If you’re struggling to lose weight, depriving yourself of certain food is not only potentially harmful to your body, but is also totally unnecessary.
Current thinking dictates that if you choose your food carefully, it will actually help you lose weight and protect you from a wide range of diseases into the bargain.
For example, cous cous is an excellent slimming food because it swells in the stomach, which means we fill up more quickly and tend not to eat so much. And recent studies from Canada suggest that a key chemical contained in chillies can boost your body’s ability to burn fat and curb your appetite.
And you may be surprised to learn that some low-calorie drinks can really help you lose weight safely. Diet coke and fizzy water are a good substitute for other drinks because they contain at least 200 fewer calories than some fruit juices.
Here, we round up the foods and drinks you should eat to help you slim
Chillies: Recent studies from Canada suggest that a key chemical contained in chillies called capsaicin could boost your body’s ability to burn fat and curb your appetite into the bargain.
Carrots: Root vegetables such as carrots, potatoes and parsnips are particularly high in fibre. Foods that are high in fibre pass through the gut more quickly than some other foods. Nutritionists recommend eating 18 grammes of fibre a day.
Cous cous: Cous cous is an excellent source of carbohydrate. As a low fat and low calorie grain, it converts to glucose more slowly than refined carbohydratessuch as white bread, encouraging energy rather than lethargy. It also swells in the stomach, which means we fill up more quickly and tend not to eat so much.
Pulses: A diet rich in pulses such as kidney beans is high in fibre. Research from Minnesota University shows that men and women who ate at least 21 grammes of fibre a day gained 8 pounds less than people who ate the same number of calories but 40 per cent less fibre.
Low-fat milk: Many dairy products are not as fatty as people think – and are widely available in low-fat versions. Although surveys show that many people believe whole milk is 50 per cent fat, in fact it contains only four per cent fat. A 200ml glass of whole milk actually contains much less fat than a packet of crisps or a chocolate bar.
Cereals: Research now shows that people who eat breakfast live longer, have healthier hearts, are less prone to stress and depression and – perhaps most surprising of all – are slimmer.
Green leafy vegetables: Eating plenty of spinach, cabbage and broccoli can prove quite filling. This is thanks to their sheer bulk made up of plenty of leaves and stalks. Apart from containing folic acid – essential for nerve function and helping to prevent heart disease – green leafy vegetables contain trace elements or minerals needed for basic bodily functions such as cell growth.