ALMONDS: Perfect packages of protein, fat, and fibre. When dieters followed a 4190kJ-a-day diet for 24 weeks, those who ate almonds lost 18% of their body weight, compared to 11% lost by people who ate carb-based snacks. Photograph: iStockphoto/Thinkstock
APPLES: Along with strawberries, oranges, peaches and grapefruit, apples contain pectin – a form of fibre that can make you feel fuller for hours.
DATES OR DRIED MANGO: These little gems have all the sweetness of lollies, with the added bonus of vitamin C and iron. And because they require more chewing time, you’ll eat fewer. Photograph: Hemera/Thinkstock
EGGS: Think of them as little protein bombs. Plus, they’re a good source of iron and lecithin, which is critical for brain health (so you can carry on making smart food choices). If you’re worried about cholesterol, leave out a yolk or two.
FROZEN BERRIES, GRAPES OR BANANAS: Frozen fruits are refreshing, satisfying, nutritious – and taste ‘smooth’ like many fat-filled desserts.
BEANS: They’re low in fat, and packed with protein, fibre, and iron – nutrients crucial for building muscle and losing weight.
LEAN MEAT AND FISH: The news on protein is that the amino acid leucine, found in meat, poultry, dairy and fish, is essential for developing lean muscle mass and regulating hormones that control your appetite and help you burn kilojoules. Aim for two 55-85g serves a day. Photograph: iStockphoto/Thinkstock
OATS: These contain soluble fibre, which stays in your stomach longer than insoluble fibre. It also works like a bouncer for your stomach, showing troublemakers the door. For example, soluble fibre helps remove LDL (bad) cholesterol from your circulatory system
OLIVE OR FLAXSEED OIL: These cause the stomach to retain food for longer – drizzle one tablespoon on salads to make them more filling. Monounsaturated oils also help keep your cholesterol in check by helping lower bad (LDL) cholesterol.
SPINACH AND OTHER GREEN VEGGIES: They’re fibre rich, with high water content so will fill your stomach. Pack a sandwich with the stuff, or stir-fry it with fresh garlic and olive oil.