If you’ve been using food to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, you’re not alone. Being home all day surrounded by food has been a challenge for many. However, your dream of eating as much as you want without gaining weight may not be that far off thanks to some superfoods that make it possible to lose the spare fat around your belly while chomping away.
Summer is on its way and with all the swimsuits, flirty dresses and cropped tops, it’s often a season we love to hate since there’s more pressure to be in shape. Nutritionist Raneem Abdulmajeed says the key is in boosting your metabolism and choosing the foods that have a very high thermic effect as they help you burn calories as you chew. Other foods that contain nutrients and compounds that “stoke your metabolic fire” are also helpful. Here are Abdulmajeed’s top choices.
According to American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports, drinking three to four cups of green tea a day can help you lose over three kilos in two months. Green tea is rich in antioxidants that have been proven to speed metabolism. Try not to go for the bottled tea and reach for the steep teabag. For a refreshing way to increase your intake during the hot summer days, keep a jug of lemon ice tea in the fridge.
Hot chilli peppers
Many people use chilli peppers in their detox drinks because as spices they help you shed weight by heating up the body and literally melting the calories. Whether you eat them raw, dry, powdered or cooked, the beauty in chillies is that they never loose their benefits. Add as much cayenne pepper or hot sauce as you want to your soups, meat or even lemon water.
The human body burns double the calories when breaking down whole foods. The body loves foods that are rich in fibre, such as oatmeal and brown rice, more than processed foods. It is good to choose the right kind of carbs along with whole grains as their fibre keeps you from getting hungry. Several bread brands found in supermarkets are labelled with wheat but are devoid of all fibre and nutrients, so instead, search for whole grain or 100 percent whole wheat bread.
Lentil soup is more than just delicious. Knowing that only one cup holds almost 35 percent of your daily iron needs makes it tempting to forget the new recipe you wanted to try and start cooking some right away. Plus lentils will make you feel satiated for a very long time, the reason many people have it for dinner, especially during Ramadan.
Lean meat and fish
Protein offers a very high thermic effect, in fact you get to burn around 30 percent of the calories your food contains while being digested. The human body burns more while digesting protein than carbs or fat. Choose white meat and strip it of its fats, but to cut down even more on saturated fats, go for fish such as tuna and salmon. They are full of omega-3, which helps prevent stress chemicals that promote fat abs.
Green leaves and other vegetables are full of vitamins, fibre, minerals and water. While they don’t benefit your body in every way, they will help keep you full. Vegetables such as broccoli and spinach are full of fibre and contain very few calories. It is recommended to start your meal with a salad so you can feel satisfied with smaller portions afterwards. Iceberg lettuce offers a very low amount of fibre, so make sure to stack your salad bowl with romaine lettuce, arugula, kale or spinach instead.
Low fat dairy
Dairy is rich in calcium and vitamin D, which help preserve and build muscle mass, essential for maintaining a robust metabolism. Calcium actually helps break down fat and may even prevent it from forming. Make sure you fit in your daily dairy intake to enhance your skin, hair, bones and smile. Parmesan cheese is a low calorie, rich treat that helps activate the body’s fat burning hormones. This happens because the Italian cheese is higher in protein than any other dairy product and will keep you full for a longer time.
Who doesn’t love to snack on something at work or in front of the TV? However choosing the right snack is key to keeping trim. Nuts make a good snack as well as being a great topping on pastas, cereals, oatmeal and more. They will help you cut stomach fat by keeping you full for a long time. A Purdue University study concluded that people who ate nuts felt fuller for longer than those who ate rice cakes. Stick to 24 almonds a day to satisfy your hunger pangs without overloading on calories.