As the weather cools down and the holiday season heats up, it can feel like a major struggle to prevent weight gain. However, certain fall foods can actually help to boost weight loss. By incorporating them into your meal plan on a regular basis, while still focusing on portion control, you can gain a leg up in the battle against cool weather weight gain.
An apple a day might not only keep the doctor away, but may also help the scale move in the downward direction. A recent study published in Food Chemistry found the fiber and polyphenols in apples ferment in the colon where they help to provide food for healthy bacteria to grow and flourish. This improved ratio of gut bacteria seems to cool of inflammation and increase feelings of fullness, boosting weight loss. Although all apples can be beneficial, Granny Smith apples have been found to contain the highest concentration of fiber and polyphenols. Enjoy freshly sliced apples dipped in natural peanut butter or bake an apple topped with cinnamon for a delicious snack that will help to promote both healthy blood sugar levels along with a healthy body weight.
As the days get shorter and the nights get cooler, it can be tempting to indulge in comfort foods such as pasta. However, foods rich in refined grains can promote weight gain and increased blood sugar levels. Instead, satisfy your cravings with a big bowl of spaghetti squash. This winter squash provides just 31 calories and 7 grams of carbs per cup, as opposed to 220 calories and 43 carbs in one cup of white flour pasta. To prepare it, slice the spaghetti squash in half length wise and place it face down onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Place the squash in an oven preheated to 375 degrees F and bake for about 40 minutes or until it becomes tender and can easily be pierced with a fork. Then, simply remove the squash from the oven and use a fork to remove the strands of ‘spaghetti.’ Enjoy topped with traditional marinara sauce or get creative mixing with a variety of seasonings and steamed vegetables.
This fall favorite has been found to offer strong anti-inflammatory benefits thanks in part to its rich antioxidant levels. Recent research has looked at the role pomegranates play in weight management and have found a positive effect on fat reduction. Although more research is still needed, adding pomegranate seeds to meals such as sprinkling on top of salads, yogurt, or even cereal may help promote a healthy body weight while providing an increased feeling of satisfaction due to the high fiber content.
Packed full of nutrients and fiber, cauliflower is a low calorie food that can satisfy your appetite. But it’s not cauliflower itself that will help to boost weight loss. Instead, it’s the incredible versatility of this cruciferous vegetable that will have you dropping pounds. Cauliflower can be ground down in a food processor and turned into everything from a pizza crust to a soup base or even baked into a cake! Some of your favorite comfort foods can be made over into low calories, low carbohydrate options that not only taste great, but are great for you as well. For instance, try making this simple cauliflower pizza with only 68 calories per slice!
• 1 head of cauliflower
• 4 large eggs
• 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
• Minced garlic, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper to taste.
• Pulse cauliflower in a food processor until it looks like small grains of rice. Microwave in a large bowl for about five minutes to steam. Allow to cool and add in seasonings, eggs, and one half cheese.
• Divide mixture into two servings and spread out evenly onto lightly greased baking sheets (or parchment paper).
• Bake at 450 F for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and firm.
• Top with remaining cheese (add sauce if desired) and bake for 3-5 minutes until sauce melts. Serve warm and enjoy!
MAKES 16 SERVINGS
NUTRITION FACTS (per serving)
Calories: 68 Carbs: 2gm Fiber 1gm Protein 6gm Fat 4gm