Life has become so fast that most of us don’t find the time to hit the gym regularly and end up feeling helpless as we watch our waistlines grow. This increased weight then begins to affect our self-esteem as well as health, and consequently we end up resorting to fad and restrictive diets to lose weight quickly.
These commercialized weight loss tactics place considerable burden on the human body as they eliminate entire food groups that are essential for its optimum functioning. So, what happens next?
We feel low on energy as well as morale and eventually succumb to the cravings that these restrictive diets cause. It is important here to understand that for getting leaner, healthier and more attractive, you need to ensure that you shed the right type of weight. For instance, you want to lower fat levels while holding on to lean muscle mass.
So, to lose weight in a smart yet swift manner, you need to make clever adjustments to your overall diet. You can do so by incorporating foods in your diet that alter your body’s functions such that you churn weight more readily whilst providing your body with ample nutrition at the same time.
Here we have outlined 5 of the most beneficial foods for smart and quick weight loss.
Astonishing is the thought that something as delectable and satiating as a sweet and ripe fruit can become the crowning jewel in a weight loss regime. This, however, stands completely true as fruits are not only packed with essential nutrients, they have actually also been found to modify bodily functions such that you are able to churn fat much more easily.
The best fruits that can catapult your weight loss efforts include:
Apples are a worthy addition to your weight loss diet as they are a potent source of a dietary fibre called pectin which inhibits the amount of fat absorbed by your cells. Moreover, they have a high water, antioxidant and vitamin A content that make them ideal for curbing hunger without loading up on calories.
Hailed for their superfruit qualities, avocados are the best fruit for weight loss. This is because they are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats such as the omega-9 fatty acids that speed up your metabolism thus allowing you to burn fat more readily. It is also high in fibre content (a quarter avocado contains 3.4 grams) which is satiating and enable us to reduce our overall food intake. Moreover, it also improves your digestion; thus allowing you to process food more efficiently
Studies have shown that grapefruit facilitates weight loss by preventing spikes in insulin. It is also a delicious addition to your dietary regime that can keep you motivated to achieve your weight loss targets
Strawberries are recommended as they possess polyphenols that help regulate blood sugar and inhibit the storage of fat.
Blueberries should be consumed as they have been found to disrupt the storage of fat by nearly 73%.
2. Lean meats
If your goal is not just to lose pounds but to lose them in a smart manner, be sure to incorporate lean meats in your diet. This is because lean meats possess fat burning properties whilst containing bucket loads of body essential nutrients.
They are also high in protein which has thermogenic properties and therefore prompt your body to burn calories more readily. This thermogenic effect of lean meats is greatest in chicken and turkey that have a relatively low fat content.
Other lean meats like salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines, on the other hand, facilitate weight loss owing to the presence of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids prompt the breakdown of fat by influencing the leptin hormone such that your body begins to store less amount of fat and begins to breakdown its existing fat reserve to produce energy. Moreover, lean meats suppress your appetite and reduce stress as well, enabling you to enjoy your journey to a leaner and healthier you.
3. Leafy and starch free vegetables
Vegetables are a hallmark of healthy eating. However, when you’re aiming to shed unwanted pounds it is best to incorporate particular categories of vegetables such as dark leafy greens and starch-free varieties to your everyday diet.
Here are the most potent vegetables for weight loss.
Onions contain a high amount of the element chromium which helps your body manage its blood-sugar levels. This, in other words, means that your body is able to avoid sudden slumps in energy that have you reaching for unhealthy snacks. Moreover, they also contain a type of flavonoid called quercetin that prevents inflammation.
Broccoli is a dietician’s favourite as it contains healthy amounts of fibre (2.4 grams per 100 grams) such that it makes you feel full for longer spans of time and also works to improve your overall digestion.
Spinach contains loads of manganese which is an essential nutrient required by our body. It also helps in the breakdown of fat reserves, therefore, allowing you to shed pounds easily.
Sweet potatoes belong to the category of low-GI foods that facilitate weight loss by avoiding spikes in blood sugar levels.
Perhaps the most under-appreciated weight loss food, legumes have been found to be more filing than lean meats. Here are the most effective legumes for weight loss:
Lentils contain generous amounts of both soluble and insoluble fibre that assist in the lowering of cholesterol levels and improve digestion.
Flageolet beans are recommended as they assist in the absorption of fat and sugar and contain appetite reducing antioxidants. They, however, should not be consumed by people with irritable bowel syndrome as it leads to bloating.
5. Herbs and spices
In addition to breathing flavour into cuisine worldwide, herbs and spices have been proven by realms of research to help the body churn unwanted fat.
Some of the most ideal varieties that can magnify the potency of your weight loss regime include:
The tea-lovers favourite, green tea contains mounds of catechins that help boost metabolism and consequently are ideal for weight loss. They do so by lowering the levels of the catechol-O-methyltranferase enzyme which in turn leads to the degradation of norepinephrine; the hormone that burns body fat. However, to see visible results, it is recommended that you consume 2 – 3 cups of green tea every day.
It is best to opt for green-tea brands like Buddha’s Herbs that have been tried and tested to offer the best results for weight loss.
Turmeric has been found to facilitate weight loss by warming up your body and consequently increasing your metabolic rate. It can be added directly to meals or can be consumed in the form of turmeric tea that is all the rage these days.
Cinnamon possess cinnamaldehyde; a compound that not only gives cinnamon its unique flavour but also causes the breakdown of fat reserves so that it may be converted in to energy.
Owing to the unforgiving intensity of this spice, it is seldom a part of our everyday meals. However, research has found that this spice, when added to meals, allows us to churn up to 100 calories which can take you leaps and bound ahead in your weight loss journey.
Black pepper sets itself apart from other weight loss foods by inhibiting the formation of new fat cells. So, as you attempt to lose smart, be sure to add some of this pepper to your meals to ensure that you do not build any new fat reserves.
All the foods mentioned above can always be mixed and matched to develop a wide range of menus that can be delicious and healthy at the same time.
Evie Harrison is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs. Find her on Twitter:@iamevieharrison