Eating healthily isn’t always about saying ‘No’ to all your favourite foods, but saying a big fat YES to all the delicious foods that you can eat, in the knowledge that they are doing you good and burning fat at the same time!
Take a look at what the experts have to say on some of the best ‘fat fighters’ that most of us have in our cupboards and fridge every day.
We all recognise that chilli helps us heat up, even making us break a sweat after consuming it. ‘This is called diet-induced thermogenesis. It is this process that is excellent for those who want to lose weight as it encourages our body to burn up calories rather than storing them. It is the active constituent capsaicin that creates the heat in our body from the food ingested. Studies have also shown that chilli may help to decrease your appetite too. More good news for those wanting to reduce their snacking between meals!’ explains Elouise Bauskis, Nutritionist at www.nutricentre.com.
This is a much better choice than white rice for many reasons. ‘Firstly, it is much more nutritious, as it hasn’t been as refined as white rice, and therefore maintains more of its fibre, protein and nutrients. On the glycaemic index of foods brown rice is a medium GL food, whereas white rice is a high GL. If you want to lose weight and for proper blood sugar balance generally, which will help you on many levels, you should ideally consume only low and medium GL foods daily.’ says Dr Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading Nutritionist (www.marilynglenville.com), author of The Natural Health Bible for Women.
‘This is a fabulous substitute for rice or pasta. Quinoa is actually a seed, so lower in carbohydrates, higher in protein and it’s very nutritious with generous amounts of minerals. It’s also alkalising and it will be much more beneficial for balancing blood sugar levels as part of a meal. Balanced blood sugar levels will decrease fat storage.’ says Elouise.
‘Almonds are high in essential nutrients especially the minerals and vitamins. They are also full of nourishing healthy fats as well as being high in protein. Fat and protein make you feel fuller for longer, which should encourage you to snack less. They also help to balance your blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity, which is an essential part of healthy weight loss and management.’ explains Glenville.
‘It can help weight management by helping to stabilise and normalise blood sugar levels, which can keep you fuller for longer, while reducing cravings for sweetness. It is also a digestive herb, gently warming your stomach, aiding in the breakdown of your food more efficiently.’ adds Elouise.
‘Green tea contains a wealth of antioxidants, the most powerful of them being EGCG, a substance that can boost metabolism. To put it most simply the nutrients found in green tea increase the levels of hormones that tell the fat cells to break down fat. This results in fat being released into the bloodstream making it available as energy.’ says Bauskis.
‘Caffeine boosts your metabolism by up to 3-11%, which may aid in weight loss. It has also been shown to increase fat burning, by up to 10% in individuals who are obese, and 29% in those who are lean. This effect may decrease over time though as your body becomes used to the caffeine. The chlorogenic acid in coffee helps reduce glucose absorption. Coffee can also dramatically boost your physical performance, on average by 11-12%. By releasing fatty acids from the fat tissues for the body to use as ‘fuel’, and by increasing adrenaline levels in the blood, it makes our bodies ready for physical exertion. Coffee will increase your energy prior to a workout, whilst also strengthening endurance, which will enhance athletic performance.’ Elouise explains.
They are one of the healthiest foods on the planet! ‘The yolk is super nutritious. It contains lecithin, nutrients and antioxidants, especially lutein and zeaxanthin. Eggs are full of good quality protein that is easy to assimilate. Plus they help you feel fuller for longer, which will encourage you to eat less. They have a positive effect on cholesterol levels, increasing our “good” HDL cholesterol whilst decreasing the “bad” LDL cholesterol.’ explains Glenville.