When it comes to weight loss, what you eat is just as important as what you don't. Research shows that some foods really do help dieters shed weight faster than others. That's because not all calories all created equal -- some speed up your metabolism, helping you to slim down as you chow down, while others help you to stay full for longer. Here are some of the best foods to eat if you want to shed extra pounds:
• Protein: A full quarter of each bite of protein will be burned as the food is metabolized, compared to just 10 or 12 percent of the calories in carbs and just 1 to 3 percent of the calories in fat.
• Green Tea: Three cups of green tea each day for 60 days can provide significant changes in weight, body mass and waist circumference, according to Brazilian researchers. One theory as to why this drink -- when served plain, without milk or an added sweetener -- can help you burn more calories than it contains are its catechins (a type of antioxidant) and caffeine, both of which are thought to increase metabolism.
• Spicy Foods: Chili peppers like jalapenos, which contain a significant amount of capsaicin, a chemical that is found mostly in the white membrane that holds the seeds in place. One English study found the effects of eating capsaicin are significant enough to recommend the food to dieters.
• Grapefruit: Grapefruit can help with weight loss. A recent study from Scripps Clinic found that eating half a grapefruit before meals led to more dropped pounds than drinking a small glass of apple juice as an appetizer. In fact, after twelve weeks of pre-meal citrus snacks, participants lost an average of 3 pounds each.
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