TAMPA - Lauri Wright, a professor and dietitian at USF Health says we should start with protein. "Protein, whether its fish, lean chicken breast, or eggs, protein stays with you longer. "
And your body has to work harder to digest protein, so you'll burn more calories just by eating it. Next, dairy. "We have good studies that show consumption of lean dairy does help with weight loss. Fiber foods - whether it be whole grains, fruits like apples, or sweet potatoes, these fiber rich foods are nature's appetite suppressant. "
Fiber can take hours to digest, keeping you full longer. Chick peas and almonds are filled with fiber and protein. They'll fill you up and help your body metabolize fat. Finally, monounsaturated fats. Some dietitians say they'll also help your body metabolize fat-- especially from your mid-section.
But Lauri warns, "These are healthy fats, healthy for your heart, healthy for your brain, but not necessarily for weight loss. You still have to watch the amount you eat. So the message is don't deep fat fry the chicken. Stir fry with the healthier fats. "
Another message: "I think it's important that people know there's no one magic food that will instantly change your belly into 6 pack abs. That's kind of like the Popeye legacy of eating spinach and you instantly get a biceps, but these are healthy foods that, combined with exercise, will give you that healthy look and feel in your abs."
Lauri also suggests eating small amounts throughout the day. And eat carbs with protein so you don't feel deprived and then over eat.