I hate the word diet. Weight loss diets, healthy diets, diets to help cure this or that. It seems like everywhere we turn these days there is another breakthrough diet that will solve all our weight loss problems. Diets that limit carbohydrates like bread and potatoes are near the top of the list it seems. But does eliminating these foods really help you lose weight? Possibly but you might do better by eating that potato.
Whole Grain Breads
Breads are a rich source of fiber and the complex carbohydrates that are essential to energy, and it is not the bread that is cause of your weight problems. I am a bread lover and I discovered it is the butter and cream cheese and other spreads I pile on that are the culprit. Once I learned to reduce and even eliminate these spreads I discovered that breads were one of my best friends when trying to lose weight. It is the FAT we put on the bread that is fattening. In a study by Dr.Jacobsen showed that people who ate more than two slices of bread a day tended to be about 11 pounds lighter overall than those who did not. Surprised? I was.
Dark, high fiber breads work the best it has been found. In a study at the Michigan State University found that students who ate five slices of dark bread lost about 5 pounds in two months. The high fiber content helps curb you hunger and still provides the energy you need. Bread will also help you maintain your weight.
If you just can't eat bread without a spread, try whole fruit jams and jellies. You won't miss the butter, really. Or try spreading some low-fat yogurt, drizzling a little honey, or of course use it to make a great sandwich.
With less than 0.6 calories per gram, potatoes are a great source of potassium and fiber. Low Potassium has been linked to severe Arthritis attacks so this is an important nutrient, but potatoes also help lower cholesterol which can reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Like with bread, it is the toppings that are killer, not the potato. Choose a low-fat yogurt instead. Try it with some chives sprinkled on and go easy on the salt. If you absolutely must have cheese, choose a low-fat variety. Try a ladle of chili instead, or make it a meal with sliced sauteed meat and vegetables in a low-fat sauce.
Opt for baked over fried potatoes. One of the recipes I use is simply layering the potatoes in a single layer on a sheet pan which I prepare by coating it with about a tablespoon of OLIVE oil. I keep a salt shaker at hand with a mixture of garlic powder (not garlic salt) onion powder and Cheyenne pepper. I shake this mixture over the potato slices and bake at 375 degrees until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Flip them over about half way through. This really satisfies my potato chip craving too without all the bad stuff added.
Try Potato pancakes too. Serve with a little apple butter or apple sauce and you double the benefits. Just remember to only fry in olive oil. Olive oil is actually beneficial to you.
Grapefruit has long been known as a good food for dieters. But anybody can benefit from its fat dissolving properties. Grapefruit is rich in natural galacturonic acid which is a potent fat burner and cholesterol fighter. This wonder fruit is high in vitamin C and potassium as well as being free of fat and sodium.
There are many other foods that will help speed up your metabolism. Some of these are Cabbage, Spinach, Tofu, Carrots, and figs to name a few.
Spice up your foods with Mustard
Surprisingly studies have shown that eating about a tablespoon of the spicy mustard like the ones used in Mexican, Asian and Indian recipes, can speed up your metabolism by about 20 percent for several hours. This means that you would be burning about 45 extra calories for every 700 you eat. Add a few hot, spicy chili peppers and you burn even more calories burned. Peppers are also rich in A and C vitamins and have calcium, and trace minerals as well as high fiber and no fats. If you love Mexican food, go ahead. Enjoy yourself.
And let us not forget the Berries
Berries are probably the perfect weight-loss food you can eat. I'm not just talking about those berry diets here either. Berries satisfy the sweet tooth while filling you up with fiber. Studies by British researches have shown that the high fiber in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains actually reduces the absorption of calories from other foods and helps promote weight loss without leaving you feeling as if you are starving.
One of the biggest reasons diets fail us is that it is so hard to give up the foods we love. But with a little research and a little thought you can still eat those foods. As with anything, however, watch the amounts you eat. I can eat ANYTHING I like, from chocolate cake to the thickest steak. I have been able to maintain a healthy weight for the last few years simply by limiting the amount of food I eat at a sitting, and eating many mini-meals a day. I always try to include fat-fighter foods and, at least for me, it works. I hope it works for you.
ADVISORY: As with any substantial change in your diet you should always talk with your doctor. If you have any health issues be sure to ask your doctor about foods you should avoid. Also, Limit Salt and Fats but you should not eliminate them. Your body needs a little of these substances to function properly. It is the amount to watch out for.
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