Apples contain pectin, an ingredient that naturally slows digestion and encourages feelings of fullness. Studies show that eating a whole apple with your meal (as opposed to apple juice or applesauce) is a natural appetite suppressant, helping you consume fewer overall calories without feeling deprived. Sass likes using shredded apple in slaws and stir-fry, or mixing them into burger patties to add moisture.Apples are also a good source of antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber. Just be sure not to skip the skin, which contains much of the fruit’s nutritional benefits.
Artichokes are incredibly filling—in fact, they are one of the highest-fiber vegetables. A single boiled artichoke contains a whopping 10.3 grams of fiber—almost half the recommended daily amount for women. To curb your appetite before a meal, Sass suggests enjoying the veggie as a pre-dinner appetizer: try them in a refreshing salad with edamame and asparagus, or make homemade salsa with artichoke hearts, tomatoes, olives, and red onions.
Although they’re best known for containing potassium, bananas are also a great source of resistant starch, a type of starch that’s important for weight loss. Your body digests resistant starch slowly—helping you feel full for longer—while simultaneously encouraging your liver to switch to fat-burning mode. And no need to wait for them to become completely ripe; bananas actually contain more of this calorie-torching ingredient when they’re still a little green.Even more reasons to add a bunch to your shopping cart: Bananas can help regulate blood pressure, ease digestive problems, replenish nutrients after a workout, and may even help prevent strokes in older women.
A great source of calcium and important cancer-fighting compounds, broccoli also has loads of filling fiber and will set you back only 30 calories per serving. If eating this cruciferous veggie makes you bloat, try steaming it first, which makes it easier to digest while still preserving the cancer-fighting ingredients that could be lost when you boil or cook it in the microwave.
Because carrots have high water and fiber content, they can increase feelings of fullness as you eat. To boost their calorie-burning potential, try roasting them: in a University of Arkansas study, roasted carrots contained three times as many antioxidants as raw ones.Also good: The beta-carotene in carrots can help maintain a strong immune system and good eyesight.
6. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is having a moment right now: it can be used as a butter or olive oil substitute in everything from baked goods to salad dressing, and can even be used as an alternative to milk in lattes (yes, really). Sass is a fan of the heart-healthy oil whipped into smoothies, and you can also use it to sauté veggies, sear fish, or as an olive oil replacement in soups and stews. (It’s also a must-add to your beauty routine, and makes a wonderful natural moisturizer for skin and hair.)Luckily, trendy coconut oil is also good for your waistline. Because it’s a satisfying source of healthy fats, coconut oil fills you up quickly and helps you consume fewer overall calories. It also contains medium-chain triglycerides, which are easily digestible and quickly converted into energy.
You may not think of them as a weight-loss food, but eggs are packed with protein, which helps curb your appetite. One study found that overweight women who ate eggs for breakfast were able to lose twice as much weight as women who started their days with bagels. And egg whites in particular are a good source of branched-chain amino acids, which help keep your metabolism running smoothly.
8. Green tea
If you want to sip your way to a faster metabolism, pour yourself a cup of green tea. The beverage is filled with powerful antioxidants that can help fight inflammation, burn fat, and increase energy. According to one study, drinking five cups a day could help you lose twice as much weight, mainly in your midsection. And drinking green tea could also reduce risk of Parkinson’s disease, as well as ovarian, colorectal, skin, and prostate cancers.For an extra boost, squeeze a slice of lemon or orange into your tea before drinking it: research from Purdue University found that citrus juice gives green tea’s antioxidants staying power, so they’re digested slowly and benefit your body for longer.
A squeeze of lemon adds instant freshness to everything from drinks to salads to fish without additional calories, making it an ideal way to flavor food if you’re watching your weight. Plus, the pectin fiber in lemons can help fill you up and fight off hunger cravings. And while it hasn’t been scientifically proven, some experts believe that the citrus fruit can aid in weight loss, as well.
Like lemons, oranges are low in calories but contain plenty of fiber, helping you to feel full throughout the day and consume less overall. In fact, in a list of the most filling foods compiled by Australian researchers, oranges ranked the highest among fruits.From January to April, keep your eyes peeled for blood oranges, a darker-hued winter variety of the citrus that contains a full day’s worth of vitamin C as well as high levels of the disease-fighting antioxidant anthocyanin.