13 Comfort Foods That Burn Fat
Rethink your comfort foods
They're called "comfort" foods for a reason—they bring back warm memories, tickle your taste buds, and soothe your soul. Though some comfort foods are deep-fried, covered in cheese, or packed with sugar, some can actually help you lose weight. Beat the battle of the bulge with the following cozy eats.
Watch the video: 5 Fat-Burning Comfort Foods
Try this recipe: Mexican Hot Chocolate
Try this recipe: Collard Salad with Roasted Tomatoes, Bacon, and Mushrooms
Chicken noodle soup
Try this recipe: Chicken Noodle Soup With Spinach
Watch the video: How to Make Chicken Noodle Soup With Spinach
Your old friend joe can boost more than your mood. It can also boost your metabolism, thanks to a healthy dose of the antioxidant chlorogenic acid (CGA), which increases your body's use of fat for energy, Bowden says. Research has also shown that the chemical compound can slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream after a meal while lowering insulin resistance to prevent weight gain. Opt for the strong stuff: Several recent studies have found that caffeine in small doses before exercise can improve performance and help your muscles recover in record time.
Try this recipe: Bethenny's Cinnamon Spice Coffee
Try this recipe: Braised Roast with Root Vegetables
One cup of warm, gooey oatmeal contains 4 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein, a combination that slows the digestion of carbs, reduces your insulin response, and keeps you fuller for longer, says Batayneh. In fact, a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition evaluated 38 common foods and found that oatmeal was the third most filling. When possible, opt for steel-cut oatmeal, which goes through less processing than other varieties and as a result has a lower Glycemic Index score, a measurement of how much a food increases your blood sugar.
Try this recipe: Steel-Cut Oatmeal with Salted Caramel Topping
Try this recipe: Roasted Baby Carrots with Fresh Thyme
In addition to being a heart helper, red wine may be a weapon against excess weight. A 2009 report from the University of Ulm in Germany suggests that resveratrol—the renowned antioxidant found in grape skins—inhibits the production of fat cells. What's more, a substance found naturally in red wine called calcium pyruvate helps fat cells burn more energy, says Gidus. Meanwhile, in a 2011 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, women who had one or two drinks a day were 30% less likely to gain weight than teetotalers. So drink up, but stick to just one glass—each 6-ounce serving contains about 150 calories.
Try: The Best Red Wines Under $10
Don't let the pies fool you. One cup of this good-for-you gourd contains a mere 46 calories and 3 grams of fiber, according to the USDA. Plus, pumpkin is an excellent source of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which fights the oxidative stress and inflammation in the body that's linked to increased fat storage, Gidus says.
Try this recipe: Pumpkin Ravioli
If soup is filling and protein builds muscle, then chili has all that and more. The combination of the fiber from the tomatoes and the protein from the beans and beef and prevents overeating. Plus, capsaicin, the compound that gives cayenne, chili peppers, and jalapeños their heat, can also torch fat, says weight-loss specialist and board-certified internist Sue Decotiis, MD. Spices trigger your sympathetic nervous system—which is responsible for both the fight-or-flight response and spice-induced sweating—to increase your daily calorie burn by about 50 calories, she says. That equals about 5 pounds lost over a single year.
Try this recipe: Chili from Scratch
Whether you call them garbanzos or chickpeas, a half-cup serving of these hearty legumes provides about 40% of your daily protein needs and 70% of your daily fiber intake, helping to stabilize blood sugar, control cravings, and prevent overeating, Gidus says. They're also a great source healthy unsaturated fats that can whittle your waistline. A 2009 study from the University of Newcastle in Australia found that participants who consumed the most unsaturated fats had lower body mass indexes and less belly fat than those who consumed the least.
Try this recipe: Cumin-Spiced Chickpeas
Spuds don't have a waist-friendly reputation, but they're actually full of nutrients, Gidus says. "White foods contain the disease-fighting chemical allicin," she says. "This chemical, also present in garlic, has been shown to fight inflammation in the body, contributing to smaller waistlines." Plus, research shows that calorie for calorie, white potatoes are more satisfying than any other tested food.
Try this recipe: Garlicky Roasted Potatoes with Herbs
Mashed sweet potatoes
Eating sweet potatoes can prevent sugar from getting stored around your waistline as fat. How? Sweet potatoes are rich in carotenoids—the orange and yellow pigments in plants that help the body respond to insulin—as well as CGA (also found in coffee). Carotenoids and CGA slow the body's release of glucose and insulin, says Bowden. Plus, sweet potatoes are filled with fiber, which slows digestion and prevents blood sugar from plummeting—and your hunger from spiking.
Try this recipe: Maple-Pecan Sweet Potato Mash
PLUS: 25 Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes