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Foods that do the weight-loss work for you

By Brierley Wright, December 23, 2009 - 12:41pm

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We’ve finally reached the home stretch of the holiday season. There’s still too much holiday chaos to fully commit to my “healthier me” New Year’s resolution, but I’m ready to feel healthier and I do have a little black dress I have to get into for New Year’s…

So to detox from all that calorie-laden holiday fare I’ve eaten, I’m increasing my daily fiber intake in the form of nutrient-rich high-fiber foods. Why fiber? Recent research in the Journal of Nutrition suggests eating more fiber as a way to prevent weight gain or even encourage weight loss. Over the course of the two-year study, the researchers found that boosting fiber by 8 grams for every 1,000 calories resulted in about 4 ½ pounds of weight lost.

Plus, who wouldn’t love to start their New Year’s resolution a little slimmer and trimmer? Here are 5 fiber-rich foods that help do the weight-loss work for you:

Green beans

One cup boasts 4 grams of fiber, plus a healthy dose (30% daily value) of skin-helping vitamin C.
(Find delicious green bean recipes here.)

Sweet potato

A medium-size baked sweet potato (2 inches wide, 5 inches long…a little larger than your computer mouse), skin included, offers 5 grams of fiber—for just 103 calories. It’s also a nutrition powerhouse: providing 438% daily value of eye-healthy vitamin A (eat these foods to help you see more clearly), 37% daily value of vitamin C, plus some potassium, vitamin E, iron, magnesium and phytochemicals like beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.
(Find delicious sweet potato recipes here.)

Pumpkin

A cup of cooked pumpkin contains 3 grams of fiber. You also get vitamin A (245% daily value), vitamins C, E and potassium.
(Find delicious pumpkin recipes here.)

Apples

A medium apple (3-inch diameter) contains 4 grams of fiber; a large apple (3¼-inch diameter) has 5. Apples also offer a bit of vitamin C and potassium.
(Get sweet & savory apple recipes here.)

Chickpeas

Just ¾ cup of chickpeas has a whopping 8 grams of fiber! You also get a good amount of vitamin B6 and folate, both of which play a role in forming healthy new cells.
(Find healthy chickpea recipes here.)

What foods fill you up and help you eat less? Tell us what you think below.

TAGS: Brierley Wright, Diet Blog, Diet, Nutrition, Weight loss

Brierley Wright
Brierley's interest in nutrition and food come together in her position as nutrition editor at EatingWell. Brierley holds a master’s degree in Nutrition Communication from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. A Registered Dietitian, she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Vermont.

Brierley asks: What foods fill you up and help you eat less?

Tell us what you think:

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