a serving of grapefruit juice three times a day lost 3.3 pounds. Many people in the study lost more than 10 pounds without making any other changes to their diets. Grapefruit isn't for everyone, but if you enjoy them then try and buy them regularly and make them part of your healthy diet.
Tomatoes - Goes well on pizza or with spaghetti!
Fiber and a high volume of water ensure that tomatoes fill you up for few calories. They're also loaded with lycopene, and health researchers have found that the higher the level of this antioxidant in people's blood, the lower their level of heart disease and other chronic illnesses. Plus, tomatoes increase in nutritional power when cooked, so saute or roast them, make sauce, or blend up tomato soup—on a low-energy day, it's a true comfort food and goes well with pasta and many other dishes.
Artichokes - I hate these things, but they're super good for you.
When you get bored with leafy greens (and that can happen easily when you're counting calories), artichokes are a nice alternative. They make an ideal appetizer- one artichoke has just 60 calories, and all the fiber they contain will help you consume fewer calories during the rest of your meal. When you can get artichokes fresh (in the spring), they're delicious steamed; just sprinkle with salt, pepper, or a squeeze of lemon juice and eat the leaves one by one. Canned artichoke hearts come in handy when you need a simple but satisfying snack. I personally don't like the taste of them, but that is just me. Ignore me. My tastebuds are weird sometimes.
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