If you actually need to lose weight, you’d probably love a magic food that you could eat as much as you want without impacting your weight. Real talk: Anyone who claims they’ve discovered that is basically doling out bullshit.
“There is not a lot of evidence for specific foods speeding up your metabolism,” admits Sheri Zidenberg-Cherr, PhD, a researcher at the University of California, Davis, department of nutrition. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t foods that can contribute to weight loss as part of a reduced-calorie diet and active lifestyle — after all, a girl’s gotta eat.
Here’s what Zidenberg-Cherr advises: Eat foods that make you feel full and satisfied, and your body won’t want to consume as many calories, so you’ll ultimately shed stubborn pounds. Think of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — particularly ones that taste especially good in summer months, because you’ll want to fill up on them, and those with supposed superpowers, according to science. Here’s what you’ll want to dig into from summer’s bounty:
1. Chilled Soups
Often vegetable-based, chilled soups contain lots of fiber — a macronutrient that’s proven to reduce appetite and total calorie intake, promoting weight loss over time. Because soup is largely made up of calorie-free water, you can consume a large serving — which takes up room in your belly — for a reasonable number of calories. (Depending on the recipe, two cups of tomato-based gazpacho can clock in under 100 calories.)
This summer staple contains the kind of fiber that binds with and carries fat out of your system. But it gets better: Watermelon also contains a high percentage of water, which helps keep you hydrated and thus can increase your overall calorie expenditure, according to several studies. (FWIW, one cup contains fewer calories than any other summer fruit.)