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Low-Calorie Staples to Help You Lose Weight

Skinny Foods You Should Have on Hand

We are pumped to share one of our favorite stories from Fitness Magazine here on FitSugar!

How often do you get home too tired to cook, struggle with what to eat, and end up ordering takeout? We all know that when hunger hits it's convenience over health that ultimately wins, so make it easy next time and be prepared. Stock up on these 10 staples and nix the takeout. Just think of the money you'll save from not having to tip the pizza guy!

Hummus and Veggies

The Middle Eastern chickpea spread is an easy, protein-rich snack that fights hunger and balances blood sugar levels — and a little goes a long way. Baked pita chips aren't the worst thing you can eat, but substituting some veggies can make a bigger impact than you think. "Hummus boosts energy because it contains iron, and red bell pepper slices are high in vitamin C, which helps to utilize and absorb the iron from the hummus," says holistic nutritionist Peggy Kotsopoulos, author of Must Have Been Something I Ate. Follow her easy recipe for plain hummus by throwing 1 can of chickpeas in a blender with a dash of ground cumin, sea salt, extra virgin olive oil, and a splash of lemon juice. Keep a few batches in the freezer so all you have to do is thaw.

Salsa

When not paired with greasy fried tortilla chips and margaritas, salsa is surprisingly low in calories. Kotsopoulos suggests buying yours from the refrigerated section of the grocery store, where it's the freshest. Make an easy, low-cal substitute for nacho layer dip by putting hummus on the bottom of a dish, layering with salsa, then topping with olives or lettuce. Instead of chips, try Mary's Gone Crackers, which are made of brown rice, flax, and sesame seeds ($5.49, grocery stores nationwide).

See what other skinny foods you should be eating after the break!

Eggs

There has been a misconception that eating only egg whites is best, but go ahead and eat the whole thing. It tastes better, and half the protein is found in the yolk. Proteins like those found in eggs yolks stimulate the release of the hormone glucagon, which aids in fat burning and actually fights off belly fat. "The egg yolk has vitamin E in it, plus will help keep you fuller longer," says Kotsopoulos. Prep for the week by boiling half a carton of eggs to keep on hand for easy snacking.

Raw Almonds and Almond Butter

While peanut butter is packed with protein, almonds are better-quality nuts that are rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that counteracts free-radical damage. Not only are almonds good for your hair and skin, but they're also rich in magnesium and vitamin B2, which help calm nerves and combat stress. "When you're stressed out, cortisol is released in the body and causes weight gain. The B2 vitamin in almonds helps with that while boosting your energy levels," says Kotsopoulos.

Read on for more must-have skinny foods.

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