Olive oil: even its smell helps you lose weightiStock/Thinkstock
Olive oil contains more healthy monounsaturated fat than almost any other common oil or food. Studies have found that consuming olive oil instead of foods high in saturated fat significantly increases the amount of energy your body uses at rest, so you’ll burn more calories even while sitting or sleeping. A German study discovered that even the scent of olive oil helps people feel fuller and instinctively eat fewer calories. Study participants whose yogurt contained a grassy scent extract from olive oil ate fewer calories and had better blood-sugar levels after the meal than those whose yogurt was mixed with canola oil, butter, or lard.
The foregoing is adapted from The Greek Diet by Maria Loi & Sarah Toland. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from HarperCollins Publishers, 195 Broadway, New York, NY 10007.
Greek yogurt: the right bacteria to burn fatiStock/Thinkstock
Greek yogurt can curb hunger, increase feelings of fullness, stabilize blood sugar levels, reduce cravings, and prevent overeating, thanks to the fact that it has significantly more protein per ounce than almost any other ready-to-eat food. Your body burns more calories metabolizing and digesting protein than it does carbohydrates. While other foods contain probiotics (good-for-your-gut bacteria), yogurt is the most palatable way to get the daily dose needed to keep your microbiota in a fat-burning zone. Studies have shown that if you don’t have the right germs in your body, you’ll have a hard time losing weight, no matter how little you eat or how much you exercise.