Is a thermic diet worth trying?   My cube mate at work eats nonstop, yet she’s lost almost 20 pounds since May.  I finally asked for the scoop on the all-you-can-eat diet because I want to get on it, too!  Apparently, she’s losing weight because she’s munching on “thermic” foods.  What that about?

Technically, all food is thermic—this simply means that it generates heat energy when broken down by the body.  But certain foods do have a greater thermic effect than others, in some cases causing the body to burn more calories than the food itself contains.  For example, the body uses 90 calories to digest a 20-calorie serving of asparagus, for a net intake of minus-70 calories.  And you’re in luck: Highly thermic foods are abundant in the summer.  Slenderizing eat-till-you’re-stuffed options include papaya, mangoes, pineapple, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers and spinach.  For best results, eat them raw—cooking makes these foods easier to digest, reducing their thermic power.

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