Yes, fat keeps us warm, protected, and alive. But too much of a good thing can be, well, bad.
This clucker has the fewest calories per ounce of any animal protein. Like dairy, it contains the amino acid leucine, which may play a role in preserving muscle mass during weight loss, keeping metabolism running at full speed. Protein is also more satiating than fat or carbs—so you're less likely to overeat.
Ironically, this elephant favorite fights weight gain, slows rises in blood sugar, and curbs hunger. One study from Purdue University found that individuals who added 500 calories of peanuts to their diets for 3 weeks experienced almost no change in body weight and a 24 percent drop in triglycerides -- blood fats associated with heart disease. Researcher Rick Mattes, Ph.D., says peanuts' satiating power helps people eat less overall.
Plain, low-fat yogurt is one of the best sources of calcium—a mineral that may fight fat. According to Michael B. Zemel, Ph.D., director of the Nutrition Institute at the of Tennessee, not getting enough calcium triggers the release of calcitriol, a hormone that causes us to store fat, whereas meeting our daily calcium needs helps us burn fat more efficiently. Like turkey, yogurt and other dairy foods are leading sources of leucine, which also helps fight fat.
By boosting fiber and providing fewer calories from fat than other popular breakfasts (bacon and eggs, anyone?), ready-to-eat cereal can help you fill up—and slim down. Study from the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that women who ate cereal were 30 percent less likely to be overweight than those who ate other breakfast foods. To get the most bang for your breakfast buck, choose fiber-rich (aim for 5 grams per serving), low-fat cereals like Kashi Heart to Heart.
Enova — made from soy and canola oils — is made of diglycerides, a type of fat that's metabolized differently from triglycerides (found in other oils—even olive) and so not stored as fat as easily. In a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, dieters who used Enova lost more weight than those who used other oils.
You probably know that fiber is the magic bullet of weight loss. It keeps you satisfied throughout the day—and away from the fridge. But you may not know that berries are an excellent roughage source. Raspberries are the fiber queens with 8 grams per cup. Blackberries come in a close second with 7.4 grams, and blueberries have 3.5 grams.