Thursday, July 9, 2015

30 foods you should be eating if you want to lose weight

By: Anucyia Victor

If you think eating less food equates to weight loss, you could be wrong.

Instead of cutting down on what you eat, you should actually be piling your plate with fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds which have fat burning properties.

Stocking up on these nutrient rich foods when trying to shed the pounds will eliminate hunger and speed your body's fat-burning power.
Fiona Kirk, nutritionist and author of Diet Secrets Uncovered said: 'The more nutrient rich foods you eat, the slimmer you'll get. You won't feel hungry all the time either.'

'If you want to lose weight you need to cut down on foods which have little nutritional value and consume more nutrient rich foods.'
FEMAIL has worked with Miss Kirk and nutritionist Sharon Morey from Quest Vitamins to reveal the top 30 foods you should eat when trying to shift the pounds


1. Peanut Butter
Peanuts help to stabilise blood sugar levels and have a low glycaemic index. This means they are digested more slowly and release sugar gradually into the bloodstream, providing long-lasting energy and a reduction in sugar cravings.

2. Apples
Apples contain a chemical called pectin. This chemical is also found in most berries, and fresh fruit. The pectin is in the cell walls of most fruits, especially apples. Pectin limits the amount of fat your cells can absorb.

3. Red wine
Although rich in calories the odd glass of wine now and again can benefit weight loss. It seems that grape seeds contain substances that have an inhibiting effect on weight gain.

4. Flax seeds
The warm, earthy and subtly nutty flavour of flax seeds combined with an abundance of omega 3 fatty acids makes them an increasingly popular addition to a healthy diet.

Flaxseeds contain an excellent combination of the healthy fats needed for fat metabolism but are also a fabulous source of metabolism boosting high quality protein and fibre.

Sharon Morey said: 'Flaxseeds are very low in carbohydrates and contain a high amount of B vitamins, fibre and omega 3 fatty-acids. This helps you to feel fuller for longer.'

5. Green Tea
Studies show that green tea extract can boost metabolism and may aid weight loss. It also releases energy from glucose in the food we eat, which in turn helps to burn fat.

6. Grapefruit
It's thought that the unique chemical properties of this fat-fighting, vitamin C-packed citrus fruit help reduce insulin levels, which prevents fat storage and promotes weight loss.

7. Broccoli
Study after study links calcium and weight loss. Broccoli is not only high in calcium but it's also loaded with vitamin C which boosts calcium absorption.

8. Soybeans
Soybeans contain lecithin, which will stop your cells from accumulating fat. Like a shield, this substance prevents fat from forming on your cells. It will also break down fatty deposits in your body.

9. Quinoa
A great source of complete protein. Countless studies have shown that protein can help boost metabolism, lose fat and build lean muscle tissue so you burn more calories.

10. Oats
These are a good source of the cholesterol-fighting, fat-soluble fibre that boosts metabolism and keeps you feeling fuller for longer.

11. Barley
A good source of soluble fibre which research has shown is important for weight loss.

12. Garlic
Garlic contains a substance called allicin which research has shown has a significant protective quality to cells which help to reduce fatty deposits. When taken, it brings down the levels of fat.

13. Soup
Eat less and burn fat faster by having a bowl of soup as an appetiser or a snack. According to a Penn State University study, soup is a super appetite suppressant because it's made up of a hunger-satisfying combination of liquids and solids.

In the study, women chose one of three 270-calorie snacks before lunch. Women who had chicken and rice soup as a snack consumed an average of 100 fewer calories than those in the study who opted for a chicken and rice casserole or the casserole and a glass of water.

14. Pears
Overweight women who ate the equivalent of three small pears a day lost more weight on a low-calorie diet than women who didn't add fruit to their diet, according to researchers from the State University of Rio de Janeiro. The fruit eaters also ate fewer calories overall.

So, next time you need to satisfy a sugar craving, reach for this low-calorie, high-fibre snack. You'll feel full longer and eat less.

15. Blueberries
A fantastic source of vitamin C. Studies have shown that vitamin C intake is absolutely crucial for weight management.

16. Oily fish
Along with flax seeds, oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring is a great source of essential fats which research has shown is an essential weight loss food.

17. Almonds
Studies presented at the 2005 Experimental Biology Conference in California showed that adding almonds to your diet may contribute to greater satisfaction and may prevent weight gain, with researchers hypothesising that their high levels of fibre and protein could be responsible.

Dietician Lucy Jones told FEMAIL: 'Some foods seem to be able to target fat loss from specific problem areas.
'A study by Berryman in 2014 showed that people who ate a snack of almonds, rather than a muffin lost more belly fat and reduced their waist circumference, despite taking the same number of calories.

'Almonds may curb cravings and mindless munching later in the day. Just a handful increases your nutrient intake.'

18. Walnuts 
 Research has shown that 30g of walnuts a day improves the cholesterol profile of patients with type 2 diabetes and reduces the risk of obesity.

19. Bananas
A good food source of magnesium. Magnesium is critical for energy production and proper nerve function, it also promotes muscle relaxation and helps the body produce and use insulin. Magnesium is also the key to calcium absorption and a correct balance between the two minerals is important for weight loss.

20. Sunflower seeds
These seeds are a powerhouse of nutritious protein, vitamins, minerals and nutrients that boost energy and metabolism and promote weight loss.

21. Lentils 
Lentils are a good option for anyone looking to lose weight or fat, as they have far less calories and fat than animal proteins. One half cup serving offers about 9g of protein, which is helpful for anyone looking to build lean muscle in the gym.

22. Hot Peppers
Researchers from the University of California Los Angeles tested capsaicin which is a compound fund in hot peppers. They wanted to see if there was a link between heating up the body could help with calorie and fat burning. They found that DCT, a compound found in hot peppers produced a modest increase in calories burned after a meal.

23. Broccoli
Broccoli is low in fat, and is a fibrous carbohydrate which means it will help you feel fuller for linger.

As well as fibre, broccoli has a high water content adding volume to your meal without adding empty calories, so you can eat, not be hungry and still lose weight. It can be eaten raw on its own or dipped in low fat hummus as a tasty snack alternative.

24. Cantaloupe
Cantaloupe is a particularly nutritionally dense food, which helps us feel satisfied and 'full' quicker than a higher calorie but nutritionally poorer snack would do. It's also high in fibre and water, which fills out the volume of our stomachs.

25. Spinach
Whilst spinach doesn't burn fat per se, it can certainly help you to lose it. It is incredibly low in calories; a cup of fresh spinach equates to about seven calories. Spinach can be eaten fresh to extend a salad or wilted into stews and curries to give them extra fibre.

26. Water
A new study from Germany found that subjects of the study increased their metabolic rate (the rate at which calories are burned) by 30 percent after drinking approximately 17 ounces of water. Drinking water also keeps you from mistaking thirst for hunger.

27. Cinnamon
Cinnamaldehyde is the active compound in cinnamon and is also responsible for the flavour. A Japanese study looking at Cinnamaldehyde and fat loss in mice found that Cinnamaldehyde stimulated the metabolism of the fatty visceral tissue, suggesting that cinnamon could be useful in reducing belly fat. It is also indicated to help control blood sugar levels so may help reduce snacking mid afternoon

28. Asparagus
Asparagus contains the plant chemical asparagine, which directly affects the body's cells and breaks down fat. Asparagus also contains a chemical that helps remove waste from the body, which in turn helps reduce fat.

29. Blueberries 
Catechins found in blueberries activate fat-burning genes in abdominal fat cells to assist with weight loss, and belly fat loss in particular. According to research from Tufts University, catechins increases abdominal fat loss by 77 percent and double total weight loss.

30. Mushrooms
Specifically a certain kind called Maitake, which are used in Japanese and Chinese herbal medicine and cooking.

Mushroom expert at Hifas da Terra Catalina Fernandez told FEMAIL: 'Studies on animals have found that Maitake mushrooms can support blood glucose levels by enhancing insulin sensitivity (the ability of cells to respond to insulin and remove glucose from the blood) and potentially by protecting the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.

'Some of these studies also found that animals lost weight when taking maitake mushroom extracts. A smaller human study on overweight individuals who were given a Maitake supplement (equivalent to 200g of fresh mushroom) found that all the participants lost weight even though they made no changes to their diets.'

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