Wouldn’t it be cool to live with a health and nutrition expert? My ex-roomie sure thinks so. Determined not to gain weight even though it’s sweater season, she still asks me every fall which rapid weight loss foods she should make for dinner. And lunch. And breakfast. Oh, and what about her post-workout shake?
Fortunately for her, there are many crisp-weather foods to enjoy once the leaves turn—and each one blasts fat with the perfect combination of fiber, protein and heart-healthy nutrients. Read on for the nutritionists’ top picks, load up on that pumpkin and get ready to spoon up some seriously delectable dinners.
Pumpkin Seed Pesto
Hot Green Tea
“Just as the cool weather is coming, if you can drink 4-5 cups a day you may actually not only warm up but speed up your metabolism and even burn more calories (and fat, including belly fat!) in your sleep, thanks to its polyphenol called epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG,” explain The Nutrition Twins, Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT, and authors of The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure. “It also contains the amino acid theanine that brings on a mental alertness and calmness that helps you to make rational decisions, so you can turn down fatty, caloric foods that you’d normally eat due to stress.” Editors at Eat This, Not That! found this to be true: Test panelists on The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse lost up to 10 pounds in one week!
Summer may be alllll about those fresh fruits, but autumn is a great time to incorporate dried fruits into your diet. “Dried plums are one of the best natural constipation remedies. A serving of four to five dried plums packs three full grams of fiber,” shares Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN, author of the upcoming book, Body Kindness. “About half of that is insoluble, which helps speed food through the digestive tract. The other half is slow-moving soluble fiber, good for enhancing satiety, lowering cholesterol and regulating blood-sugar levels. They both add up to a very healthy gut.” And trim tummy!
“They may be small, but these sweet-tasting fruits contain a hefty amount of actinidin, a natural enzyme unique to kiwifruit that aids in digestion by breaking down protein in the body. Kiwifruit also contains prebiotic fiber, which primes the gut for healthy digestion,” says Scritchfield. “Research indicates that a daily serving of green kiwifruit helps increase bowel movements. So, cut in half, scoop with a spoon, and pop into your mouth like nature’s Tums (SunGold kiwis, with a yellow flesh and tropical taste, offer 3 times the vitamin C of oranges and as much potassium as a medium banana).” Did we mention they’re just hankering for a heavenly breakfast bowl?
“Healthy eating may be triggering gas overload,” offers Scritchfield. “Rice is the only starchy food that does not cause gas, research says.” To keep things healthy, stick to a fist-size portion with your meals.
“Nature’s perfect autumn weight loss food are apples,” says Hever. “Eat them raw, sprinkled with cinnamon, or baked as a seasonal treat. You cannot overeat them, there are myriad varieties as options, and studies show that enjoying an apple before a meal decreases total caloric intake at that meal.”
“Hot peppers, one of the greatest weight loss foods of all, are in season in autumn,” offers Hever. “Hot pepper’s capsaicin stimulates the metabolism to help you burn more calories.” Crunch-enthusiast?
This citrus fruit is well worth befriending in your autumn routine if you haven’t already. “If you drink alcohol it can cause gas to form in your face and belly. Cut your alcohol in half by swapping a water with lemon between drinks. Try it over ice, sparkling, or hot water with lemon,” suggests Scritchfield. “The vitamin C in lemon helps break down the bloat.” Making fish? “You can also zest [a lemon] and then slice it and add to any fish recipe,” offers Lewis. Green tea with lemon? Even better, you overachiever, you.
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