Struggling to lose weight? According to recent research, you may not need to look much further than your fridge or pantry. In this article, we tell you about six surprising foods that may turn you into a fat burning machine. We also give you some helpful tips and tricks on how to integrate them into your diet.
This common household spice garners a lot of attention when it comes to burning fat. According to this study, the researchers fed cinnamon to a test group of rats for 12 weeks, along with a high fat diet. As a result, they weighed less and had a reduction in overall belly fat. Furthermore, the scientists claimed there was a decrease in blood sugar levels, insulin and fat.
Another study, conducted by the University of Michigan, suggests that Cinnamaldehyde —- an essential oil that gives cinnamon its flavour —- could protect against obesity and hyperglycemia. This compound may increase metabolism by signalling fat cells to burn energy through the process of thermogenesis.
Further evidence suggests cinnamon may lower blood sugar, which could help to prevent diabetes and other blood-sugar related diseases. Furthermore, it may protect against insulin resistance; a condition that causes the body to store fat.
How to use:
Sprinkle some cinnamon on your morning espresso (in place of sugar). Or, add it to fruit, a piece of whole grain toast, a protein shake or a bowl of oatmeal.
Blueberries are commonly referred to as one of nature’s superfoods. High in antioxidants, they help our bodies stave off illness and disease. Furthermore, research suggests this powerful fruit may also aid in weight loss. In fact, a recent study showed that when you consume one cup of blueberries per day, you may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 15 per cent, while also improving your blood pressure.
Chocolate & Wine
If you are a chocolate and/or wine lover, you will be happy to know that these indulgent foods have added health benefits. According to this study, flavanols — found in cocoa and red wine —- could prevent obesity and Type II Diabetes.
In one particular study, the female participants who were considered ‘normal weight’ but had excess body fat, saw a decrease in their waist circumference by consuming dark chocolate for one week.
And according to another study, Resveratrol may reduce the accumulation of fat. This antioxidant is found in cocoa, red grape skins and red wine.
Finally, researchers say the study participants had an easier time losing weight and keeping it off when they consumed dark chocolate while dieting. By making this ‘superfood’ a part of their regular diet, they felt happier overall. This likely played a significant role in their ability to lose weight and keep it off.
Coffee often receives mixed reviews when it comes to its health benefits. However, recent studies show it may offer some fat-burning advantages. According to the University of Illinois, caffeine may reduce the storage of lipids in fat cells, while limiting weight gain and the production of triglycerides. When rats consumed caffeine extracted from mate tea, they gained 16 per cent less weight and accumulated 22 per cent less body fat than rats that consumed decaffeinated mate tea. The effects were similar with both synthetic caffeine and caffeine from coffee.
But how much is too much? We know that six cups of coffee or more per day can be detrimental to cardiovascular health and blood pressure. Therefore, to reap the health benefits and avoid adverse effects, be sure to consume it in moderation.
According to the American Heart Association, a daily serving of nuts can help prevent weight gain and improve heart health. When study participants ate one ounce of Brazil Nuts, they experienced a greater sense of fullness (when compared to the group that was given pretzels).
Also, those who consumed nuts did not experience an increase in blood glucose or insulin. Brazil nuts contain Selenium; a mineral which may be associated with improvements in insulin and glucose response. Insulin is produced in the pancreas and is a catalyst for processing glucose for energy. However, ‘insulin resistance’ is a condition that occurs when glucose reaches unhealthy levels, often resulting in Type II diabetes. Therefore, consuming a small portion of nuts each day could help to prevent weight gain and other obesity-related diseases.
Furthermore, there is some research that suggests eating almonds either prior to a meal or in between meals could decrease body fat and visceral fat.
Since nut fibre binds to fat in the gut, more calories are excreted. Also, the high unsaturated fat content in nuts could increase resting energy expenditure.
Although nuts are recognized as a ‘health food’ that may lead to fat loss, portion control is key. Nuts are high in fat, which means they are also high in calories. So if you aren’t careful, you could easily pack on the pounds.
Whey protein has become an essential staple in most households today. We know that amino acids are key to building muscle, aiding in recovery, preventing muscle loss and helping the body to function optimally.
According to research, whey protein can also have a positive effect on body composition when restricting calories.
Whey protein not only enhances weight loss, but it also helps preserve lean muscle mass. This is important when you are trying to lose weight. Muscle mass is key to increasing your metabolism, decreasing body fat, and therefore improving your overall body composition
Although supplements provide a quick source of amino acids, research shows that protein sourced from food is just as effective when it comes to improving body composition; especially when combined with exercise.
With that said, we can’t deny the many benefits of having a high quality whey protein supplement on hand. They are delicious, convenient and cost-effective.
Not sure what to look when buying a protein powder? We recommend you choose Undenatured New Zealand Whey with no artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners. We love this delicious, low-glycemic shake which can replace any meal of the day.
In case you need another reason to add this important macronutrient to your diet, we know that protein not only helps to build muscle mass, but it also helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied throughout the day. Since protein requires energy to be broken down, you will burn additional calories just by consuming it. It’s a win-win!