Fiber is your best diet friend. It is bulkier and makes you feel full on less food. Foods with a high water content offer the same benefit.
|Wonderful Watermelon/Courtesy Watermelon.org|
|The Starbucks Oatmeal Cookie/Courtesy Starbucks|
Fill up on a big bowl of broth-based soup as an appetizer, go light on the cheese, breaded items, etc. Too hot for soup? Go for a veggie-laden salad. Again, nix the croutons, heavy cheese, bacon bits and creamy dressings.
There is data behind this. According to Women's Health Magazine, a study at Penn State University examined obese women who ate foods with a higher fiber and water content. Those women lost 40% more weight than women who simply controlled their portion size and cut back on fat.
In another Penn State study, women ate the same weight of food over a 2-day period. The women who ate the high-fiber foods on the second day took in 30% fewer calories but did NOT feel hungrier or less full.
Think about it. When you eat soup before dinner, you get full faster. It's a simple matter of volume.
Here is a great list of high-volume foods (aka high-fiber, low-calorie) from the American College of Healthcare Sciences. Definitely worth your time.