Most people believe that exercise is the best weight-loss weapon. Of those surveyed in a study, it was found that 71 percent of adults agree that the best way to lose weight permanently is through exercise. Only 41 percent believe that restricting calories is the best way.
The truth is: “Exercise alone leads to a very modest reduction in total body-weight loss: less than 3 percent,” the Reader’s Digest claims. “To achieve effective weight loss, you have to pair exercise with the right diet plan.”
Fortunately, there are foods that can switch on the fat burning hormones in the human body. These fat-burning hormones are extremely powerful for melting off belly fat, according to some studies.
Consider the following:
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” so goes a popular saying. These fruits are capable of minimizing fat cells inside your body. The pectin in apples, nutritionists claim, will control fat absorption and will release fat deposits with the use of its water-binding properties. Apple skin can greatly impact your weight loss plan because it helps greatly in weight loss reduction.
The much-maligned fat in avocado is actually a triple-fat burner. Dana James, in article that appeared in Elle magazine, wrote: “Its monounsaturated fat plumps up cell membranes, enabling cells to better chat with fat-burning hormones. It also switches off the body’s fat-storage hormones. In addition, it boosts the metabolism by protecting the energy-producing part of cells from free-radical damage. Bring on the guacamole.
Part of the reason beans are good for helping a person lose weight is that beans are comparable with meat, as far as calories are concerned. Dee Braun wrote: “Beans also provide needed protein the same way meat will. The difference, however, is that beans contain much more fiber and water content than meat, and this helps you to feel fuller faster. If you feel full, you’ll be less likely to overeat and you won’t feel like you’re missing anything.”
This contains more phenolic antioxidants than most foods. Just look at this list of benefits from a recent study done at the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center by Dr. David L. Katz and his colleagues: “Cocoa can protect nerves from injury and inflammation, protect the skin from oxidative damage from ultra-violet radiation…and have beneficial effects on satiety, cognitive function and mood.”
This aromatic spice helps move glucose into the cells faster so our fat-storage hormone, insulin, hangs around a lot less. But note: “Eating a cinnamon bun doesn’t count,” James wrote. “You need to consume at least a quarter of a teaspoon of cinnamon to reap its fat-burning benefits.”
- Coconut oil
Most Filipinos will like this. The medium-chained triglycerides (MCTs) found in coconut oil is used by our body for energy, leaving less opportunities for them to be stored as fat. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that there was a greater abdominal-fat loss over a 16-week period when MCTs were consumed versus olive oil. “Use coconut oil to cook with,” the study suggested, “and olive oil for a salad dressing.”
Who doesn’t drink coffee? Unknowingly, coffee stimulates adrenaline, which sends a message to your fat stores to burn fat. When you drink coffee 20 minutes before a workout, it also acts as an ergogenic aid, enabling you to train more intensely. “The key is to make it caffeinated and black, as milk reduces its fat-burning potential,” the study pointed out. “Also, if you drink more than one cup a day, coffee can start to interfere with your body’s ability to regulate insulin, its fat-storage hormone.”
In one study out of the University of Tennessee, researchers showed that eating three servings of dairy daily significantly reduced body fat in obese subjects. And, if subjects restricted calories while consuming the same dairy servings, fat and weight loss accelerated.
On the other hand, another study done in 2010 indicated that drinking fat-free milk immediately after whole-body resistance training and again one hour after the workout allowed participants to increase fat loss, gain greater muscle and strength and strengthen bones by reducing bone-cell turnover.
“This natural sweetener has also shown great promise in animal studies for reducing weight gain and body fat when substituted for sugar,” said Liz Vaccariello, author of The Digest Diet. Honey is known to have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. It may improve blood-sugar control and immunity, and it’s an effective cough suppressant.
- Hot pepper
“When you eat spicy food, you can literally feel the burn,” wrote Ed Donner in an article, “Are there foods that produce fat-burning hormones?” Capsaicin, the compound that creates the heat in hot peppers, raises your metabolism by about 8 percent for several hours, the New York Times reported in 2006.
A steady diet of hot food may create more sustained effects on your metabolism. In his book, The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook, Dr. James A. Duke describes how subjects in one study increased their metabolism by as much as 25 percent by eating a teaspoon each of mustard and red pepper sauce at each meal for eight weeks.
Either black or green, tea performs the same function. Consuming these foods and doing exercise would increase the metabolic rate of the body. Since the metabolism is boosted and the foods themselves are deficit in calories, the energy and fat that is stored in the body help in the digestion process. In short, such foods take longer to digest and require more energy to break them down.
“The vinegar that comes along for the ride in salad dressing also helps you feel full,” wrote Vaccariello. “Research has shown that vinegar can lessen the glycemic effect of a meal [meaning it tends not to spike your blood sugar], which has been linked to satiety that reduces food intake. Vinegar may also prevent body-fat accumulation, according to a 2009 animal study by Japanese researchers. Mice that were fed acetic acid, the main component of vinegar, for six weeks accumulated less body fat.”
There’s plenty of omega-3, mono-saturated fats and alpha-linolenic acid present in walnuts that can burn a lot of fats in your body. In addition, these compounds can also boost your metabolism, which makes it easier for you to digest foods. It has been reported that consuming at least a handful of walnuts can help you lose weight in a significant way.
This natural product has an ambiguous role in weight loss. “Depending on who you speak to, you could drink it to burn calories, drink it to fill yourself up or soak a foot in it,” Suzanne S. Wiley writes. The liquids and solids present in soup is also said to have the same properties.