The basics of losing weight has not changed. It remains the same – eating proper foods and maintaining a certain amount of activity to metabolize the foods you eat for needed energy.
One way to use food as a weight loss tool is to eat those that are conducive to burning excess calories. The key to using foods this way is to consume nutrient rich foods and not those that add to your waist-line. It has been proven that the following foods will help you lose weight and maintain normal weight for your body type.
- Start eating more protein. This doesn’t mean more Big Macs or deep-fried and battered chicken strips. It means eating properly prepared meals like steamed fish, chicken made Mediterranean style with natural herbs and spices. Whenever possible, eat healthy meats that come from an organic source such as beef from free roaming animals (cows, bison, deer etc.). When consumed regularly, these proteins will cause your body to burn more calories because of their thermogenic effect. Keep meats to a minimum – once every week to ten days. Satisfy your need for protein with alternative sources like those mentioned above and things like – beans, legumes, nuts, quinoa, mushrooms, hummus and etc.
- As mentioned in earlier posts, eating good fats are an essential part of any weight loss program. These include eating more fatty foods like avocado, using coconut or olive oil when cooking your foods, having nuts, legumes and flax-seed as your ‘go to’ snacks. Good fats will help you feel full throughout the day so are more likely to skip the junk.
- Add coconut-based foods to your diet. Some uses include – oils used for cooking, drinking coconut water (which is a great source for natural electrolytes as opposed to the various sports drinks on the market), coconut cream, coconut butter, coconut yogurt, etc. Coconut has certain medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) which are not stored in the body but is used up for energy.
- Drinking certain teas like green or red teas are great for speeding up your metabolism and increasing your energy out-put. I drink at least two cups each day.
- I am a big fan of leafy greens like broccoli and spinach. These are fiber rich foods that help you feel full and won’t add unnecessary calories.
- I am also a big fan of eating various fruits. I have at least four different types every day. Although they contain a certain amount of sugar (fructose), they are fiber rich which helps prevent fat storage. Melons like cantaloupes are not sugar laden so you can have it every day. Berries such as blue berries, black berries, strawberries and cranberries are also low in sugar and are a great addition to smoothies. Bananas has a certain amount of sugar but are a good fiber source and supplies necessary potassium.
- When I was younger my ‘go to’ carbohydrate was white rice. The good thing about youth is that you are always on the go and any calories that this staple added to my body was quickly and efficiently used up. However, as I got older and less active, I opt for either no rice or brown rice. I substitute whole grain bread for white and have experimented with air fried chips instead of those fried the traditional way . . . using trans-fat. Also, when possible I eat sweet potatoes which is more fibrous.
- Hot peppers like scotch bonnet and chili peppers has capsaicin which has been proven to reduce belly fat. So, the next time you are having meat balls for dinner add a little sprinkling of pepper to them.
Although this is not a complete list, the above eight food types have the potential to help you lose weight and you can make these changes starting today.
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