Call it what you will—tiny pills that release noxious gases which cause untimely flatulence, or any other pun-ny names you can think of—when it comes to beans, there’s just no escaping the jokes so let’s just get them out of the way: has bean; spill the beans; beanie buddies; bean there, done that; beaned over… enough?

Now to credit it for its wholesome goodness. The humble bean makes for the perfect addition in a weight watcher’s meal plan. The key is to know how to eat them, and still avoid the bloating to benefit from their weight loss properties.

So first things first, let’s talk numbers—a cup of kidney beans provides 215 calories; a cup of black beans, 227; and one cup of pinto beans, 206. That means, they make for a great low-calorie meal, because don’t forget, they swell up and take a lot of space in the stomach, making you feel full for much longer, even if you’ve had just a small portion.

Their high fiber content does have an added advantage too. While keeping things moving (in terms of digestion, if you didn’t catch our drift), you are also less likely to crave untimely snacks and eat impulsively in between meals.

Beans are packed with protein as well, and help keep your energy and blood sugar levels stable. What this means is that you won’t crave for any sugary pick-me-ups, while simultaneously contributing to your muscle tone by eating a complementary ingredient.

Needless to say, the ingredient is versatile and can be stirred up into snacks, breakfast, lunch or dinner servings. For the times you feel like your stomach is about to drop a toxic bomb, we suggest you open a window; capisce?

PS: Here’s an exhaustive list of Diets For Weight Loss.
Also, head here to catch the latest in Fitness Trends

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Charlene Flanagan is a lifestyle journalist whose love for language drove her to earn her Bachelor’s degree in English literature, as well as pursue her Masters in Arts. Over the last five years, she’s contributed to a number of leading publications, and has particularly enjoyed reviewing books and restaurants, as well as interviewing celebrities. Her recent switch to a holistic lifestyle has her looking at her food choices very differently—although she won’t admit it. When she’s not busy writing up about workouts, home remedies, and skincare essentials, she spends her time being the quintessential city girl who’s excited to see what life has in store for her.