If you feel like you're making smart moves to lose weight but still aren't seeing the scale prove you right, it may be because your diet contains sneaky foods that lead to bloating, water-retention (ahem, salt!), and a higher calorie intake. These quick swaps will keep you fuller longer, all while working their nutrient-powered magic.
Baked potatoes (yes — white potatoes!) are an excellent source of potassium, which can help beat bloat and counterbalance sodium. Since they've got filling fiber, spuds also help you stay fuller, longer. Avoid the deeper-fryer, though. Potatoes are a nutrient-dense food as long as they're not served the French-fry way.
Mineral-packed seeds — especially sunflower and pumpkin — provide lots of immune-boosting zinc and seriously fill you up. The hearty combo of plant-based protein and fiber can stave off hunger pangs later on.
Fermented foods like miso, tempeh, and sauerkraut contain probiotics, a.k.a. friendly bacteria that help boost immunity, regulate gut function, and banish bloat. Unsweetened plain Greek yogurt and skyr can provide probiotic benefits too. Choose ones that have five strains or more of bacterial cultures per 6-ounce serving.
Almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pistachios — at GH, we're nuts about nuts! People who snack on nuts may have lower abdominal fat than those who munch on carb-based treats, according to a 2015 study in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, a heart-healthy (and more satisfying) pick than their grain-based counterparts.
Berries are packed with fiber (up to 9 grams a cup!) and antioxidants but contain less sugar than most fruits. That combo makes them a satisfying and healthy choice.
Pulses — the dry edible seeds of beans, lentils, chickpeas and peas — are everywhere these days, and we couldn't be happier about it. They're filled with fiber and plant-based protein, plus minerals and B-vitamins. Overall, pulses reduce bloat by aiding your nervous and muscular systems, helping you build lean body mass.
It doesn't get any better than fish when it comes to healthy protein, especially salmon, tuna, and sardines. They're filled with important omega-3s and lean protein, helping you fill up and curb cravings.
Grains get a bad rap when it comes to weight loss, but that's because refined grains (read: processed foods!) are linked to wider waists. 100% whole-grains are bloat-busting superstars, however, as they're packed with minerals and de-puff by counter-balancing salt. Stick to brown rice, quinoa, wheat, barley, millet, farro, sorghum, and amaranth for the biggest benefits.
Add a cup of low-fat milk, a part-skim mozzarella stick, or a half cup of low-sodium cottage cheese to breakfast, and you may have a belly-busting win. While lots of research links calcium with lower body weights, results from a 2014 study suggest that calcium-containing foods may reduce waist circumference in those genetically-predisposed to carrying weight in their midsection.
Good news for lovers of this fruit (yes, it's a fruit!): A 2013 study linked regular avocado-eaters to lower waist circumference and BMI. What's more, the monounsaturated fats are heart-healthy and filling, reducing the urge to graze on processed foods later on.
Another win for your morning cup of joe: Caffeinated coffee keeps things moving through the digestive tract. Since staying regular is key to a tighter-looking tummy, drinking about 8 to 16 ounces of java at the same time every day can help you stay on schedule. Remember: Sugary drinks can lead to weight gain, so skip fancy flavorings and synthetic sweeteners containing sugar alcohols, which can cause bloating.
As a prebiotic-filled veggie, asparagus is a great addition to soups, pastas, and omelets, or served as a side dish. For extra bloat-beating benefits, try pairing asparagus sticks with other crudité and dipping in hummus.
Mushrooms, carrots, tomatoes, and cucumber all help you stay hydrated due to their high H2O content. That extra water can offset fluid retention caused by excess salt.
The potassium in citrus helps combat bloat while the antioxidants fight inflammation, which is associated with belly-fat storage. Since a key part of beating the bulge is proper hydration, adding citrus to your H2O can help non-water drinkers to sip up and ultimately slim down!
Flavor foods with herbs and spices whenever you can. It'll encourage you cut back on high-sodium staples and avoid the salt shaker, a major player in bloating. Plus, many have mild diuretic effects, helping you flush out excess water. We love basil, cilantro, rosemary, sage, tarragon, mint, oregano, and black and red chili peppers, to name a few.
Put these superfoods into action with GH's new cookbook, . It's your go-to guide for making smart swaps that can help you reduce that puffy feeling and improve your overall health — no deprivation required.
These delicious, low-calorie power bowls will keep you feeling satisfied and energized from breakfast to dinner.