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Foods That Can Help You Shed Pounds

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(credit: CBS) Natalie Nyhus
Natalie Nyhus joined the WCCO-TV team in January of 2011. She anchors...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Fighting fat doesn’t have to mean starving yourself. In fact, there are lots of foods that naturally help fill you up, without weighing you down.

Our first one on the list is a food that has really been growing in popularity lately: Greek yogurt. It has twice as much protein as other yogurts, so it keeps you satisfied and feeling full longer. You also burn more calories digesting protein that you would carbohydrates. Another bonus is that Greek yogurt contains probiotic cultures, which help your digestive system.

Quinoa is a nutritional all-star that many wouldn’t think of. It’s a whole grain that has 8 grams of hunger busting protein and 5-grams of fiber in one cup. And it’s easy to cook — it’s pretty much like cooking rice. It makes an easy meal, as you can mix in some vegetables or serve it with some lean protein.

If you like baked potatoes, you might want to substitute your normal potato for a baked sweet potato. They tend to be fuller of flavor and don’t usually need all the butter, sour cream or cheese that regular baked potatoes do. One other bonus is that sweet potatoes are packed with potassium, beta carotene, vitamin C and fiber.

A perfect summer treat: the watermelon. The fruit contains a lot of water and takes up a lot of room in your stomach, leaving a lot less room for other foods. It’s also full of antioxidants. And, best of all, it’s very low in calories. A cup of diced watermelon has about 50 calories.

Beyond entrees and side dishes, cinnamon helps curb your appetite by stabilizing or lowering blood sugar levels. Nutritionists suggest stirring some into your coffee, tea or yogurt without adding calories. You can also sprinkle it on fruit.

Hot peppers have a flavorless compound — Capsaicin — that helps to curb appetite and slightly speed up the metabolism for a short time. Capsaicin is found in jalapenos but is more plentiful in spicy habaneros. Experts say hot peppers may not have a significant impact on weight loss, but people do tend to eat less when their food is spicy.

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