10 Slimming Staples for Your Pantry

Lose weight by stocking up on these flat-belly ingredients

November 9, 2017
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With the right ingredients on hand, your meals will not only be tastier, they'll also help you drop pounds. Here are 10 pantry essentials your kitchen should never be without, adapted from The Women’s Health Fitness Fix: Quick HIIT Workouts, Easy Recipes, and Stress-Free Strategies for Managing a Healthy Life, a new book by fitness expert Jen Ator and the editors of Women's Health magazine.

Lose belly fat first with this metabolism-revving diet!

Pantry staples: applesauce pic
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Pantry staple: Applesauce

Delicious on its own, applesauce is also a great replacement for oil in baked goods. (For more ways to boost nutrition without sacrificing flavor, check out these 10 Healthy Ingredient Swaps.) 

More: The 15 Worst Things In Your Lunch Bag

Pantry staples: BBQ sauce pic
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Pantry staple: Barbecue sauce

Barbecue sauce packs a lot of flavor in a small tablespoon. Just make sure to watch out for bottles with too much sugar

More: 7 Picks for Healthier Condiments

Pantry staple: beans
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Pantry staple: Canned beans

Black, cannellini, pinto, chickpeas, or lentils—any kind of bean offers real health benefits. People who eat 2/4 cup of beans per day have lower blood pressure and smaller waist sizes compared to those who don't eat beans, and the little superfoods can also boost fitness.

Harness the power of beans with this delicious veggie burger recipe.

Pantry staples: tuna pic
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Pantry staple: Canned tuna, chicken, or crabmeat

Canned meat and fish can be a great option for quick lunch protein (which makes them some of the Best Foods for Weight Loss). But watch out—conventional albacore tuna contains about three times as much mercury as light tuna.

More: The Healthiest Canned Tunas

Pantry staples: chili powder
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Pantry staple: Chili powder

Satisfaction has more to do with what food tastes like than how much of it you eat, so pump up the flavor of everything from eggs to tuna salad. And try experimenting with these 13 Spices that Help You Lose Weight

More: 9 Spices That Boost Your Immune System

Pantry staple: curry powder pic
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Pantry staple: Curry powder

This blend of turmeric, cinnamon, and coriander not only tastes great, it also has disease-fighting properties. Add Curried Sweet Potato Salad to your meal rotation to reap serious nutritional benefits. 

More: 21 Ways to Feed Your Brain

Pantry staples: olive oil
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Pantry staple: Extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil

These oils have a great ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats, making them ideal all-purpose oils for sautéing, roasting, and making dressings. Bonus: making your own salad dressing will help you avoid these 20 Dressings That Turn Salads into Fat Bombs

More: 15 Simple Salad Dressings You Can Make at Home

Pantry staples: fruit spread
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Pantry staple: Fruit spread

Ditch the jelly and get in with the good stuff. Chose one with 100 percent fruit and no added sugar or high-fructose corn syrup for best results. 

More: 8 Rules for Low-Sugar Diet Success

Pantry staples: ground cinnamon
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Pantry staple: Ground cinnamon

Ground cinnamon is delicious on oatmeal, broiled grapefruit, or even a latte, and eating some with or after a meal lowers the food's glycemic index, which can prevent fat storage (no wonder it made this list of 12 Belly-Blasting Superfoods).

More: 10 Rules for a Younger, Smarter You

Pantry staples: salsa
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Pantry staple: Salsa

This topper sits well on just about anything that needs a little extra flavor. And you can even make your own salsa using inventive ingredients like mango and grapefruit.

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