Grapefruit, green tea and fish; the top foods to help you lose weight
Tuesday 16 October 2012
Us women, we're always trying to lose a bit of weight, aren't we! Whether it's a couple of pounds for that special event you've got coming up or a couple of stone and a complete lifestyle change, we're always on the lookout for ways to help us shed those wobbly bits. And so, here are a list of food and drinks that can well help you on your way to your weight-loss goal. Enjoy!
Coffee boosts the fat-burning potential of cardiovascular exercises, so necking an espresso before the gym will help with your weight loss. Caffeine dilates blood vessels, increasing the flow of blood and oxygen to muscles. Nothing wrong with having a post-workout Americano either – coffee stimulates the release of cholecystokinin, a hormone which inhibits cholesterol build-up in the gallbladder. Just be sure to steer clear of calorific lattes and syrupy iced coffees.
Flaxseeds are small seeds that help with digestion; preventing constipation and bloating. Healthy digestion helps with weight loss as it stops your body storing food, which can lead to weight gain. Flaxseeds also contain omega 3, which is good for blood circulation. These seeds have a tasty, nutty flavour so try sprinkling over cereals, porridge or fruit salad.
Green tea leaves are not fermented and contain more catechins – a natural plant antioxidant that speeds up your metabolism – than other teas. This coupled with the natural caffeine present in green tea is what makes drinking it such an effective way of boosting your metabolism, which in turn increases weight loss. Pick up a box of green tea bags from your local supermarket and enjoy a cup with a slice of lemon.
Cayenne pepper is a pepper from France most commonly seen in powdered form. It can be found in a variety of spicy foods, such as chilli con carne. Eating cayenne pepper heats the body up and as a response, when the body cools down it burns calories. Available in fresh form, powdered and as dried flakes.
Raspberries, and berries in general, have incredible amounts of antioxidants that improve metabolism, leading to weight loss. Antioxidants also help fight germs so grab a handful of delicious raspberries and blackberries to stave off common colds and flus.
Fish is by far one of the best metabolism boosting foods. It contains omega 3, which helps with blood circulation and prevent blood clots. Omega 3 also increases metabolism directly. Try and incorporate fish into your diet twice a week. How about grilling a delicious piece of salmon and serving it with new potatoes and steamed greens? Or there’s always the trusty tuna sandwich.
A study of 91 obese people conducted at the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic found that eating half a grapefruit before each meal or drinking a serving of the juice three times a day helped people drop more than three pounds over 12 weeks. The fruit's phytochemicals reduce insulin levels, a process that may force your body to convert calories into energy rather than flab.
Research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that a little cinnamon can help control post-meal insulin spikes, which make you feel hungry. Another USDA study showed that just a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon a day lowered blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Sprinkle on porridge or stir into low-calorie hot chocolate for a warming treat.
To keep the pounds at bay, eat an apple – or two – a day. A number of studies have found that eating an apple half hour to an hour before a meal makes you feel full, so you eat less of your meal. Recent research suggests apples have other benefits too; the antioxidants in apples appear to prevent metabolic syndrome, the combination of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and prediabetes that can lead to weight gain. Also, apples are high in pectin, which binds with water and limits the amount of fat your cells can absorb. So there you have it – an apple a day keeps the pounds at bay.
Oats are a whole grain and are high on what nutritionists call the ‘satiety index,’ meaning oats are great at keeping you fuller for longer. Not only that, they're also high in soluble fibre, so they cut cholesterol and blood fat. Oats digest slowly so they don't raise your blood sugar and they keep you feeling filled up well into the late morning. Old-fashioned steel-cut and rolled oats, with up to five grams of fibre per serving are best but even instant oatmeal has three to four grams of fibre per serving. So take a leaf out of Goldilocks book and get some porridge down you.
Eggs are a concentrated form of animal protein without the added fat that comes with some meat. Dietary studies have repeatedly found that when people eat an egg every morning in addition to (or instead of) toast or cereal, they lose twice as much weight as those who eat a breakfast that's dominated by carbs. Whip up some scrambled eggs for brekkie and watch the pounds drop off.
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