... a dreamer, freelance writer, massage therapist, naturopath, mother & drop-out social work student living, working and writing in the Blue Mountains. When not occupied with the real world, she writes fantasy.
Published February 7th 2013
Discover your allies in the kitchen pantry
Weight loss doesn't have to mean starvation
The fab news is that you can still eat while you lose weight. Munch out on more of these to help you win the battle against those kilos.
The humble lemon helps by stimulating metabolism and aiding digestion and detoxification. Lemons are one of the richest sources of citric acid. This acid helps stimulate gastric juices that enhance digestion of food. Research shows that lemon juice can have a positive effect on blood sugar levels. The peel can help reduce hunger pangs - via the pectin, which induces a feeling of fullness. Lemons literally burn fat off; because of their acidity they assist the body to absorb calcium – in turn stored within fat cells. Cells that contain more calcium burn more fat.
Lemons - more squeeze please.
2. Green tea
The Chinese and Japanese had it right. Those smart buggers have been been drinking green tea since the first century A.D. With their refined practice of tea-ceremonies, it's little wonder they have slimmer waistlines than their Western counterparts.
Green tea works by increasing metabolism (that rate at which our bodies breakdown food, produce energy, burn fuel and get rid of waste). Research has found that green tea extract can increase the metabolic rate by 4% over a 24 hour period. Green tea has also been found to balance blood sugar and inhibit the absorption of fat. By sipping your green tea instead of a coffee or other beverage you may also be sparing your body additional calories.
Green Tea - the dieter's beverage.
Yep, we're talking those fart-breaking beans here: chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, cannelloni beans, lima beans and so on.
Packed with fibre, legumes help balance blood sugar and reduce appetite by inducing a feeling of fullness. As a fibre rich food they also aid in detoxification and elimination. They have fewer calories than meat but are rich in protein and fill you up just as much.
Fat free black beans with their 15 grams of protein per cup come tops of the list.
Legumes - get into them!
Ever wondered why so many Asian people are thin? Perhaps the reason is capsaicin.
This component of hot chilli peppers has been found to increase metabolism and thermogenesis (the rate at which the body converts fat into heat). In addition, it has been found to perform as an appetite suppressant, reducing calories.
Capsaicin is rich in hot chilli peppers, of which there are a whole host of cultivars under the genus Capsicum - including red peppers, cayenne, jalapenos, habanero's and others. Bell peppers are too mild and not potent in capsaicin. Capsaicin is the the substance that gives chilli its bite.
Cubanelle Peppers, Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
5. Fruit and Veggies
Okay, so you didn't want to hear this, but there's no denying the truth. Popeye wasn't skinny for nothing.
Unbelievably, fruit and vegetables are about 90% water and that equates to low calories. A Tokyo University study found lower body mass indexes in women who ate food with high water content.
Green leafy veges are particularly high on the list. The reason the green stuff helps you lose weight is very basic: they are so low in calories you'd have to munch through an ocean of the stuff to get fat. For example, one leaf of lettuce has about 2 calories compared to 113 calories in a slice of cheddar cheese. You get my drift.
Come on, quit whinging: the benefits are that you get to eat heaps and pack a punch of nutrients. Mix them with those tasty beans, some luscious salad veggies and some lemon dressing for best taste.