The Slimming Superfoods Diet Plan

Peter Ardito/Fitness MagazinePeter Ardito/Fitness MagazineBy Rachel Meltzer Warren, RD

Lose weight while still eating delicious and filling foods. These ingredients and recipes are easy to prepare and have the nutrients you need to stay energized for your workout.

Related: The Top 10 Superfoods for Women

Eggs
: People who ate eggs and toast for breakfast shed more pounds than those who had bagels and cream cheese, according to a Louisiana State University study. Besides delivering six grams of protein for just 72 calories, eggs have also been shown to lower levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin.

Almonds: A daily serving of nuts can actually help prevent weight gain, research at Harvard showed. Almonds have fewer calories -- just 129 per one-ounce handful -- than any other kind.

Pears: Pears are one of the best sources of soluble fiber, which reduces belly fat. And a study in the journal Nutrition found that women who ate three a day lost 39 percent more weight than those who consumed an equal number of calories' worth of oatmeal cookies.

Avocados: The heart-healthy fat found in this fruit helps stabilize blood sugar levels, so you don't go from full to famished an hour after eating. Plus avocados are packed with potassium, a mineral that banishes bloat by helping prevent fluid retention.

Chickpeas: These are packed with resistant starch, a type of carb that could help you blast up to 23 percent more fat, according to research in Nutrition & Metabolism. And people who added about two-thirds of a cup of chickpeas to their daily diet felt fuller and ate less, another study found.

Quinoa: This seed has a low ratio of carbs to protein, which takes more energy to digest, enabling your body to torch calories in the process. Quinoa is also low on the glycemic index, meaning it won't cause hunger highs and lows.

Spinach: It's no wonder an entire bunch has just 78 calories: Water accounts for 92 percent of spinach's weight. Add it to soups, stir-fries, and egg dishes to pump up your portion size.

Salmon: Omega-3 fatty acids, found in salmon, keep bad moods at bay. They may also suppress appetite and help your body burn fat instead of storing it, University of South Australia researchers found.

Related: 6 Foods That Will Boost Your Metabolism

300-Calorie Breakfasts

Bacon, Egg, and Avocado Taco: One 6-inch corn tortilla, warmed + 1 egg, fried + 1/4 avocado, sliced + 2 slices turkey bacon, panfried and crumbled

Spiced Pear Smoothie: 1 pear, chopped + 1/4 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt + 1/4 cup low-fat milk + 1/4 teaspoon grated ginger + 1/8 teaspoon cardamom + 1/4 cup ice. Serve with 1/2 toasted whole wheat English muffin + 2 teaspoons chocolate-hazelnut spread.

Florentine Omelet: 2 eggs, beaten + 1 cup baby spinach, sautéed + 2 tablespoons cooked quinoa + 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

Almond-Pear Panino: 2 slices rye bread, toasted + 1 tablespoon almond butter + 1/2 pear, thinly sliced

Berry Nutty Parfait: 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt + 2 tablespoons slivered almonds + 1/2 cup raspberries + 1 tablespoon honey

400-Calorie Lunches
Whole-Grain Greek Salad
: 1/2 cup cooked quinoa + 1/2 cup chickpeas + 10 cherry tomatoes, halved + 1/2 cucumber, chopped + 1/4 cup crumbled feta + 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil + 1 teaspoon champagne vinegar

Goat Cheese and Pear Pizza: One 6-1/2-inch whole wheat pita, toasted, spread with 3 tablespoons goat cheese and topped with 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves + 1/4 cup caramelized onions + 1/2 pear, thinly sliced

Smoked Salmon Tartine
: 2 slices pumpernickel bread, toasted + 1/2 avocado, mashed + 2 ounces smoked salmon + 1/4 cup arugula. Serve with 1 cup apple slices.

Turkey Veg-Out Sandwich
: 2 slices sprouted-grain bread + 1 tablespoon hummus + 1/4 avocado, mashed + 4 thin slices roasted turkey breast + 1/4 cucumber, sliced + 3 slices tomato

Skinny Waldorf Salad: 3/4 cup diced grilled or rotisserie chicken breast + 1 tablespoon slivered almonds + 2 tablespoons sliced celery + 2 tablespoons plain nonfat Greek yogurt + 1/4 cup red grapes, quartered. Serve with 3 pieces whole-grain crispbread (such as Wasa).

Related: 11 Easy Lunches to Lose Weight


500-Calorie Dinners
Coconut-Curry Chickpeas and Spinach
: 1/4 cup coconut milk + 2 cups frozen spinach, thawed + 3/4 cup chickpeas + 1/4 cup diced tomato + 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, combined and cooked until warmed through. Serve with 1/2 cup cooked brown rice.

Pumpkin-Quinoa Risotto: 1 cup cooked quinoa + 1/4 cup canned pumpkin + 1/3 cup frozen peas, defrosted + 1 link chicken sausage, grilled and crumbled + 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan + 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil + 1 tablespoon walnut pieces, toasted, combined and cooked until warmed through.

Salmon Niçoise Salad: 3 cups baby spinach + 3 ounces canned salmon + 1 tomato, chopped + 5 kalamata olives + 1 egg, hard-boiled and chopped + 1 small potato, boiled and sliced + 10 green beans, steamed + 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil + 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Fettuccine Avocado: 1/2 avocado, mashed + 1 tablespoon chopped basil + 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil + 1/2 cup cauliflower florets, steamed + 1 1/4 cup cooked whole-grain fettuccine + 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

Asian Salmon Burger: 1 whole wheat sandwich roll spread with 2 teaspoons mayonnaise mixed with 1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder + 1 frozen salmon patty, grilled, baked, or panfried + 3 sprigs watercress. Serve with 4 ounces frozen sweet potato fries, baked.

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