4 Foods a Nutritionist Recommends to Help Shed Pounds

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What to eat when you’re trying to lose those last few pounds or kickstart a healthier lifestyle? Author and award-winning nutritionist Alina Zhukovskaya takes us through what we should—and should not—be eating to hit our next goal.

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Algae
Specifically blue green algae, spirulina and chlorella. “Algae is loaded with nutrients, so they allow the body to feel satisfied; they’re actually known as the most nutritional foods on the planet,” Zhukovskaya explains. The result of eating these: an energy boost, a dip in cravings and curbed hunger. “I like to add chlorella and/or spirulina to my morning smoothies for long-lasting energy.”

Leafy Greens
“When trying to lose weight, the liver has to be supported,” Zhukovskaya says, adding that greens are very liver-loving. “I ask my clients to make half of their meals—even breakfast—green.” According to Zhukovskaya, greens are great for weight loss because they’re very filling, low-calorie and dense in fiber, so it keeps us full while also cleaning out our system. “Essentially, you get satisfied without the extra calories, plus the benefit of more energy.”

The Detox Drink
“I always get my clients to drink a cocktail that includes one tablespoon of chia seeds, two tablespoons of unsweetened cranberry juice and one tablespoon of lemon juice, all mixed into 12 oz of water,” says Zhukovskaya. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, cranberry is great for liver cleansing, and lemon works to detox the liver. Once all ingredients are combined with water, Zhukovskaya says to wait 10 minutes for chia seeds to bulk up, then drink it 30–45 minutes before breakfast. “The combination of lemons, cranberry and chia creates a great liver detox.”

Hot Water
Hold the lemon. “Twenty-four ounces of PLAIN hot water first thing in the morning, sipping on it like you would a hot tea, will stimulate your lymphatic system, which drains fluid in our bodies and acts as a garbage disposal,” says Zhukovskaya.

What to Avoid:
On the do-not-touch list: deep-fried foods, processed foods, white sugar, hard alcohol and white flour. “Almost everything else is OK in moderation.”