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10 Snacks That Actually Help You Lose Weight

Wednesday Nov 27, 2013 | BY |
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Foods that Burn Fat

Hot chocolate contains compounds that actually reduce levels of stress, helping the body release fat.

One of the most challenging things about trying to lose weight is dealing with the between-meal cravings. You try to snack healthy, but it’s not easy. In fact, according to recent research by the USDA, our current snacking habits are adding too many calories and not enough nutrients to our diets, contributing to our current obesity crisis.

“The snacking analysis indicates that snacks provide about one-third of all daily calories from ‘empty calories,’” the association stated in a press release, “which are calories from solid fats and added sugars.”

We decided to gather a list of snacks that actually help boost your metabolism, which in the long run, can help you shed more pounds. Try some of these the next time your stomach starts complaining and it’s hours before your next meal.

How Can Snacks Help You Lose Weight?

The idea behind “weight-loss snacks” is that smart choices help the body operate at maximum efficiency. Some foods actually spike metabolism, for example, increasing your ability to burn energy and fat. Some trigger hormones that release fat, and others eliminate toxins that can make it hard for the body to shed pounds.

Some studies have also indicated that eating some foods and avoiding others can help you be more successful with your weight loss goals. We talk more about that in this post.

5 Foods That Fire Up Your Metabolism

Here are five items that increase metabolism and get your body burning calories and fat.

  1. Hot Peppers: Try jalapeno, cayenne, habanero, and other spicy peppers to boost metabolism and increase circulation. These peppers are also known to reduce cravings.
  2. Broccoli: In addition to being very nutritious and full of satisfying fiber, broccoli is a great detox food, helping flush out waste and keep the body operating efficiently.
  3. Green tea: Scientific research has discovered that green tea extract can significantly boost metabolism, and it also provides a number of powerful disease-fighting antioxidants.
  4. Spices: Try garlic, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. They all help keep metabolic rates high. A Canadian study, for example, found that using spices helped people burn up to 1,000 more calories daily.
  5. Citrus Fruits: These fruits are full of flavor and fiber, which can keep you satisfied, and have also shown to help keep metabolism high and reduce insulin spikes.

5 Foods That Work in Other Ways

Some foods and beverages help you lose weight by reducing stress hormones—which can cause your body to cling to belly fat—or by making you feel more satiated, so you release fewer hunger-promoting hormones.

  1. Salmon: Healthy omega-3 fatty acids reduce the production of a hormone called “leptin,” which regulates fat storage in the body. Animal studies show that mice with lower leptin levels produced faster metabolic rates than those with high levels. Consuming more foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, anchovies, flaxseed, and nuts, may help to boost metabolism.
  2. Hot chocolate: Cocoa is full of healthy antioxidants (up to five times the amount of black tea), which reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Less stress means your body is more likely to let go of any excess fat.
  3. Chicken noodle soup: Broth-based soups, on the whole, are satisfying because of their volume, but typically have fewer calories than solid foods. Eating soup also helps you slow down while eating, so your body has time to tell you it’s full.
  4. Coffee: It is a good source of an antioxidant called “chlorogenic acid (CGA),” which increases the body’s use of fat for energy. Other research has shown that CGA can slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream, lowering insulin resistance to prevent weight gain.
  5. Apples: They have “pectin,” a polysaccharide that limits how much fat cells take up. Apples are also high in satisfying fiber.

Do you have other suggestions for fat-burning snacks? Please share with us.

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Sources
Rosalie Marion Bliss, “Snacking Associated with Increased Calories, Decreased Nutrients,” USDA Press Release, March 12, 2012, http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2012/120312.htm.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, “11 Foods That Speed Up Your Metabolism,” Global Healing Center, December 10, 2010, http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/foods-that-speed-metabolism/.

Colleen M. Story

Colleen M. Story

Colleen M. Story, a northwest-based writer, editor, and ghostwriter, has been creating non-fiction materials for individuals, corporations, and commercial magazines for over 15 years. Her specialty is in the health and wellness field, where she writes and ghostwrites books, e-books, blogs, magazine articles, web copy, newsletters, research-based projects and more.

Colleen is a self-described health nut, and understands from experience that “junk” foods and lack of sleep lead to fuzzy thinking, which isn’t helpful when facing project deadlines! She enjoys interviewing top scientific researchers, alternative medicine gurus, and cancer survivors from all over the nation who have overcome great challenges to find new purpose and vitality in life. In telling their stories and sharing their insights, she feels a sense of belonging in a wider community of individuals who seek to experience life in the most vibrant way possible.

Colleen’s fiction writing has won numerous awards, with her pieces appearing in Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother’s Soul, the Arizona Literary Magazine, Country Extra, and more. She lives in Idaho where she enjoys teaching French horn students, taking walks with her German Shepherd, and watching for moose, wolves, and swans, all of which stop by now and then. www.colleenmstory.com

3 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

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  1. Ken says:

    Kevin, your blog/site/biz has become a joke. Give it up as you stand for nothing. The tragedy is, you have/had a platform for change and you dropped the ball in favor of the lowest/lowest/even lower common denominator to where it’s pure manipulation…I’m sure it’s fun checking your stats and sales each day though ;)

  2. Alan says:

    Hi Colleen,

    I like your list and rationale for each item. 2 things I’m curious to get your opinion on – 1. Don’t you think good old simple water should be in there somewhere high on the list (e.g. A lot of the time we eat because we think we’re hungry but actually we’re really just thirsty or dehydrated) & 2. Doesn’t coffee have other side-effects that aren’t so good? I love the other suggestions but not so convinced with this one (though would love to get further thoughts from you on that)

    Best wishes,
    Alan

  3. Andie says:

    Hi Colleen, I have gone through your whole article regarding weight loss and I actually found this interesting. When I was planning for my weight loss, I keep on reading many articles like this and after following them for a while I realized that without workout weight loss plan can’t be successful. Only eating habits alone would not turn out into miracle you have to maintain a daily workout plan which includes regular walking, exercises, diet plan, pre work out supplements, healthy food, etc. and after following such things for about a month or two I have experienced a huge downfall in my weight. The only snack that I used to prefer was Green tea and chicken noodle soup and sometimes apple. It’s been a part of my diet..
    Thanks
    Reference:http://usplabsdirect.com/nutrition

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