Prime your diet for fat loss with nature’s most helpful foods.
When you’re working hard to lose body fat, every little thing helps. Did you know that nature has given us several tasty ingredients which could actually assist us in burning calories and losing fat? Here’s where to find them (and how to work them into your fat loss diet).
Natural Fat-Burning Ingredients
Herbs, Spices and Roots
- Black Pepper – Contains piperine, a natural chemical compound that may help reduce fat levels in the bloodstream
- Cinnamon – Could help to lower blood sugar levels naturally
- Turmeric – Contains curcumin, which is an anti-inflammatory, and is also thought to increase bile production, to breakdown dietary fat
- Ginger – Can help you feel full and control your appetite, and may also slightly raise your metabolic rate
- Red Chilies (flakes, powder) – Raises thermogenesis by increasing body temperature, helping you burn more calories
- Cayenne – Contains capsaicin, which gives cayenne peppers their heat and can actually increase your metabolic rate
- Garlic – Great for the digestion and a powerful natural antiseptic
- Mustard – A member of the cruciferous family, mustard can help raise metabolic rate
High-fibre foods help to fill you up, and assist with healthy digestion. Eat plenty of vegetables (particularly leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables), add flaxseeds or flax powder to meals, choose lentils and other pulses instead of meat, for some meals.
Green tea and Matcha tea are high in antioxidants and will boost your hydration levels throughout the day.
How Do They Work?
These healthy helpers contain compounds, which may boost your body’s metabolic rate and raise its temperature, meaning you burn slightly more calories throughout the day. For instance, black pepper has piperine, and chilies contain capsaicin. Others in our list reduce inflammation, ease digestion, and sooth the intestinal tract. All of them contain significant levels ofimportant vitamins, and some (like green tea, Matcha and leafy greens) are high in antioxidants. All of this, when added to a smart fat-loss diet, can give you the edge you need.
Combine these fat-loss helpers with your regular healthy meals to boost the thermogenic properties of the food. Base your meals around lean protein (for satiety and to help retain muscle), and healthy fats (ideally from whole eggs, oily fish, avocados or nuts). Use whole-food carbohydrates (rice, potatoes, fruit, oats, root vegetables) before and after your most active time of the day. Find your favourite combination of herbs, spices and high-fibre foods and make your fat-loss diet a little easier!
Here are a couple of suggestions of how you can use the information above to create your own fat-loss meals:
Make your porridge as normal, with water or a little milk. As it’s cooking, add 10g flaxseed, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon grated ginger root, and 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel. Remove from the heat and stir in one scoop of vanilla protein powder. Drink a cup of green tea or Matcha tea for a breakfast packed with fibre, antioxidants, healthy spices, and satiating protein.
Heat a little coconut oil or butter in a non-stick pan. Add 1/2 tsp chopped red chili (or 1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes) and stir. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/4 tsp turmeric and stir again. Pour eggs, egg whites, or a combination of the two into the pan. Move the egg mixture slowly to prevent sticking. When the eggs are nearly cooked, put a handful of spinach on top, then fold the omelette. Let the spinach wilt, then serve up.
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