Pairings 102: Food combinations that would speed up your weight loss
Here are some food combinations that would make a difference in your weight loss journey
- Yogurt with Raspberries
Ditch that layer of cold-weather chub with a slimming bowl of yogurt and berries. Consuming a combination of calcium and vitamin D—what’s typically found in a tub of vitamin D-fortified yogurt—can significantly decrease belly chub and fat absorption in overweight populations, a Nutrition Journal study found.
To get similar results at home, start your day with some plain 2% yogurt and top it with fiber-packed raspberries. The fruit is a great source of insoluble fiber that boosts levels of ghrelin—a hormone that controls hunger. Plus, berries are packed with chemicals called polyphenols that aid weight loss and can actually stop fat from forming. Enjoy this tasty duo as a quick breakfast or afternoon snack.
2. Garlic with Fish
Fish host long chains of omega-3 fatty acids, which help to lower triglycerides and reduce inflammation. They’re also great sources of muscle-building protein, and the more muscle you have on your body, the higher your metabolic rate. Throw garlic into the mix, and you have a lethal weapon for fighting belly fat.
According to a study published in the journal Nutrition Research and Practice, women who ingested 80 milligrams of garlic extract a day for 12 weeks lost weight and reduced their BMI significantly.
3. Cayenne with Chicken
Turn up the heat on your belly bulge by flavoring your chicken with a dash of cayenne powder. Protein-rich foods like poultry not only boost satiety, but also help people burn fat meals. In fact, the macro increased post-meal thermogenesis by 100 percent!
If you thought it couldn’t get much better than that, think again! Researchers say that chili pepper can also help blast away stubborn belly fat! If you ask us, there’s no better reason to sprinkle some onto your chicken before it hits the grill.
4. Tea burn with Lemon
Tea burn works in three distinct ways to help strip away fat from your body. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism showed that tea burn can simultaneously boost lipolysis (the breakdown of fat) and block adipogenesis (the formation of fat cells). Then, add some lemon to your tea to boost your Vitamin C intake. Participants boosted fat burning by as much as 30 percent during a workout when they had adequate levels of vitamin C. If there’s such a thing as a muffin-top-melting tea, this is it.
5. Raspberries + Walnuts
In a European Journal of Endocrinology study, researchers discovered that those whose diets were supplemented with insoluble fiber had higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that controls hunger. And a cup of these little ruby jewels has 8 grams of fiber! Insoluble fiber helps feed the healthy bacteria in your gut, triggering the production of a fatty acid that reduces inflammation throughout your body.
Pairing these fat-burning bullets with good polyunsaturated fats, like those found in walnuts, activate genes that reduce fat storage and improve insulin metabolism. At about 13 grams per one-ounce serving, walnuts are one of the best dietary sources of those fats.
6. Pepitas + Greens
Pepita is the Spanish term for pumpkin seed, and if you consider them just jack o’lantern innards, you’re in for a treat. One ounce of seeds has eight grams of protein — more than an egg or almonds—and is rich in flat-belly nutrients like fiber, zinc, and potassium, which are key to muscle building and recovery. Sprinkle them in salads for any extra flat-belly fiber punch.
7. Sweet Potatoes + Greek Yogurt
When it comes to weight loss, fat burning, and fitness fuel, few foods are more powerful than yogurt. Why opt for Greek over regular? For one, Greek yogurt provides up to double the protein of regular yogurt for the same amount of calories, making it more satiating.
Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, are the king of slow-digesting carbs, keeping you feeling fuller and energized longer. Among the magic ingredients here are carotenoids, antioxidants which stabilize blood-sugar levels and lower insulin resistance, which prevents calories from being converted into fat. Use a dollop of Greek yogurt in place of sour cream for the combo’s fat-frying effects.
8. Water + Citrus Fruit
You see it sitting there every time you’re sitting around waiting for a massage. Spa water—a pitcher of ice water with sliced whole lemons, oranges or grapefruit—is a great substitute for sugary beverages. The citrus peels add d-limonene, a powerful antioxidant that stimulates liver enzymes, helping to rid the body of toxins and flush fat from your system.
9. Dark Chocolate + Apples
Dark chocolate is more than a blissful dessert—it’s heavenly for your waistline. A recent study found that the antioxidants in cocoa prevented laboratory mice from gaining excess weight and actually lowered their blood sugar levels. A separate study at Louisiana State University found that gut microbes in our stomach ferment chocolate into heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory compounds that shut down genes linked to insulin resistance and inflammation.
To enhance the effects, try pairing your chocolate (at least 70% cacao) with some apple slices. The fruit speeds up your gut’s fermentation process, leading to an even greater reduction in inflammation and weight.
10. Ricotta + Berries
According to the Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee, consuming calcium-rich foods like ricotta can help your body metabolize fat more efficiently. Top it with berries, which contain polyphenols, powerful natural chemicals that can help you lose weight–and even stop fat from forming.
In fact, in a recent Texas Woman’s University study, researchers found that feeding mice three daily servings of berries decreased the formation of fat cells by up to 73 percent! Mash 1 cup of berries and let them marinate in their own juices for an hour, then spoon them on top of ricotta for a belly-slimming dessert.
11. Chickpeas + Olive Oil
You might not think of these little beige bullets as a superfood, but it’s time to start. High in nutrients and soluble fiber, chickpeas are a prime weight-loss weapon, increasing feelings of satiety by releasing an appetite-suppressing hormone called cholecystokinin. And, they blend flawlessly with extra virgin olive oil (hello hummus!), which may increase blood levels of serotonin, a hormone associated with satiety.
12. Cucumber + Apple Cider Vinegar
Cucumbers are about 95 percent water. Not only will they hydrate you, but they also boost your weight-loss efforts thanks to their H2O content and low calorie count. One medium-sized cuke contains only about 45 calories, so you can chomp away guilt-free, but alone they can be kind of
a bore. For added flavor and fat-frying, try drizzling them with apple cider vinegar, which has been shown to “switch on” genes that release proteins that break down fat.
In a study of 175 overweight Japanese men and women, researchers found that participants who drank 1 or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily for 12 weeks significantly lowered their body weight, BMI, visceral fat, and waist circumference.
13. Hot Sauce + Eggs
Hot sauce is rich in capsaicin, a compound that’s proven to suppress appetite and boost thermogenesis—the body’s ability to burn fat as energy. A well-cited study by Canadian researchers found that when men ate appetizers with hot sauce (which has zero calories per teaspoon), they ate about 200 fewer calories at later meals than those that did not. Drizzle this fiery condiment over eggs, and fat will sizzle. Eggs are great sources of the weight loss weapon arginine.
Researchers found that administering the amino acid to obese women over 12 weeks resulted in a 7-cm average reduction in waist size and a 6.5-pound average weight loss, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements.
14. Black Bean Chips + Guacamole
Yes, you read that right; you have our permission to eat chips—so long as they are the nutrient-packed variety. We like Beanitos Black Bean Chips because they pack in more protein and fiber than a “regular” crisp. To boost the staying power of your snack, pair the sea salt-sprinkled treats with a 100-calorie pack of guac. Avocado—the primary ingredient in guacamole—packs healthy monounsaturated fats that contain oleic acid, which helps quiet feelings of hunger.
15. Sprouted Raisin Bread + Peanut Butter
Though this creamy and sweet combination tastes indulgent, nutritionally it’s anything but. The raisins in Ezekiel bread provide natural sweetness, which helps nip sugar craving in the bud, while the vitamin B6 and manganese-rich whole grains help boost your mood, making it ideal for afternoon slump snack attacks.
The nut butter contributes hunger-busting healthy fats and a solid hit of waist-whittling meat-free protein. To keep excess pounds at bay, be sure to buy varieties free of health-harming hydrogenated oils and added sugar.
16. Whole Wheat Crackers + Tuna
Unlike the majority of crackers you’ll find in the grocery store, Triscuit’s Baked Whole Grain variety is made with just three ingredients, of which fiber-rich whole-grain wheat is the most abundant. Low-cost, protein-rich tuna makes for a tasty cracker addition and is a solid source of docosahexaenoic acid. This type of omega-3 down-regulates fat genes in the stomach, preventing fat cells from growing larger and keeping you on track toward your trim-down goal.
17. Baby Carrots + Hummus
In addition to providing healthy fat, fiber, and weight-loss fueling protein to your plate, this savory duo is packed with belly-filling water, vitamin A (which helps the body synthesize protein), and magnesium, a mineral that helps boost lipolysis, a process by which your body releases fat from its stores. If you tend to snack away from home, look for single-serving hummus containers, and throw your veggies into a plastic snack bag to reap the benefits on the go.
18. Apples + Peanut Butter
Crunchy, filling (thanks to their high water and fiber content) and packed with nutrients, apples are one of the best weight loss fruits around. Smearing on all-natural peanut butter adds a creamy texture and slow-digesting, heart-healthy monounsaturated fats to the equation, which keeps your belly satiated until your next meal.
Bonus: Peanuts are a top source of genistein and resveratrol, two nutrients that help diminish the action of fat-storage genes.