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Weight-friendly and low calorie
December 23, 2013, 1:18 pm

When you feel hungry, there are plenty of healthy foods and meal combinations you can enjoy without breaking your calorie bank. The following foods are especially weight loss-friendly and provide more substance with fewer calories.

Whole Grains:  To maximize that feel-full factor, choose 100 percent whole grains such as brown rice and oatmeal. The filling fiber in oats helps balance blood sugar levels, unlike the roller coaster ride caused by sugary breakfasts. Similarly, black rice grain packs a hefty dose of fiber and antioxidants, with fewer carbs and calories than its white and brown counterparts. Try sprinkling the flavorful grain on salads, in burritos or as a hearty side dish.

Greens:  One cup of broccoli contains just 25 calories and requires up to 80 calories to digest in the body, meaning you’ve burned 55 calories just by eating it. Or try asparagus, cauliflower, celery or zucchini when you want an energy-efficient snack.

Watermelon: Half of every plate or snack should be colorful produce, which is a combo of fiber and water to fill you up on fewer calories. Try satisfying your sweet tooth with water-logged watermelon. Two cups contain less than 100 calories and nearly half the recommended daily value of vitamin C.

Beans:  Legumes provide the perfect combo of weight loss ingredients. They are excellent sources of fiber and specifically are a great food for waistline watchers as they also contain complex carbs and a host of antioxidants and nutrients. Consider stocking up on chickpeas, black beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, fava beans, red kidney beans and edamame. From soups and stews to salads and wraps, the possibilities are endless.

Soups: Studies show that people who include broth-based soups in their diets consume fewer calories at mealtime. So if you are at a restaurant, try a broth-based soup with fiber-filled veggies to help you eat less and keep your hands out of the bread basket.

Milk: Research has shown that regularly consuming low-fat or fat-free dairy products, is a habit that can help you remain satisfied and slim. To get the recommended three servings per day, try starting your day with a cottage cheese or yogurt-based breakfast, drink a glass of low-fat milk with your afternoon snack, or opt for low-fat chocolate milk post-workout.

Green drinks:  If you haven’t tried green smoothies yet, you’ve been missing out on a seriously nutrient-dense snack. Made with spinach, kale, collard, mustard or any other greens, green drinks are rich in vitamins and minerals, while providing feel-full fiber for very few calories.

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