It’s that time of year where we start making excuses for our holiday diet cheats and our sudden turn to those chic baggy sweaters we have hanging in our closet. But the truth is, it doesn’t have to be that way.
This season, part with the guilt and the sweaters. Instead, find comfort foods that burn fat and still allow you to enjoy the holidays with friends and family. Although moderation is the key when it comes to any meal, there are food options that give you the nutrients you need, while also burning fat.
An article on MSN Healthy Living provided us a list of foods that will help prevent us from packing on those extra pounds.
1. Hot chocolate
This is packed with antioxidants that reduce stress—the main ingredient that makes up belly fat. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is reduced when cocoa is eaten. An old myth says that chocolate milk is the best thing after a workout, but in the winter, hot chocolate works just as well. It contains a balanced level of protein and carbs to help our muscles relax. Hot chocolate doesn’t hurt, either, after a cold walk to and from the gym.
2. Chicken noodle soup
It has been proven that those who consume broth before a meal eat less. Chicken noodle soup provides a great source a protein and fiber to increase our metabolism. The broth in the soup contains a lot of water helping us to stay full for a longer period of time.
For ages, coffee has been doing more than helping people to get to work on time. In addition to the fact that it boosts your metabolism and your mood, coffee also contains the antioxidant, chlorogenic acid, that increases our body’s use of fat for energy. Coffee also helps our muscles recover after a tough workout. For the non-black coffee drinkers, a latte (non-fat and sugar-free) will also provide us with these same benefits.
4. Pot roast
You wonder why when people go on diets; they are encouraged to increase their protein intake—because it helps fighting fat. Our body must work harder to break protein down to use for energy, which means we are burning more calories to digest it. This means that our stomachs will actually be full longer. Load up on the protein this holiday season!
5. Roasted carrots
The fiber content in carrots is what makes this a great food to keep you full. A study from the University of Arkansas has found that roasted carrots contain more antioxidants than raw ones. Sprinkle spices on the carrots to make them a little less boring!
6. Red wine
This has been a staple to weight-loss diets across the globe. In fact, many doctors find that a glass or two of red wine per week will increase our heart health, in addition to providing us with a substance called calcium pyruvate, which helps fat cells burn for more energy. Although wine contains a lot of sugar and calories, drinking one serving may help us to keep those extra pounds off, not to mention the edge, during the holiday season.
7. Mashed sweet potatoes
It is rumored that sweet potatoes are the healthiest foods out there. Luckily for us, they are also a staple to almost every Thanksgiving or holiday meal. Sweet potatoes are rich in carotenoids, which slow the body’s release of glucose and insulin. Plus, sweet potatoes also contain fiber, which keeps us fuller longer and prevents our blood sugar from plummeting.