By Nicci Micco, M.S., editor-at-large for EatingWell Magazine |
EatingWell – Fri, 7 Oct, 2011 12:17 PM EDT
I’m crazy about fall foods. I love apples and squash and most of all I love... chili. I honestly could eat it every day. No exaggeration. In my book, EatingWell’s Zesty Wheat Berry-Black Bean Chili, with a green salad on the side, is not only a perfectly wholesome, yummy dinner—it’s an ideal get-skinny supper because it contains 5 ingredients that research shows help with weight loss. (Get a week of get-skinny supper ideas with our 7-Day Diet Meal Plan to Lose Weight.)
Beans, beans... They’re good for your heart. They’re also good for keeping you feeling full and—according to recent research—blasting belly fat. The secret? Soluble fiber. Researchers at Wake Forest Medical Center reported that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber per day, visceral fat (the more dangerous kind deep in your belly, surrounding your organs) dropped by 3.7 percent over five years. (Other sources of soluble fiber include oats, barley, apples, okra, citrus.)
Recipes to Try: Zesty Wheat Berry-Black Bean Chili & More Bean-Packed Chili Recipes
Whole grains are also rich in fiber (soluble and insoluble!) so adding things like wheat berries or barley to your chili gives it even more staying power. Of course, if you’re like my husband and want to eat something besides chili once in a while, you could expand your whole-grain repertoire to include other whole-grain recipes for slimming soups, herb-studded pilafs, and more.
Chile pepper: Research suggests that capsaicin, the compound that gives fresh chiles, and spices including cayenne and chipotle, their kick can boost metabolic burn. In other words, you can torch more calories with spicy recipes (including chili)—so try a few new ones.
Salad greens: Starting with a salad may prevent you from overdoing high-calorie fare later. In fact, research out of Penn State shows that eating a first-course salad can reduce overall calorie intake at a meal by up to 12 percent. Check it: Starter salads and soups to keep you slim.
Vinegar: At our house, side salads are simple: mixed greens with some snap peas, cherry tomatoes and sliced black olives topped with a little olive oil and vinegar—another ingredient that may have weight-loss benefits. In one 2005 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, including 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with a meal resulted in subjects eating 200 to 275 fewer calories through the day. “The acid in vinegar may inhibit the digestion of the starch, so the starch is rendered into something like fiber, which can’t be digested well,” says Carol Johnston, Ph.D., R.D., professor and chair of the department of nutrition at Arizona State University.
What's your go-to get-skinny supper when you're trying to shed some pounds?
By Nicci Micco