If you’re an avid Eat This, Not That! reader, you already know that there are a lot of healthy foods that can help fight fat, bloat and a sluggish metabolism—the primary bad guys of the weight loss world. But you might not have realized that simply pairing these foods together on your plate can help you dial up your rapid weight loss wins.
We’ve already showed you seven delicious slimming duos here, but since you, the readers, have been loving them so much, we wanted to share even more fat-crushing combinations. All of the delicious pairings below can accelerate the rate of your weight loss so you look trim and fit in your Batsuit—er, bathing suit—just in time for summer!
Bananas + Spinach
Slightly green bananas are rich in something called resistant starch. This type of starch not only boosts satiety, but also–as the name implies–resists digestion. The result: the body has to work harder to digest the food, which promotes fat oxidation and reduces abdominal fat. What’s more, bananas are rich in potassium, a nutrient that helps banish pesky bloat that can make you look less trim and fit than you actually are. Pair this mighty fruit with spinach, a low-cal veggie that boosts satiety and aids post-pump recovery, to create a fat-frying smoothie in just seconds. Simply throw a small banana, two handfuls of spinach and a cup of organic 1% or carrageenan-free almond milk (we like Silk Unsweetened variety) into a blender with a couple ice cubes, blend and enjoy!
Tuna + Ginger
Want to look slim and fit on the beach? Look no further than the ocean—or at least the oceanside sushi joint. Pairing a tuna roll or a few pieces of tuna sashimi with ginger, the oft-overlooked pickled spice that comes on your plate, can help your abs shine through. Ginger accelerates gastric emptying, which helps diminish that “food baby” look more rapidly than other foods, and it also blocks several genes and enzymes in the body that promote bloat-causing inflammation. Tuna’s role on this team is important, too; it’s a primo source of docosahexaenoic acid, an type of omega-3 fat that can ward off stress chemicals that promote flab storage and down-regulate fat genes in the stomach, stopping belly fat cells from growing larger. More on this: The Best and Worst Sushi Rolls for Weight Loss
Apples + Watermelon
All fruits are healthy, but some fight fat better than others. And when you put the best of the best together in one simple fruit salad, you’ve got yourself a solid defense against health-harming flab. Apples are one of the very best sources of fiber in the fruit kingdom—and the nutrient is integral to reducing visceral fat. In fact, a recent study found that over five years, for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber eaten per day, visceral fat diminished by 3.7 percent. Watermelon, which is one of our Best Fruits for Fat Loss, adds fuel to the waist-whittling fire by improving lipid profiles and lowering fat accumulation. This dynamic duo makes for a delicious, healthy dessert or anytime snack, and is sure to turn your two-pack into a six-pack—stat!
Corn + Beans
While eating something that can make your belly bloated may not sound like the best way to lose weight, it’s actually a solid strategy. Eating a calorie-restricted diet that includes four weekly servings of protein- and fiber-rich legumes aids weight loss more effectively than a calorie-equivalent diet that doesn’t include beans, say Spanish researchers. Besides tasting delicious, pairing beans with corn can help boost the slimming effects. Corn, like bananas, contains resistant starch, a type of carb that dodges digestion. In turn, the body isn’t able to absorb as many of the corn’s calories or glucose, a nutrient that’s stored as fat if it’s not burned off, aiding weight loss efforts. To reap the benefits, create a tasty corn and bean side dish. Combine salt- and BPA-free cans of corn and beans in a saucepan and warm over medium heat. Season with ground pepper and cilantro. Add the mixture to greens for a waist-trimming salad, use it as a flavorful topper for grilled chicken, or load the mixture into a toasted whole-grain pita pocket for a quick, on-the-go lunch.
Coffee + Cinnamon
Fight fat and ward off diet-derailing hunger with a cup of cinnamon-spiked coffee. The spice is sitting in just about every coffee shop in America, but very few people sprinkle any in their cup–big mistake. Cinnamon is practically calorie-free and can add a major flavor punch to your morning java. What’s more, it contains powerful antioxidants that are proven to reduce the accumulation of belly flab. (These are just some of the reasons it’s one of our Best Spices for Weight Loss.) Pair that with an appetite-suppressing cup of caffeine, and you’ve got quite the powerful six-pack carving duo. Bonus: If you’re making coffee at home, add cinnamon right into your brew-pot with the grinds for an even better taste and all the same weight loss benefits.
Potatoes + Pepper
Thanks to the popularity of low-carb diets, white potatoes have been unfairly blacklisted. However, a second look at the science reveals that the spuds are actually powerful hunger tamers that can help you lose weight. In fact, Australian researchers found that potatoes are actually more filling than fiber-rich brown rice and oatmeal! The root vegetable is also a good source of bloat-banishing potassium, so they can help you look slimmer almost immediately. But just because potatoes are a go doesn’t mean your favorite high-cal toppings also have the green light. We’re looking at you, bacon bits! Our suggestion: Enjoy half a baked potato with a bit olive oil and fresh pepper instead. Piperine, the powerful compound that gives black pepper its taste, may interfere with the formation of new fat cells—a reaction known as adipogenesis—which can help trim your waist, zap body fat and lower cholesterol levels. It’s a triple win!
Yogurt + Raspberries
Ditch that layer of cold-weather chub with a slimming bowl of yogurt and berries. Consuming a combination of calcium and vitamin D—what’s typically found in a tub of vitamin D-fortified yogurt—can significantly decrease belly chub and fat absorption in overweight populations, a Nutrition Journal study found. To get similar results at home, start your day with some Stonyfield Organic Fat-Free Plain Yogurt and top it with fiber-packed raspberries. The fruit is a great source of insoluble fiber that, according to Canadian researchers, boosts levels of ghrelin—a hormone that controls hunger. Plus, berries are packed with chemicals called polyphenols that aid weight loss and can actually stop fat from forming. Enjoy this tasty duo as a quick breakfast or afternoon snack.