Eat Your Way to a Bikini Body from Eat Your Way to a Bikini Body

Eat Your Way to a Bikini Body

Losing weight is all about burning more calories than you consume. The complications start when you choose how to achieve this negative balance.

Shedding extra pounds is mostly about what you eat. The famous rule is 75 percent diet and 25 percent exercise.

You don't have to starve or eat tasteless foods to slim down. The healthiest way is to clean up your diet and cut the portions a little bit.

Not all calories are created equal. The trick is to stay full for longer. The foods on the following list will help. There are many healthy options that you can separate or combine with other items with more substance but fewer calories to make a delicious meal.

1. Bottoms Up

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Reduce stomach bloat and keep your digestion on track with the good old fashion H2O, says Monica Amsterdam, CHC, AADP, FDN-P, director of nutrition at the Medical and Wellness Center of New Jersey. The rule of thumb is to drink half your body’s weight. So if you weigh 150 lbs, make sure you’re drinking at least 75 oz (9 ½ cups) of water every day. Make it more interesting by adding lemon, frozen fruits, cucumber or a combination of organic lavender and lemon, hibiscus flower, organic rose petals, linden flowers, mallow flowers.

2. Leafy Greens

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“The darker the color the better,” Amsterdam says. Foods like spinach, mustard greens, collards and kale are loaded in nutrients like vitamins A, C, K, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and most importantly fiber. “It will keep you full. Add them to your smoothies, omelets, and a great replacement for iceberg/romaine lettuce.”

3. Mint Leaves

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Peppermint helps to get rid of belly bloat and promotes healthy digestion. “Add it to flavor your water or make iced peppermint tea without adding sugar and definitely no artificial sweeteners; if you really need to add sugar, a better option is coconut palm sugar,” Amsterdam says. If you don’t like mint leaves, some alternatives are basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, marjoram and lavender. 

4. Salmon

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Salmon is a true year-round superfood. It’s a great source of protein and high in Omega-3 fatty acids including EPA and DHA. “This fish will keep you full and even has anti-inflammatory benefits. Just be careful not to add to many condiments,” Amsterdam adds. “All this tasty fish needs is salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice.” If salmon is too expensive for you, trout is a great alternative

5. Quinoa

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Quinoa is perfect if you decided to cut carbs from your diet. “It is a tasty alternative when you’re craving carbs,” Amsterdam says. Quinoa is another superfood that contains nine essential amino acids, has tons of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Add it to your salads for lunch or add it to your salmon as a side dish.

6. Eggs

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Eggs got a bad reputation from being too high in cholesterol, which can’t be further from the truth, according to Amsterdam. Eat the whole egg, yolk too. “The combination of protein and fat will help you feel full and prevent overeating.” The protein will help build your muscle and burn fat to tone your physique. Eggs make a great afternoon snack, as they are the perfect on-the-go snack. Tip: Don’t eat more than three whole eggs a day. You can eat up to 12 egg whites though, Amsterdam adds.  

7. Steel Cut Oats

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Oatmeal in a bag is the worst, she says. Instead, opt for steel cuts oats which are minimally processed and loaded with fiber and protein. “Studies have shown if you start your day with 1 cup of steel cut oats, it will help to reduce cholesterol and maintain healthy blood sugar levels throughout the day (this is the key to preventing munching),” Amsterdam says. Add ½ cup of fresh fruit (1/2 a banana or handful of berries) and drizzle a teaspoon of organic honey for some added sweetness.

8. Berries

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“Luckily we are heading into berry season which means fresh berries won’t be super expensive,” Amsterdam says. Berries are loaded with antioxidants and fiber and improve blood flow to your muscles.

9. Grapefruit

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This tropical fruit will make your skin glow, literally. It’s loaded in vitamin C and full of water to hydrate your body. “It also reduces insulin level and boots your metabolism,” according to Amsterdam.

10. Pineapple

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This delicious fruits contains bromelain, a digestive enzyme that helps to reduce gas and bloating. Other tricks to avoid belly bloat include consuming less salt, drinking lemon water, cutting carbs and soda drinks, and not chewing gum.

11. Dark Chocolate

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If you have a sweet tooth, it’s OK to finish the day with two pieces of dark chocolate from a traditional chocolate bar – 2” x 2” x ¼”. Dark chocolate has zinc which regulates energy, fat storage and appetite. Just make sure it’s at least 75 percent cocoa.

12. Tomatoes

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Tomatoes are high in lycopene which has been shown to protect against sun damage. Tomatoes are loaded in flavor and taste great raw, sautéed, grilled and even blended in a smoothie, which is totally a thing, Amsterdam says. “Tomatoes are a fruit after all. Apples, tomatoes and cucumber make for a great detox drink.”

13. Flax Seed

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Some call it one of the most powerful plant foods on the planet, according to WebMD. There’s some evidence it may help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. The cellulite fighter, when consumed, also helps to support collagen which improves your skin’s appearance, Amsterdam says. It is usually added to a smoothie or a salad.

14. Artichokes

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This delicious plant is a mild diuretic and helps in the removal of toxins, according to Amsterdam. In addition, artichokes purify and protect the liver; they are high in fiber, consequently keep you less bloated because they promote regularity.

15. Avocados

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There is nothing wrong with consuming healthy fats when trying to lose weight. The fat in avocados keeps you full, while promoting the release of bile which helps to eliminate toxins, Amsterdam says. Just don’t overdo it because too many calories, whether from good or bad fat, if not burned, will be stored.

16. Parsley

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Parsley is a natural diuretic and helps people to get rid of excess fluid without draining the body of potassium, Amsterdam says. It also supports blood sugar balance, helping with lasting weight control. Add it to your salads or smoothies.

17. Milk

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“I am not a big fan of milk,” Amsterdam says. “It doesn’t help to maintain or lose weight, actually it’s the contrary. Milk can promote weight gain or prevent a person from losing weight,” she adds. Food intolerance, including milk intolerance (not milk allergy or lactose intolerance), can make us fat. “Cottage cheese has calcium, but that is not the reason why is not healthy,” she adds. "Pasteurized cheese is hard on the digestion, unpasteurized cheese is better for us because it has enzymes and probiotics." 

18. Meat

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“Any meat is good, just choose organic, grass fed,” she says. Chicken breast is very healthy. The only time it isn’t is when you buy it already cooked and loaded with sauces or marinade.

19. Potatoes

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Potatoes can be a fulfilling food that will help you lose weight. “Eat sweet potatoes, they keep your blood sugar stable,” Amsterdam says. Potatoes are actually a great source of vitamins, potassium, which is important for controlling blood pressure, and other healthy nutrients that keep you full for longer. A study in which people reported the most satiating foods, boiled potatoes ranked highest, even before brown rice. The skin is high on fiber which makes is filling and nutritious as well.

20. Soups

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“Soups are very healthy if homemade,” Amsterdam says. When choosing ones that come in a box, pay close attention to the labels. Check the sodium content and ingredient list. Too much sodium can start a vicious cycle of bad events in your body.  

21. Spicy food

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Spicy food is a good option for food if you’re trying to lose weight. “Spices have medicinal proprieties, most of them are anti-inflammatory and boost up our metabolism,” Amsterdam says. Foods flavored with chili pepper may help decrease your appetite and make you feel full, according to University of Maryland Medical Center.