Stoke your metabolic fire and burn calories faster with diet-friendly foods and beverages. Post this list on your fridge next to the photo of you in your "skinny jeans" and make a copy to bring with you the next time you shop for groceries.
Just remember: Calories count, portion control rules and there's no substitute for a well-balanced diet and regular exercise. So get moving!
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Here are the top picks culled from some of the latest research:
1. Water! A new study seems to indicate that drinking water actually speeds up weight loss. Researchers in Germany found that subjects of the study increased their metabolic rates (the rate at which calories are burned) by 30 percent after drinking approximately 17 ounces of water. Water is also a natural appetite suppressant that banishes bloat as it flushes out sodium and toxins. Drinking enough water will also help keep you from mistaking thirst for hunger. So drink up!
2. Green Tea! Studies show that green tea extract boosts metabolism and may aid in weight loss. This mood-enhancing tea has also been reported to contain anti-cancer properties and help prevent heart disease. It's also a trendy drink among weight-conscious celebrities.
3. Soup! Eat less and burn fat faster by having a bowl of soup as an appetizer or a snack. According to a Penn State University study, soup is a super appetite suppressant because it's made up of a hunger-satisfying combination of liquids and solids. In the study, women chose one of three 270-calorie snacks before lunch. Women who had chicken and rice soup as a snack consumed an average of 100 fewer calories than those in the study who opted for a chicken and rice casserole or the casserole and a glass of water.