Want to boost chances of losing weight? Of course, the foundation for successful weight loss is eating well and exercising, but if you want to power up your efforts, check out this diet cheat sheet of foods that do a little of the work for you.
Research shows these secret-weapon foods can help you trim down:
•Apples: For a mere 95 calories, a medium-sized apple contains 4 grams of fiber. And recent research, published in the Journal of Nutrition, suggests that boosting your fiber intake may help you to prevent weight gain - or even encourage weight loss.
•Oatmeal: Eating a breakfast made with "slow-release" carbohydrates, such as oatmeal or bran cereal, three hours before you exercise may help you burn more fat, suggests a recent study in the Journal of Nutrition.
•Soup: Research published in the journal Appetite has shown that people who start a meal with vegetable soup eat 20 percent fewer calories over the course of their meal.
•Mushrooms: Research reports that when people ate mushroom-based entrees, they felt just as satisfied as when they'd eaten those same dishes made with beef--though they'd taken in a fraction of the calories and fat.
•Eggs: In one study, dieters who ate eggs for breakfast felt full for longer and lost more than twice as much weight as those who got the same amount of calories from a bagel for breakfast. Think beyond breakfast, too: eggs boost a salad's staying power and make for a satisfying snack.
•Hot chile peppers: In one study, consuming a little hot pepper (in tomato juice or in capsules) 30 minutes before a meal helped study participants feel less hungry and eat about 10 percent less.
•Almonds: Chew more to curb hunger. That's what researchers concluded in a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in which they asked participants to chew a 2-ounce serving of almonds 10, 25 or 40 times. Participants got maximum satisfaction--they felt fuller longer--from the nuts when they chewed 40 times.