Consulting Nutritionist, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd., Mumbai
Women play a myriad of roles today. The right diet will give you enough energy to go through your active daily schedule, support your moods and also assist in maintaining your weight. While there can be no new innovative foods, surely there can be innovative food combinations which when eaten along with your exercise regime will make ALL the difference in busting that belly fat.
Green tea- It helps kick-start your metabolism every morning. It’s a rich source of anti-oxidants promoting heart health, helps digestion, regulates the blood sugar and body temperature. It speeds up the metabolic rate and fat oxidation hence aids in weight loss. Have few cups every day.
Citrus fruits- Oranges, lime and lemons are great sources of vitamin C which is also key in making collagen – a tissue that helps keep bones strong. Citrus fruits are known to increase your metabolic rate. Have one every day.
Ginger- Ginger detoxifies the body and promotes good blood circulation. It also expands the blood vessels and increases body heat which aids in stepping up the metabolism. Include in daily cooking and in tea.
Yogurt- It encourages the growth of good bacteria and one can stave off hunger by keeping blood sugar levels even. The protein and calcium found in low fat dairy products helps maintain muscle mass and encourages weight loss.
Cinnamon- It has been found that as little as a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon eaten with food helps the body to metabolize sugar faster and lower your blood sugar level. This is because high blood sugar levels can lead to fat storage.
Apple- An apple a day will not only keep the doctor away but keep those extra kilos away too! An excellent on-the-go low calorie snack. They contain pectin- a soluble fiber which supports healthy cholesterol and supports weight loss too.
Garlic- Garlic seems unappealing but you may change your mind once you know what it can do to your waistline. It works as a thermogenic in your body speeding up the metabolism and keeping the insulin levels low to maximize fat burning. Include in routine cooking and sauces.
Fish-The omega 3 EFA- essential fatty acids contained in fish like salmon, herring, mackerel and tuna, turn on genes involved in fat burning in the body and turn off genes involved in fat production in the body. These magical EFA also lower triglycerides and reduce fat in organs, tissues and under the skin by burning them as fuel. Include them as supplements or having fresh fish 2-3 times a week.
Banana- Other than being a rich source of potassium, it’s a good source of resistant starch. A regular intake of resistant starch has been shown to increase fat oxidation. By default, our bodies first burn off the carbohydrates and then the proteins and fats. Dietary fat gets into the line of fire first if we eat resistant starch. It gets oxidized for energy first, rather than being stored as excess adipose tissue. So the resistant starch here changes the sequence in which the nutrient is burnt-much to our advantage! Have one every day.
Water- Though we do not count water as food, but it needs an important mention. Not only does it act as a natural appetite suppressant, it makes your immunity better and flushes out toxins from the body. It also flushes out the byproducts of fat that the body is breaking down, cleansing your system and allowing your body to continue to burn fat, making your weight loss efforts more productive. Have 2- 3 liters every day.
In conclusion, go for whole fresh foods (fruits, vegetables, nuts, milk, eggs fish) over refined or processed foods (pasta, pizza, pastries). Make your meals enjoyable and healthy too, without being too harsh on yourself. Moderation is the key.
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