Start Eating These Healthiest Foods To Help Lose Weight
Tired of wasting your hard-earned money on slim-down products that just don’t work? Fed up of diligently following restrictive diets that only make you hungry, lethargic and craving for sweets? Then add the following to your grocery list.
Have you heard about cholecystokinin? It is a digestive hormone which acts as a natural appetite suppressant. And eating beans is one way to increase your blood levels of this hormone. Plus beans are rich in fiber: not only can fiber-rich foods fill you up but according to a German study, we eliminate 7kcal for every gram of fiber we eat1! Plus loading on fiber will prevent your blood glucose levels from going on a roller-coaster— this means bye-bye fatigue and sugar cravings!
These pretty little things are packed with antioxidants that not only protect cells from damage but may also help you manage your weight. Researchers from the University of Florida found that participants whose diets were rich in antioxidants had a lower BMI even when they didn’t decrease their calorie intake. Bonus: berries will top-up your fiber intake. Research has also shown that2:
Blueberries help enhance the way the body burns fat;
Strawberries lower postprandial insulin levels — a process that helps the body use calories for energy instead of saving them as flab;
Raspberries decrease accumulation of fat around organs.
Broccoli is rich in soluble and insulin fiber that induce satiety by delaying stomach emptying and hence, also keeps your insulin levels stable. This veggie is also a great source of calcium, a mineral that may facilitate fat loss by enhancing the efficacy of a reduced calorie diet3.
4. Cayenne pepper
Other than adding an extra kick to your meals, 1 gram of these peppers can boost your metabolism by enhancing energy expenditure4. Cayenne pepper also decreases hunger, reduces preoccupation with food and eliminates cravings for fatty, salty and sweet foods4.
A study showed a 0.7% decrease in fat mass and a 0.6kg increase in lean body mass in participants who consumed cinnamon for 12 weeks5. That’s because ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon improves the body’s sensitivity to insulin thereby suppressing fat accumulation.
Fish is a great health bargain since it is loaded with protein which induces satiety: you’re less likely to overeat when you consume enough protein at each meal. Protein also maintains normal blood glucose levels and helps stimulate metabolism.
This citrus fruit is a terrific source of phytochemicals that reduce insulin levels. A 2006 study involving 91 obese subjects found that eating half a grapefruit before each meal was associated with a drop of 1.6kg over 12 weeks6.
8. Green tea
The ‘slimming ingredients’ in green tea are catechins, antioxidants that fire up metabolism and decrease fat storage. In a Japanese study, consumption of these catechins was associated with a reduction in BMI and LDL cholesterol levels7.
9. Lean grass-fed beef
Beef (and fish) are rich in the essential amino acid leucine which is a great weight loss pal. In a study, participants who ate 9 to 10 ounces of beef daily on a 1700kcal diet lost more weight and body fat, less calorie-burning muscle mass and experienced fewer hunger pangs compared to the control group who also consumed 1700kcal daily but less protein8.
Why grass-fed? Simply because you want the nutrients in the beef; not the nice dose of antibiotics, steroids and hormones that usually come with commercial beef.
It is a well-known fact that water is essential for life. But do you know how important it is for weight loss? Research shows that drinking 500ml of plain water increases energy expenditure by about 24kcal9 — so, over 12 months, if you drink only 1L of water a day, you’ll be able to burn 17,500kcal; that’s 2.3kg of fat! Plus, having a tall glass of water at least 30 minutes before a meal will help you eat less. Drink up before you feel thirsty: being only 1% dehydrated will lower your metabolism and make you feel sluggish.
Healthy foods are just one part of losing weight. To get the best weight loss results add in some exercise and stress reduction techniques as well. This will help contribute to your overall health and wellness.
For some more great tips and tricks on improving your overall health, check out Health and Wellness Insider.
1. Wisker E, and Feldheim W (1990) “Metabolizable Energy of Diets Low or High in Dietary Fiber from Fruits and Vegetables When Consumed by Humans.” The Journal of Nutrition 120(11): 1331–1337.
2. Research presented at the Experimental Biology 2011 meeting for the American Society for Nutrition on April 10.
3. Zemel, M. B., Thompson, W., Milstead, A., Morris, K., & Campbell, P. (2004). Calcium and Dairy Acceleration if Weight and Fat Loss during Energy Restriction in Obese Adults. Obesity Research 12:582–590.
4. Ludy, M-J., Moore, G.E., Mattes, R.D. (2012) The Effects of Capsaicin and Capsiate on Energy Balance: Critical Review and Meta-analyses of Studies in Humans. Chem. Senses 37(2): 103-121
5. Ziegenfuss, T.N., Hofheins, J.E., Mendel, R.W., Landis, J., Anderson,R.A. (2006) Effects of a water-soluble cinnamon extract on body composition and features of the metabolic syndrome in pre-diabetic men and women. Journal Intl Soc Sport Nutr 3:45–54
6. Fujioka K, Greenway F, Sheard J, Ying Y. (2006) The effects of grapefruit on weight and insulin resistance: relationship to the metabolic syndrome. J Med Food 9(1):49-54
7. Nagao T, Komine Y, Soga S, Meguro S, Hase T, Tanaka Y, Tokimitsu I. (2005) Ingestion of a tea rich in catechins leads to a reduction in body fat and malondialdehyde-modified LDL in men. Am J Clin Nutr. 81(1):122-9.
8. Layman DK (2003) “The Role of Leucine in Weight Loss Diets and Glucose Homeostasis.” The Journal of Nutrition 133(1): 261S–267S.
9. Boschmann, M., Steiniger, J., Hille, U., Tank, J., Adams, F., Sharma, A.M., Klaus, S., Luft, F.C., Jordan, J. (2003) Water-induced thermogenesis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 88:6015–6019