With two-thirds of Americans overweight, it comes as little surprise that so many people will try just about anything to lose a few pounds. Fad diets, such as South Beach, Atkins, and Low Carb, have gained renewed popularity in recent years because of their promise to help dieters quickly lose weight. Unfortunately, not only do these types of diets offer only short-term results, they have also given many types of healthy foods a bad reputation. Here are some delicious treats that can actually help you lose weight.


Few foods have been the center of as much controversy when it comes to healthy eating as eggs. However, recent research has shown that eating an egg a day for breakfast is not only safe, it can also help you lose weight. Eggs contain an abundance of protein which takes the body longer to digest. Eating protein in the morning will help you stay full longer, making you more likely to eat less throughout the rest of the day.


For years people have been reading that Americans need to eat less read meat in their diets. While an overabundance of most any type of food can negatively affect your diet, a little steak is not always bad for the belly. A lean cut of beef has just a few more grams of saturated fat than a skinless chicken breast of roughly the same size. Just as with eggs, steak contains plenty of protein that will keep you feeling full for longer parts of the day. To get the most protein with the least amount of fat, try cooking sirloin, tenderloin and other lean cuts, while limiting the size of your steak to about six ounces.


The other white meat has seen its reputation badly beaten in recent years, as a number of excesses have been attributed to this diverse animal. However, not all pork gets manufactured into bacon or sausage. Studies have shown that cuts of pork tenderloin are 31 percent leaner now then there were 20 years ago, making them a perfectly suitable source of lean protein.


Low carb or no carb diets have made foods like pasta into the archenemy of weight loss. Instead of saying no to pasta while on a diet, try switching to small servings of whole grain pasta instead. Studies suggest the individuals who eat several small servings of whole-grain foods each day have a better chance of losing and maintaining their weight. One study even suggested that eating whole grains instead of refined grains can help burn belly fat.


While nuts do contain a high amount of fat, it’s fortunately the good kind. Nuts also contain plenty of nutrients, protein, and fiber, which can help to stabilize blood sugar levels in the body. So even if you’ll ingest a few extra grams of fat from a handful of nuts, they are a healthier alternative than snacking on a candy bar or cookie.


A favorite calorie-cutting trick of dieters is to stop eating calcium-rich dairy foods, such as cheese. However, studies have shown this technique could actually hinder weight loss. Researchers suggest that the body burns more fat when it receives plenty of calcium. So by eating such low-fat items as milk, yogurt, and cheese, you can actually encourage the body to burn excess fat.


Another thing dieters usually cut to save calories are the small treats they usually enjoy throughout the day. While you can eliminate a couple hundred calories by forgoing your daily pumpkin spice latte, you can still have your coffee and drink it too. Coffee by itself contains very few calories. What we put into our coffee, milk, sugar, flavored creams, however, is where the majority of the calories come from. Drinking coffee black or with skim milk will help you stay alert and give your metabolism an additional boost.

Timothy Lemke blogs about healthy eating habits for B.J. Willy's, a restaurant in West Linn Oregon, whose menu offers a variety of healthy foods perfect for any diet.