It's no secret that losing weight as we get older can be a real struggle. More than two-thirds of all-American adults are overweight or obese, and nearly 50 percent of adult women are considered obese or extremely obese, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
The best way to lose weight, of course, is to develop a healthy diet that includes plenty of whole, plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, and whole grains. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the American Heart Association, and the American Cancer Society, half of your plate should always consist of fruits and vegetables, which are packed with fiber, essential minerals, and vitamins C and A.
Try to eat fruits and veggies in a rainbow of colors, since their colors indicate certain nutrients and compounds. Accepted guidelines recommend eating as many vegetables each day as you please and eat two to four servings of fruit. Here are five diverse fruits and vegetables that have proven weight-loss benefits. Add these to your daily diet for better health and more efficient, lasting weight loss.
1. Cruciferous veggies
Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, radishes, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts are high in fiber, which makes them incredibly filling. They also have a lot of protein, for a plant. Fill up on crudite and hummus for an afternoon snack, slice cabbage up into your soups and salads, and roast up a mess of Brussels sprouts for a tasty side dish.
Blueberries are considered a superfood for good reason. They're packed with nutrients that boost your metabolism and promote calorie burn, and they're high in fiber, making them a filling snack. Graze on them raw, or eat them straight from the freezer for a refreshing treat. Put them in smoothies or salads, and add them to buckwheat pancakes for a filling breakfast.
Really a fruit but eaten like a vegetable, avocados are excellent for weight loss. They're loaded with healthy fats that promote fat loss, and they contain tons of fiber and potassium. While avocado toast has become a bit of a joke these days, it's actually quite delicious and makes a perfect breakfast or afternoon snack. Mash it up and use it on sandwiches instead of mayo, or slice it up into salads, salsas, and, of course, guacamole.
While the infamous grapefruit diet won't lead to a trim figure, eating a half a grapefruit before each meal can lead to significant weight loss, according to a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food. That's because it suppresses the appetite and leads to lower calorie consumption during the following meal. Slice it in half and eat it with a spoon, or peel it like an orange and enjoy it in sections.
5. Chile peppers
Chili peppers contain capsaicin, which is the substance responsible for its heat. Capsaicin has been shown through research to reduce the appetite and increase fat burn. Add green chiles to soups and stews, spice up your dishes with diced jalapenos, and sprinkle dried red chiles onto your pizzas, pastas, salads, and burgers.
Exercise and Supplementation
Exercising for just a half hour most days of the week will not only burn excess calories and fat, but it'll also protect you from a wide range of diseases. Add two days of strength training each week to build muscle, which will rev up your metabolism and lead to more efficient weight loss.
A variety of supplements can help boost your fat burn and promote optimal weight loss, especially if you're older and your metabolism isn't what it used to be. Thrive Naturals' Apple Cider Vinegar Complex promotes weight loss by helping to regulate blood glucose and insulin, and it stimulates fat-burning enzymes. Garcinia Cambogia has been shown through an impressive body of research to boost fat burn and block the formation of new fat. It also suppresses the appetite and boosts serotonin production in the brain to reduce food cravings due to stress.
Weight loss can get tougher as we age, but attacking it from three sides--diet, exercise, and supplementation--can make a big difference. Forget the weight loss pills and fad diets and opt for a balanced, healthy, and sustainable approach to weight loss.
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