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This Cold-Weather Comfort Food Will Also Help You Drop Pounds  

Colder, shorter days and tons of Netflix to catch up on call for one thing: chili. Let's face it, freezing weather doesn't exactly make you crave a kale salad. And if you're looking to slim down, beef chili loaded with pounds-dropping ingredients like the ones below will help you satisfy those hankerings for a hearty meal while keeping you on track with your weight-loss goals. 

Grass-fed beef: Grass-fed beef is leaner and has more healthy fatty acids than traditional beef. Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids improve your mood and are linked to an increase in fat burning when combined with a reduced-calorie diet and exercise.

Onion: Onions are low in calories, high in flavor, loaded with fiber, and add more volume to your meal to keep you full and satisfied. Onions are also high in quercetin, an antioxidant that studies suggest helps burn calories.

Tomatoes: This fruit is high in water volume and low in calories, which makes it an ideal food if you're trying to lose weight.

Kidney beans and chickpeas: Legumes like these are an excellent source of fiber and protein. As you might know, protein keeps your belly satisfied longer post-meal, and fiber fills you up.

Cumin: This savory spice might be your secret weight-loss weapon. According to a recent study, overweight participants who ate three grams of cumin in their yogurt twice a day for three months lost about four more pounds than the participants who ate plain yogurt. 

Cayenne: Studies suggest that capsaicin, the component that gives chili peppers their heat, can in the fight against obesity by turning stored white fat into brown fat used for energy. Higher levels of brown fat improve insulin sensitivity and increase fat burning. And that spicy kick will help reduce your appetite.

Cinnamon: When it comes to keeping your blood-sugar levels steady, cinnamon is super-helpful. Studies show that this spice helps to balance blood glucose after eating, which helps reduce hunger and cravings.

Photograph courtesy of Keri Glassman

Your Go-To Winter Chili
1 lb extra-lean grass-fed ground beef
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cans (14 1/2 oz) crushed tomatoes (not drained)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp chili powder
3⁄4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1⁄4 tsp salt
1⁄4 tsp pepper
1 can (15 -16 ounce) kidney beans, rinsed
1 can (15 -16 ounce) chickpeas, rinsed

1. Cook beef and onion in a three-quart saucepan until beef is brown.

2. Stir in all remaining ingredients except beans.

3. When chili reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low.

4. Cover and simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.

5. Stir in rinsed kidney beans and chickpeas.

6. Heat to boiling, reduce heat to low.

7. Simmer uncovered about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chili reaches desired thickness. Serve with Greek yogurt and chopped red onions as toppings if desired.

Makes 4 servings. 
Per serving: 403 cal, 8 g fat (3 g sat), 50 g carbs, 11 g sugar, 560 mg sodium, 14 g fiber, 35 g protein

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