Foods that do the work for you. These edibles have proven lipid-melting powers that help you slim. That’s a win.
Almonds Almond joy! Dieters who ate 3 ounces of these nuts every day reduced their weight and body-mass index by a solid 18 percent compared with an 11 percent drop in the no-nut group, a study in the International Journal of Obesity found. Almonds are high in alpha-linolenic acid, which can speed the metabolism of fats. Stick to 12 per serving.
Berries Vitamin C–loaded fruit such as strawberries and raspberries can help you sizzle up to 30 percent more fat during exercise, suggests research from Arizona State University at Mesa. Blend a vinaigrette of 1 cup berries and ¼ cup balsamic vinegar.
Cinnamon This spice could make your waistline nice. Sprinkling ¼ teaspoon on your food may prevent a postmeal insulin spike—this increase normally occurs after you eat and “signals the body that it should store fat rather than burn it,” explains Lauren Slayton, R.D., of New York City. Add a dash to your oatmeal, yogurt or coffee.
Mustard Hello, yellow. The spice that gives mustard its color, turmeric, may slow the growth of fat tissues, a study in the journal Endocrinology notes. Eighty-six mayo in favor of any mustard; sprinkle turmeric on cauliflower and roast for a tangy side.
Oranges Prevent pound creep with this citrus star: It contains fat-torching compounds called flavones. Women who ate the most flavones had a significantly lower increase in body fat over a 14-year period, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds. Snack on slices or drink freshly squeezed OJ (with pulp!) for the biggest payback.
Soybeans These green gems are rich in choline, a compound that blocks fat absorption and breaks down fatty deposits. Add ½ cup edamame to a salad.
Sweet Potatoes Trade up to sweet taters. They’re high in fiber, which means no drastic insulin jumps and thus less fat packed onto your hips. Bake a small sweet potato—think of two bars of soap as a portion size—and top with a dollop of lowfat or nonfat cottage cheese.
Swiss cheese: “Calcium-rich foods reduce fat-producing enzymes and increase fat breakdown,” says Michael B. Zemel, Ph.D., director of the Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Put toe to toe with some of its cheesy counterparts, Swiss is a heavy hitter in the calcium department; layer a slice on a lunchtime sandwich, or stack some on high-fiber crackers.