By Ann Lindemann, Senior Health Writer
Face it, maintaining a healthy weight can be a struggle, but add an aging metabolism into the mix and it can seem like an impossible battle. No doubt you know first hand that fewer calories are required as you age. Exercise (especially aerobic) is a proven aid in this never-ending balancing act. But did you know that there are some foods that can naturally burn fat, curb appetite and even nudge your metabolism a bit? Here are four powerful weight-loss boosters to incorporate into your healthy diet.
- Beans Count – Kidney beans, chickpeas and black beans are rich in water-soluble fiber that not only helps you feel full, but also may also help you get rid of your muffin top. That’s right, in a 2011 study researchers observed that for every 10 grams of soluble fiber eaten over the course of a day there was a corresponding 3.7 percent decrease in abdominal fat over a five-year period.
- Another Reason to Love Salmon – Any credible weight loss plan includes protein; preferably lean protein, which is optimum for overall health. Basically, a serving of protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates, which keeps you satisfied and less likely to graze between meals. There are now very preliminary reports that suggest that salmon may play a role in modulating insulin sensitivity. As a side note, wild salmon is leaner than farmed. It offers plenty of protein without unhealthy fats.
- Go Nuts! – Many dieters avoid nuts like the plaque due to their high fat and calorie content. However, there is compelling evidence that suggests almonds, peanuts and other nuts may offer special weight loss benefits. It began with a 2001 Harvard study that found that participants following a Mediterranean-style diet included nuts lost greater amounts of weight and stuck with the diet longer than other diets. Still, experts advise people not to go completely nuts, as moderation is key. Aim for a couple of small handfuls of nuts a day.
- Green Tea Toddling – Besides being rich in antioxidants that may fight cancer and lower cholesterol, green tea may also offer other health benefits. Studies now suggest that green tea may help to burn fat. It’s still unclear exactly how this beverage promotes weight loss, but researchers suspect it may have something to do with revving up fat burning during post-meal hours.