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Who knew that eating certain foods could help you lose weight? Here are the foods to eat to stay fuller for longer and boost your metabolism

Go potty for (cold) potatoes

On the ‘Satiety Index’ — a scale that measures how filling different foods are — boiled potatoes score highest. Eat them and you’ll naturally feel full. Let them go cold and they make you feel even fuller for longer because they form ‘resistant starch’, which acts like fibre in the gut. Eat your spuds cold in a potato salad with low-fat yogurt, crème fraîche or a balsamic vinaigrette.

Go to work on an egg

In a university study of 30 overweight men and women, those who ate two eggs for breakfast as part of a calorie-controlled diet lost 65 per cent more weight and 16 per cent more body fat after eight weeks than those who ate a breakfast of bagels containing the same amount of calories. The eggs made the dieters feel fuller and less likely to crave high-fat, high-sugar foods.

Young beautiful woman sitting in the kitchen bar and eating tom yum soup, looking at camera with a smile.

Make soup your starter

A Pennsylvania State University study found that people who ate a first course of soup before their main meal at lunch reduced their total calorie intake by 20 per cent, compared to when they skipped soup. They also lost about 7kg a year more than people in the study who ate the same mains as them, but without soup to start. Soup helps fill up your tummy, leaving less room for a big main course. Stick to broth-based soups and avoid calorific creamy concoctions.

Sharp dresser

‘While more human studies are required in this field, there’s evidence to show that apple cider vinegar can help reduce belly fat,’ says nutritionist Aneequa Godart at aneequagodart.com. ‘This is due to the acetic acid it contains, which can suppress fat build-up and is also known for speeding up the metabolism. You can add apple cider vinegar to salad dressings.’

Feeling hot, hot, hot

‘Chilli peppers contain capsaicin, a chemical that can boost metabolism by increasing thermogenesis, the rate at which the body burns calories into heat to use for fuel,’ says Aneequa. ‘You’d need to eat them regularly at a high dose to see effects — which is difficult to do due to their eye-watering spicy flavour! But they do contain useful nutrients such as vitamins A, C and E and are low-calorie, so adding them to a balanced diet is still a good idea. Other spices such as ginger and cinnamon have been shown to have metabolism-boosting properties and can also reduce appetite and create a feeling of fullness.’

Greek goodness

‘It might sound contradictory, but full-fat Greek yogurt has been shown to promote fat-loss and fat burning in overweight people, likely due to the conjugated linoleic acid that it contains,’ says Aneequa. Pair with fruits like raspberry or blueberry for a protein, potassium and calcium-packed dessert.

Choose dark choc

If chocolate is your go-to pick-me-up, then opt for dark over milk. According to research from the University of Copenhagen, dark choc is not only healthier because of the antioxidants it contains, it’s also more filling and can stop you craving other sweet (or salty and fatty) foods. In their study, participants who ate a portion of dark chocolate ate 15 per cent less pizza than those who’d eaten the same amount of milk chocolate.

Don’t peel fruit and veg

‘Studies have shown that having a high-fibre diet increases satiation and reduces hunger between meals,’ says Egzona Mak, nutritionist for lyferoots.com. An easy way to up your fibre intake? Keep the peels on fruit like apples, and veg such as jacket potatoes, carrots, cucumber and aubergine. Peel contains viscous fibre — a type of fibre that may be especially effective at reducing appetite.

Load your trolley with good-for-you food

‘Overall, my advice is that while some foods can help you kick-start a weight-loss plan, they won’t negate a high-calorie or unhealthy diet,’ says Aneequa. ‘For effective, long-term weight-loss, opt for a balanced diet with mostly whole, fresh foods, full of a range of nutrients including protein, healthy fats, complex carbs and vitamins and minerals.’

Edited by Kim Jones

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