Eat to lose weight?

In our modern Western society it is quite common for people to be overweight with all the ramifications upon general health that this entails. We just love to eat. It seems, though, that it is not so much a matter of not eating to reduce weight, but including in our diet foods that burn more calories than they contain. 

Here is a list of eight such foods.

  1. Essential fatty acids (EFA). Research has found that people who consume fish (which is the best natural source of EFAs) regularly have lower levels of leptin which slows down the metabolism and promotes obesity. Eat fresh fish three to five times a week or have daily supplements.
  2. Cinnamon. The USDA has found that adding as little as a 1/4 teaspoon to food helps your body metabolise sugar twenty times as fast.
  3. Apples and berries. These contain pectin which has a water binding effect that draws fat from the cells, making it harder for your body to absorb fat.
  4. Cayenne pepper. This works as it triggers what is known as a thermodynamic burn that lasts for hours after you eat. Chilli has the same effect, and research indicates that eating chilli every day is a great way to shed weight. Perhaps this is partly why Asians who eat lots of chilli are generally immune to the West's obesity epidemic.
  5. Citrus fruit. These fruit contains high levels of vitamin C which helps dilute and liquify fat so it leaves the body easily. It also increases metabolism.
  6. Garlic. It works as a thermogenic, speeding up the metabolism and keeps insulin levels low to maximise fat burning.
  7. Ginger. It expands blood vessels and increases body heat, which can increase the metabolism by up to 20%. Add to this its function as a detoxifier you have an all round good additive.
  8. Dairy foods? A study by the International Journal of Obesity found that the calcium and protein found in low fat dairy foods promotes weight loss while maintaining muscle mass.

Clearly eating these foods is not going to counteract gorging on cookies or icecream, but if accompanied by fairly simple and easy to follow rules such as no carbs at night, eating three meals a day (skipping meals does not help as it simply slows down the metabolism, so may even cause you to gain weight!) and using sweets as an occasional treat instead of a daily habit.
Adapted from

Related to - Food and Nutrition

By Mark O'Brien

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