According to me, losing weight is much more than just consuming fewer calories to bring about a drop on the weighing scale. For a lot of people, it is essential to safeguard themselves against the growing menace of lifestyle diseases.
We all know that one of the first rules of losing weight is to ditch ‘fatty foods’ and switch to a ‘healthy diet’. But that’s not all. Weight loss does not simply mean scrapping fatty foods off the menu. Sometimes it requires you to bring about a balance by sneaking certain foods in your diet.
These foods are –
1. They are nutrient dense; rich in proteins, fibers and antioxidants.
2. They usually have low glycemic index.
3. They help in regulating blood glucose and keep insulin levels low. Low levels of insulin allow the release of fatty acids which help in fat loss.
Here’s a checklist of five foods that are not just granny’s home remedies chewed and digested through generations; they come with a scientific back up. Some foods have a high thermogenic effect, a process by which the body generates heat that accelerates metabolism, scorching away the calories, while others contain compounds and chemicals that are effective fat burners. Combine these fat burning foods along with a calorie-restricted diet to boost up the metabolic rate and reduce body fat.
1. Protein-Rich Foods:Proteins are thermogenic in nature which means they produce heat when they undergo the digestion process. Proteins use 30% of the body’s calories to break down. You should start by including the following in your daily diet –
- Fish: They are rich in DHA (omega 3 fatty acids) and lean proteins which help in burning fat.
- Beans: They are rich in proteins, low in fat and high in fiber. A combination of all three helps in fat loss.
- Nuts are rich in essential fats, fibers and proteins. Nuts help in breaking down fat and in fat mobilisation.
- Eggs are also great for burning fat naturally as they are packed with protein. Also, research supports that if you start your day with an egg you tend to eat fewer calories through the day.
2. Whole Grains: Whole grains help in fat reduction and should be included as the part of daily food intake. They are rich in B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium and fiber which help in maintaining blood glucose levels and regulate your metabolism. These include – jowar, bajra, ragi, oats along with others. Oats contain a soluble fibre called beta-glucan which is known to absorb fats. It digests slowly and therefore leaves you with a feeling of being full for a longer time. Millets boost bile secretions that destroy undesirable fats. Moreover, the body uses up a lot of calories to break down and digest these grains.
Here are some interesting recipes to try at home –
Whole Grain Crackers
3. Apples: This forbidden fruit of Eden is the doctor’s pet. Apples are packed with pectin, a chemical that combines with water and limits the amount of fats absorbed by the body cells. Apples are also loaded with fiber, the consumption of which keeps you full for a longer time. Bite into an apple to curb your cravings into the bargain.
For some delicious apple dose –
Hot Apple Punch
Apple Carrot Muffin
Oat Apple Crumble
4. Cinnamon: You may have reserved it for Christmas cooking but cinnamon is actually one of the most effective fat burning spices. It helps in regulating blood sugar levels and reduces high cholesterol levels. Steady blood sugar levels help in preventing cravings and keep you energetic through the day. Use about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in your morning cup of tea or mix it with warm water and honey and drink it.
5. Green Leafy Vegetables: Eat lots of green leafy vegetables as they are low in calories, high in fiber and contain calcium and vitamin C. Vegetables juices like spinach and celery help in cleansing the body, increase the metabolic rate and aid in fat loss.
Who knew that these humble ingredients lurking in your kitchen cabinets can actually help you get in shape. Eat away!