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Your Skinny Shopping List

You are what you eat. Paying attention to the foods you eat can make a huge difference for your health. Incorporate these 12 foods to get a body ready for skimpier fashions.

Apples

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With bathing suit season around the corner, Motherboard Moms' motivation to eat healthier is at an all-time high. These 12 smart choices will fill up the shopping cart without filling you out. They may even help you lose a few pounds.

Crunchy, sweet, versatile, portable, high in fiber—there's a whole lot to love about apples. "One apple gives you enough sugar to boost your energy and enough fiber to keep you feeling full for a long time," says Carole Carson, author of From Fat to Fit: Turn Yourself into a Weapon of Mass Reduction.Pears boast even more fiber. Both apples and pears are rich in pectin fiber, the stuff that lowers blood sugar levels. Fill your cart so that you'll always have a healthful snack handy at home or at work.

Photo: CORBIS PHOTOGRAPHY

Berries

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High in fiber and packed with disease-fighting antioxidants and other nutrients: that describes blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries—those naturally sweet and filling snacks that taste so good over hot cereal or mixed into yogurt. Buy them fresh in season or frozen all year round. The latter make the perfect addition to a lunchtime smoothie, which can energize you, fill you up, and keep your calorie intake on track all at the same time. And, instead of reaching for a cookie, reach for a berry. Your scale will thank you.

Crunchy Veggies

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You probably know that broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage are all very low in calories and high in fiber. But did you know they're great sources of potassium and calcium? Those are nutrients that many Americans fall short in, says Elisa Zied, R.D., author of Nutrition at Your Fingertips and Feed Your Family Right! "Brussels sprouts in particular are anacquired taste, but they're really delicious when lightly sauteed with a little garlic and onions," she says. Fill up on these nutrient-rich cruciferous vegetables and you'll have less room for empty calories.

Photo: PETER KRUMHARDT

Mushrooms

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When you're trying to watch your weight, the key is to eat foods that are super tasty and healthful. Enter mushrooms: They're low in calories and you can use them in just about anything. "I slice raw mushrooms in a salad, puree a bunch and work them into lean burger meat, and toss a few chopped into pasta sauce," says Carson, the weight-loss expert.

Photo: KEVIN MIYAZAKI

Nuts

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For a food that's an excellent source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, you can't get much better than almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and other nuts. They provide a satisfying crunch and some healthy fat. Because they're also calorie-dense, you need to watch portion sizes. "In general, 2 tablespoons of nuts or 1 tablespoon of peanut butter is equivalent to about 100 calories," says dietitian Zied.

They're even satisfying as a dessert: "I put a handful of walnuts in the toaster oven and sprinkle them with pumpkin pie spices and a little bit of butter and Stevia. It's a great dessert," says Krysta Davis of Stillwater, New York.

Oatmeal

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Top a bowl of hot old-fashioned or steel-cut oatmeal with fresh fruit and a sprinkling of chopped nuts and you've got a tasty and filling breakfast. But don't limit oatmeal to mornings only. Weight-loss pros say it also makes a great afternoon snack—warm, filling, and satisfying, just what you need to hold you until your healthful dinner. It's also a flavorful option for dessert if you're craving a comfort food that's also nutritious. You can savor each spoonful of tasty goodness.

Photo: BLAINE MOATS

Quinoa

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Tired of brown rice? Try this nutty-tasting carb in place of it. "It doubles as a protein and a whole grain," says Carson. Like brown rice, it's filling and won't give you the sugar rush that white carbs can.

Photo: BLAINE MOATS

Beans

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"They may not be glamorous, but beans are super nutritious," says Carson. And versatile: She makes a quick-and-easy dip for crudités by rinsing a couple of cans of garbanzo beans (to rid them of excess salt) and blending them with a spoonful of vegetable dip. Donna Napoli, of Poughkeepsie, New York, is more of a lentil fan. "I make a big pot on Sunday and have a high-protein workday lunch for the whole week." However you eat them, lowfat beans are a good source of nutrition. Mix them with whole grain and you have a tasty protein alternative to high-fat meat.

 

Photo: BLAINE MOATS

Fish

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Choose fresh, frozen, or canned varieties of this low-calorie protein source. Salmon, herring, and tuna are all high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids but not high in calories compared with meat. "If you like fried fish, try breading white fish fillets with a whole-grain cornflake-type cereal and then baking them in the oven with a little bit of olive oil," says Zied. Voila: "fried" fish without the fat!

Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

Lowfat Yogurt

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"Yogurt is a fabulous source of protein, calcium, and vitamin D, and it's also got live active cultures to keep your gut healthy," says Zied. Just make sure it's not loaded with added sugar, or better yet, buy plain or Greek yogurt and sweeten it naturally with some chopped fresh fruit.

Photo: BLAINE MOATS

Eggs

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High in protein and extremely versatile, eggs aren't just a great breakfast choice. "A chopped hard-boiled egg is an easy way to add protein to a green salad," says Carson. That protein will make your salad heartier and more satisfying, meaning you're less likely to need a fattening snack later.

Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

Olive Oil

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If you're going to add some tasty fat in your diet, make it count: make it olive oil. It's monounsaturated fat, good for your heart—and maybe even your waistline, according to studies. Use a little in salad dressing or to saute those Brussels sprouts you're adding to your diet!

Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

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