A guide to achieving your health and wellness goals
We’re all on the same side – with fat on the other. We’re constantly in combat with the fat in different areas of our bodies. What can one do to get rid of that dreaded entity that grows of its own accord and takes forever to conquer?
If you’re one of those who (like us!) struggles regularly with this dilemma, here are 10 foods you should be including in your daily meal plans:
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is a nutritional all-star that belongs in every weight loss plan. This whole grain has 8gm of hunger-busting protein and 5gm of fibre in one cup; you’ll also get iron, zinc, selenium, and vitamin E. Quinoa is as easy to cook as rice. For a quick dinner, mix in vegetables, nuts or lean protein. Quinoa biryani is all the rage and it tastes absolutely amazing.
Hot peppers have a flavourless chemical called capsaicin. It’s far more plentiful in habaneros, but jalapeños have it too. Capsaicin seems to curb appetite and speed up metabolism slightly, but only for a short time. It probably doesn’t have a big impact on weight, unless you eat less food, because it’s spicy.
Some studies suggest
cinnamon may have a stabilising effect on blood sugar levels. This could curb appetite, particularly in those with Type 2 diabetes. Nearly everyone can benefit from cinnamon in its powdered form. Stir some into your coffee, tea or yoghurt to add sweetness without adding calories.
Grapefruit doesn’t have any magical fat-burning properties, but it can help you feel full with fewer calories, because its soluble fibre takes longer to digest. Having half a grapefruit or a glass of grapefruit juice before a meal fills you up, so you eat lesser during the meal.
Foods that are rich in water take up more room in your gut. This signals to the body that you’re full, leaving less room for other foods. Many raw fruits and vegetables are full of water and nutrients, and low in calories. Watermelon is a great example. It’s a good source of the antioxidant lycopene and gives you some vitamin A and C too.
Like other fruits, berries are high in water and fibre, which can keep you full longer. They’re also sweet, satisfying your sweet tooth for a fraction of the calories you would get from, say, cookies or brownies. Loaded with antioxidants, they’re easily available all over town.
Think of the typical toppings on your baked potato. If you substitute it with a sweet potato, you might not need any of those. Baked sweet potatoes are so full of flavour, they don’t need a lot of toppings. This can save you loads of calories. As a bonus, sweet potatoes are packed with potassium, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and fibre.
Oatmeal has three things going for it: it’s fibre-rich, whole grain and contains lots of water. It’s a very filling combination. If you heat it, oats take longer to eat – if you are okay having your oats hot! – and all that liquid and fibre will help you feel full longer. Avoid super-sugary oatmeal. Stirring in cinnamon or nutmeg will give you a sweet taste with less sugar.
Nuts are an excellent way to curb hunger pangs between meals. They’re high in protein, fibre, and contain heart-healthy fats. Studies suggest nuts can promote weight loss and improve cholesterol levels, when eaten in moderation. But they’re rich in calories, so limit your portions. Hopefully, having to get some of them out of their shells will help you slow down and not eat as much.
Make sure you incorporate at least five of the above foods into your weekly meal plans and you will definitely shed some fat. Of course, if you include exercise in your daily schedule, you will see some serious fat melting away!