These Foods are in Your Kitchen Right Now and will Help You Burn Fat and Calories
The key to weight loss is taking in fewer calories than you burn, but what you eat can give you tremendous advantage. You really are what you eat, food is nothing but a bunch of chemicals that unravel during digestion and become part of your body. The key is to eat foods that help your bodily systems run smoothly and optimally, so your energy and metabolism stays set to high. Here are seven foods to stock up on that will help you burn fat and calories.
New research reveals that your body has a harder time burning fat and calories without adequate levels of Vitamin C-the star nutrient in OJ. Some experts estimate that up to one-third of Americans routinely run low on this important antioxidant. Why? Because we’re still not eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables. Strawberries, kiwi, red bell peppers, tomatoes, citrus fruits and spinach are all excellent sources.
Good to know: Fresh orange Juice is brimming with vitamin C. (It delivers 80mg or more per cup, above the 60mg Daily Value.) But vitamin C degrades with exposure to oxygen and light. Within a month every trace of vitamin C disappears from the juice, leaving you with nothing but a carton of orange-colored calories. By the time you reach the expiration date, the vitamin C is lost. Skip the gallon jug. Buy smaller containers instead and drink it within a week.
There’s a reason every weight-loss plan recommends guzzling plenty of water. It helps with weight loss. When German researchers gave 14 men and women two cups of water, they found that the subjects’ metabolism began to rise within 10 minutes of their final sip. After 40 minutes, their average calories burning rate was 30 percent higher and stayed elevated for more than an hour. What’s more, the water quenches your thirst and helps prevents dehydration, which can slow down your metabolism.
Good to know: Part of the increased fat and calorie burn occurs as your body warms the liquid to your body temperature, so if you’re aiming for max fat and calorie burn, dump ice cubes into a 16-ounce water bottle and fill it to the brim with water.
To read more about the health benefits of drinking water click here
People who eat fish three or four times a week have higher levels of leptin – a hormone that is believed to control appetite and promote fat loss. One recent study showed 73 dieters who were given leptin injections lost about four times as much weight (15 pounds versus 3 ½), most of it from fat, during a six-month period, than those who didn’t receive leptin. Fish are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help to regulate the body’s blood-sugar levels, which keep hunger at bay. Most Americans get only about 15 percent of the recommended daily amount (650mg) of omega-3.
Good to know: Canned tuna contains fewer omega-3s than salmon, and it has recently come under fire for it’s high mercury content, which limits the amount of tuna you should eat. Buy canned salmon instead. Twelve ounces a week, or four 3-ounces cans, delivers all the omega-3s you need, plus it’s low in calories (80 per can) and high in protein. Toss it in salads, mix it with pasta, or just serve it up with a little mayo on a salmon sub.
If you want to burn fat, nothing beats breakfast. The morning meal fires up your metabolism and increases your energy to tackle the day ahead and hopefully your morning workout. Eat eggs. Research shows that egg eaters consume fewer calories than non-egg eaters in the hours following breakfast.
Good to know: Almost 80 percent of people who lose and keep off large amounts of weight eat breakfast daily, according to the National Weight Control Registry.
Sure, milk can deliver bone-building calcium, and some studies suggest that calcium promotes fat burning, but that’s not the whole story, or perhaps even the most important part. Milk is also an important source of vitamin D, otherwise known as the sunshine vitamin. Researchers are now discovering that vitamin D is an important player in metabolism, as well as bone development. The problem is that up to 70 percent of us routinely get less than we need, If you live in the northern states (any above the line from New York City to Northern Carolina), the sun is strong enough for your body to make the vitamin D only from May to September. What’s more, sunblock with a SPF higher that 8 will block the UV rays necessary to make vitamin D.
Good to know: Three cups of milk a day deliver your daily dose of calcium and about 75 percent of your vitamin D needs (400 IU a day). For the rest, hang out in the sunshine for about five minutes a day to get some light on your hands, face and arms. Other good food sources include eggs, and fish such as salmon, sardines and herring.
Lean meats, such as sirloin steaks, as well as turkey, chicken, tuna, lentils and fortified cereals, are rich in iron, the mineral that is responsible for forming hemoglobin and carrying oxygen in your red blood cells. Without enough oxygen carrying hemoglobin, your energy flags and your metabolism falls. Because athletes are so active they may need about 30 percent more iron than the general population. Supplementing iron can be risky, so it’s best to get it from food. To read more about iron click here
Good to know: Cook in cast iron. The minerals leach from the pot or pan into the food. Acidic foods work best. One study showed that the iron content of three ounces of spaghetti sauce skyrocketed from 0.6mg to 5.7mg of iron after being cooked in a cast iron pot.
Adding a handful of almonds to your oatmeal in the morning may help you burn fat and calories. A study of 65 overweight adults found that even when the dieters ate identical amounts of calories, those who were given three ounces of almonds every day lost considerably more weight (18 percent versus an 11 percent weight loss) and more inches off their waistline than those who did not eat nuts. Almonds seem to help stabilize blood sugar, which wards off hunger.
Good to know: Nuts are high in calories, so don’t go too nuts. A handful a day should be enough to help keep hunger away.