Add these healthy foods to your diet to lose weight and look hot in your itsy-bitsy bikini, short shorts, or mini skirt. - By Holley Grainger, MS, RD, Nutrition Editor, MyRecipes.com
6 Foods for a Hot Bod
Forget the latest tabloid diets and incorporate these six foods into your eating plan now for an ultra-desirable, beach-worthy bod. Each food group has an accompanying recipe to fill you up, keep you satisfied, and curb the need to cheat. Combined with a daily exercise routine, this sensible plan will help you lose pounds, get toned, and keep the weight off throughout the summer.
New research is showing a strong link between weight loss and lean protein (fish, chicken, lean beef and pork, low-fat dairy, and eggs). In fact, it's being suggested that a reduced-calorie diet that's rich in lean protein, combined with a regular exercise routine, can help curb your desire to eat, build muscle mass, decrease fat mass, and increase metabolism.
Recipe: Mediterranean Salmon with White Beans
The jury's still out on just how much water you need per day, but it's important to fill up on water because of its role in weight loss and appetite suppression. Water keeps the body looking lean by preventing fluid retention and, according to studies, helps the body metabolize stored fat. Fill up on foods with a high water content such as grapefruit, celery, watermelon, cucumbers, tomatoes, and strawberries. They are low in calories and take up lots of room in your tummy to keep you feeling full longer.
Recipe: Herb-Infused Spa Water
Whole Grains Load up on whole grains for a trimmer waistline this summer. The Harvard's Nurses' Health Study (a continuing study of thousands of nurses) found that women who consume more whole grains weigh less than those who don't. Another study found that whole-grain dieters significantly reduced their belly fat. Try oats, brown rice, bulgur, and barley-they're high in fiber to help slow digestion and keep you feeling full. Recipe: Wild Rice and Barley Salad
"Lose weight by increasing your daily intake of non-starchy vegetables" has been the cry of dietitians for decades. And today, that message hasn't changed. These veggies aid in weight loss because you can fill up on them while taking in very few calories. Plus, most are loaded with fiber and cancer-fighting antioxidants. Try asparagus, onions, peppers, green beans, broccoli, leafy greens, squash, mushrooms, and okra.
Recipe: Green Beans with Roasted-Onion Vinaigrette
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Photo: Beau Gustafson; Styling: Mindi Shapiro